#24 Arizona State Softball 2021 Preview

Arizona State Sun Devils
Overall Rank: #24
Conference Rank: #4 Pac-12
 Arizona State Logo
Arizona State battled their way through the 2019 season as they won 35 games and were able to slug their way to the NCAA Tournament. The Sun Devils pushed an excellent Alabama team down at the Tuscaloosa Regional, but the environment of Rhoads Stadium would prove to be too much for Arizona State to overcome. Head Coach Trisha Ford heads into the 2020 season looking to get the pitching staff back on track. That was the Achilles heel for the Sun Devils in 2019 as they had a team earned run average of 4.64.  
2019: 35-20, 13-11
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Trisha Ford
Key Departed Players:
Morgan Howe, OF, .402 BA, 12 HR, 61 RBI, 10 SB
Skylar McCarty, OF, .331 BA, 6 HR, 36 RBI, 5 SB
Jade Gortarez, INF, .347 BA, 6 HR, 35 RBI, 6 SB
Abby Andersen, P, 4.14 ERA, 10-7 W/L, 89.2 IP, 49 BB, 28 SO
Samantha Mejia, P, 4.20 ERA, 16-10 W/L, 128.1 IP, 60 BB, 95 SO
Key Returning Players:
Kindra Hackbarth, OF, .412 BA, 17 HR, 57 RBI, 15 SB
Bella Loomis, INF, .323 BA, 10 HR, 41 RBI, 9 SB
Kiara Kennedy, INF, .274 BA, 3 HR, 13 RBI
DeNae Chatman, INF, .273 BA, 12 HR, 46 RBI
Yannira Acuna`, OF, 271 BA, 3 HR, 19 RBI
Maddi Hackbarth, C, .262 BA, 19 HR, 53 RBI
Cielo Meza, P, 5.43 ERA, 7-3 W/L, 98.0 IP, 58 BB, 78 SO
Kindra Hackbarth is one of the top returning players in the nation as she can do it all at the plate. Hackbarth hit .412 with 17 homeruns, 57 runs batted in, and 15 stolen bases. It is not unreasonable to expect Hackbarth to hit over .400 and reach 20 homeruns and 20 stolen bases in 2021. Maddi Hackbarth, DeNae Chatman, and Bella Loomis will be back, and they will create a formidable power hitting trifecta that will keep Arizona State in every game that they play. This trio combined for 41 homeruns and 140 runs batted in 2019 and have the potential to be even better this season to offset the loss of Morgan Howe and Skylar McCarty. Samantha Mejia and Abby Andersen are gone after accounting for 26 of the 35 wins in the circle in 2019. Cielo Meza surpassed both Mejia and Andersen in the shortened 2020 campaign, going 10-2 with a 1.98 ERA in 74.1 innings. Arizona State will score runs with anyone and, if they can shore up the pitching and their defense, the Sun Devils have a chance to win 40 games in 2021.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament