Arizona State Sun Devils
Overall Rank: #1
Conference Rank: #1 Pac-12
The Sun Devils won their second WCWS beating Florida in two games in a best-of-three series and concluded the year with a 60-6 record. The highly anticipated 2012 season will kick off at the Kajikawa Classic on February 9 where ASU will face Western Michigan in their first game of the year. The first Pac-12 game is March 23 when the Devils face the Arizona Wildcats in Tempe at Farrington Stadium. The Sun Devils play four consecutive tournaments to open the season and all are at home.
2011: 60-6, 17-4
2011 Postseason: CWS
Coach: Clint Myers
Even with one of the largest rosters in Division I (25 players seven seniors, four juniors, seven sophomores, and seven freshmen) head coach Clint Myers (324-79) juggles the lineup to keep the team chemistry intact with 17 letter winners returning. Shortstop Katelyn Boyd leads the five starters returning after hitting .429 in 2011 with 18 homers and 66 RBI. Boyd also is solid defensively, making only seven errors in 2011 with a .959 fielding percentage. Also back are infielder Sam Parlich (.309, 13 homers, 43 RBI), outfielder Annie Lockwood (.339, 19 homers, 72 RBIs), outfielder Alix Johnson (.350, 3 homers, 34 RBI), and outfielder Taylor Haro (.366, 1 homer, 18 RBIs). Four starters were among eight seniors who graduated including outstanding third baseman Krista Donnenwirth (.328, 7 homers, 54 RBIs). The Sun Devils added five newcomers plus transfer Danielle Muniz (INF), who batted .437 for Yavapai JC last season.
Three hurlers return led by sophomore right-hander sophomore Dallas Escobedo, who had an outstanding freshman year (37-3, 326 strikeouts in 255.1 innings and 1.51 ERA) and is on the Top 50 “Watch List” for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year along with teammate Katelyn Boyd. Escobedo ranked second in Division I in wins and was 24th in strikeouts per seven innings (8.9) and 29th in ERA (1.51). Also returning are senior Hillary Bach (10-0) and sophomore Popescue Mackenzie (13-3). This staff compiled a 1.87 ERA to rank 24th in the nation and has the depth and ability to compile another impressive record in 2012.
Who To Watch:
Boyd is one of the nation’s best players and is a College Sports Madness first-team preseason All-American along with Escobedo. Freshman Amber Freeman (1B/C) was a member of the USA Junior National Team, starting seven of nine games. Escobedo also was a member of the team and was 3-0, striking out 23 in 18 innings and allowing one earned run.
This is a team that plays near-perfect softball all year and it was evident in the College World Series where the team didn’t make an error in five games in winning the title. It was only the third team in CWS history to go through the event without making an error. The Sun Devils ranked sixth in batting and second in fielding in Division I last year. The Sun Devils are the logical choice to repeat and win their third national title since 2008.
Projected Postseason: NCAA
At Bats: Sam Parlich, OF, 204
Hits: Katelyn Boyd, SS, 82
Home Runs: Annie Lockwood, OF, 19
RBIs: Annie Lockwood, OF, 72
Runs: Katelyn Boyd, SS, 79
Stolen Bases: Katelyn Boyd, SS, 20
Wins: Dallas Escobedo, P, 37
Innings Pitched: Dallas Escobedo, P, 255.1
Strikeouts: Dallas Escobedo, P, 326
Saves: Dallas Escobedo, P, 4
Madness 2012 NPF Draft Rankings:
#3 Katelyn Boyd
Madness 2012 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#39 Amber Freeman