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No. 17/15 Arizona State Blanks Liberty, 6-0

February 24, 2018  Cathedral City, Calif.  RSS
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Taylor Hoffman went 2-for-2 against Arizona State on Saturday.

Taylor Hoffman went 2-for-2 against Arizona State on Saturday.

Arizona State lefthander Giselle Juarez pitched a three-hit shutout, as the No. 17/15 Sun Devils blanked Liberty, 6-0, Saturday at the Big League Dreams Complex.

With the win, Arizona State improves to 12-2 on the season, including 3-1 at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Liberty (10-4) concludes the week with a 2-3 record at the event.

ASU outhit Liberty, 7-3, while both teams registered one error. The Lady Flames left seven runners on base, compared to four stranded by the Sun Devils.

Juarez (4-1) earned the win, yielding three hits and three walks while striking out 10.

Julia DiMartino (6-3) gave up three runs on four hits, walking one and fanning one in four innings pitched. Emily Kirby tossed 2 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on two hits to go with two strikeouts. Chase Cassady yielded one run on one hit in 2/3 of an inning of work.

Arizona State's Danielle Gibson went 2-for-3 with a homer and one RBI. Kindra Hackbarth went 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI, while Maddi Hackbarth hit a two-run homer.

Taylor Hoffman batted 2-for-2 for the Lady Flames, while Deidra See added a hit in her lone at bat.

The Sun Devils struck in their first time at bat. DiMartino hit Jade Gortarez with a pitch, before Maddi Hackbarth blasted a two-run home run down the left field line for a 2-0 lead.

DiMartino tossed scoreless innings in the second and third. The Lady Flames then mounted a rally in the bottom of the third. Kaitlin McFarland was hit by a pitch to lead off and Hoffman then drew a walk. Juarez pitched through trouble with a strikeout and two groundouts.

Gibson hit a leadoff homer in the top of the fourth, boosting the ASU advantage to 3-0.

Kirby came on in relief of DiMartino to start the fifth inning, pitching a scoreless frame to start off.

The Lady Flames put two runners in both the fifth and sixth. With one out in the fifth, McFarland walked and Hoffman singled. Suarez then struck out Autumn Bishop and got Amber Bishop to ground out.

An error, followed by a single by See gave Liberty two runners with one out in the sixth. Juarez then retired Rylee Reynolds and Madison Via to keep the shutout intact.

Skylar McCarty led off the seventh with a single and DeNae Chatman followed with a one-out single. Cassady then relieved Kirby, and Kindra Hackbarth lined a two-run double down the line in left, going to third on the throw. Gortarez then executed a squeeze bunt, scoring Hackbarth for a 6-0 lead.

Hoffman singled to center with one out in the bottom of the seventh, before Autumn Bishop grounded into a game-ending double play.

The Lady Flames return to the Eastern Time Zone and will next compete in the Carolina Classic, held Friday through Sunday in Columbia, S.C. While in Columbia, Liberty will take on 2017 NCAA Regional participants Marshall and South Carolina, along with George Washington.