No. 2 Softball Claims Highest Ranking Ever; Sets to Host Littlewood Classic

Feb. 14, 2007

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Sun Devil History in the Making:

With the release of this week's NFCA and USA Softball Polls, for the first time ever ASU claimed its highest ranking as they were ranked second in both polls, beating their former highest rank of third in 2002. With the ranking came the first time in poll history that ASU has been ranked higher than it's in-state rival, Arizona, and only the second time in history that ASU has been ranked higher than Pac-10 powerhouse, UCLA, the last time coming in May of 2002.

 

This Week

The No.2 Arizona State Sun Devil Softball team will continue its 2007 campaign

this weekend as they host the Littlewood Classic at Farrington Stadium.

The tournament will feature IdahoState, UC Riverside, Iowa, IllinoisState and North Carolina. Games start at 9 a.m. and the Sun Devils will wrap up each day with games at 5:30 & 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night and at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information and schedules, please visit thesundevils.com .

 

History of the Littlewood Classic

From the beginning of Sun Devil Softball in 1967 to 1989, the founder and leader of ASU Softball was Head Coach, Mary Littlewood, who was a staple and founder of the majority of the women's sports at ASU today. Under Mary Littlewood, ASU won two championships and advanced to the College World Series nine times. Littlewood compiled a record of 551-222-1, with winning seasons each of her 22 years at the helm. The tournament is in its third year and is honored after the founder of Sun Devil Softball. Coach Littlewood will throw out the first pitch at ASU's first game Friday night.

 

Series History

Against the North Carolina Tarheels, the Sun Devils hold an edge of 4-0 all-time in series history, with their last meeting in 2001 ending in a 2-0 victory for the Sun Devils.

 

ASU also holds a 26-2 record over the Illinois State Redbirds, after meeting them and defeating them three times last season at the Littlewood Classic in Tempe.

 

Against the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Sun Devils hold a 17-10 series lead also meeting them four times in the 2006 season, topping them in all four match-ups.

 

ASU will meet IdahoState for only the second time in history, the last time being in 1979, where ASU won 11-1.

 

In another perfect record for the Devils, ASU holds a 5-0 lead over UC Riverside since their first meeting in 1985, the last time the two met was in 2003 with the Sun Devils winning 16-0 in five innings.

 

Up Next

The Sun Devils will hit the road for the first time in the 2007 season as they head to California for the Palm Springs Classic Feb. 23-25. In Palm Springs, the Devils are slated to match-up against Illinois-Chicago, Mississippi, OklahomaState, Long IslandUniversity and No. 6 National Championship Runner-Up Northwestern.

 

Where they Stack up

As always, the Sun Devils will play one of the toughest schedules

in the country, with the always powerful Pac-10 Conference

schedule. Currently, the Pac-10 has seven of the eight teams ranked

in the top 25, with five in the Top-10 alone.

 

Non-Stop Until they reach the Top

In the first polls of 2006, the Sun Devils were ranked fifth in

in both the NFCA and USA Softball polls, before jumping to their highest ranking ever of No. 2 in both polls this week.  Last year, the Sun

Devils finished ranked No. 6 in the country after posting an

53-15 overall record and advancing to the NCAA Women's

College World Series for the fifth time. The Sun Devils have

made two consecutive postseason appearances and 20

since 1982, the fifth most in NCAA history.

 

Sun Devils to watch

The Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, has selected

its initial 'Watch List' for the 6th Annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award. This

award, which is considered one of the most prestigious honors in women's collegiate softball, is designed

to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country. Already

on the list for this season are junior pitcher, Katie Burkhart and sophomore First-Team All-American,

Kaitlin Cochran.

 

At the Helm:

Head Coach Clint Myers enters his second season as the leader of Sun Devil Softball

after a 2006 campaign that saw the Sun Devils set offensive records in: wins

with 47(former record was 46 set in 2002), runs with 307 (former record was 294

in 1996), home runs 66 (former record was 45 set in 2003), RBIs with 285 (former

record was 259 in 1996), walks with 228 (former record was 180 in 2000) and

strikeouts pitched with 666 (former record was 415 in 2004 and 1999). The 2006

team also recorded an 11-10 record in conference play, their first winning record in

Pac-10 play since 1991, placing them fourth in the Pac-10 after finishing last the year

before and being picked to finish last in the coaches pre-season poll.

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