Hot offense powers ASU softball to run-rule win over Wright State

The Sun Devils jumped to a 12-0 lead after two innings

No. 17 ASU softball's offense picked up right where it left off last Sunday, defeating Wright State 12-0 in the first game of the ASU Invitational in Tempe Thursday night.

Freshman right fielder Jazmine Hill got things going for the Sun Devils (17-6) when she crushed a two-run home run to right field in the first inning. 

After allowing a double to freshman shortstop Alynah Torres, Raider sophomore starting pitcher Olivia Otani dug herself into a hole she would not get out of in the first inning. 

Otani walked three straight Sun Devils, scoring a run in the process. But, she found a chance to get out of the bases loaded jam after she got junior third baseman Kiara Kennedy to pop out for the second out of the inning. 

But, sophomore left fielder MaKenna Harper had other plans, hitting a grand slam to bring the Sun Devils' first inning run total to seven.

The grand slam was Harper’s first home run of the season. She said that going into that at-bat, she was just looking to put the ball in play.

“It was really cool. Didn’t expect it to happen. I kinda felt it right off the bat though,” Harper said. “I was extremely happy and it made it even better that all my teammates were on base. It’s a big relief.”

Wright State (5-10) replaced Otani with senior pitcher Lauren Deitrick to stop the bleeding in the second inning, only for the offensive onslaught to continue.

After Hill stole home on a wild pitch after hitting a lead off triple, senior catcher Maddi Hackbarth and junior first baseman DeNae Chatman hit back-to-back home runs. 

“Going into each at-bat I have the same approach, looking down and getting a good pitch,” Hackbarth said. “I just told her (Chatman), ‘She’s going to give you a good pitch.’"

Deitrick did not settle down, allowing two more walks and a single that scored senior designated player Allison Tatnall

Deitrick was then replaced by sophomore pitcher Carly Turner, who successfully got out of the inning and finished the game without allowing another run to the Sun Devils.

ASU starting senior pitcher Samantha Mejia struck out six batters in three innings of shutout ball before she was replaced by freshman pitcher Lindsay Lopez. Lopez closed the game out with two hitless innings.

ASU head coach Trisha Ford was very complimentary of Lopez after the game and said that it is important for her offense to get big leads so that she can throw her young pitchers more often. 

“As she continues to get more and more comfortable out on that mound, you’re going to see bigger things from her,” Ford said. “She’s a great fielding pitcher. She can also hit. She brings a lot of dynamics to our lineup.”

Overall, Ford was happy with her team’s performance tonight and said that they will be ready to go tomorrow when they face New Mexico State at 7:00 p.m. MST.

“I didn’t say a lot to them after the game. I just told them, 'Way to take care of business today,' congratulated Harper and said, 'Come out ready to go tomorrow,'" Ford said. "There’s not a lot for me to say. It’s more about enjoying tonight, but refocusing and getting ready to go for tomorrow.”

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