Since the program’s inception in 1971, ASU Softball has found continued success on and off the field garnering national recognition as an elite team. With four national titles and 11 Women’s College World Series appearances to their credit, Sun Devil Softball has set a standard of excellence. Sun Devil Softball’s success has not only been a byproduct of exceptional play on the field, but an effort on the programs part to place on emphasis on academic achievement and it’s continual involvement in the surrounding community.
Arizona State University unveiled the Alberta B. Farrington Softball Stadium in 2000 as home of the Sun Devil Softball team.
Farrington Stadium features chair-back bleachers and individual seats with a capacity for 1,535 fans. In addition, a grass berm is located just beyond the first base line.
The stadium has several amenities that make it one of the premier softball stadiums in the Pac-12. Sunken dugouts are lighted for night games and have recessed, individual bat slots and locker room access. In addition, there are coaches’ offices, a training room, a built-in concession stand, a team shop, restrooms and locker rooms for the home team, visiting team and officials.
After adding a press box and extending the outfield fences before the 2013 season, Farrington was again upgraded before the beginning of the 2014 season in which solar panels were added above the stands, providing shade to most in the upper deck seats.
In addition to the added solar panels, Farrington also added a brand-new score board in left field during the 2014 season and a newly remodeled All-American hallway. The past couple seasons have seen upgrades to the team locker room and hallway to the dugout with future interior improvement projects in the works.
Prior to the 2015 seasons, graphics were added to the outfield walls to commemorate Sun Devil softball’s success through the years.
Touted as one of the best playing surfaces in the nation, the facility has also received two major awards for design and excellence in architecture.
Winning on the biggest stage in collegiate softball, the Women’s College World Series, has elevated Sun Devil Softball to national relevancy. In 12 all-time appearances in the tournament, the Sun Devils have twice claimed the title NCAA Division I Champions, a mark only six Division I programs have reached. From 2006-13 the Sun Devils made seven consecutive appearances in the Series, and twice (2008, 2011) finished on top. Over the past decade, the Sun Devils have amassed 485 wins, a mark that ranks first in the Pac-12. In 1972, just a year after officially being recognized as a collegiate team, the Sun Devils won the DGWS Championship under the tutelage of ASU Hall of Famer Mary Littlewood. They repeated the following year as champions, winning the first AIAW Championship. Both the DGWS and AIAW Championships preceded and are equivalents of the contemporary format of the Women’s College World Series.
Dating back to 1987, marking the period of time ASU Softball has acted as a member of Pac-10/12 Conference play, the program has produced 47 All-Conference First-Team Honorees. In program history, five Sun Devils have earned Conference Player of the Year Honors, including three-time winner Kaitlin Cochran and most recently All-American catcher/designated hitter Amber Freeman. Other accolades in program history include: three Newcomer of the Year awards, and two Coach of the Year awards (Clint Myers/2008, ‘11). The program has been recognized nationally as well, as 40 Sun Devils have been named consensus All-Americans. In postseason play 13 have been named to the WCWS All-Tournament team.
In regard to personal accomplishments, there have been six perfect games and 27 no-hitters in Sun Devil program history. Most recently Breanna Macha tossed a no hitter in 2015, just two seasons after Dallas Escobedo’s first postseason no-hitter in ASU history at the 2013 NCAA Regionals.
Academic excellence is a rich tradition within the Sun Devil Softball Program. In program history, 16 Sun Devils have earned Academic All-America status on 19 occasions, with Amber Freeman most recently receiving the nod this past season. Freeman joins a list of just two other Sun Devil including Katelyn Boyd (2011, ’12) and Kaitlin Cochran (2008, ’09) who have earned first-team All-America and All-Academic honors. Freeman, 2013 NCAA Elite 89 winner Bailey Wigness, three time All-American Boyd, USA National Team member Cochran, and Kara Brun have all won the academic honor twice. This past season Amber Freeman became the fifth Sun Devil softball player in program history to be awarded Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year, granted to student-athletes who are both exceptional athletically and in their sports discipline.
Academic accolades are the norm for Sun Devil softball, as in 2012 the team was recognized by the NCAA for recording an Academic Progress Rate (APR) in the top-10 percent nationally. In 2012, Katelyn Boyd was award the Pac-12’s Tom Hansen Conference Medal of Honor, granted to each member institution’s most outstanding male and female athlete based on their ability to excel in a combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics, and leadership. Hillary Bach’s efforts did not go unnoticed in the 2012 season as she was named a finalist for the 2012 NCAA Women of the Year.
The Sun Devil program seeks to be an integral member of the surrounding community and has a proud tradition of giving back. The team regularly participates in the United Airlines Fantasy Flight which is aimed at helping feed underprivileged Phoenix families, and annually takes part in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The program also holds an annual all-skills clinic for free for the community youth.
Sun Devil Softball’s 2016 campaign came to a dramatic end in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional with a 2-0 loss to LSU in a winner-take-all finale. In 2016, the Sun Devils posted a 32-26 record.
The 2016 season brought the ASU playing careers of Jennifer Soria, Nikki Girard, Katee Aguirre and Nicole Chilson, all of whom started at least 47 games for the Sun Devils in 2016.
The Sun Devils will look to build on a solid 2016 season in 2017, as they return 17 of 24 letter winners from the 2016 roster, including three of four starting pitchers.
Softball’s coaching staff puts on plenty of camps for every age and skill level to enjoy. Camps are held in the summer and winter for a chance to learn from the very best that the NCAA has to offer.