No. 2 Softball Hits the Road to the Judi Garmen Classic

March 14, 2007

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This Week

The Arizona State Sun Devil Softball team will begin to wrap up their tournament season this weekend as they head into their second-to-last tournament of the 2007 season hitting the road for the second time to California for the Judi Garmen Classic in Fullerton. The Sun Devils are slated to face off against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Fresno State and Louisiana-Lafayette before heading into bracket play on Saturday and Sunday.

Series History

Since 1995, the Sun Devils have compiled a 8-2 series history against the Fighting Irish, with their last meeting coming in last year's Judi Garmen Classic, which saw Notre Dame upset the Devils 3-2 with a seventh inning walk-off home run to win it.

Against the Bulldogs, Fresno State holds a rare lead over the Sun devils with ASU going 9-17 against FSU since 1980. Their last meeting at the 2006 Judi Garmen Classic ended in an 8-1 win for ASU.

Against the Ragin' Cajuns, ASU is 3-1 all-time since their first meeting in 2001. They last met in last year's Judi Garmen Classic with ASU winning 5-2.

Up Next

The Sun Devils will take to the road in the middle of next week to face UTEP in a doubleheader on Wed, March 21 before returning home to play BYU on Thursday night in Tempe before hosting their final tournament of the year, the Diamond Devil Invitational. The Diamond Devil Invitational will include BYU, Illinois and Longwood.

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 all eight teams ranked in the top 25, with two 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. Week Two saw them jump up to No. 2, while last week saw ASU remain 2 in the NFCA poll and slip to #3 in the USA Softball Poll, despite being undefeated at 13-0. Even after a loss to Northwestern, the Sun Devils remained No. 2 in the NFCA Poll and slipped to No. 4 on the USA Softball Poll. Currently after suffering five weeks, the Sun Devils are now back to #2 and #4 in the polls. Last year, the Sun Devils finished ranked 6th 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 now made two consecutive postseason appearances and 20 since 1982, the fifth most in NCAA history.

Leaders of the Pac

After only three weeks of play the Sun Devils are already finding themselves at the top of the Pac-10. Leading in wins, the Sun Devils are also dotting their names in individual standings. Kaitlin Cochran is leading in batting average (.488), second in slugging percentage (.829), first in on-base percentage (.585), first in runs scored (26), first in hits (40), second in RBIs (30) (behind teammate Bianca Cruz in first with 37) and first triples (2) and in total bases with 68. Cochran also claimed the first Pac-10 Player of the Week of the season for the second time in her career.

Katie Burkhart is no slouch on the mound either as she is third in the Pac-10 in ERA (.86), second in opposing batting average (152), third in batters struck out (146), third in batters struck out looking (32), fourth in wins (11) and second in runs allowed (12) and hits allowed (43).

Burkhart has also claimed Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors twice already this season, the first week of the season and is the current holder of the award.

On offense, ASU is second in the Pac-10 in batting average (.327), slugging percentage (.517) and on-base percentage (.433) and home runs (31). The Sun Devils lead the Pac in runs scored (195), hits (242), RBIs (186) and stolen bases (50).

On defense, ASU is leading the Pac-10 in batters struck out (247), batters struck out looking (67) and wins (27).

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. The pair was also named to the ESPN.com Pre-season All-American List.

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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