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Sun Devils Softball Back on the Road for Pac-12 Tilt Against Cal
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 04/03/2014
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TEMPE -- The No. 7/6 Arizona State University softball team heads back on the road this weekend to take on the Cal Golden Bears in a three-game Pac-12 series set to begin on Friday, April 4 at 3 p.m. PT/MT.  The Sun Devils will also play on Saturday at 3 p.m. before concluding the series on Sunday at 11 a.m.  All three games of the series will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks.

#10Things (Twitter Friendly Notes)

@ASUSoftball has already reached last year’s stolen base attempt number at 47 and has been successful on 38 of those. 

@ASUSoftball has been ranked in the top-10 in 121 of the last 132 @NFCAOrg Polls and have been ranked in all 132 of those polls.

Just a junior, @A_Freeman9 is now sixth on @ASUSoftball’s all-time home run list with 37 in her career and seven this season.

@A_Freeman9 is fifth in the @Pac12 with a .437 average and has a hit in all but seven of @ASUSoftball’s games in 2014

This week, @dalpal12became the No. 1 pick in the @ProFastPitch draft and was named as finalist to the @snrCLASSaward.

@ASUSoftball is ranked in the top-10 national in four @NCAASoftball offensive categories: batting avg, HR per game, scoring and SLG%. 

@ASUSoftball has a home run in 26 of the team’s 38 games played this season and victories in 24 of those games. 

Alix Johnson (@MissJohnson_33) has 39 walks thus far this season, which is eight more than any player in the @Pac12.

Mackenzie Popescue (@Wild__Thing99) has held opponents under a .200 avg w/ RISP, with runners period and with two outs on the board. 

@ASUSoftball held @UA_Softball to just eight runs in series last week, notable as the UA was averaging almost 8 per game entering weekend. 

Scouting the Opposition

The Sun Devils are 48-66 in program history against Cal but enter the weekend as winners of four straight, including a sweep of the Golden Bears in Tempe last season that including two five-inning decisions. Cal is a program that has consistently been a thorn for the Sun Devils with ASU winning just six total series since joining the Pac-12 in 1986 with four of those coming in the last six seasons and only two total sweeps for ASU in the all-time series matchup between the two teams. 

Cal enters the weekend third in the Pac-12 Conference with a 3-1 record in league games and is 20-11 overall on the year. They enter the weekend having won 10 straight games and three straight in Pac-12 play, though two games against Oregon State were cancelled due to weather.

The Golden Bears have two starters each averaging over a .400 batting average in Cheyenne Cordes (.438) and Kylie Reed (.409) and Danielle Henderson and Breana Kostreba are each batting over .300 as well. Cordes and Henderson are the big bats with seven and nine home runs, respectively while both lead the squad with over a .500 on-base percentage.  

The Golden Bears utilize two primary starters in the circle in Nisa Ontiveros (9-5) and Katie Finch (6-3) with each logging 12 starts thus far this season. Ontiveros enters the weekend with a 3.17 ERA with opponents hitting .305 off of her while Finch has a 4.09 ERA, giving up a team-high 10 home runs this season with a .269 opponent batting average. 

Craig Nicholson Takes the Reins

Craig Nicholson was hired on June 30. The head coach at Ball State for the past seven seasons, Nicholson amassed a 241-162 record with the Cardinals and holds a 964-252 career record. Nicholson replaces Clint Myers, who accepted a similar position at Auburn on June 14. On top of coaching at Ball State, Nicholson was the associate head coach for the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) in 2008 and helped the team to a NPF title.

The fastest coach in BSU program history to pass the 100 and 200-win marks, Nicholson was instrumental in Ball State capturing four Mid-American Conference (MAC) regular season championships (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013), a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2010 and the program’s first All-American. Offensive minded, Nicholson saw much growth in the Ball State program under his tutelage. Not since UCLA’s Sue Enquist retired following a World Series appearance in 2006 has a program coming off an appearance in Oklahoma City gone through a coaching change, making the Sun Devils a very unique program in that regard this season. 

Follow the Action

This is the third consecutive weekend that the Sun Devils will be scheduled to be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks with all three games slated to be shown on television. Rich Cellini and Tammy Blackburn will be on the call this weekend. It is important to note that only fans with access to the Pac-12 Networks through their local provider will be able to view this weekend’s games through the Pac-12 Networks channel or online at the Pac-12.com. Contact your local provider for more details. Additionally, fans are encouraged to stay tuned to ASU softball via social media outlets by following @ASUSoftball on Twitter or liking the team on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ASUSoftball.

In The Rankings

By taking the series against in-state rival and top-10 ranked Arizona, the Sun Devils moved up several spots in both the NFCA/USA Today Coaches Poll and the ESPN/USA Softball Poll.  The Sun Devils climbed four spots in the coaches poll to No. 7 while jumping two spots in the ESPN Top 25 to No. 6  

The View From The Top
Over the past eight seasons, the Sun Devils have been among the most dominant teams in the nation. One need look no further than the weekly NFCA Coaches Poll to get a gage of that.  The Sun Devils have been ranked in 132 consecutive Coaches Polls, a streak that dates back to Week 2 of the 2006 season.  The Sun Devils entered the top-10 in Week 6 of that season and have since been ranked in the top 10 in 121 of the 132 polls that have taken place since the team entered the rankings in 2006. 

A Look Back - Arizona 

The Sun Devils took two games out of three against then No. 8/9 Arizona at home this past weekend.  ASU won game one, 2-1, behind Dallas Escobedo’s regular career high 16 strikeouts and a two-RBI Amber Freeman home run to provide all the offense ASU needed. ASU overcame a 1-0 lead in the second game of the series behind a three-RBI Chelsea Gonzales pinch-hit double for a 4-1 victory before dropping the final game of the series 6-5 in 10 innings in a game that featured numerous ties and lead changes and was back and forth throughout. Despite the loss, ASU won the series and thus picked up a point in the Territorical Cup standings, giving ASU a current 7.5-5.5 edge in the series.

More on Arizona Victory

The Sun Devils improved to 8-2 this season against teams ranked in the NFCA Top-25 with with a 2-1 weekend against then No. 8/9 Arizona. The most notable facet of ASU performance against the Wildcats was the fact that the UA entered the weekend as arguably the top offensive team in the nation. The Wildcats were No. 1 in both runs per game and slugging percentage nationally and led the way in just about every offensive category in the Pac-12. Even with the six-run effort in the final game of the series, ASU held the WIldcats to a grand total of eight runs in three games after the UA entered the game averaging just under eight runs per game.  

Players to Watch

The Sun Devils entered the season with four returning NFCA All-Americans on the roster, the most of any team in the country. Only Alabama (3) is within one of the Sun Devils mark and is the only team with more cumulative returning selections (6) than ASU, who has five with Dallas Escobedo being a two-time All-American. Returning All-Americans Escobedo, Cheyenne Coyle and Amber Freeman have all been named to the USA Softball Preseason Player of the Year Watch List for the upcoming season.

The Road to OKC Goes Through Dallas

For the past three years, Dallas Escobedo has been among the premier pitchers in the nation.  The two-time All-American and three-time First-Team All-Pac-12 selection has helped to lead ASU to the WCWS in each of her past three seasons in Tempe, including a National Championship in 2011.  Escobedo is currently 14-5 with a 1.73 ERA and an incredible 205 strikeouts to just 25 walks - a 8.2:1 K:BB ratio. She has posted eight complete game shutouts - allowing just a single hit in six of those while saving her best performance for Longwood in a game of offensive struggles as she no-hit the Lancers for her third career solo no-hitter and fourth no-hitter overall. Escobedo currently ranks first nationally in strikeouts and fourth in shutouts.  Before anyone points to her five losses, it is worth noting opponents only managed 18 runs in those games (3.6 per game) but the Sun Devil offense only mustered just 12 runs (2.4 per game) total.  On the flipside, the ASU offense has 92 runs in Escobedo’s victories (6.1 per game) and truly had the senior’s back in the Stanford series when Escobedo gave up 12 total earned runs - nearly twice her total entering the series - but still came away with two victories in the series. 

100 Starts For Escobedo

Senior Dallas Escobedo now has 122 starts as a Sun Devil. In her career, Escobedo is second at ASU in wins (105), 13 shy of tying Katie Burkhart for first on the time all-time list. With 205 strikeouts this season, Escobedo‘s career number sits at 1,091 and she became just the second Sun Devil in history to eclipse the 1,000 K mark with with a strikeout against her very first batter of the Judi Garman Classic. She became just the 14th player in Pac-12 history to accomplish the 1,000 strikeout feat and is currently tied for 55th in NCAA career history for total strikeouts and is well on pace to continue to climb that leaderboard as the season continues. One area of improvement for the senior is the fact that she has given up just 12 home runs this season after giving up a whopping 39 last season, giving up 1.1 per every seven innings pitched. That number has gone down drastically this season as she is giving up just .67 home runs per seven innings thus far in 2014.  Escobedo really shines when runners get into scoring position as she has allowed a miniscule .111 opponent batting average in that situation this season. 

Add It To The Trophy Case

Dallas Escobedo went 4-0 at the Judi Garman Classic and put up some gaudy number at pitcher in the process en rout to a sweep of every major national and conference Player of the Week award.  She was named the National Player of the Week by both the NFCA and USA Softball and the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week as well. Escobedo registered a 0.26 ERA and 38 strikeouts over 27 innings of work. Over the course of the four victories, Escobedo held her opposition to a paltry .060 batting average and a grand total of five hits. Included among her impressive efforts was her fourth career no-hitter, earned during a 13-strikeout blanking of Longwood, a one-hit shutout of then-No. 5 Michigan (nine K’s), 10 strikeouts while permitting just a single base knock in outlasting then-No. 16 Nebraska, 1-0 (8 inn.), and five innings of three-hit ball while allowing her only earned run for the week in a 9-1 (5 inn.) rout of Wisconsin. It was her first NFCA honor, third USA Softball award and the seventh Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week honor for the senior ace.  

Order a New Trophy Case

Dallas Escobedo continued her career haul of honors as she was selected as the No. 1 pick in the 2014 National Pro Fastpitch Draft by the Pennsylvania Rebellion, entering their first season of action on the circuit.  Just a day later, Escobedo was named as one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, which is given annual and honors the attributes of senior student-athletes in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition.

Return of the Mack

Lest we forget, Escobedo is just half of one of the most potent 1-2 pitching punches in the country. Fellow senior Mackenzie Popescue has shown she is just as much an ace in the last two seasons and is a pivotal part of ASU’s success.  Popescue has a 1.41 ERA this season with just 19 earned runs allowed and a team-leading 16 wins to her record (13th nationally) to just one loss, pitching complete games in 12 games this season, 11 of those being victories. Popescue gave up her very first home run against Detroit but that’s the only only she has given up this season, leading the Pac-12 in the category. Popescue has also been a capable fielder with 36 assists and five puts outs with zero errors thus far on the season. Opponents have average a .225 batting average against Popescue this season, but the senior has been able to get out of many binds by locking down and limiting the opposition to just a .193 opponent average with runners on the bases and a .180 opponent average when she has two outs on the board and a .192 average with runners in scoring position.

‘Ber, It’s Cold In Here

The reining Pac-12 Player of the Year, Amber Freeman, continues to consistently get it done at the plate. She leads the team with a .437 batting average this season that is fifth in the Pac-12 and istied for the team lead with an 18-game reached base safely streak earlier this season.  Freeman leads the team with 45 hits and a .520 OBP this season as well while ranking second in RBI with 32. The junior only had three hits in the Arizona series, but sent two of them over the wall to bring her season total to seven this year. Freeman holds the team lead with a 13-game hitting streak - the longest of any Sun Devil this season and the only one to reach double digits - that was brought to an end against South Carolina and had her eight game hitting streak ended in the Arizona series, which was the fourth longest streak by a Sun Devil this season. She also leads the team in most games with three or more hits, doing so in five games this year - three more than any other Sun Devil. Freeman has been pivotal in keeping inning going and is tied for the team lead with 16 hits when she’s at bat with two outs at the board on 38 attempts (.421) with eight two-out RBI.  She is also tied for the team lead with 19 hits this season with runners in scoring position on 47 at bats (.404). There’s plenty more situational love for the junior, who has also had a team high 78 opportunities to advance runners from the three-hole and has successfully done so 44 times (.564). 

Red Bull Gives You Wigness

One of the hottest players on the Sun Devil offensive roster has been senior Bailey Wigness.  Since Pac-12 play started, Wigness is batting .357 - third on the team - with a .438 on-base percentage. She currently leads the team with a five-game hitting streak. It was her single to the pitcher in the bottom of the eighth inning against then-No. 16 Nebraska that brought home the game-winning walk-off run in 1-0 victory at the Judi Garman Classic. Wigness moved to the two-hole in the second game of the series against Oregon State for the first time this season and is batting just under .300 with just under a .500 OBP in that time. Wigness has advanced runners on 33 of 49 chances (.673) this season - easily leading the team in the category by 50 points over anyone who has had at least 40 oppurtunities to advance runners on the year. 

AlixIsOnFire

Alix Johnson has been among ASU’s most reliable base runners this season.  Johnson is batting .330 on the season but has a with a .518 OBP% that is good for second on the team behind Freeman while her 38 runs scored are 11 more than any other Sun Devil. At one point, Johnson had reached safely in 18 consecutive games, one of just three Sun Devils to accomplish the feat. She is second on the team with eight doubles this season and has already matched her 2013 total in the category.  Additionally, Johnson leads with 12 stolen bases on 13 attempts. and is fourth in the conference. Where Johnson has truly shined, however, is her ability to take bad pitches. Her 39 walks pace the team and are eight more than anyone else in the Pac-12 conference. She has successfully advanced runners on 35 of 56 opportunities (.625) this season. She has served as the leadoff batter in 39 innings this season, safely reaching base on 23 of those chances for a .590 average.

Chey-City

All-American Cheyenne Coyle had as good an opening weekend as anyone in the country at the Kajikawa Classic.  The senior hit three home runs - including her fourth career grand slam - en route to a monstrous 1.313 slugging percentage to go along with a .619 OBP%. Coyle had a team-leading nine hits on the weekend and 11 RBI, more than twice the amount of anyone else on the squad. On the season, Coyle is batting .333 with 30 RBI and 65 total bases, ranking third in RBI and second in total bases. Coyle has a team leading 11 hits on 13 attempts (.846) when she has a runner on third and less than two outs. She was the hero of the final game of the Stanford series, launching a three-run shot to the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh to cap a five-run comeback and score her first walk-off hit of the season in a 7-5 victory. On 49 leadoff opportunities this season, Coyle has safely reached base on 29 of them (.592).

Steele of a Deal

Haley Steele has been among ASU’s most reliable hitters in recent weeks and continues to bring runners home.  The junior is batting .336 on the year with six home runs and has team lead for RBI with 34. Steele has been the Sun Devils’ most successful batter when it comes to advancing runners, doing so 47 times of 92 attempts (.511) - the most hits of any batter in that situation. Steele also leads the team with 16 hits when facing two outs on 46 chances (.348). As if that weren’t enough, Steele also has posted the most hits with runners in scoring position in logging 19 hits in such situations while also posting a team-leading 13 two-out RBIs.  She is second on the team in Pac-12 action with a .364 average. 

‘Ruscio, ‘Ruscio, ‘RU-SCI-OOOOOO

Elizabeth Caporuscio is another Sun Devil who has slowly been creeping up the batting average list for the Sun Devils and now finds herself batting .355 on the year (second on the team) with a team-leading 13 doubles in the process - ranking second in the Pac-12 in the category. Her 38 hits are third on the squad while she has posted a solid .400 on-base percentage. Caporuscio scored the game-winning run against then No. 16 Nebraska in extra inning at the Judi Garman Classic and was responsible for the game winning RBI and eventual run against then No. 5 Michigan to open the tournament. She is currently second on the team with 11 two-out RBIs and has proven she is the hitter you want with the bases loaded, leading the team with a team-leading four hits in eight opportunities (.500) in the situation thus far this season. Caporuscio is also the only Sun Devil to record a triple this season.

B’s In the Trap 

Bethany Kemp had one of the top performances of the weekend at the Littlwood Classic. Kemp batted .417 with five hits on 12 at bats.  The more impressive feat, however, was the four of those hits went over the fence as the junior led the team with four home runs over the three days of competition.  The junior currently leads the team with nine home runs this season and sits tied for fourth in the Pac-12 in the category. Kemp is second on the team with a .660 slugging percentage and has drawn 23 walks on the season, which is good for third on the roster. Kemp has already matched last year’s total with nine homers this season and - with 18 career home runs to date - moved into a tie for 19th on ASU’s all-time home run list. Kemp is currently fourth on the team in Pac-12 action with a .333 batting average. 

Chelsea Lately

While numerous Sun Devil newcomers have shined in  the spotlight this season, none have had as impressive an impact as Chelsea Gonzales.  The freshman is batting .367 on the season - third on the team - and has been exceptional at getting her bat on the ball.  Gonzales has struck out just six times this season - the least among Sun Devil starters - and has posted a .372 on-base percentage. She was the catalyst behind both of ASU’s come-from-behind victories against Stanford, getting an RBI before scoring the game-tying run in the first game of the series while also getting the single that put the winning run on third base. She also led off ASU’s five-run seventh-inning with a hit in the final game of the series in the team’s walk-off victory. She kept things rolling against Arizona in the second game of the series with a two-out three-RBI double to the game to break a 1-1 tie and seal the 4-1 victory for the Sun Devils in the process.

Home Run Derby

There have been plenty of longballs this season for the Sun Devils, who are currently second in the Pac-12 with 49 thus far this season.  ASU entered the Diamond Devil Invite with 15 home runs before knocking 14 out of the park of the course of the four day event. ASU is currently on pace to finish the season with around 79 home runs at its current clip if it played 62 games as it did last season. ASU has a home run in all but 12 games this season and is 24-2 in games where they hit a home run on the year. 

No Home Runs For You

While ASU has had no problem with the long ball this season offensively, they also haven’t had much of one on defense either.  ASU’s pitching staff has given up just 13 home runs to date - a mark that is second in the Pac-12. 

All Your Base Are Belong To Us

Head coach Craig Nicholson has been adamant that this team will be aggressive on the base pass and force the opposition to make plays.  If the start to the season is any indication, he’s a man of his word.  ASU has 38 stolen bases on 47 attempts thus far this season. In 62 games last season, the Sun Devils were 39-for-45 on stolen-base attempts.  

Two Outs? No Problem

While the Sun Devils have been impressive from the batter’s box this season, the squad has done a fine job of getting it done with two outs on the board.  ASU is 100-of-312 (.321) - just below the team’s .337 overall average - with two outs. Of those hits, the offense has provided 85 of the team’s 241 RBI (35.3 percent) coming with two outs on the board.   

Don’t Miss Your Chance

ASU has been successful offensively this season largely because it has taken advantage of its chances when they are there.  With runners in scoring position, ASU’s batters are 125-of-368 (.340) while being exceptional at bringing runners home from third with less than two outs, going 62-of-98 in such situations (.633). Of course that means you have to get runners in a position to score to begin with, and ASU’s batters have done just that in going 354-of-653 (.542) when it comes to advancing runners.  And of course, someone has to get on base to make any of this a possibility, another feat ASU batters have been exceptional at.  ASU’s leadoff batters this season have reached base 109 of 223 times (.489) while the Sun Devils are 132-of-400 (.342) with the bases empty on the year.  To show the importance of these numbers, is just 7-of-53 (.132) with runners in scoring position in the team’s five losses and 1-of-6 (.167) with a runner on third and less than two outs. Bringing runners home has also been an issue for ASU at times, as the team has stranded 260 runners this season compared to just 200 on the opponent’s side. 

Rally Cry

ASU’s two come-from-behind victories late in the game in the Stanford series were important for the fact that that was an area that ASU had struggled in this season. Prior to the Cardinal series, ASU was 0-5 when trailing after the fifth, sixth or top of the seven innings in games this season. ASU stifled that stigma twice against Stanford as they came back from a two-run deficit in the seventh to tie the game and win in extras in the first game of the series before a five-run walk-off rally in the final game. The Sun Devils added another to the tally with a four-run fifth inning to come back from a 1-0 deficit against Arizona in the second game of the series. ASU also evened things up in extra innings after following behind by two in eighth in the final game of the series but eventually fell in that contest.  

Home Run Records

Six current Sun Devils rank among the top 20 on the all-time home run list at ASU. Amber Freeman is sixth with 37, Alix Johnson is tied for eighth with 34, Haley Steele is tied for 11th with 31, Cheyenne Coyle is 14th with 28, Elizabeth Caporuscio is 17th with 22 and Bethany Kemp entered the ranks this season and is currently tied for 19th with 18. 

Lights, Camera, Action

Days and times of softball’s TV games is on thesundevils.com. ASU will have 17 televised games on the Pac-12 Network in 2014. That schedule includes 10 home games that will be broadcast on the network.  If that’s not enough for fans, than they are in luck as all of ASU’s remaining home games will be live streamed online through the Pac-12 website at http://pac-12.com/videos/arizona-state-university

On The Airwaves

Not only will every single home Sun Devil contest be either live-streamed or broadcast live on television, but for the second consecutive year Blaze Sports Radio will provide the call for all of Arizona State’s home games this season.  Fans in the Tempe area can tune in at 1330 AM while they can also listen online at ustream.tv/channel/blaze-sports.

Note on WCWS

The Sun Devils have advanced the WCWS in seven of the last eight seasons, two more than any other program in the nation in that time frame. Alabama, Tennessee, Arizona and Florida have each been to five in the same span. In that eight-year span, ASU has one of the top winning percentages in the country with a 427-102 record since 2006. The .807 percentage is tied for third nationally with Michigan behind only Alabama (.837) and Florida (.810). 

Winning Percentage Since 2006 (Prior to 2014)

1. Alabama - .837 (432-84)

2. Florida - .810 (437-102)

3. Arizona State - .807 (427-102)

    Michigan - .807 (385-92)

5. Tennessee - .804 (421-102-1)

6. Oklahoma - .803 (384-93-1)

7. ULL - .775 (373-108)

8. Missouri - .748 (374-126)

9. UCLA - .747 (345-117)

10. Texas - .742 (347-120-2)

Opening Day Success

Arizona State is now 38-7 on opening day dating back to 1971. The last time ASU lost its first game of the season was back in 1995.  

USA Softball Top 50 Watch List

Dallas Escobedo, Alix Johnson and Amber Freeman all made the cut on the Player of the Year watch list. This is the third time for Escobedo and second for Johnson and Freeman. 

Where 2013 Left Off

The Sun Devils dropped two games in the 2013 WCWS en route to a 50-12 season overall.  The appearance in the WCWS was ASU’s seventh in the last eight seasons, two more than any other team in the nation in that time. The Sun Devils finished the year 16-8 in conference play and tied for second in the Pac-12 with Washington.  The team opened the season with a porgram best 21-0 record to start the season and finished the year with an incredible 40-3 record at home. Catcher Amber Freeman was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year while Freeman, Dallas Escobedo and Cheyenne Coyle were all named NFCA All-Americans. 

Notable losses:
Sam Parlich | 2B, .348 avg, 10 HR, 41 RBI, .541 SLG%, .368 OBP%, 61 starts

Lucy Aubrecht | C/DP, .313 avg, 5 HR, 27 RBI, .542 SLG%, .417 OBP%

Notable returners:

Dallas Escobedo | RHP, 30-6, 2.32 ERA, 250.2 innings pitched in 2013. No. 1 in the circle in powerful 1-2 pitching lineup. USA Softball Player of the Year Preseason Watch List. 2x All-American. Opposing hitters have batted under .200 against her in her career. 

Amber Freeman | C, 62 starts, .361 batting average, 18 homers. Pac-12 Player of the Year. 61 RBI and 66 hits. 2013 All-American. Member of USA Softball Team following the 2013 season. USA Preseason Softball Top-50 PoY Watch List

Cheyenne Coyle | SS, 62 starts, .358 batting average, 20 home runs, 66 RBIs. Tied single season ASU home run mark. 2013 All-American. USA Preseason Softball Top-50 PoY Watch List

Alix Johnson | OF, .324 batting average, 57 hits, 8 doubles, 11 homers, 35 RBI. 2012 All-American and multiple time All-Conference Selection

Bailey Wigness | OF, 60 starts, .376 batting average last season led the team. .440 OBP%

Mackenzie Popescue | RHP, 19-6 record, 1.94 ERA. All-Pac-12 Selection.  Gave up just seven home runs on the season

Haley Steele | 3B, 62 games started, .330 batting average, 12 homers and 47 RBIs. .600 SLG%, .410 OBP%. All-Pac-12 Selection

Bethany Kemp | 1B, 43 games started, .331 average, 9 homers, 27 RBI. .596 SLG%, .401 OBP%. All-Pac-12 Selection

Looking At The Preseason

Arizona State softball began the season with a ranking of No. 7 in both the NFCA/USA Today poll and the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. The Sun Devils finished 2013 with a 50-12 record. Pac-12 schools made up seven of the Top 25 in the preseason poll: No. 3 Washington (April 17-19), No. 8 Oregon (May 2-4), No. 16 UCLA (May 8-10 in Tempe), No. 22 Stanford (March 22-24 in Tempe), No. 24 California (April 4-6).

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