ASU softball run rules Boise State to complete undefeated weekend

The Sun Devils capitalized on four Bronco errors in their victory Sunday

No. 23 ASU softball needed only five innings to complete its perfect weekend in the Littlewood Classic, defeating Boise State 8-0 in Tempe on Sunday.

The Sun Devils' (9-2) offense struggled to string hits together, totaling only four hits. However, they took advantage of a number of mistakes by the Broncos (6-4).

After Bronco senior pitcher Kelsey Broadus handed consecutive walks to junior second baseman Bella Loomis and senior catcher Maddi Hackbarth, freshman shortstop Alynah Torres stepped into the box and crushed a home run past the center field fence, giving the Sun Devils a 3-0 lead in the first inning.

"I am looking for more pitches, trying to see what I can do," Torres said. "I'm just keeping it simple. Honestly just trying to get on base. So, when I get those pitches, I go and am going hard."

The Sun Devils plated another run in the third when freshman right fielder Jazmine Hill popped up to Bronco junior first baseman Alison Seng, who dropped the ball attempting to make the catch, allowing Loomis to score from third.

Scoring continued to add up in the fourth, as senior outfielder Alli Tatnall scored on another error by the Broncos. Boise State tallied four errors in five innings of play.

"We do base running every day ..." head coach Trisha Ford said. "When you put pressure on defense, good things happen."

Loomis helped score the final run in the fourth with a sacrifice fly that scored freshman outfielder Savannah Morales, putting the Sun Devils up 6-0 and two runs away from a run rule.

While the offense found ways to get runs on the board, redshirt senior pitcher Cielo Meza dominated in the circle. 

Meza struck out four batters in her four innings of work while only giving up two hits to cap off her weekend. 

Junior pitcher Madison Preston came in relief in the top of the fifth inning, sitting the Broncos down in order in what would end up being her only inning pitched.

After a single and a walk to lead off the fifth, junior outfielder Halle Harger drove in Hill with a single up the middle. 

Sophomore left fielder MaKenna Harper was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases for senior center fielder Kindra Hackbarth. Hackbarth took a hit by pitch as well to score the eighth and final run.

The Broncos pitching staff combined for eight walked batters and three batters hit by pitches.

The Sun Devils feel confident in their ability to push for a deep postseason run after this weekend.

"It is a good feeling to know that we are right there with them," Meza said. "We are going to be a competitor and contender for the World Series for sure."

ASU will look to continue its winning ways against Auburn in Cathedral City, California at 11:30 a.m MST as a part of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.

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