Sun Devil Softball Headed Eastbound for Third-Consecutive Women's College World Series Trip

May 24, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. - With eight hits for nine runs and Katie Burkhart striking out 10 while allowing only three hits through six complete innings, the 2008 Arizona State Softball team left no doubt where their season would end this year as they took a six-inning 9-0 win over the No. 11 Northwestern Wildcats to seal their third consecutive NCAA Women's College World Series appearance. ASU will enter the series 61-5 overall on the year and 5-0 in NCAA Tournament play while Northwestern's 2008 campaign comes to a close with a 40-16 overall record and 3-3 record in NCAA Tournament play.

 

ASU came out blazing as they took at 2-0 lead in the top of the first as back-to-back walks to Kaitlin Cochran and Jackie Vasquez cost the `Cats dearly as a wild pitch advanced the runners before freshman Lesley Rogers stepped-up hitting clean-up to do exactly that as she cleared the bases launching a 3-1 pitch to left center for a two-RBI double for a lead ASU never relinquished.

 

The Sun Devil offense wasn't ready to pipe down yet though as they added another two runs in the second with a lead-off walk to Mandy Urfer followed with an intentional walk to Kaitlin Cochran who were both plated by Krista Donnenwirth's double down the left line to push the lead to 4-0. With those two RBIs Donnenwirth also set a new ASU single-season RBI record, as her current 69 on the year top Bianca Cruz's 67 from 2007.

 

After the second inning Katie Burkhart settled in, allowing only two more base runners for the rest of the game with a flawless three-up, three-down fifth and sixth inning, before her offense tore it open in the sixth inning with after Lesley Rogers pulled a bases-loaded walk before the ASU career home run leader, Mindy Cowles swung at the first pitch only to correct her mistake and launch the next pitch to left field for a grand slam and shutting the door on the `Cats. Burkhart finished out the game to take her 36th win of the season, which is also a new ASU single-season record for pitchers as well as breaking the record for shutouts in a season as ASU collected their 25th on the year.

 

After the game Head Coach Clint Myers had nothing but praise for the team stating, 'We have great leadership this year. It's the players' club. We are trying to establish a philosophy and tradition. This is the first [senior] class that has really taken it to heart. They set a perfect example. They are role models. You bring your son or daughter to a game and watch these kids play, you understand how to play sports.  With your heart and your mind and your commitment and desire. All of these intangibles our seniors possess. Each day there is a different hero. It is going to be a fun trip.'

 

Senior Mindy Cowles summed up the sentiment of this year's trip to the Women's College World Series saying, 'The other years we went to Oklahoma City knowing we were there with seven great teams. This year we think we are the great team, that we are the one. Our attitude has changed from previous years.'

 

The Sun Devils will now await to see when their first game will take place in Oklahoma City, which will slate them against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

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