No. 24 Softball Competes at the National Invitational Tournament

March 9, 2005

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ON TAP: The 24th-ranked Arizona State University softball team (17-4) will head out on the road to Sunnyvale, California to compete in the National Invitational Softball Tournament (March 11-13). The Sun Devils will face Rhode Island (1-2) on Friday at 2:00 p.m. (PT) and host San Jose State (15-8) at 6:00 p.m. After the NIST, ASU will then play a doubleheader against Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles on Monday, March 14 at 12:00 p.m.

NIST NOTES: The tournament is held at the Twin Creeks Sports Complex and made up of 12 teams with three teams each competing in four pools ... ASU will play in Pool 'B' against Rhode Island and SJSU on Field 1 ... after pool play, the three teams will be seeded into bracket play that begins on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. ... Pac-10 opponent Cal is also at the NIST.

TOUGH SCHEDULE/TOUGHER CONFERENCE: As in any season, Arizona State will face many of the nation's top teams and traditionally holds a high RPI. Last year, ASU played 29 games (nearly half of all their games) against top-25 teams, while 16 games were against top-10 competition. This year is no different as ASU will play several non-conference/Pac-10 regular-season games against nationally-ranked teams. Within the toughest conference in the nation, the Pac-10, ASU will face a nationally-ranked team nearly every time out. Six Pac-10 opponents are ranked in the top-16, including the No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 ranked teams and five of the nation's top-14. Additionally, The Pac-10 placed seven of its eight squads in the NCAA Tournament last season, with three teams advancing to the WCWS. For the fourth consecutive year (11th time overall), two Pac-10 teams squared off in the National Championship game, giving the conference its 17th title and fourth straight.

DEVIL NOTES: ASU enters the USA Today/NFCA poll for the first time since April 4, 2004 ... ASU leads the Pac-10 in saves (4) and is second in doubles (31) ... the pitching staff's 0.94 ERA is third-best in the conference and the teams 163 strikeouts is fourth-best ... eight of ASU's 17 wins have been shutouts ... ASU is hitting .344 with runners on base and .379 with the bases loaded.

Complete Softball Release in PDF Form above.

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