ASU softball's offense gets back on track, sweeps doubleheader

The Sun Devils defeated Nebraska and Lehigh on Saturday

After the Sun Devils lost to New Mexico State Friday night, ASU bounced back with back-to-back wins over Nebraska and Lehigh on Saturday in Tempe.

Nebraska

In the No. 17 Sun Devils' (19-7) first game, senior center fielder Kindra Hackbarth got ASU off to a quick start with a leadoff home run to centerfield.Later in the inning, ASU loaded the bases, but freshman shortstop Alynah Torres hit into a double play and put an end to the Sun Devil’s first inning momentum.

ASU senior starting pitcher Cielo Meza cruised through the first three innings but faced some trouble in the fourth and fifth innings as both teams traded leads. 

In the fourth inning, the Cornhuskers tied the game up as junior pitcher Olivia Ferrell singled in senior center fielder Tristen Edwards. ASU quickly responded in their next at-bat as senior designated player Allison Tatnall gave the Sun Devils the lead once again on a double to left field.

Nebraska (9-13) took the lead back in the top of the fifth inning as back-to-back doubles from senior third baseman Samantha Owen and Edwards gave the Cornhuskers a one-run lead. 

But the Sun Devils would take the lead right back as they batted in another four runs in the bottom of the inning. 

Meza finished her outing allowing two earned runs in five innings alongside four strikeouts. From then on it was all ASU junior pitcher Madison Preston, who replaced Meza and pitched the final two innings, allowing no earned runs and striking out one. 

ASU added one more run on for good measure in the sixth inning as junior first baseman DeNae Chatman singled in Kindra Hackbarth.

Lehigh

Much like the first game, the Sun Devils got off to a very fast start. For the second game in a row, Kindra Hackbarth started the game off with a leadoff home run, but this time the rest of the ASU team kept the momentum going.

ASU piled on another 11 runs in the first inning. A big reason why the Sun Devils got off to such a hot start was because Lehigh (6-6) junior pitcher Lainey Stephenson and sophomore pitcher Jaelynn Chesson combined for seven walks in the first inning.

In the second inning, the Sun Devils continued onto their lead as they scored another three runs. Stephenson walked another four batters and junior third baseman Bella Loomis and Tatnall batted in one run each.

In the bottom of the third inning freshman right fielder Jordyn Vanhook hit a solo home run for the Sun Devils 16th run of the game. 

Senior pitcher Samantha Mejia pitched a complete game, allowed no earned runs and four strikeouts.

The Sun Devils will be back in action Sunday when they take on Lehigh at 4:30 p.m. MST and Ohio State at 7:00 p.m. MST.


Reach the reporter at cfahrend@asu.edu and follow @chris_drop_ on Twitter.

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