No. 18/20 Softball Opens Pac-10 Play Hosting No. 3/3 California and No. 6/7 Stanford
March 30, 2005
ON TAP: The No. 18/20 Arizona State University softball team (25-7; 0-0 Pac-10) will open the 2005 Pac-10 Conference season playing host to No. 3/3 California (29-3; 0-0 Pac-10) on Friday, April 1 at 7:00 p.m. ASU will then host No. 6/7 Stanford (24-5; 0-0 Pac-10) on Saturday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 3 at 1:00 p.m.
SERIES NOTES: Cal leads the all-time series 53-34, however, ASU defeated Cal earlier in the season (3/13), 1-0, to claim the NIST championship ... ASU head coach Linda Wells and Cal head coach Diane Ninemire were coaches for the 2005 Greek Olympic National Team ... ASU leads the all-time series against Stanford 28-16 ... the three teams combined are 78-15 (.839).
DEVIL NOTES: ASU was picked to finish eighth in the Pac-10 Conference race ... ASU leads the Pac-10 in saves (4), doubles (40) and is second in strikeouts (253) ... the pitching staff's 1.02 ERA is fourth-best in the conference ... 13 of ASU's 25 wins have been shutouts, tied for third in the Pac-10 ... 14 of ASU's 15 players have at least one double ... opponents are batting .137 with runners in scoring position ... ASU is out scoring its opponents 44-6 in the first two innings.
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 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, ASU will face a top-25 team nearly every time out. Seven of the eight Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top-18, including Nos. 2, 3, 6 and 7. In non-conference play in 2005, the Pac-10 holds a 178-43 (.805) mark. 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.
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