No. 21 Softball Edged in 8 Innings by No. 5 Texas, 1-0
March 19, 2005
FULLERTON, Calif. - The 21st-ranked Arizona State University softball team (25-7) extended the fifth-ranked Texas Longhorns (22-3) to eight innings before suffering a tough 1-0 loss in a quarterfinal game in the championship bracket at the KIA Klassic in Fullerton, Calif.
Texas pitcher Cat Osterman (11-2), who was a pitcher for the gold medal winning Olympic U.S. National Team, allowed only two hits with 21 strikeouts, but the Sun Devils did have their chances to win the game as they left five players stranded on base. Katie Burkhart and Desiree Serrano (10-2) combined to limit the Longhorns to seven hits and one unearned run
Texas looked to strike first in the first inning when they loaded the bases with no outs off ASU starting pitcher Burkhart. Three straight singles loaded the bases, but Burkhart then got Desiree Williams to strikeout and Rachael Cook to hit into an inning ending double play.
In the fourth inning, ASU looked in position to get something going off Osterman. With one out, Mindy Cowles was hit by a pitch. Osterman then struck out the next batter, but Cowles also stole second on the strikeout. Sharee Zaleski then worked a walk for two on, but Osterman got Heidi Knabe to hit into a fielder's choice, forcing Zaleski out at second.
ASU had one more chance to score in the sixth inning. With two outs, Cowles walked to first and then stole second for the second time, but Osterman struck out Valerie Sevilla to end the inning.
In the Texas half of the sixth inning, for the second time in the game, the Longhorns loaded the bases with no outs. With runners on first and third, Serrano relived Burkhart in the circle. Serrano intentionally walked the next batter to load the bases and look to get the force at any base. However, Serrano struck out the next two batters and got a fly out to right field to end the threat.
In the eighth inning, the international tiebreaker rule went into effect as McCard was placed on second base. Michelle Smith then pinch ran for McCard. But, Osterman struck out the next two batters and Smith was thrown out at third trying to steal to end the inning.
Texas then scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Chez Sievers was placed on second and was moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt. Cook then hit a grounder that was going up the middle, but Rhiannon Baca made a nice stop on the ball, however, Sievers scampered home for the winning run.
Up next, the Sun Devils will take a week off before starting Pac-10 play, hosting California on Friday, April 1 at 7:00 p.m.