#15 Softball Takes Down #23 North Carolina in Day One of NFCA Leadoff Classic

Feb. 24, 2006

Columbus, GA -  The #15 ASU Softball team kicked off the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Georgia Friday afternoon facing off first against the #23 Tarheels of North Carolina who were 9-1 coming into their game against the unbeaten 13-0 Devils.

 

The cold temperatures of Georgia were definitely a change for the Devils, but they still started off by yet again grabbing the lead in the first inning after a walk to second-baseman Mindy Cowles was advanced to second on a ground out from Kaitlin Cochran.

 

Kim Zadrozny was then hit by a pitch to advance to first and with runners on first and second, catcher Heidi Knabe reached on a fielding error by the right fielder to score Cowles from third and advance Zadrozny to third.

 

The Devils weren't done yet in the first though as both runners advanced on a wild pitch placing Knabe on third and scoring Zadrozny before the inning was ended with Sharee Zaleski striking out.

 

While the Devil defense kept coming up huge on the day by keeping the Tarheels' bats at bay most of the game, ASU was unable to get any offense rolling as they were hitless through all seven regulation innings.

 

ASU was three outs away from winning the game 2-0 on a no hitter for the winning team when a costly error followed by a two-run homerun from right-fielder Erin Dudley tied the game and forced the Devils into extra innings.

 

In extra innings, the Devil offense slowly came alive as they tacked on a run in the eighth off of two singles from Rhiannon Baca and Michelle Smith.

 

The Tarheels fired back though in the eighth with two singles and a sacrifice bunt to tie up the score yet again.

 

The Devils weren't done yet though, gritting it through the ninth with a single from Kaitlin Cochran followed by Kim Zadrozny reaching on a fielder's choice.

 

The Tarheels proved to be their own worst enemy though as with the bases loaded, Mindy Cowles made it home from third off of a passed ball.

 

Desiree Serrano came through yet again in the ninth pitching the whole game and putting the Tarheels away with two strikeouts and a foul-out to finish the game with a score of 4-3 and keep ASU undefeated on the season at 14-0 while giving the Tarheels only their second loss of the season as they fall to 9-2.

 

The Devils will play a second game of the day against the #20 Tigers or Auburn who also came into the tournament 9-1 immediately following their North Carolina game.

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