No. 18 Softball Drops Pac-10 Opener to No. 3 California, 4-2

April 1, 2005

TEMPE, Ariz. - The 18th-ranked Arizona State University softball team (25-8, 0-1 Pac-10) dropped their season-opening Pac-10 game to third-ranked California (30-3, 1-0 Pac-10), 4-2, Friday night in front of 1,017 fans at Farrington Stadium. The crowd was the ninth largest in school history.

In the top of the first, Cal jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead when Haley Woods hit the first of her two home runs on the night, a three-run shot over the left center field fence. After ASU starting pitcher Katie Burkhart (9-4) got the first out, she hit Lindsay James to put one runner on. After striking out Kaleo Eldredge for the second out, Jessica Pamanian singled to left field to continue the inning and allow Woods to hit her home run.

ASU had early chances to score off Cal starter Kelly Anderson (16-1), but left two runners stranded in each of the first two innings.

Burkhart and Anderson kept the other team in check for most of the game until the home half of the sixth inning. With one out, Mindy Cowles singled to left off Anderson and Valerie Sevilla along with Sharee Zaleski walked to load the bases. Heidi Knabe then hit a short fly ball to right fielder Alex Sutton, but Sutton dropped the ball for an error allowing Cowles to score. After Anderson got the second out, Jen McCard single up the middle to drive in Sevilla and cut the lead to 3-2. But Anderson then got pinch hitter Kim Zadrozny to ground out and end the inning.

However, Cal took the momentum right back in the seventh as Woods hit her second home run of the game, a solo shot over the left field fence to move Cal to a 4-2 lead.

The Sun Devils had one more chance to push some runs across in the bottom of the seventh. Bridgette Caron led off with a double to left center field. Rhiannon Baca then grounded out to the pitcher, but Caron was then also thrown out at third attempting to take the base on the ground out. Cowles was hit by an Anderson pitch to get to first, but Sevilla struck out to end the game.

ASU left eight runners on base, while Cal stranded only two. Burkhart took the loss as she gave four runs (all to Woods) off three hits with six strikeouts. Anderson gave up two runs, one earned on six hits with four strikeouts.

Up next, the Sun Devils will host seventh-ranked Stanford on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
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