ASU softball's two wins highlighted by no-hitter in night cap

Giselle Juarez tosses no-hitter in second Sun Devil softball win on Friday

In the first game of tonight's doubleheader, the No. 8 Sun Devils' offense exploded for eight runs in the first two innings to lift the team to a 10-2 victory over North Dakota State University.

The Sun Devil offense scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth to give the team an eight run lead. This allowed senior pitcher Breanna Macha to win the game in the fifth via the mercy rule. 

ASU was lead by sophomore infielder Jade Gortarez, who went 3-3 with two runs scored and a home run. Junior outfielder Skylar McCarty also played a big role in the Sun Devil offense picking up two hits, two RBIs and a run scored for the Sun Devils. 

Despite giving up two runs in the first two innings, Macha pitched five solid innings picking up six strikeouts to lead the Sun Devils to a first game victory.

"I think we just played really good defense today and we came out swinging, it was nice to have my defense backing me up today," Macha said.

The Sun Devils offense provided support for their pitcher, scoring five runs on four hits and batting around in the bottom of the first. The Sun Devils got some help when NDSU committed two errors in the inning.

The Bison would not go down easy, putting runners on second and third with no outs to start the second. Macha allowed just one run in the inning to keep a 5-2 lead.

ASU continued the offense, tacking on three more runs to expand their lead to 8-2 in the bottom of the second. 

The score remained the same until the bottom of the fourth when ASU put up two more runs to take a 10-2 lead. Macha would slam the door in the top of the fifth to secure a victory for the Sun Devils via the mercy rule.

Game Two

Sophomore pitcher Giselle Juarez is having a special season, piling up two National Pitcher of the Week awards. On Friday night Juarez impressed again, pitching a no-hitter against the BYU Cougars, leading the Sun Devils to a commanding 7-0 win.

"Maddi (Hackbarth) kind of talked to me about throwing my game and not worrying about anything else," Juarez said. 

Juarez was absolutely dominant pitching, as the lefty struck out 11 BYU batters through her seven innings of work.

"G (Juarez) is just fun to watch," head coach Trisha Ford said. "It is kind of like proud mom when you are starting to see your kid grow up, she is growing up in front of our eyes."

The performance is in line for the rest of the season with Juarez, who lowered her ERA on the season to 0.62 with her most recent outing and has become the ace of the Sun Devil pitching staff.

She started off the game right by striking out the first two batters the Cougars sent to the plate and forced the third to pop up in a scoreless first.

The Sun Devils offense did not skip a beat after putting up 10 runs in the first game of the day, ASU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first.

In the bottom half of the second inning, the Sun Devils scratched another run across thanks to three walks and a wild pitch.

After a scoreless top of the third from Juarez, the Sun Devils scored 2 runs in the bottom half to go up by a score of 5-0.

The score remained the same until the bottom of the fifth when the Sun Devils put two more runs on the board to take a 7-0 lead.

Meanwhile, on the mound, Juarez continued to shut down the BYU offense on her way to a no-hitter.

The Sun Devils will be back in action tomorrow at 1:30 MST to rematch both the NDSU Bisons and the BYU Cougars.


 Reach the reporter at Joshua.Zaklis@asu.edu and follow @JoshZaklis on Twitter.

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