Softball Splits Doubleheader with Hawai'i; Burkhart Fans 13 in ASU Win

Feb. 16, 2005

TEMPE, Ariz. - Freshman pitcher Katie Burkhart fired a two-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts, while freshman Mindy Cowles hits back-to-back home runs to lift the Arizona State University softball team (6-1) to a 2-0 win in the second game of a doubleheader against Hawai'i (5-4) Wednesday night at Farrington Stadium. In the first game, Hawai'i jumped out to a 7-0 lead through five innings before ASU tallied six runs in the final three innings, but the rally fell just short as Hawai'i won 8-6 in the opening game.

 

In the second game of the doubleheader, Burkhart (2-0) started in the circle for the Sun Devils and sailed through the first four innings, allowing only one hit with eight strikeouts. Cowles then help stake the Devils to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth when she blasted her fourth home run of the year that went well over the left field fence at approximately 240 feet.

 

As Burkhart kept striking out the Hawai'i batters, Cowles again supplied the power in the sixth inning with another solo blast over the center field fence to up the final margin to 2-0. With the two home runs, Cowles continues to lead the ASU team in home runs (5) and RBIs (13). Burkhart finished the night, giving up only two singles, walking one with a team-high 13 strikeouts. In four appearances this season, Burkhart has pitched 14 innings and allowed no earned runs with 22 strikeouts.

 

In the first game, Hawai'i took the early lead with a five-run third inning off six hits. To open the frame, ASU starting pitcher Ashley Werschky (2-1) gave up four consecutive singles to drive in the first run. With the bases still loaded, Werschky struck out the next batter for the first out, but then allowed a grand slam home run to Denise Dahlberg that went over the left field fence to stretch the lead to 5-0. Werschky was then pulled for Desiree Serrano.

 

Hawai'i added on two more runs in the fifth inning, both unearned. The first run scored off of a wild run down throw. With runners on first and third, Kristi Yoshizawa went on a delayed steal to second, but in the run down to get her, Hawai'i's Tyleen Tausaga took off for home, however, the throw from third baseman Cowles went wide at the plate as Tausaga scored. Jennifer Hackett followed with a flair into center field to plate the seventh run for Hawai'i.

 

The Sun Devils avoided the shutout from Hawai'i starting pitcher Melissa Coogan (2-1) in the bottom of the fifth with one run. Michelle Smith started the inning with a walk and then moved to second on a groundout by Rhiannon Baca. Cowles followed with a single to center field to plate Smith.

 

In the sixth inning, Tausaga added one more unearned run for Hawai'i on a double that went off the right field fence. The Sun Devils answered in the bottom of the inning with four runs to cut the lead to 8-5. Sharee Zaleski led off the inning by taking Coogan's first pitch over the center field fence for her first home run of the year. The Devils' Bridgette Caron then reached on a throwing error by the shortstop. Baca followed with a single to left, moving Caron to second. Cowles then also singled to center to drive in Caron. Valerie Sevilla kept the scoring going as she doubled to center, plating both Baca and Cowles.

 

ASU then recorded one more run in the bottom of the seventh, but could not put any more across as the game ended.

 

Up next, ASU will host the four-team Littlewood Classic Friday-Sunday at Farrington Stadium. In addition to the Sun Devils, Illinois State, Iowa and Long Island will also compete. ASU will take on Illinois State on Friday at 5:00 p.m. and Long Island at 7:00 p.m.

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