Knowledge Enterprise Development at Arizona State University issued the following announcement on May 9.
The Arizona State softball team (31-18, 11-11) defeated the defending Pac-12 Champion Oregon Ducks, 4-0, in the first of three games at Jane Sanders stadium Thursday afternoon.
In the circle, Samantha Mejia and Cielo Meza combined to hold the Ducks to just one hit and four walks in the outing. Offensively, junior Jade Gortarez paced the potent ASU offense with a 2-for-3 performance that also included three RBI. As a team, the Sun Devils combined to record seven hits that included four extra-base knocks.
The Sun Devils got things started early, working three straight walks to start the game. Following a pop up for the games first out, junior shortstop Jade Gortarez got the Sun Devils on the board with a bases clearing double to push the Devils out to a 3-0 lead.
Following a shutdown home half from Cielo Meza, the Sun Devils got the bats working again in the second when Bella Loomis roped a leadoff triple to right field to bring up the top of the order. Unfortunately for ASU, the Duck defense would strand her there to send the game to the home half with Arizona State still leading, 3-0.
In the bottom half of the second, Oregon worked themselves into one of the most dangerous scoring situations for the Sun Devils all afternoon, loading the bases with just one out. Looking to get out of the inning, head coach Trisha Ford called on Samantha Mejia to take over in the circle, and turned away the threat with back-to-back strikeouts.
Following a scoreless third and fourth inning, ASU showed more signs of life as Kindra Hackbarth laced a one-out double to centerfield, bringing the heart of the lineup to the plate with a runner in scoring position and nobody out. She would be moved over just two batters later when Gortarez reached on a single to right field. During the very next at-bat, Kindra would come in to score when Gortarez stole second, sending the game to the bottom of the inning with ASU out front, 4-0.
In the home-half of the sixth, Oregon would find a hole to end the combined no-hit bid, looping a leadoff double to the gap in left. Following the hit, the ASU defense would buckle down to keep the Ducks off the board, sending the series opener to the seventh with the Sun devils still leading, 4-0.
In the top of the seventh, ASU would put even more pressure on the Oregon defense as K. Hackbarth carded her second hit of the game, before stealing second, the fourth stolen base for the Arizona State offense in the game. Unfortunately, the would-be scoring chance would be turned away, sending the game to the home-half of the seventh with ASU still leading, 4-0.
With the Ducks unable to string together their offense, the Sun Devils would cruise to a 4-0 win, the second straight shutout-victory over the Ducks after defeating them by the same score in game three of the 2018 series.
The series will continue tomorrow afternoon with first pitch in game two scheduled for 5:00 p.m. PT. Fans can follow all of the action from the rest of the series by following @ASUSoftball on Twitter.
Original source can be found here.