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ASU Softball: Sun Devils ring in new season with annual Kajikawa Classic

 

(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)

ASU softball opened its 2017 season Thursday with a 7-0 over UTEP and a 4-1 win over the Virginia Cavaliers as the Kajikawa Classic kicked off in Tempe.

In addition to the Miners and the Cavaliers, the Devils will compete against the Purdue Boilermakers, San Diego Toreros, Indiana Hoosiers, Texas-Arlington Mavericks and UC Riverside Highlanders.

 

ASU vs. Purdue – Friday, Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. MT

ASU starts Friday against the Purdue Boilermakers. The Boilermakers come from the Big Ten Conference and the university has had a softball program since 1993, fielding its first team the following year. The Sun Devils and Purdue have only met twice since 1999. Those occasions came in 2001 and 2004, when ASU shutout the Boilermakers 5-0 and 4-0, respectively. This is also the Boilermakers second time back in the Kajikawa Classic, making their only other appearance back in 2010.

 

ASU vs. University of San Diego – Friday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. MT

ASU and San Diego have met on three prior occasions and the Sun Devils lead the series dominated the Toreros 14-0 in five innings in the Diamond Devil Invitational. The Toreros return to the Kajikawa Classic for the third consecutive year. Last year, ASU beat USD 9-1 in five innings.

 

ASU vs. Indiana – Saturday, Feb. 11 at 1:30 p.m. MT

The last the Big Ten’s Hoosiers and the PAC-12’s Sun Devils met was two years ago, when ASU thrashed Indiana 10-2 in six innings during the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe. Indiana is no stranger to the desert, as this will be its fifth season in a row starting off the season in Tempe.

 

ASU vs. UT-Arlington – Saturday, Feb. 11 at 4:30 p.m. MT

The Mavericks are newcomers to the Kajikawa Classic. UT-Arlington is a part of the Sun Belt Conference and last year finished the season at 29-20, but went 4-1 in neutral-site contests. Sandra Mendoza, now a junior for the Mavs, started all 49 games last season in the leadoff position. She led the team in batting average, hits, doubles and RBIs, and earned herself a spot on the Sun Belt All-Conference First-Team.

 

ASU vs. UC Riverside – Sunday, Feb. 12 at 11:45 a.m.

Last time the Highlanders and the Sun Devils got together, it was February 2014 as ASU handed UC Riverside an 11-1 loss in Tempe. Their previous encounter before that was 2007, when the Highlanders traveled to Tempe in February for some games. However, this is UC Riverside’s fourth straight year making the journey to Tempe for the Kajikawa Classic. The Highlanders play in the Big West Conference and last year finished with a record of 32-22-1, playing 11 neutral-site games. Of those 11 matchups, the Highlanders went 6-5.

 

The Kajikawa Classic runs through the end of weekend in Tempe.

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