No. 8 Softball Wins The Louisville Slugger Classic Tournament

Feb. 17, 2002

TEMPE, Ariz. - For the third time in the past four years, the eighth-ranked Arizona State softball team (9-2) won its own Louisville Slugger Classic Tournament by topping Illinois State, 3-1, Sunday at Farrington Stadium.

The Sun Devils got on the board first in the third inning. Redbird pitcher Corey Harris, who beat ASU on Friday, lasted only two and two-thirds innings as ASU chased her from the game.

Missy Hixon opened the frame with a single to right field. After a Nichole Thompson sacrifice bunt to advance Hixon to second, Phelan Wright hit an infield single, advancing Hixon to third. Adriana Garcia followed with a single up the middle to score Hixon for the first run. Pitcher Erica Beach (5-0) helped her own situation as she also singled to center field to drive in Wright for the second run.

In the fifth inning, Illinois State would cut the lead in half as they tallied a run off two hits. The earned run was the first allowed by Beach this year, ending her streak at 39 and two-thirds innings.

However, in the bottom of the fifth, Arizona State's Kara Brun crushed Redbird pitcher Audra Rast's pitch over the left field fence, hitting the scoreboard (240 ft.) to up the Sun Devil lead to 3-1. That was all Beach would need as she limited ISU to the one run off four hits with four strikeouts.

In the earlier game played Sunday morning, sixth-ranked Iowa shutout Oklahoma State, 2-0 behind a two-hitter by Hawkeye pitcher Kristi Hanks.

Up next, Arizona State will hit the road for the first time this year as they travel to Columbus, Georgia to compete in the NFCA Leadoff Classic, beginning Friday, February 22. ASU will face Mississippi State at 12:00 p.m. (eastern) and Connecticut at 2:30 p.m.

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