Two star ASU softball players — sophomore Danielle Gibson and junior Giselle "G" Juarez — announced their plans to transfer via Twitter on Tuesday.
Gibson's impact as a freshman last year was immediately felt at the plate. Gibson batted a .343 average for the Sun Devils in 2018, good for third on the team.
Gibson leads the team it home runs (12), base hits (24) and double plays (9), and she was named to the all Pac-12 First Team and all Pac-12 Freshman Team last year.
She ranks sixth in the Pac-12 for home runs and finished the season with a .633 slugging percentage, which was good for second on the team and eighth in the Pac-12. Gibson also fielded with a .971 percentage, good for fourth on the team given at least 50 chances.
Gibson's exit leaves the Sun Devils without one of their best and most reliable players at the plate and on the field because the team has no players who hit more than 10 home runs returning this year besides her.
There is also only one other player on the team who had a better fielding percentage than Gibson given more than 100 chances: junior Maddi Hackbarth.
Juarez led the Sun Devil's bullpen in wins last year, going 26-6. Juarez also posted a 1.22 ERA in over 200 innings pitched and she struck-out 305 batters, which was the second-most by any pitcher in the Pac-12.
The junior was top three in the Pac-12 for ERA, opposing batting average, innings pitched and wins.
Not to mention, Juarez was named to the All-American First Team last year and to the all Pac-12 First Team. She was also named Pac-12 pitcher of the week for four consecutive weeks.
Juarez's departure leaves a gaping hole in the Sun Devil pitching rotation. With her transfer and former ASU pitcher Breanna Macha having graduated last year, this leaves ASU with neither of their dominating pitchers from a season ago.
Freshman Mikayla Santa Cruz and junior Cielo Meza will serve as the pitchers for the upcoming 2019 season.
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Jeffrey Horst is the digital editor-in-chief of The State Press. He previously served as the publication's sports editor and worked at Cronkite News and ArizonaSports.com.