No. 16 ASU softball scores nine runs in first two innings, run-rules Seattle

The Sun Devils scored four runs in the first inning and five in the second

No. 16 ASU softball run-ruled Seattle 9-1 in five innings on the second day of the Kajikawa Classic on Friday in Tempe.

ASU's offense collected all of its nine runs in the first two innings, scoring four in the first and five in the second.

"We came out a little more relaxed tonight, doing a better job hitting our pitches and not chasing," head coach Trisha Ford said. "We took advantage of some miscues and played more like ASU softball."

Freshman pitcher Allison Royalty earned the first start of her collegiate career, finishing the game with eight strikeouts in five innings pitched.

"I've been waiting for this opportunity for a while now," Royalty said. "I felt great getting in there and getting to throw finally."

Ford praised her young pitcher for her poise, saying "she's just different" than a normal freshman who requires more coaching.

"She knows what it means to work and how to get yourself ready," Ford said. "(She) has a very deep understanding of the mechanics and where she wants to put the ball. Our conversations are a little more complex than an average freshman."

Redshirt junior infielder Brittany Holland, a transfer from Louisiana-Lafayette, made her first start for the Sun Devils. Holland recorded a hit in each of her two at-bats and drove in two runs.

"I was really happy for her (Holland), she's been working hard," Ford said. "Her transition has been seamless, and she's a gamer that we're excited to have as a part of our program."

Junior outfielder Olivia Miller made an appearance as a pinch-runner, and junior utility player Mailey McLemore pinch-hit for senior infielder DeNae Chatman. Junior outfielder Yannira Acu├▒a and sophomore catcher Macy Simmons were worked into the game at le'ft field and catcher, respectively. 

"We're very lucky and fortunate to have this depth," Ford said. "It's going to be something that we will focus our development to continue to get these younger or more inexperienced players at-bats or time defensively." 

Simmons is someone the Sun Devils have plans for once starting fifth-year senior catcher Maddi Hackbarth graduates.

"I think Macy Simmons is learning from me," Hackbarth said. "(She's) an open mind all the time at practice. I'm very excited for what our future holds here."

ASU will play Utah next in the final game of the Kajikawa Classic on Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. MST in Tempe.


Reach the reporter at drodish@asu.edu and follow @david_rodish on Twitter.

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