(Photo: ASU Athletics)
Most hitters would be overjoyed to start the season the way Alix Johnson has, but the Arizona State senior is not satisfied and feels she can do even better.
That seems unfathomable considering the center fielder is batting .500- best on the team among regular players- and is in the top three on the team in almost every offensive category including on base percentage (.622), RBI (10) and runs scored (10).
“I’m not really hitting the ball as well as I want to when it comes down to solid contact,” Johnson said. “When you’re in those tough situations, those dinkers that are singles or doubles, I mean, they work.”
Johnson said she does not look at her statistics and had no idea how well she was hitting until she got a text message from her mother telling her.
Johnson got off to a slow start last season as a junior, batting only .200 through the first 11 games, but admitted after Tuesday’s practice that she did not make adjustments to avoid another slow start.
“My approach is the same,” Johnson said. “It’s just one of those games where sometimes you’re on. Sometimes you’re off. Sometimes it’s the beginning of the season. Sometimes it’s at the end. So, nothing’s really changed.”
Three weeks into the season, Johnson feels the team is fundamentally sound and meshing well but can still improve upon the little things. In their last two games against Illinois State and San Jose State on Saturday, the Sun Devils struggled hitting and and making routine plays in the field.
“I think we got complacent at times. We usually want to win every inning,” Johnson admitted. “I think we got so hyped up for the Oklahoma game and it was hard to come back and put our best foot forward.”
Although the Sun Devils won both games, the drop off in play after defeating the Sooners served as a wake up call to Johnson and her teammates to get back to the team’s mindset of taking the season one game at a time.
The Sun Devils only play one team this weekend with a winning record (Idaho State), but Johnson said she is pumped up and that is important for the team to be excited for every game, no matter who the opponent is.
“I feel like it’s my job as leader of the team to keep that hyped up energy constant and not be kind of complacent for those types of games,” Johnson said.
While Johnson looks to perfect her swing, the Sun Devils will look to stay perfect as they take on the Drake Bulldogs on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Farrington Stadium.