No. 21 Softball Falls to No. 8 Oklahoma, 6-1

March 17, 2005

FULLERTON, Calif. - The eighth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners (30-4) came back from a 1-0 deficit to post six runs over the last two innings to defeat the 21st-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils (24-6), 6-1, Thursday in pool play at the KIA Klassic in Fullerton, Calif. Katie Burkhart (9-3) suffered her first loss in five starts, as well as giving up her first earned runs in 32 innings.

ASU jumped on the Sooners with a single run in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, Mindy Cowles reached first when she first struck out, but OU starting pitcher Jadyn Smith threw a wild pitch allowing Cowles to run to first before the catcher could throw her out. Cowels then advanced to second on another wild pitch and came home on Valerie Sevilla's single to center field.

The Devils looked to put one more run on the board in the fifth inning. With one, Ashley Werschky nearly hit a solo home run as it hit just below the top of the left field fence line, settling for a double. Werschky then advanced to third when Himmita Hixson grounded out to second, but was stranded there when relief pitcher Kami Keiter got Ciri Bryan to strikeout.

Burkhart breezed through the first five innings until the Sooners' offense got to her in the sixth inning for five runs. Norrelle Dickson led off with a walk. Kristin Vesely then put down a sacrifice bunt, but Werschky's throw to first was wide and went into right field as Dickson headed to third. Burkhart then hit Christina Enea to load the bases. Heather Scaglione followed with a single to center to score two runs, while Jessica Leslie double in two more runs for the 4-1 lead. Desiree Serrano relived Burkhart with a runner on third, but Keiter hit a deep sacrifice fly to center field to plate the fifth run.

Oklahoma tagged on the final sixth run in the seventh on a bases loaded ground out. ASU could not get any offense going in the sixth or seventh innings as Keiter (15-1) earned the win going the final two and two-thirds innings with one hit and two strikeouts.

Burkhart pitched the first five innings, allowing a season-high five runs, four earned with three strikeouts. Serrano finished the final two innings giving up one run on one hit with three strikeouts.

Up next, the Sun Devils will play their third and final pool game on Friday against seventh-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette at 1:30 p.m.

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