No. 9 Softball Wins First Two Games Of The NIST

March 9, 2001

SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- The ninth-ranked Arizona State softball team (19-5) won their first two games of Pool A action by a combined score of 15-2 today at the 15th annual National Invitational Softball Tournament in Sunnyvale, Calif.

The Sun Devils defeated Santa Clara in a mercy rule, six-inning game, 9-1 to open pool play, and then defeated Sacramento State, 5-1.

Against Santa Clara, ASU jumped all over the Broncos in the first inning as they scored five times. Kara Brun began the scoring as she singled in Kristin Farber from third base. Missy Hixon then singled in Brun and Kirsten Voak followed with a two-run single. Shiloh Talanoa finished the inning with an infield hit to drive in Voak for the fifth run.

ASU loaded the bases again in the third, but was only able to score one run, as Brun earned a walk, scoring Jennifer Forner.

In the fifth inning, ASU tacked on one more when Nichole Thompson singled in Forner, who hit a single to center field earlier.

The Sun Devils would end the game under the eight run mercy rule in the sixth inning when they scored two more times. After three straight hits to load the bases one more time, Bonnie Brannen singled to right field to dive in one run. Forner then hit into a fielder's choice to bring in Hixon for the final run.

Santa Clara scored one run in the fourth inning, but that was all as Kirsten Voak (5-1) and Kristen Swetel combined to limit the Broncos to three hits. Voak pitched the first four innings before giving way to Swetel for the final two.

ASU scattered a season-high 16 hits. Phelan Wright continued her hot pace as she went 3-for-4 with a run scored. Hixon also went 3-for-4 with a RBI, while Voak and Brun each had two RBIs.

In the second game, each team held each other at bay until ASU batted in the bottom of the sixth inning when they unloaded another five run barrage.

Farber began the inning with an infield single followed by another infield hit by Thompson. Brun then singled to center field to drive in Farber. Erica Beach was then intentionally walked to bring up Shiloh Talanoa. On a 2-1 pitch, Talanoa hit the ball to deep short for an infield hit, scoring one run. Now with the bases loaded, Wright came up and nailed a base-clearing double in to left center field.

Sacramento State would score one run in the seventh inning, but Beach (11-3) closed the door for her 11th complete game of the year. She allowed five hits, one run with four strikeouts.

Brun extended her hitting streak to 11 games with her single in the sixth inning. Wright continued to produce as she tallied three RBIs.

Up next, Arizona State will face Purdue at 8:00 p.m. Pacific/9:00 p.m. Mountain tonight in the final game of Pool A play. If Arizona State wins the pool they will not play again until 4:00 p.m. Pacific on Saturday. And if they lose, they will play again on Saturday at 12:00 p.m.

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