The Sun Devils began their quest for redemption in 2013, getting off to a running start in the Kajikawa Classic. ASU played seven games in four days and they did not disappoint, outscoring their opponents 45-2 en route to a perfect 7-0 record. Here are the top three reasons why ASU is undefeated.
1. Pitcher Dallas Escobedo
It is not surprising that Dallas Escobedo returned to the circle, beginning the 2013 season. She dominated in her six appearances during the Kajikawa Classic. Escobedo posted a 4-0 record with an ERA of 0.28 and 39 strikeouts. On Friday in the season opener against New Mexico, Escobedo nearly tied her career high for strikeouts. She blanked 15 batters in seven innings and followed that up on Sunday by throwing five perfect innings before being pulled by head coach Clint Myers.
“[I] worked on pitches and feel midseason ready,” Escobedo said.
She also gave credit to her offense. “The girls hit great all weekend... I have confidence in our entire lineup. [There are] no gaps.”
For all the praise Escobedo heaped on her teammates’ offensive ability during the Kajikawa Classic, her own stats cannot be overlooked. Escobedo posted a total WHIP of just 0.36, less than a half runner allowed on base per inning pitched.
2. Shortstop Cheyenne Coyle
Coyle began her first season at ASU on a high note after transferring from the University of Florida. She led the team in slugging percentage (1.263), RBI (10), runs scored (8), and home runs (5).
“Coyle is a phenomenal young lady,” Myers said. “[She is] a good player from another program and she’s proved she belongs at ASU.”
Even more impressive was Coyle’s on-base plus slugging percentage of 1.83.
Coyle will be a key cog in the Sun Devil lineup as she is replacing national player of the year finalist Katelyn Boyd at shortstop.
3. Weak opponents
Despite playing well in their first seven games, critics will say that the Sun Devils played teams that they should beat anyways and the numbers prove it. Arizona State’s seven opponents had a combined record last season of 152-173, good for a win percentage of .467, with only Kentucky making the field of 64 last season.
The first time ASU will play a pre-season top-25 team in 2013 will be in March at home against North Carolina
Quote of the Series:
“We have a great first five in the lineup and when the last four went like it did today, it makes for some exciting softball,” Clint Myers said after Sunday’s double-header.