No. 9 Softball Hosts Three Game Series Against Santa Clara
Feb. 28, 2001
ON TAP: The ninth-ranked Arizona State softball team (13-4) will host a three-game series against Santa Clara (6-8), February 2-4 at Farrington Stadium. Friday and Saturday's games will begin at 7:00 p.m., while Sunday's game will start at 2:00 p.m. Arizona State holds a 10-0 all-time record against the Broncos.
LAST WEEKEND'S TOURNAMENT: Arizona State won the Bronze Bracket at the NFCA Leadoff Classic Tournament in Columbus, Georgia. The Sun Devils posted a 3-2 record, defeating San Diego State 2-1 for the title. In game one, ASU defeated UMass, 5-1. UMass scored one run in the top of the second, but ASU came back with two in the bottom of the inning. ASU would take a 3-1 lead in the third after a Phelan Wright double and a Erica Beach singled to right field to score Wright. Beach would collect two more RBIs in the fifth when she again singled to right field. Beach would also earn the win, pitching a three-hitter while striking out five. In the second game against the Crimson Tide, ASU would jump out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth off a Shiloh Talanoa 250-foot home run to center field. However, the lead was short lived, as Alabama would tie the score in the top of the fifth. ASU would come back with another run in the bottom of the fifth to take a 4-3 lead, but in the top of the seventh inning, Alabama would score four times. ASU would not give up though. In the bottom of the seventh, Beach would hit the team's second home run of the game, this time a two-run shot over the right field fence to cut the lead to 7-6. But ASU couldn't plate another run. Against Kansas, ASU coughed up three errors in the first inning that lead to two Kansas runs. KU would put one more on the board in the third off of a solo home run. Kansas then scored three more times in the fourth and one more in fifth. In all, Arizona State committed seven errors with only three of the Jayhawks' seven runs being earned. ASU did get on the board in the fifth inning. After Jennifer Forner reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a Kansas error, Kara Brun singled to center field to bring home Forner. Kristen Swetel (2-1) suffered her first loss of the year as well as giving up her first run of the season (17 innings). Beach came in for the final three innings, allowing one run on one hit. In the opening game of the Bronze Bracket, ASU wasted no time by putting two runs on the board in the first inning against Michigan St. Kristin Farber beat out an infield hit, followed by a Kara Brun walk. Beach then singled to right field to load the bases for Talanoa who then blistered the ball into left field to score Farber. Missy Hixon then flied out to deep center field to score Brun. ASU would tack another run on in the fourth and one more in the sixth, courtesy of a Hixon solo home run to right field. Beach had a no hitter through six innings, but allowed two hits in the seventh. Against SDSU, Beach fired a three-hitter and also supplied the scoring as Arizona State scored their two runs in the first inning to seal the win. With two outs, Nichole Thompson singled to third base and then sole second base. Talanoa was then hit by a pitch and Brun walked to load the bases. Beach then singled to center field to bring home Thompson and Brun. The Aztecs would cut the lead in half in the fifth inning when with a solo home run to left field that just cleared the fence. However, Beach (9-2) would settle down and retire SDSU in order in the sixth and seventh innings for her ninth win on the year and third win of the tournament. The victory also marked Head Coach Linda Well's 750th career win and 399th career win at Arizona State.
HEAD COACH LINDA WELLS: Arizona State's storied tradition of softball excellence continues to flourish under the tutelage of 12th-year head coach Linda Wells, one of the most prominent and successful coaches in NCAA history. Last year, Wells' achieved a coaching milestone that few can or will ever obtain, winning 700 career games. The Sun Devils earned Wells her 700th win with a 8-3 win over Cal State Fullerton (2/13/00). The team also tied school-records in the national polls reaching as high as No. 3 and for posting the most wins in a single season with 43. The 2000 team also advanced to the postseason for the fourth consecutive season, making it to the finals of the Region V Championship. Additionally, Wells team won the National Invitational Softball Tournament in San Jose, Calif. Wells also tutored six players on the Pac-10 All-Conference team, the most since the 1997 season. Wells has now coached 52 all- conference players during her tenure at Arizona State, averaging nearly five All-Pac-10 selections every season. Wells is currently the eighth-most successful active coach in NCAA Division I history with a 750-589-1 career record. She has led the Sun Devils to eight NCAA Regional appearances in 11 seasons, including her first trip to the College World Series in 1999. While at ASU, Wells has compiled 399 victories and has had five players earn a total of eight All-American awards.
LIFE'S A BEACH: Junior pitcher/designated player Erica Beach continues to have a stellar career as a Sun Devil. This year Beach is 9-2, including four shutouts and a 1.15 ERA with 56 strikeouts. She also had a scoreless streak of 27 innings this year and has tied her career-high in strikeouts (7) four different times. Beach posted a 3-1 record at the NFCA Leadoff Classic and was named on the all-tournament team. Offensively, Beach is batting .333 with one double, a team-high nine walks and two massive home runs (250 ft.) and has tallied 12 RBIs. Beach is second all-time with 15 home runs and is third all-time with 99 RBIs. After earning NFCA first-team All-American honors as a freshman, Beach claimed first-team All-Pacific Region honors and was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 pick as a sophomore. Last year Beach batted .339 with eight home runs (tied single-season mark), including two grand slams and a team-high (single-season record) 48 RBIs. Beach was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week (3/17) after batting .500 with seven RBIs, helping ASU win the 2000 NIST.
VOAK'S RESUME: Two-time junior All-American pitcher/designated player Kirsten Voak is also looking to pick up where she left off last season. This year Voak already has pitched a perfect game (fourth career no hitter) and struck out 24 batters in 18 innings. After two ASU record-setting seasons (24 wins, 314 strikeouts/Fr.), (30 wins, 316 strikeouts/So.) Voak garnered her second NFCA All-American honor, was a first-team All-Pac-10 and second-team All-Pacific Region selection and was named the team's MVP and Pitcher of the Year. Last year Voak earned three Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors (2/22), (3/17), (4/3) and was named to the NFCA Leadoff Classic and NIST All-Tournament teams. She's currently fourth all-time in career wins (56) and second all-time in career strikeouts (654). She has also tallied 15 career double-digit strikeout games.
Voak's Career Double-Digit Strikeout Games (15):
15 -- Oregon, 7 innings (4/2/00)
15 -- Central Michigan, 8.1 innings (5/20/99)
14 -- Utah, 7.1 innings (3/13/99)
13 -- Santa Clara, 7 innings (3/10/00)
13 -- Florida Atlantic, 7 innings (5/22/99)
12 -- UNLV, 7 innings (3/26/00)
12 -- Iowa, 7 innings (3/17/00)
12 -- Portland State, 7 innings (2/26/00)
12 -- Nebraska, 7 innings (2/13/99)
12 -- Oregon State, 6 innings (4/24/99)
12 -- Washington, 8 innings (4/10/99)
11 -- Utah, 7 innings (3/10/00)
11 -- Illinois State, 7 innings (2/20/00)
10 -- Oregon, 7 innings (4/25/99)
10 -- Utah, 7 innings (3/18/99)
FRESHMEN TRIO: Freshmen Kristin Farber, Phelan Wright and Kristen Swetel have all made immediate impacts early on this year. Combined the three are batting .348 (40-for-115) with 23 runs scored, four doubles, one home run, 14 RBIs and five stolen bases. Swetel is also 2-1 with a 0.71 earned-run average.
CAREER/ALL-TIME MILESTONES: Head Coach Linda Wells needs one more win to reach 400 at Arizona State ... Erica Beach needs two more home runs to become ASU's all-time leader ... Beach needs 17 RBIs for the all-time record ... Voak needs 152 strikeouts for the all-time record and 27 more wins for the school record ... Missy Hixon needs 17 more doubles for the all-time record ... Arizona State, as a program, needs 16 more wins to reach 900 in its history.
BRUN'S A HIT: Sophomore shortstop Kara Brun, who made an immediate impact as a freshman, offensively and defensively, is picking up right where she left off. Brun's currently batting .386 with 22 hits and a team-high four doubles, two home runs and 16 RBIs. She also leads the team with eight multiple hit games and four multiple RBI games. At shortstop, Brun holds a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage and leads the team with 37 assists. In the ASU record book, she is already tied for fourth all-time with 10 home runs and eighth all-time with 20 doubles. As a freshman, Brun earned All-Pac-10 second team accolades, was selected to the Region V All-Tournament team and was named the team's Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year. At the plate, Brun led the team in batting average (.352), hits (68), doubles (16), runs (44), total bases (108), and was second in RBIs (38). Brun also tied the single-season record in home runs (8). Brun posted 18 multi-hit games, eight multi-RBI games and held a team-high 16 game hitting streak. On the field, the strong-arm shortstop led the team in assists (133) and committed only five errors for a .978 fielding percentage.
A PERFECT START: In Arizona State's first game of the year, junior All-American pitcher Kirsten Voak claimed only Arizona State's second perfect game in school history as she blanked Utah State, 10-0 in five innings. Voak struckout nine batters with only two balls leaving the infield. For her effort, Voak was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week (Feb. 5-11). It was Voak's first perfect game and fourth career no hitter.
DYNAMIC DUO: Juniors Missy Hixon and Nichole Thompson, who play second base and center field respectively, each contribute in similar ways. Hixon, a two-time All-Pac-10 selection, is a three-year starter and has played in 147 career games ... she has produced 134 hits, five home runs, scored 70 runs and recorded 48 RBIs ... Hixon has also tallied 24 career doubles and stole 11 bases. Thompson, also a three-year starter, earned All-Pac-10 honors her freshman year and was an All-Pacific Region choice as a sophomore ... Thompson holds a career .326 batting average in 141 games ... she has produced 141 hits, scored 94 runs and recorded 43 RBIs ... Thompson has also tallied 16 doubles, three triples, stole 21 bases and has sacrificed 30 times.
DEVIL NOTES: ASU starts one senior, sometimes none at all ... eight players hold a cumulative grade-point average above 3.0 ... ASU has outscored its opponents 89-31 ... ASU pitchers are holding opponents to a .170 average ... ASU has walked 50 times compared to only 20 times for its opponents ... 10 players have three or more RBIs this year ... seven of ASU's 13 wins have been shutouts ... Kristin Farber is batting .591 with runners on base and .583 with runners in scoring position ... Farber holds the team's longest hitting streak (8) ... Beach has tallied nine RBIs with two outs ... catcher Stacey Farnworth has thrown out four out of seven base runners attempting to steal.
TOUGH SCHEDULE/TOUGHER CONFERENCE: As in any season, Arizona State will face many of the nation's top programs, including seven of its first 14 games against top-25 competition. Within the toughest conference in the nation, the Pacific-10, ASU will face a nationally-ranked team every time out. For the second consecutive year, all eight Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top-20, including five of the top nine positions. Additionally for the second straight season, all eight teams made postseason appearances with four teams advancing to the College World Series.
MEDIA INFORMATION: All publicity for the ASU softball team are coordinated by Assistant Media Relations Director Will Phillips at (480) 965-1237. Any interviews with ASU softball players or coaches should be arranged through Phillips with at least 48 hours notice.
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