#7 Softball Heads to Tucson For Part One of the 'Duel In The Desert'

April 4, 2007

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This Week

The No. 7 Sun Devil Softball squad will hit the road again this weekend

as they set to face a two game series against their in-state and Pac-

10 rival, the

fifth-ranked Arizona Wildcats. The Sun Devil will look for

their

first win in Tucson since 1991 and only their second win against

the `Cats since 2002. Both games will be played at 7 p.m. PT with

Saturday's match-up to be televised on ESPN2 with Eric Collins and Cat

Osterman calling the game.

Series History

The rivalry between these two stories programs is one of the oldest in

softball history as it dates back to their

fi rst meeting in 1971. And while

the Arizona Wildcats have enjoyed more NCAA titles than the Sun Devils,

from 1971-1974 the Sun Devils went 12-0 in their

fi rst 12 meetings

before the `Cats took one. The Sun Devils won 16 straight against the

`Cats from 1978-1981 as well. It actually took the `Cats a decade to get

10 wins against ASU, with ASU holding the series record at 45-10 by the

end of 1981.

Even with the history and prestige of the Arizona program, the

`Cats only hold a narrow edge over the Sun Devils in the all-time record.

The Sun Devils are only 11 games back in the series versus the `Cats

with a 79-90 record overall. Friday's meeting against the `Cats will be

the 140th time ASU has matched up with Arizona on the diamond.

The Sun Devils have also enjoyed a

fi rst in their history with

their rivals this year as earlier this season the Sun Devils reached their

highest ranking yet in history with a #2 ranking in both polls...the

fi rst

time ever they've been ranked higher than the `Cats!

This isn't the Last You've Seen of Us!

Last year against the `Cats the Sun Devils went 1-2, winning their

fi rst

game against the `Cats since 2002 and their

fi rst conference game

against them since 2000. In Tempe on April 14, in front of a record-setting

crowd of 1,689 the Sun Devil's went into the bottom of the seventh

down by two before Sharee Zaleski hit a two run bomb off Alicia Hollowell

to tie it up and push it to extra innings. The Sun Devils decided

to win that game in dramatic fashion as Rhiannon Baca took Hollowell

deep again in a shot that hit off the scoreboard to win it in the bottom

of the 11th.

Up Next

ASU will return home next weekend for their

fi rst home Pac-10 stand

where they'll face the Cal Bears and Stanford Cardinal on April 13-15.

The Friday, April 13 7 p.m. game versus Cal will be taped by Fox Sports

Net and aired on Sunday, April 15 at 1 p.m. on FSN.

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 three in the Top-10 alone.

Non-Stop Until they reach the top

In the

first polls of 2006, the Sun Devils were ranked fi fth

in in both the NFCA and USA Softball polls. The Sun Devils

have already enjoyed a new record in the rankings section

for this year as they attained their highest ranking ever with

a #2 ranking coming in Week 2 and continuing until Week 5.

The ranking also marked the

first time the Sun Devils have

ever surpassed the Arizona Wildcats in ranking and only the

second time they have passed UCLA (Last was in 2002.)

Rankings By Weeks: (NFCA/USA Softball)

Week 1 - 5/5

Week 2 - 2/2

Week 3 - 2/3

Week 4 - 2/4

Week 5 - 3/6

Week 6 - 3/6

Week 7 - 6/8

Week 8 - 7/9

Week 9 - 7/9

Leaders of the Pac

After eight weeks of play the Sun Devils have found themselves

at the top of the Pac-10. Tied in wins with Oregon, the

Sun Devils are also dotting their names in both team and

individual standings.

Pac-10 Team Offensive Standings:

Hits - FIRST (355)

Slugging Percentage - Third (.497)

Home Runs - FIRST (53)

Stolen Bases - Third (61)

RBIs - FIRST (265)

On-base Percentage - Third (.409)

Runs Scored - FIRST (275)

Triples - Fourth (5)

Total Bases - FIRST (576)

Walks - FIRST (188)

Doubles - Second (52)

Batting Average - Third (.306)

Pac-10 Team Defensive Standings:

Batters struck out - FIRST (398)

Batters struck out looking - FIRST (111)

Doubles allowed - FIRST (18)

Opposing batting avg. - FIRST (.182)

Wins - FIRST (36)

Triples allowed - Second (1)

ERA - Fourth (1.60)

Pac-10 Individual Offensive Standings:

Kaitlin Cochran:

Hits - FIRST (64)

On-Base Percentage - FIRST (.613)

Runs Scored - FIRST (48)

Total Bases - FIRST (113)

Slugging Percentage - FIRST (.911)

Batting Average - Second (.516)

Doubles - Second (12)

Walks - Second (28)

Home Runs - Second (11)

Triples - Third (2)

RBIs - Fourth (42)

Stolen Bases - Fourth (22)

Bianca Cruz:

RBIs - Second (51)

Home Runs - Fourth (9)

Total Bases - Fifth (77)

Hits - Eighth (42)

Pac-10 Individual Defensive Standings:

Katie Burkhart:

Batters Struck Out - FIRST (272)

Batters Struck Out Looking - FIRST (62)

Opposing Batting Average - FIRST (.184)

Triples Allowed - FIRST (0)

Doubles Allowed - Second (6)

ERA - Second (.094)

Saves - Second (2)

Wins - Third (18)

Sophomore Slump?

Sophomore First-Team All-American, Kaitlin Cochran has kicked

off her sophomore season the same way she did her freshman:

phenomenally. Some of her stats include:

Hits:

Current: 64 (Leads Pac-10)

Career: 147 -19 shy of 14th place in ASU Career History

2006: 83 total - 3 shy of ASU Single-Season Record

Doubles:

Current: 12 - Ties her for 12th all-time in ASU History

Career: 20 - 5 short of 10th place in ASU Career History

Triples:

Current: 2- (Tied for 2nd in Pac-10)

Career: 6 - 5 short of 7th place in ASU Career History

Home Runs:

Current: 11 (2nd in the Pac-10)

Career: 28 (Tied for third in ASU Career Records)

2006: 17 (New ASU Single-Season Record)

Team With a Dream:

While the 2007 Sun Devil Softball team is chasing the currently

elusive NCAA title, they have other goals in mind. In the 2006 season

they broke almost every offensive record in ASU history, and

they're looking to break them yet again. Some of the records they

are currently chasing are:

Runs:

ASU Season Record: 307 - Set in 2006

Current total: 275

Doubles:

ASU Season Record: 82 - Set in 1999

Current total: 52

Home Runs:

ASU Season Record: 66 - Set in 2006

Current: 53

RBIs:

ASU Season Record: 285 - Set in 2006

Current: 265

BB:

ASU Season Record: 228 - Set in 2006

Current: 188

Wins:

Record: 53 - Set in 2006

Current: 36

Shutouts:

Record: 24 - Set in 2006

Current: 12

Hits Allowed:

Record: 201 - Set in 1986

Current: 193

Strikeouts:

Record: 666 - Set in 2006

Current: 398

Sun Devils to watch

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

its `Top 25 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. On the top 25 in

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

Cochran and senior third-baseman, Bianca Cruz. Burkhart and Cochran were also named to the ESPN.com Pre-season All-American List.

Burkhart has also claimed Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors twice already this season, the

first week of the season and Cochran has claimed the award twice this season as well.

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 53 (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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