#9 Softball Hosts First-Ever Field Trip Day With Doubleheaders Against UNLV and UTEP

March 22, 2006

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Leading Off:

The #9 Devils added four straight wins to their record over the weekend after coming back from two early losses at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton to come back and claim the consolation bracket championship over the Utah Utes 1-0. The Devils also defeated Cal State Fullerton 4-2, #10 Louisiana-Lafayette 5-2 and #23 FresnoState 8-1 in the tournament while suffering two losses to Notre Dame and FloridaState.  The Sun Devils brought in 20 runs off of 39 hits, three of which were doubles and two of which were home runs over the weekend to bring them to a Pac-10 leading total of 199 on the season.  ASU also drove in 18 RBI and went 10-10 in stolen bases as they lead the Pac-10 in both categories as well with 184 RBI and 73 stolen bases. 


The Sun Devils hurlers also compiled an 1.02 ERA on the weekend with Burkhart allowing only one unearned run in two games. The pitching squad gave up only five earned runs the whole weekend and tallied 62 strikeouts, with Desiree Serrano doing the lion share with 38 over the weekend, putting her season total at 142 for the season.


On Deck:

The Devils will remain at home this weekend as they are set to face off against the UNLV Rebels (13-19) in a doubleheader Friday with the first game starting at 11 a.m. and the second beginning 20 minutes after the conclusion of the first. For the first time, ASU will hold `Field Trip Day' where the Sun Devils expect to host over 800 Maricopa County children with hopes to 'find a fun way to bring kids to campus and create a memorable experience for them', according to Head Coach, Clint Myers.


Also on tap for the Sun Devils is yet another doubleheader as they will play host to the UTEP Miners (11-18) on Wednesday, March 29 with the first game to kick-off at 5 p.m. at ASU's Farrington Stadium in Tempe.


Series History:

The Devils lead the all-time series history against the Rebels 15-5 with a 4-2 win over the Rebels in their last meeting at the UNLV Invitational on March 4 earlier this year.  ASU will face the Miners for the first time when UTEP rolls into Tempe.



Playing With Fire:

ASU leads the Pac-10 Conference in seven offensive categories: runs scored (199), hits (272), runs batted in (184), home runs (38), walks (137), stolen bases (73) and total bases (424) after 35 games and six weeks of play.


Freshman Kaitlin Cochran in her first season of collegiate softball, has exploded onto the scene to claim the first Pac-10 Player of the Week award of the season. The Yorba Linda, Calif. native thus far has batted 48-98 (.490) at the plate with eight home runs, four triples, two doubles, 247runs scored and 45 RBI. Cochran's 45 RBI have put her on a record-shattering pace, as the ASU season record for RBI is 58. 


After six weeks of tournament play, Cochran continues to lead the Pac-10 in batting average (.490), on-base percentage (.579), hits (48), total bases (82) and RBI (45).


Her fellow Devils are no slackers either as teammate Michelle Smith is first in the Pac-10 scoring 35 runs. Smith is also leading the Pac-10 in stolen bases with 29 on the season and is only four stolen bags from tying the ASU single-season record of 33.


The Sun Devil pitching squad is also coming up huge for ASU this year as Ashley Werschky is currently tied for second place in ERA in the Pac-10 with a .57 average and fifth place with an .150 opponent batting average, and her fellow Devils Katie Burkhart also made the list in fifth place with a .80 ERA and fourth with an 1.43 opponent batting average and Desiree Serrano in eighth with an 1.05 ERA.


Katie Burkhart also tied for the #4 spot for batters struck out with 157, with teammate Desiree Serrano in the #7 spot with 142. Burkhart and Serrano are tied for fourth with 13 wins apiece.


The Votes Are In:

After starting off the season un-ranked, the Devils have not-so-quietly exploded into the top 25, with a #22 ranking after their first week of play and jumping rapidly into the #15/16 (USA Today-ESPN/NFCA) positions after just two weeks of play followed by a #12/13 ranking with yet another jump up this week to the #10/11 spots in the USA Today-ESPN/NFCA ranking last week and retaining those positions last week before jumping to #9 in both polls this week.


Statistics 101:

The 2006 squad has already begun to show promise in breaking records as they have as a team has hit 38 home runs in 35 games, already superseding their total of 34 from last year's entire season.  The Sun Devils have also batted in 184 RBI, which is more than last year's season total of 158. ASU has already shown their speed and confidence on the base-paths as well, going 73-84 in stolen base attempts, where last season they only stole 34 bases all season.  Last season's Sun Devils only scored 177 runs total on the season, while currently they have 199 runs on the season with 272 hits and a slugging percentage of .461 while posting a 6.80 ERA on their opposing pitchers.  The Sun Devil defense has also held its opponents to only 43 runs off of 146 hits and a .170 batting average.


On Fire in the Fourth:

The Sun Devils have found their groove in the middle of games as the majority of their runs scored (42) have come in the fourth inning against opponents.


It's Getting Drafty in Here...

ASU's own senior pitcher, Desiree Serrano was drafted into the National Professional Fastpitch League in February by ASU's own in-state team, the Arizona Heat. The Heat also drafted Arizona pitcher Alicia Hollowell and Stanford shortstop, Lauren Lappin. 


Tough Schedule/Tougher Conference:

The Sun Devils as always find themselves competing against some of the best softball teams in the world, in arguably the hardest softball conference in the world in the Pac-10. Currently, seven of the eight teams of the Pac-10 are ranked in the top 25, including the number 1, 2, 5, 6, 8 and 9 seeds.  Since the Women's College World Series began in 1981, 17 of 24 National Champions have been Pac-10 teams, in 10 of those championship games, both teams were Pac-10 teams.


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