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ASU softball struggles offensively in shutout loss to Washington

Sun Devils and Huskies trade shutout loses in first two games of Pac-12 season

Imani Randle

ASU Sophomore Kindra Hackbarth (22) prepares to hit the ball during a game against Washington at Alberta B. Farrington Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, on Sunday, March 18, 2018.

After handing the No. 1 Washington University Huskies their first loss of the season, ASU softball dropped the second game of the series by a final score of 7-0.

Both teams had a chance to score in the first, but it was the Huskies who took a 4-0 lead in the second thanks to an RBI single and three run double.

From there, the Huskies did not look back, adding another run in the fourth and a two-run homer in the seventh to lock down the win.

Senior pitcher Breanna Macha started the game for the No. 13 Sun Devils and pitched six innings while giving up seven runs on nine hits. 

In the seventh, sophomore pitcher Alyssa Loza took over after Macha gave up a two-run home run. Loza shut down the Huskies, proving to be the sole bright spot for the Sun Devils.

The Huskies did most of their damage against Macha in the second inning when they picked up four runs to blow the game wide open. The senior starter said the Huskies took full advantage of their small mistakes during that frame.

"You make mistakes and then they feed off of that," Macha said. "We had a couple of errors here and there, we always try to limit the mental errors, (but) the physical errors are going to happen."

Head coach Trisha Ford said those errors were some of the biggest reasons why the Sun Devils dropped the game by such a large margin.

"Don't make mistakes, they are going to capitalize on them, for us just to clean up that is going to be huge," Ford said.  "We're capable of it that's the thing, that's the frustrating thing, we are very capable of putting runs up and playing good defense."

The Sun Devils were hindered by their lack off offense which only mustered three hits against Washington starter, junior Taran Alvelo.

Sophomore infielder Jade Gortarez said the Sun Devils knew they were facing a good pitcher, but needed to put runs on the board.

"She mixed speeds great," Gortarez said of Alvelo. "That was just a difficult thing, but we need to figure it out."

Alvelo kept the Sun Devil offense quiet by collecting 11 strike outs through her seven innings pitched. The junior also forced a lot of ground ball outs, allowing her defense to make key plays behind her.

The Huskies had a chance to jump out to an early lead by putting runners on first and second with  no outs, however Macha was able to work out of the jam without allowing a run.

In the bottom of the first, the Sun Devils were unable to cash in keeping the game locked at zero.

In the second, the Huskies got another chance, loading the bases with one out in the second. From there Washington recorded an RBI single and the a three-run double to jump out to a 4-0 lead over the Sun Devils.

In the bottom of the second, the Sun Devils could not get any runners on against the Huskies as the score remained the same heading into the top of the third.

Back in the field for the Sun Devils, Macha found her rhythm again keeping the Huskies off the board in the top of the third.

However, the Sun Devils' offense could not seem to get anything going, struggling to get anyone on base after getting two runners on in the first.

In the top of the fourth, the Huskies were able to get a runner on and move her around the bases tacking on another run to make the score 5-0.

The Huskies continued to build their lead adding two runs via the home run in the top of the seventh to expand their lead to seven runs on their way to a 7-0 win.

Reach the reporter at and follow @JoshZaklis on Twitter.

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