No. 13 Arizona State (9-1) had an excellent day all around in a doubleheader sweep over Portland State and Iowa State.
Arizona State raced out to another run-rule win over Portland State (1-3) to start the day. Lindsay Lopez tossed a shutout in the 8-0 win over the Vikings.
Thus far in the 2021 season, Lopez has gained a lot of innings and another strong five-frame showing on Saturday. Other than the fifth inning, she faced little trouble.
The offense had another showing where it scored in every inning. Alynah Torres and Alli Tatnall sent out back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning. Louisiana-Lafayette transfer Brittany Holland blasted her first home run as a Sun Devil as well.
It wasn’t all the long ball either. Various times, Arizona State went station-to-station and that provided RBI opportunities with runners in scoring position nine times. Maddi Hackbarth, Jazmine Hill, Bella Loomis and Yanni Acuna all drove in runs.
Cielo Meza dealt in Arizona State’s ranked win over No. 25 Iowa State (12-2). Outside of Cyclone shortstop Sami Williams, who is possibly the hottest hitter in the nation right now, Iowa State found little success against Meza in her 8-3 win.
Williams went 3-3 with two home runs, while the rest of Iowa State went 1-19 versus the senior righty. Meza also accumulated nine strikeouts. Allison Royalty finished the game with a scoreless seventh inning.
“I thought she threw well tonight,” Ford said about Meza. “I think Iowa State’s a scrappy team, obviously a top-25 team. I thought she did a great job of pounding the zone and making them just miss. For me, I’m just excited. She’s worked so hard to get where she’s at and she’s really refocused on what she wants to do. Her approach to pitching, I’ve seen a huge shot in the arm with what she wants to do. She deserves it.”
The bats started off hot as well. Three straight singles to open the game brought in Maddi Hackbarth’s first two RBIs of the night. She’d finish with four against Iowa State after a solo home run and another RBI-single.
Arizona State combined for 16 hits, including multi-hit nights from five batters. Jazmine Hill drove in a pair and added three hits, while Makenna Harper kept a hot bat with three hits herself. The Sun Devils saw three different pitchers and found success against each one.
“I thought we took advantage of them quickly, which is a really good sign of a good team. Harper had really, really good at-bats. When Kindra did the same thing — when they’re battling multiple pitches in an at-bat when we get a new pitcher in, I think that gives you more and more information, and it’s giving you that ability to, as other hitters down the line, to be able to figure some things out,” Ford said. “I was really impressed.”
The Sun Devils return to action on Sunday against New Mexico at 11:00 a.m. MT.