Softball Blanks Penn State in Hempstead Regional Championship

May 21, 2006

HEMPSTEAD, NY - Powered by Katie Burkhart's four-hitter and 12 strikeouts and a solid Sun Devil offense that posted eight hits and five runs, the #7 ASU Softball team defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions 5-0 Sunday in the Hempstead Regional Championship Game to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals. The Sun Devils went undefeated on the weekend to push their record to 50-13 and drop PennState to 39-17.


The Sun Devil plated one first in the third as a lead-off single from Heidi Knabe was pushed to second by a sac bunt from Bianca Cruz and brought home on a RBI single to left field from Jessica Mapes as pinch runner Delenah Langley dove in headfirst around the tag to push ASU up 1-0.


The Sun Devils dug in to rattle off four runs in the fourth with hits from Rhiannon Baca, Mindy Cowles and a two-run RBI single from Bianca Cruz with the bases loaded, with Baca, Knabe, Cowles and Cruz all being plated in the inning to take a 5-0 lead after four innings.


The Nittany Lions threatened in the sixth after two hits and a Sun Devil error placed runners on second and third, but Burkhart forced a ground out and a fly out to end the inning and keep PennState scoreless. The Lions put runners on first and second in the seventh with a lead-off hit from left fielder, Danielle Kinley and a hit batter, but Burkhart settled in to force a ground out before striking out two to end the game.


The Sun Devils will return home now to prepare for Super Regionals which will be held this weekend at ASU at Farrington Stadium against the winner of the Georgia Regional.

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