Sun Devil softball wins tenth run-rule game of season

ASU won its fifth straight run-rule against NIU, averaging over 13 runs per game since its lone loss of the season

No. 11 ASU softball wins another run-rule game against Northern Illinois by a score of 10-2 at Farrington Stadium after its first road trip of the season.

The Sun Devils now have ten run-rule wins, five run-rule wins in a row and are averaging over 13 runs per game since the team's only loss to no. 1 Oklahoma.

"I think that our hard work is paying off," junior outfielder Makenna Harper said. "We've waited so long to get to this point and play, so we're just excited to be out there. From (batter) one to nine, we're solid."

For the first two innings, NIU freshman pitcher Claire Norred held the Sun Devils scoreless and to two hits. ASU pitcher Lindsay Lopez kept the Huskies from capitalizing by preventing any hits in the first two frames. Head coach Trisha Ford was pleased with Lopez's continued consistency play, both in this game and in this season.

"Pitching is hard, just like hitting is hard and we're gonna have ups and downs," Ford said. "Lindsay's done a tremendous job of stepping in and really elevating her game."

The Sun Devil offense woke up and scored five runs in back-to-back innings to end the night, with a run-rule win over the Huskies.

Fifth year centerfielder Kindra Hackbarth hit her fifth home run of the season in the third, followed by Harper's two-RBI single. Redshirt junior infielder Brittany Holland brought in the fourth and fifth run with a two-RBI double later in the third.

NIU scored its two runs in the fourth, both off of fielder's choice plays.

Fifth year catcher Maddi Hackbarth, who went 3-3 at the plate with an RBI and run scored. Harper hit the other long-ball of the night, a three-run blast bringing the Sun Devils to their final score with ten runs. 

The blast was her fourth home run of the season.

The Sun Devils have two scheduled games left before the trip to Los Angeles for the first Pac-12 series against UCLA.

"We're excited (for Pac-12 play)," Holland said. "We're super antsy and hungry and we're ready to get on the field and show what we can do. I think we can compete with the best and it's gonna be a really exciting year."

The Sun Devils will have one day off before going against Baylor on Thursday at 6 p.m. MST.


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

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