Softball continues off-season moves, five added to roster

TEMPE, Ariz. – The head coach Megan Bartlet successfully traveled the country as five more players head to the desert to become Sun Devils. The group of Taylor and Kenzie Nicholson, Gianna Boccagno, Mackenzie Osborne and Kenzie Brown features a sister duo, four transfers and two right-handed pitchers. All should get playtime in 2023, and their additions bring the Total Sun Devils roster size at July 18-29.

Joining Arizona State softball in the circle is junior Mac Osborne and second Kenzie Brown.

After spending two seasons near home at Virginia Tech, Mackenzie Obsorne ventured out west to help boost the Sun Devils in the circle. His first year at VT featured 15 appearances and five starts in the circle in 2021.

“Mac has dangerous vertical movement on the mound with a good off-speed throw,” Coach Bartlett said. “She’s a competitor and she’s hungry to earn a starting role. The coaching staff immediately connected with her personality and her presence. We can’t wait to see her in Maroon and Gold.”

The now-junior got her first ACC start against Louisville where she struck out three in five innings. On several occasions during the 2021 season, Osborne came to pitch in a relief effort for the Hokies in a conference game. Her best start was a full game against Radford where she allowed just one point. She finished the season with a 2.76 ERA, 22 strikeouts, and two wins on the year. Last season, Osborne went to work in six games and earned a win over Miami (OH) in the Blacksburg Regional, throwing a blank inning and allowing no hits.

Coming in at 5-11, Makenzie Brown will travel to Tempe after just one season at Tulsa where she picked up three wins in 22 appearances. Brown notched a career high in strikeouts with five in two and two-thirds innings against East Carolina. The Illinois native was named Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore in high school and also competed in basketball, track and field, and volleyball.

“Kenzie is a powerful pitcher with a great high ball and she moves effortlessly off the mound. She’s a gifted athlete and a spicy competitor. We’re excited to see how her career unfolds as the Sun Devil.”

After four years at Boston College, Gianna Boccagno is taking advantage of her fifth year to be transferred to the State of Arizona. As a senior last season, Boccagno started 32 of his 40 games.

“Gianna will provide a valuable veteran presence behind the dish and in the clubhouse. She is a selfless teammate and prides herself on building relationships with each of her pitchers. Gianna is a great receiver with a big arm. We are delighted to welcome him to Tempé.”

Boccagno had seven team-leading homers and her 15 RBIs ranked fifth on the team in 2022. In 2019, as a rookie, she started 43 games at receiver and seven at third base where she set career highs in hits, RBIs, runs, total bases and home runs.

Virginia natives Taylor and Kenzie Nicholson move to Maroon and Gold after having previous engagements in Missouri. Taylor, the older sister, spent one season with the Tigers as a redshirt while Kenzie fired to ASU before she even went to college.

“Taylor is an explosive athlete and power hitter. She will immediately compete for a spot in the middle of our roster. Both of her parents are college softball coaches and she knows what it takes to win at a very high level. She will give us another solid option on the left side of the infield.”

“Kenzie is a firecracker! She’s a great hitter who will bring speed and athleticism to the roster. She can play any position on the court and loves the game. I admire her determination and we’re so happy that she chose ASU.”

mac osborne

  • 21 appearances and six starts in the circle for his career at Virginia Tech, with a 3.82 ERA in his two seasons for the Hokies.
  • Recorded a season-high five strikeouts against Michigan State.
  • Has a 4-1 career record with Virginia Tech and came on several reliefs during his two years at Blacksburg.

Taylor Nicholson

  • Used a medical redshirt in her freshman season from Missouri, retaining her freshman status upon transfer to Tempe, appeared in two games for the Tigers.
  • Entered college as the 85th-ranked freshman ranked by Extra Innings Softball after hitting .605, four home runs, five triples, 24 RBIs and 31 stolen bases during his senior year at Warhill High School in Virginia.

Kenzie Nicholson

  • Hit .534 with 28 interceptions and just one strikeout as a rookie (2018) at Warhill High – followed by a .484 batting with 32 extra hits for East Cobb that summer
  • Ranked as one of the top 75 Extra Innings players nationally in the Class of 2022
  • Most recently played for Georgia Impact U18

Makenzie Brown

  • His first season featured 22 appearances with three wins for Tulsa while pitching 52.2 innings.
  • Notched a career-high five strikeouts four times against East Carolina, Wichita State, DePaul and Louisiana Tech.
  • The longest appearance was against Minnesota where she struck out four.

Gianna Bocagno

  • Last season, she appeared in 40 games while starting in 32 games for the Eagles, where she had a team leading seven home runs and was tied for fifth on the team with 15 RBIs.
  • In 2019, as a rookie, she set career highs in hits (30), RBIs (24), total bases (59) and home runs (8)
  • Has a career batting average of .186, with 22 home runs, 58 RBI while knocking out 30 baserunners during his four years at Boston College.
  • Started seven games at third base in his rookie year, but has more experience behind the plate. For her career with the Eagles, she has 153 appearances, including 143 starts.

Sun Devil Softball will continue to add to the list. To find out who to watch currently in the 2023 season, check out the list below.

Solar devils of the 2022 season

Hall Harger (gr)

Jazmyn Rollin (Sr)

Marissa Schuld (Jr)

Liliana Thomas (So)

Savannah Price (Jr)

Jordyn VanHook (Sr)

Yanni Acuna (Gr)

Emilie Cazares (Jr)

Makenna Harper (gr)

Jazmine Hill (Sr)

Solar devils coming from July 29

Kayln McCarthy, OF (Fr)

Kylee MaGee, RHP (Fr)

Deborah Jones, RHP (Ball State Transfer)

Mac Osborne, RHP (Transfer from Virginia Tech)

Taylor Nicholson, INF (Transfer from Mizzou)

Kenzie Nicholson, 2B/OF (Fr)

Kenzie Brown, RHP (Transfer from Tulsa)

Gianna Boccagno, C (Boston College graduate transfer)