(Photo: Michael Baron/WCSN)
The Sun Devil softball team started off their NCAA Regionals play on the right foot with a 9-3 win over the ACC’s North Carolina Tar Heels in Oxford, Mississippi. It was ASU’s first win since May 6 vs. California, almost two weeks ago.
The Devils fell behind early 3-0 after just one half of an inning, but put nine straight runs on the board.
Junior Breanna Macha started the game for the Sun Devils, but struggled out of the gates. After an error by senior shortstop Chelsea Gonzales, an RBI single and a bases-loaded walk, it was 3-0 Carolina.
However, ASU wasted no time in getting the offense going. In the bottom of the first inning, Chelsea Gonzales hit a two-run home run to left field and suddenly UNC’s lead was trimmed to just one.
That would be the last time North Carolina had the lead as later in the bottom half of the first, Margaret Stahm hit a three-run homer to left field and ASU took their first lead of the game, 5-3, after one inning.
In the bottom half of the second inning, Chelsea Gonzales came to the plate for the second time and homered again for the Devils. It was her first multi-home run game of the season. Then in the bottom of the third frame, junior Brynley Steele homered to center field, scoring Marisa Stankiewicz and extending the ASU advantage to 8-3.
Macha closed out the game for the Devils and ASU knocked off UNC 9-3 at the campus of Ole Miss. Macha improves her record to 13-8 with five strikeouts in the effort.
The Oxford Regional is made up of Arizona State, North Carolina, Ole Miss and Southern Illinois.
The NCAA softball Regionals are a double-elimination format. With the Sun Devils win, they move into the zero losses section of the bracket and will play the winner of the Ole Miss-Southern Illinois softball game. ASU’s next game will be Saturday, May 20 at 11:30 a.m. MST.