No. 24 Softball Travels to No. 4 Arizona for Friday and Saturday Games

April 20, 2005

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ON TAP: The 24th-ranked Arizona State University softball team (26-16, 1-9 Pac-10) will travel to Tucson to take on fourth-ranked Arizona (31-6, 5-4 Pac-10) on Friday, April 22 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 23 at 7:00 p.m.

SERIES NOTES: UA leads the all-time series 87-72 ... UA won the earlier match-up this season in Tempe, 1-0, scoring an unearned run in the first inning ... ASU last defeated UA on March 16, 2002.

DEVIL NOTES: ASU was picked to finish eighth in the Pac-10 Conference ... ASU is tied for first in the Pac-10 in saves (4), is second in batters struck out (313), and third in doubles (48) and walks (106) ... 14 of ASU's 26 wins have been shutouts, third in the Pac-10 ... 14 of ASU's 15 players have at least one double ... opponents are batting .180 with runners in scoring position ... ASU is out scoring its opponents 46-21 in the first two innings ... ASU is 21-2 when scoring first and 12-2 when scoring in the first inning.

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) 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. After this weekend's games against UA, ASU will have played 15 straight teams ranked in the Top-25. Within the toughest conference in the nation, ASU will face a Top-25 team every time out. All eight Pac-10 teams are ranked in the Top-25, including Nos. 2, 4, 7, 10 and 11. In non-conference play in 2005, the Pac-10 holds a 185-43 (.811) 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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