Hillary Bach leads softball past LSU in Tempe Regional
Faced with elimination the tenth-seeded ASU Softball team needed two to stay alive and advance to the NCAA Super Regional which they did Sunday afternoon on the back of Tempe Regional MVP, Hillary Bach, who pitched two complete games, one a two-hit shutout to lead ASU over LSU 6-4 and 5-0 in Games Six and Seven of the Tempe Regional. ASU is now 44-17 on the year and 4-1 in the postseason.
Game Six saw ASU jump on top early with Jessica Mapes drawing a lead-off walk before Krista Donnenwirth launched a 1-1 pitch deep to left center for her ninth home run of the season to put two on the board and take the 2-0 lead. LSU came back to cut the lead in half in the second as Ashley Langoni launched a solo shot to left field off a full count. LSU took advantage of Bach’s struggle with control in the third as a hit batter with the bases loaded tied it at two apiece.
Three hits in the third with RBIs from Ashley Muenz and Katelyn Boyd put three more on the board for ASU as the Sun Devils took off with the lead and never looked back. Talor Haro collected her third hit of the game with an RBI single up the middle to take the 6-2 lead. LSU battled back with two more runs, but Hillary Bach dominated the circle and closed out the win to force a game seven.
In the Tempe Regional finale the Sun Devils came out storming again with Kaylyn Castillo and Krista Donnenwirth leading the way again with RBIs in the first inning to jump up 2-0 again in the first. It became a pitching duel after with both offenses falling silent until the fourth when Katelyn Boyd launched a solo shot for her ninth on the year. RBIs from Jessica Mapes and Krista Donnenwirth again gave ASU three more in the inning to grab a 5-0 lead.
Hillary Bach took it the rest of the way for ASU as she locked in to tame the Tigers through the rest of the game, allowing only three runners into scoring position in the entire second game to finish out her 12th complete game shutout of the season and third of the weekend.
Bach was awarded the tournament MVP award, with teammate Krista Donnenwirth being named to the team as well. Overall, LSU’s Ashley Langoni and Kirsten Shortridge, Cal State Fullerton’s Ari Cervantes and SDSU’s Tonye McCorkle were all named to the Tempe Regional All-Tournament team as well.
Up next, the Sun Devils will host North Dakota State in the Tempe Super Regional next weekend with all games being aired live on an ESPN affiliate. Game times will be announced no later than Monday.