#15 Softball Blanks #20 Auburn at Day One of the NFCA Leadoff Classic

Feb. 24, 2006

Columbus, GA - The #15 Sun Devil Softball Team gritted their way to yet another win in extra innings on Friday with a 1-0 win over the #20 Tigers of Auburn who came into the NFCA Leadoff Classic Tournament 9-1 on the season, but could not escape the Devils as ASU squeezed out a win to bump their record to 15-0 on the season.

 

The match-up between the Devils and the Tigers proved to be a true pitchers battle with the Devils' Katie Burkhart on the mound for ASU and Beth DiPietro hurling for Auburn, with both pitchers looking for to keep their unblemished records as Burkhart entered with a 5-0 record and DiPietro 4-0.

 

DiPietro and her fellow Tigers proved to be a tough adversary for the Devils as they shut down ASU's bats allowing only three hits on the day with DiPietro striking out eight of the 30 Devil's she faced at the plate.

 

The true star of the game however, seemed to be sophomore, Katie Burkhart who almost single-handedly shut down the Auburn offense, and almost threw a no-hitter as she allowed only one hit to Ashley Arcuri in the sixth inning who bunted and was able to outrun the throw.

 

Other than that Burkhart was flawless, fanning 18 of the 25 batters she faced, taking the pressure off the Sun Devil offense which had not yet clicked into place.

 

After battling through the seven regulation innings, the Sun Devils took it home by with Burkhart shutting down the Tigers again with two strikeouts and a foul out to head to the bottom of the eighth where ASU decided to play some offense.

 

With the international tie-break rule starting Michelle Smith on second, second-baseman Mindy Cowles stepped up to lay down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner to third.

 

Next up the Devil's best batter, freshman center-fielder, Kaitlin Cochran stepped up to end the game with a single to center-field to drive home Smith and end the game with the Devils advancing their record to a perfect 15-0 on the season.

 

The Devils return to action tomorrow in Georgia as the NFCA Leadoff Classic continues with their first game against the #24 Missouri Tigers at 3:00 p.m. ET before the tournament breaks into bracket play for the rest of the weekend.

 

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