Softball Wins Both Games at The Palm Springs Classic

Feb. 25, 2005

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The Arizona State University softball team (9-2) opened the first day of the Palm Springs Classic with a pair of wins, taking the first 14-0 over Long Island and 6-1 over Bethune-Cookman. Mindy Cowles nailed a three-run home run and a grand slam against Long Island to tally seven RBIs, while Desiree Serrano and Katie Burkhart combined to limit BCC to one run in the second game.


In the first game against Long Island, the Sun Devils capitalized on two extra base hits and a wild pitch to take an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Mindy Cowles walked on four pitches and was then driven around to third off Rhiannon Baca's double to left center field. LIU starting pitcher Jackie Brown then fired a high pitch that tipped off the catcher's glove to bring Cowles home. Heidi Knabe followed with another double to right center to plate Baca for the second run.


ASU added another run in the second off two Long Island errors. Starting pitcher Ashley Werschky (3-1) opened the frame with a fly to right field, but the LIU right fielder dropped the ball as Werschky advanced to second. Jen McCard followed with a sacrifice bunt, but the catcher threw the ball wide of first allowing Werschky to come all the home.


In the third inning, ASU unloaded seven runs off seven hits to push the lead to 10-0. With the base loaded, Werschky hit a fielder's choice to the third baseman, but her throw home to get Sharee Zaleski was late. McCard then singled to left, driving in two more, and Bridgette Caron also singled to left center to plate one more. Cowles then tagged a three-run home run over the left field fence.


In the fourth inning, Cowles followed her three-run shot with a grand slam to bring her total to seven RBIs for the game. Cowles also got some pitching work in as she threw the final one and two-thirds innings, allowing no hits with one walk and one strikeout. Werschky earned the win as he gave up only one hit in the third inning, a single to left by Alissa Villanueva.


Knabe had a perfect game offensively as she went 3 for 3 with two runs scored and one RBI. LIU's Jackie Brown went the distance, allowing 12 hits and 13 earned runs with two walks and three strikeouts.


In the second game against Bethune-Cookman, ASU struck first with two runs in the bottom of the first off two hits. Cowles opened the inning with a double to center and then stole third. After the Devils got two outs, Knabe was hit by a pitch and Ciri Bryan walked to load the bases. Werschky then sent a 1-1 pitch into center field to score both Cowles and Knabe.


The Wildcats looked to get something going in the top of the second off two hits. With one out, Christina Trimble reached on an infield single off ASU starting pitcher Desiree Serrano (4-0). First baseman Zaleski made the second out on a pop fly, then Melanie Johnson laid down a bunt and leadoff hitter Capree Williams walked to load the bases. However, Serrano struck out the next batter to end the threat.


BCC got one run back in the top of the fourth. Sarde Stewart began the inning with a flair to left field. After Serrano got the next batter out, Megan McGuire hit another flair just over Cowles head into short right field to advance Stewart to third. Melanie Johnson followed with a fielder's choice to Baca at short, forcing the runner at second, but Baca's throw to first to attempt the double play was just late as Stewart came home to score. Knabe then threw out Johnson attempting to steal second for the third out.


In the top of the fifth inning, ASU's Katie Burkhart relived Serrano and got two of the three BCC batters to strikeout. Then in the sixth inning, Burkhart struck out the side swinging. ASU closed out the game with three more runs in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Werschky took the first pitch she saw, a change-up, over the left field fence, while Sevilla doubled in two more runs with bases loaded.


In the seventh inning, Burkhart struck out two of the last three Wildcat batters to end the game. Burkhart picked up her third save of the year, recording three innings of work with seven strikeouts. Serrano kept her undefeated record in tacked at 4-0. Cowles, Baca, Sevilla, Werschky and McCard each had two hits in the game with Werschky posting three RBIs.


Up next, ASU will face Northwestern on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. (PT) and Notre Dame at 8:00 p.m.