There’s just something about Maddi Hackbarth at the plate against Utah (9-5). The Arizona State (10-1) catcher drove out two home runs in the Sun Devils’ 8-2 win on Monday.
That brings her career total against the Utes to eight, which all started back in Arizona State’s comeback win over Utah in 2019 where Hackbarth had three home runs.
“Something about them gets me going,” Hackbarth said with a smile. “I think it’s just a Pac-12 thing. They’re a gritty team, so I know I have to be full force ahead.”
Hackbarth put the exclamation point on her team’s six-run second inning. Her second home run brought in right fielder Jazmine Hill, who had doubled in a pair of runs the at-bat before.
Center fielder Kindra Hackbarth had an RBI-single and designated player Alli Tatnall also homered in the frame. Kindra Hackbarth finished with three hits and two RBIs.
The first home run from Maddi Hackbarth came on a nice adjustment. Utah starter Mary Beth Feldman kept pitching Hackbarth inside until she ripped one foul nearly for a home run. Feldman then tried to go outside but Hackbarth went with it and sent it out to right field.
“Maddi has worked really, really hard. We all know how much work she’s put in,” coach Trisha Ford said. “..She can really hurt you in all different areas of the plate. She’s done a really great job of being disciplined with her zone. She’s at her best when she’s driving balls to the opposite field.
Cielo Meza gave Ford another quality effort in the circle as well. Utah’s Halle Morris lined a solo home run out to center, but the Utes didn’t barrel up much else.
She threw four innings and struck out three. Lindsay Lopez closed the game’s final three innings. She allowed one run on three hits.
“I thought Cielo did a tremendous job tonight,” Ford said. “She started off hot and just kept Utah off balanced. Lindsay is a really good one-two punch with her.”
Arizona State heads away from Farrington Stadium for the first time this season for its upcoming games. The Sun Devils will play UTEP, Incarnate Word and Montana in El Paso starting March 5th.