Arizona State Sun Devils

No. 8 Softball Falls Short in 11-Inning Thriller for Game 1 of Super Regionals

Photo - Sun Devil Athletics

 It was a quiet first three innings for both teams, but the Sun Devils got on the board first in the bottom of the fourth as Yanni Acuña hit the program’s 99th home run of the season, which ties a program record last accomplished in 2008.

The record was broken in the next inning by Makenna Harper as home run No. 100 for the team to pull the Sun Devils ahead by two runs. Also in that inning, Alynah Torres hit the third homer of the evening for ASU to lead 3-0. It was the third time in Danielle William’s career a team had hit three home runs off of her, the second time all season with the last time being against Oklahoma State on February 20th.

The Wildcats got on the board in the top of the sixth off a two-run home run and tied the game in the top of the seventh off a solo shot to center field.

It was the first game to go to extra innings for ASU since April 14 in a 10-9 win over Utah and the longest postseason game for the Sun Devils since a 14-inning game in 2016 against McNeese State.

After three scoreless innings, the Wildcats struck first in the top of the 11th off a groundout to lead by one run and held on to take game one in a best of three series.

“A great battle out on the field,” head coach Trisha Ford said. “We had our opportunities, they took advantage of some of our miscues and we didn’t advantage of some of theirs.”

All four pitchers made an appearance in the circle this evening. Mac Morgan got the start and pitched 5.1 innings and gave up no walks during that stretch. The first pitcher to come in for relief was Marissa Schuld who pitched the last two outs of the sixth inning and all the seventh inning. Going into extra innings, Allison Royalty made her first postseason appearance this season in the eighth. Lindsay Lopez pitched the ninth through the end of the game and had two strikeouts.

ASU 3, Northwestern 4

Both teams were scoreless through the third inning as

Mac Morgan opened the game in the top of the first with a strikeout. Northwestern had two runners in the top of the second off a fielder’s choice and a single, but were scoreless going into the Sun Devils’ half of the second frame where ASU also remained scoreless.

Morgan had a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the third and picked up her third strikeout of the evening. Leadoff batter Makenna Harper doubled down the left field line to get the first hit of the evening for ASU. She made it to third off a sac bunt from Jessi Puk, but was left stranded going into the fourth.

In the Wildcats’ half of the fourth frame, it was another quick inning for Morgan as she retired her seventh consecutive batter. Up to bat to get it started in the bottom of the fourth was Yanni Acuña who homered to left center to push the Sun Devils ahead, 1-0.

Harper doubled the lead in the bottom of the fifth off a solo home run to center field, which set a program record for most home runs in a season. Another solo homer was hit by Alynah Torres to left center to add on to the Sun Devils’ lead.

Northwestern got its first two runs of the evening off a two-run shot to center field in the top of the sixth. Marissa Schuld came in the circle to relieve Morgan with one out and got out of a jam with two on base on a double play.

The Wildcats knotted up the game 3-3 off a solo home run with one out in the top of the seventh. With runners on first and second, the Northwestern batter hit a single which would have loaded the bases, but was called out since she was ruled out of the batters box which ended the inning.

Loomis had a single up the middle to get the Sun Devils started in the bottom of the seventh. Acuña was hit by a pitch to put Loomis on second and a single from Sanders loaded the bases for the Sun Devils with two out, but were left stranded to go into extra innings.

Allison Royalty made her appearance of the postseason in the circle in the top of the eighth as she got out of the inning scoreless. Pinch hitter Savannah Price had a leadoff walk for the Sun Devils in the bottom of the eighth and advanced to second on a groundout. Price made it to third, but was left stranded.

Lindsay Lopez had back-to-back strikeouts along with a groundout to keep the game tied up going to the bottom of the ninth. ASU went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.

Northwestern had a runner get to second after a single on a sac bunt and advanced to third on a wild pitch along with an intentional walk. A double play helped Lopez get out of the jam to go to the bottom of the 10th.Sanders had a leadoff single to center field to get a start for ASU and with one out, Hill reached on a fielder’s choice. Next, Price singled to second base and Hill was out at second. Jazmyn Rollin got on base after being hit by a pitch to advance Price to second, but both were left stranded.

The Wildcats had a runner on third off a passed ball and the runner scored on a groundout to give Northwestern its first lead of the evening in the top of the 11th. Puk had a leadoff single in the Sun Devils’ half of the 11th, but was left stranded to give the Wildcats the game one win.


Head coach Trisha Ford
On playing in must win game tomorrow
“We had a lot of opportunities and the good thing is I really believe in this team and I think it’s going to be really hard for a pitcher to beat us back to back days. It’s going to be a barn burner, that’s what this is about, it’s postseason.”

On reaching home run record for single season
“They do a good job of driving the ball. We don’t really go up to bat thinking to hit a home run, but obviously we go up there to do some damage. I think it’s hats off to coach (Jeff) Harger honestly because he puts in a lot of work with our hitters day in and day out.”

On pitchers performance and ways to improve for the next game
“I thought Roy(alty) did a heck of a job and came in and pitched well and Mac did a great job. She threw five great innings, so lots of good things. We just got to kind of go back to film and watch some things and then make some adjustments. But overall, they took advantage of a couple of missed pitches and we didn’t advantage of some of Danielle’s, I thought she did a good job of keeping us off balance.”

Senior leftfielder Makenna Harper
On facing strong pitching
“I think we just need to be disciplined up there.  I think we should decipher a little more on strikes and balls on the hand of the change up, but as we go down the line up we just need to make the adjustments a little quicker.”

On catch at the wall in the top of the eighth
“At the end of the day, I’m just running and catching, so I’m happy it played out the way it did. It was good of way to kind of spark that energy.”

Junior shortstop Alynah Torres
On mentality going up to bat the rest of the weekend
“It’s just having a plan and swinging at strikes and single out in front. Just keeping it simple and tomorrow we’re all going to have a better mindset up to bat and we’re going to be ready to go.”

Game 1- Friday, May 27- ASU 3, NU 4
Game 2- Saturday, May 28 at 8 p.m. on ESPN2
Game 3 (if necessary)- Sunday, May 29 at TBD

Press Release courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics 


                   Click on Logo

Most Popular

To Top