Softball Wins Opening Game, 2-1, Over Michigan At The College World Series

May 23, 2002

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - A two run sixth inning rally with two outs, capped another come from behind win for the third-seeded Arizona State softball team (45-18) as they defeated sixth-seeded Michigan (50-10), 2-1 tonight in an opening round game at the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City. Erica Beach (32-13) limited the Wolverines to only two hits, both in the fourth inning, while Erin Wardein and Kristin Farber collected all four ASU hits and the two RBIs.

After experiencing a 37-minute delay due to thunderstorms, Michigan got on the board first in the fourth inning with their only run of the game. Meghan Doe reached first with a bunt and was then sacrificed to second. After Beach posted a strikeout for the second out, Michigan pitcher Marissa Young lofted a pitch into shallow right field just out of the reach of a diving Kristin Farber, scoring Doe from second.

After being shutdown for most of the game by Young, ASU came alive in the sixth inning for the winning rally. Nichole Thompson started with a base on balls and was then sacrificed to second by Kara Brun. After one out, Beach was also issued a walk and then replaced by pinch runner Kari Reidhead. Erin Wardein followed with a clutch single to right field to drive in Thompson to tie the game and move Reidhead to second. Farber then utilized her speed and got an infield hit to second base, but the Michigan second baseman hurried her throw attempting to get Farber and over threw first, allowing Riedhead to round third and score the game winning run.

Beach then retired the Michigan seventh in order to preserve her two hitter. Farber went 2-for-3 to extended her team-leading hitting streak to 13 games, while Beach continues to extend the single season win record to 32. Wardein was 2-for-3 with one RBI and made a spectacular diving catch near the fence in the fourth inning to halt a Michigan threat.

Up next, Arizona State will face in-state rival Arizona in a second round winners bracket game on Friday at 4:30 p.m. (Arizona time).

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