Upgrade Your Fandom

Join the Ultimate PHNX Sports Community!

Get to know ASU softball's opponents at the Tempe Regional

Anthony Totri Avatar
May 16, 2022

Arizona State softball took another step in its quest for another national title, reaching the postseason for the 17th straight season. The No. 8 Sun Devils will host a Tempe Regional from May 20 to May 22. 

Coach Trisha Ford’s team will play Cal State Fullerton on Friday, while San Diego State and LSU also join the Tempe field.

Simply hosting a regional doesn’t make this a successful season for an ASU team that won the 2022 Pac-12 Conference title, but postseason play is another beast. The Sun Devils’ three opponents are all coming to town looking to upset the beast that resides in the Valley. 

Cal State Fullerton

The Cal State Fullerton Titans head to Tempe with a 36-20 overall record. Even so, the Titans finished the season on somewhat of a downward spiral. 

Fullerton went 2-4 over its last six games. The Titans are a group that didn’t rely so much on their hitters, rather a solid pitching staff. 

A team that averages a little more than five runs a game isn’t necessarily a major threat in the postseason. However, when you pair consistent offense with dominant pitching the way Cal State Fullerton does, it becomes scary. 

Sophomore outfielder Megan Delgadillo is the lifeblood of the CSF offense. She played in 55 games this season and scored 55 runs. Delgadillo also led the team with a .396 batting average. 

As mentioned above, this CSF team will lull opponents to sleep with consistent offense. As the game grows old, opponents are down a couple of runs, unable to get past dangerously good pitching. 

Out of the 56 total games the Titans played this season, opponents only scored five or more runs 16 times. That’s 28 percent of the time. 

The play of junior pitcher Myka Sutherlin is what helped spark this postseason berth for the Titans. Sutherlin recorded a 2.50 ERA and amassed a whopping 143 strikeouts. If Sutherlin can show up in full ace form this weekend, she has the potential to keep this Titans team in games they’d otherwise be out of. 

San Diego State

The San Diego State Aztecs are a sneaky threat to the Sun Devils at the Tempe Regional. With a 37-14 overall record, SDSU proved capable of taking care of business on the road. 

The Aztecs will be on the road at this weekend’s regional, but they finished the regular season with a 12-2 road record. Coach Stacey Nuveman Deniz also guided her team to a phenomenal 10-2 finish. 

SDSU played Cal State Fullerton at the start of the season, but fell short 7-3. That single game was the only time any of the four teams in the Tempe Regional faced off this year. 

While the Aztecs are on a hot streak, they’ve gotten there thanks to team play, as opposed to star performers. The only two players on the SDSU roster who have scored 30 or more runs this season are sophomore infielder Jillian Celis and freshman infielder Bella Espinoza. 

On the flip side of that coin, however, eight Aztecs have scored 17 or more runs. 

In terms of pitching, it’s senior pitcher Maggie Balint who gets the job done for SDSU. She started the season with eight or more strikeouts in six straight appearances, but she has struggled of late, giving up 11 hits in her past two contests. 

If the Aztecs are unable to get a strong outing from Balint, they don’t boast the star power to survive a tournament format like the Tempe Regional. 


The Tigers wrapped up their 2022 regular season with an overall 34-21 record. Similar to Cal State Fullerton, LSU struggled at the end of the year. The Tigers won just two of their final six games. 

Despite being the No. 2 seed at the Tempe Regional, this LSU team is relatively average. They do have a talented roster, but in terms of putting together consistent win streaks, the Tigers have been lackluster. 

LSU’s star players are redshirt sophomore outfielder Ciara Briggs and sophomore infielder Danieca Coffey. The offensive duo combined for 95 runs and 137 hits. 

The Tigers feature real firepower with Coffey and Briggs. They also have the luxury of rostering redshirt junior pitcher Ali Kilponen.

Kilponen has a 2.32 ERA, while also pitching 162.2 innings this year. Her best game of the season was just last month against South Carolina. Kilponen pitched seven innings, recorded 10 strikeouts and gave up just three hits in LSU’s 4-0 victory. 

While the Tigers may have failed to set themselves apart from the pack in the regular season, this is a team not to be taken lightly. LSU has enough talent to make some serious noise in the Tempe Regional, and the Tigers play in the stacked SEC, where eight teams finished ranked among the nation’s top 25 in RPI, including he No. 22 Tigers.

Follow Anthony Totri on Twitter

Scroll to next article