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No. 13 ASU softball dominates in first ever matchup with GCU

The game was highlighted by a 13-run second inning for ASU

20210314 Softball v Baylor 0001

ASU junior outfielder Makenna Harper (55) takes a pitch versus Baylor at Alberta B. Farrington Softball Stadium in Tempe, on Sunday, March 14, 2021. ASU lost 7-2.

No. 13 ASU softball dominated its first matchup against GCU in a 21-0 run-rule blowout.

ASU started with a solid first inning, putting up five runs while freshman pitcher Allison Royalty kept the Lopes hitless. Sophomore Jordyn Vanhook started at first base and hit a home run in her first at-bat.

"It felt good," Royalty said. "(We) had a really good offense that let me go in there and do my thing and work on some stuff I wanted to work on."

The second inning is where the team found its rhythm and scored with ease. Three GCU pitchers saw time in the circle while ASU ran through its batting order once and was two batters away from starting the second time through the lineup and finished with 13 runs.

"It was 'see ball hit ball,'" junior left fielder Makenna Harper said. "I think it's great that we came out and scored so much. It was great momentum."

Harper had two hits and four RBI's on the day.

The second inning tied a program record for runs in an inning with 13.

Fifth-year catcher Maddi Hackbarth hit her 15th home run of the season, she is now only five away from the program's single-season home run record.

The offense continued to click, albeit to a much lower scale, in the third and fourth innings. ASU scored a combined three runs as the depth pieces saw some time in the batter's box.

"I think it's very important (for the bench players to play)," Hackbarth said. "We have a lot of returners, but with all the COVID-19 stuff, it's good for them to get in and show the coaches what they can do."

The final two runs were driven in by freshman outfielder Emily Cazares, who hit an RBI double, and junior pinch-hitter Mailey McLemore whose single brought junior designated hitter Yannira Acuña home. Cazares's double was her first hit, RBI and double of her career.

Throughout the offensive explosion, GCU was unable to respond as Royalty continued to dominate in the circle. She ended the night with zero runs allowed, nine strikeouts, two walks allowed and one hit.

Acuña saw playing time as the designated hitter and recorded two hits and scored four runs. She also hit the 7th double of the night which tied a program record.

ASU will continue its homestand on Friday against Stanford at 6:30 p.m. MST.

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