ASU Softball drops series to Arizona as offense goes quiet

Sun Devils take second series loss of the season against rival Arizona

In the rubber match on Sunday, the Sun Devils came up short against rival Arizona, dropping the game 2-4 and thus the series.

This was the No. 8 Sun Devils' first loss of the season after scoring first as the team was 31-0 in such games heading into Sunday's matchup.

It was a costly loss, and now ASU and Arizona are tied with eight points a piece in the race for the territorial cup.

ASU sophomore pitcher Giselle Juarez and Arizona junior pitcher Taylor McQuillin dueled through seven innings, combining for just just four runs and nine hits.

Throughout the game, Juarez had trouble generating her usual number of strikeouts, picking up just six on the day, falling short of her average 10.7 per start.

"It's (about) focusing on me, not necessarily on what they did," Juarez said. "I hit their bats, they didn't touch me...that's the way I look at it, I just have to move forward and let it go."

The offense for the Sun Devils was provided in part by sophomore outfielder Kindra Hackbarth, who started the game off with a lead off double in the bottom of the first. She later advanced to third on a wild pitch and then home on a fielder's-choice RBI by sophomore infielder Jade Gortarez.

Arizona took the lead with a two-run home run from redshirt sophomore outfielder Alyssa Palomino in the top of the sixth, putting the Wildcats up 2-1.

But redshirt senior infielder Marisa Stankiewicz took matters into her own hands, tying the game with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh.

However the tie was short lived as the Wildcats promptly loaded the bases in the eighth and won  when sophomore infielder Jessie Harper's RBI double plated two runs.

"We are a good team and I don't think we know it," junior outfielder Morgan Howe said. "The biggest thing to take away is this is a really disgusting feeling and I don't think anyone wants to feel that way again."

Head coach Trisha Ford agreed with her outfielder, adding that she is happy that the team is so disappointed with the results of the game and the series

"It is good, in some respects, for them (ASU) to have a little reality check," Ford said. "I know we are going to move in the right direction and I know we are going to make a good decision and come out ready to go."

ASU will be back in action on Friday April, 27 when they head to Salt Lake City and take on the Utah Utes at 4 p.m. MST.


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

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