ASU softball suffers hard fought loss to New Mexico State

The Sun Devils produced no runs in the loss to the Aggies

ASU softball suffered a 2-0 loss to New Mexico State in the second day of the ASU Invitational on Friday night at Farrington Stadium.

This game was a pitching duel between junior ASU (17-7) pitcher Madison Preston and junior New Mexico State (12-7) pitcher Analise De La Roca

Preston pitched five innings, allowed one earned run and struck out six batters. De La Roca pitched 5.1 innings, allowing no earned runs and recording one strikeout.

Things got interesting in the third inning when freshman Aggie third baseman Ramsay Lopez hit a two-out double to right field. She then moved to third on a wild pitch. With a runner in scoring position, Preston settled down and struck out senior first baseman Nikki Butler to end the inning.

In the fourth inning the Aggies had a similar scoring opportunity, and this time they would not let it slip away. Freshman designated player Matalasi Faapito doubled to right field. 

Then, with two outs, senior catcher Shelby Shultes delivered as she knocked in the first run of the game with a grounder to third base that bounced off the glove of junior Sun Devil third baseman Kiara Kennedy.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Sun Devils found themselves in the same position as the Aggies had earlier in the inning. 

Senior catcher Maddi Hackbarth doubled and advanced to third. Unfortunately for the Sun Devils, Kennedy popped up to end the inning.

In the fifth inning, Preston got herself in another sticky situation as she allowed back-to-back singles to senior shortstop Jeanelle Medina and Lopez. After Medina moved to third on a fielder’s choice, Faapito knocked in the Aggies second run of the game on a single to center field.

Senior pitcher Samantha Mejia replaced Preston in the sixth inning and came out firing on all cylinders as she struck out the side. Mejia struck out all six batters she faced in the two innings she pitched.

Senior center fielder Kindra Hackbarth said that while a loss like this is hard, it's comforting knowing that the pitching staff can keep ASU in close games like this.

"I think our pitching staff definitely showed up today and our bats didn't," Hackbarth said. "It's nice and reassuring to have them and to have them have our backs."

With sophomore pinch runner Olivia Miller on third and junior first baseman DeNae Chatman on second, ASU found themselves in another prime scoring opportunity in the sixth. 

New Mexico State then replaced De La Roca with freshman pitcher Felicia De La Torre who found immediate success as she struck out back-to-back batters and escaped the inning without allowing any runs.

Junior second baseman Bella Loomis tried to get a comeback started with a two-out double in the bottom of the seventh inning, but it would not be enough as freshman right fielder Jazmine Hill grounded out to end the game.

Head coach Trisha Ford was upset after the game and said she is bothered by the ups and downs her team is having.

"I went out there and I said, 'I'm tired of saying this and I'm sure you're tired of hearing this so at some point you guys gotta drive this bus,'" Ford said. "'You guys gotta come out every single night, every single pitch counts anybody can beat anybody and we're taking things for granted.'"

Hackbarth summed it up by saying that their team needs to rally tomorrow and gain some momentum before conference play. 

"We learn from it and we don't sit on it too long," Hackbarth said. "You kinda just have to pick it up and keep rolling because Pac's right around the corner and it's just going to keep getting harder.

The Sun Devils will look to get back on track tomorrow where they will take on Nebraska at 4:30 p.m. MST and Lehigh at 7 p.m. MST in a doubleheader.


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

Like State Press Sports on Facebook and follow @statepresssport on Twitter.


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.


×

Notice

This website uses cookies to make your expierence better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.