Senior second baseman Sam Parlich was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for her efforts after ASU went 4-1 in the Judi Garman Classic.
Parlich hit .526 (10 for 19) at the plate, which included four hits in ASU’s loss to No. 14 Michigan.
Parlich is now hitting at a .384 clip, with only one strikeout in 87 at-bats. Her one K total ranks the seventh fewest strikeout rate in Division I.
The weekly award was the first in Parlich’s career.
Junior outfielder Alix Johnson and junior shortstop Cheyenne Coyle have also earned the weekly hitting award for ASU this season, while junior pitcher Dallas Escobedo won the weekly pitching award in the first week.
Kemp, Girard flip-flop at first
Entering the ASU softball season, only one position on the field was up for grabs.
After six weeks, the battle continues.
Before the season, coach Clint Myers said the battle would ensue all season, and he did not lie.
ASU has a good problem on its hands.
Both battlers are hitting above .300. The positional battle kept the players on their toes during ASU’s string of blowout victories, because they still had to compete for playing time.
Sophomore first baseman Bethany Kemp emerged as the leader after the first week. She started five of the seven games that week, with a .333 clip.
Her tenure lasted until the beginning of the third weekend, when freshman infielder Nikki Girard won the starting position. Girard started the next 12 games.
During that time, ASU was crushing most of their opponents, giving Kemp many opportunities to hit off the bench.
Kemp performed well in her pinch-hitting role at the time and reclaimed the starting spot. In her current six-game reign as starter, Kemp is hitting .363 with two home runs.
Myers said Tuesday the battle is still a day-to-day evaluation.
Kemp is now hitting .350 and she has shown more power than Girard. Kemp has 10 extra base hits, including four home runs. Girard only has six extra base hits and one home run.
California on my mind
Last weekend, the ASU softball team traveled on the road for the first time.
However, for many Sun Devil players, California is home.
In the Judi Garman Classic March 14-16, ASU traveled to Fullerton, Calif. The Sun Devils again travel to California when they open Pac-12 play Friday at UCLA.
ASU has 10 players from the Golden State, including sophomore catcher Amber Freeman and junior shortstop Cheyenne Coyle.
Nine of the 10 from the state hail from southern California. USC doesn’t have a softball program, meaning UCLA is the premier program from the area.
Freeman said she wanted to be a Bruin growing up. In high school, she narrowed down the list of colleges she wanted to attend to ASU and UCLA.
She eventually chose ASU.
“When I came here, I fell in love with the campus, the coaches (and) the team,” Freeman said. “I just knew this was my home and this was going to be a good fit for me.”
Freeman’s hometown in Lakewood is about half an hour from Fullerton by car. She said on the trip to Fullerton, she was able to see her family and stay at home for a few days.
Reach the reporter at Justin.Janssen@asu.edu