Sun Devil Softball Sweeps Pac-10 Honors This Week

Feb. 19, 2008

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - ARIZONA STATE junior and senior Kaitlin Cochran and Katie Burkhart have both been honored this week as the Pac-10 Player and Pitcher of the Week in response to their efforts on the diamond last weekend as announced by Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen today.

Cochran, a Yorba Linda, Calif. native, drove the Sun Devils to an 8-0 record at the Kajikawa Classic this week, hitting an astonishing .650 (13-of-20) with nine extra base hits, including two home runs.

The reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year showed the poise to defend that title as she drove in 11 runs in the eight games, including a four RBI performance against Southern Utah and a three RBI day against Memphis. Cochran recorded at least one RBI in six of the Sun Devils eight games. She also stole two bases and scored 12 runs.

Cochran currently sits fourth in the Conference with a .471 batting average, but leads the Conference in slugging percentage (1.250) and runs scored (17).
 
Arizona States potent offensive attack won five of its eight games over the week by run-rule. The Sun Devils have jumped out to an 11-1 record, their lone loss a 2-1 setback to UNLV on the road. They have outscored their opponents 99-21 and are hitting .381 as a team for the season.
 
The award is Cochran's fourth of her career.
 
Burkhart, a native of San Luis Obispo, Calif., has shown why she is the defending Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year with her early season dominance in the circle. In her three appearances this week, the hurler tossed 19 shutout innings in three complete games, piling up 41 strikeouts in the process and allowing only six hits, a .094 batting average against.

The weekend began with Burkharts best performance, a 6-0 shutout of Western Michigan in which Burkhart struck out 18 of the 26 batters she faced, allowing only three hits and striking out the side three times.

Burkhart continued to roll the rest of the weekend, blanking both Nebraska and Texas State. She recorded 12 more strikeouts against the Huskers in only five innings and 11 against Texas State to cap off her tournament.

Burkhart is coming off of a season which saw her break the school record for wins (35) and lead the Pac-10 in ERA (1.11) and batting average against (.138).

Coming off the impressive week, the Sun Devils rose two spots to second in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and also moved up one spot to 4th in the USA Today/NFCA Poll. Arizona State hosts the Littlewood Classic this week, beginning Fri., Feb. 22 with Buffalo and continuing with four other games until its exhibition with Team Canada on Feb. 26.

This is Burkharts seventh career Pitcher of the Week honor and with a sweep of the accolades this week by her and teammate Kaitlin Cochran, the Sun Devils have now received 53 awards all time.

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