Despite winning the opening game of the season, the Sun Devils still had questions about their offense. After outscoring their two opponents 14-1 on Friday, fans put aside any worries about ASU’s batting.
After losing shortstop Katelyn Boyd to graduation last year, the Sun Devils knew that they were going to have a big hole to fill considering Boyd left the Devils as the career record holder in RBI and doubles.
The Sun Devils were optimistic that junior Cheyenne Coyle could fill that void left by Boyd and after three games, head coach Clint Myers has to feel a little better about his new shortstop.
Coyle, a transfer from the University of Florida, went 4 for 7 in the double header with three homeruns, five runs batted in and four runs scored in the Sun Devils victories over Indiana and Cal State Northridge.
“I feel that if I can prepare and get my timing down before my at bat, then I will have well at bats,” Coyle said. “ Today was my good day. I was seeing the ball well.”
The Sun Devils opened the game against Indiana with a five run second inning thanks to three homeruns including back-to-back bombs by catcher Amber Freeman and Coyle.
The most interesting play of the day happened when right fielder Bailey Wigness laid down a perfectly placed bunt, Indiana’s catcher Kelsey Dotson picked up the ball and fired it to first but it sailed over the first baseman’s head and into right field allowing Lucy Aubrecht to score from first. Wigness opted to try for the rare inside the park bunt homerun and made it home safely.
“Bailey is the fastest player on the team. I am not stopping her on a play like that. She gets mad when I stop her,” Myers said.
The second inning alone would be all that pitcher Dallas Escobedo would need as she threw her second straight shutout and had ten strikeouts in five innings of work. The game was called because of the mercy rule as the Sun Devils clobbered the Hoosiers 8-0.
In the first game of the doubleheader, ASU defeated Cal State Northridge 6-1 behind Coyle’s three RBIs and outstanding pitching by Mackenzie Popescue. The Sun Devils again had a monster inning scoring four in the top of the third, behind a Coyle three-run homerun and a solo shot by first baseman Bethany Kemp.
“Mackenzie was outstanding. She has been throwing the ball well. Seven innings, four hits, one run, three walks, and five strikeouts. This is the kind of performance that makes her better. ” Myers said.
Through three games, the Sun Devil pitching staff has been dominant as they have yet to allow an earned run.
ASU returns to action Saturday in the Kajikawa Classic when they play Kentucky at 4:30 and Western Michigan at 7:00 p.m. at Farrington Stadium.