This Year in Pac-10 Softball

June 10, 2008

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ARIZONA STATE CLAIMS FIRST NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year Katie Burkhart was nearly perfect throughout the Women's College World Series and ARIZONA STATE'S juggernaut went undefeated (5-0) through the WCWS to win the first National Championship in program history and the 20th softball championship in the 26 years the Conference has sponsored the sport. Key hits by Jackie Vasquez, Kristen Donnenwirth and the intimidation factor of Pac-10 Player of the Year Kaitlin Cochran contributed to the dominant Sun Devil performance as well...UCLA finished the season going 1-2 in the WCWS, its sole win coming over ARIZONA, who could not claim its third-straight title, going 0-2 in the series.

WOMEN'S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES RESULTS

May 29
ARIZONA STATE 3, Alabama 1
UCLA 1, ARIZONA 0
Lousiana Lafayette 3, Florida 2
Texas A&M 1, Virginia Tech 0

May 30
ARIZONA STATE 4, UCLA 0
Texas A&M 2, Louisiana-Lafayette 1

May 31
Alabama 5, ARIZONA 1
Florida 2, UCLA 0
Florida 2, Virginia Tech 0
Alabama 3, Louisiana Lafayette 1

June 1
ARIZONA STATE 3, Alabama 1
Florida 6, Texas A&M 1
Texas A&M 1, Florida 0

June 2
ARIZONA STATE 3, Texas A&M 0

June 3
ARIZONA STATE 11, Texas A&M 0

TEAM-BY-TEAM NOTES

ARIZONA (41-19, 13-8): For the first time since 1986, the Championship final did not feature either Arizona or UCLA as the defending national champion Wildcats were dispatched after two games in the Women's College World Series for the first time since 1990 after losses to UCLA and Alabama. Taryne Mowatt struck out 13 over the two games of her stellar career, but was unable to get out of several jams. The Wildcats left 13 runners on base in the two losses.

ARIZONA STATE (66-5, 18-3): For the first time in school history the Sun Devils captured the NCAA Championship using the same formula of superb pitching and tenacious offense that also won the first Pac-10 Championship in school history. Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year Katie Burkhart went 5-0 in the WCWS, including striking out 13 to win her 11th straight decision, firing back-to-back shutouts to close out Texas A&M in the best-of-three championship series...Pac-10 Player of the Year Kaitlin Cochran finally got her chance to swing the bat in the Championship game after being intentionally walked six times in the WCWS, lifting a three-run home run in the deciding game as ASU crushed Texas A&M 11-0, the largest margin of victory ever in the championship series.

CALIFORNIA (43-27, 7-14): The Golden Bears faced an uphill battle against the unanimously No. 1 ranked University of Florida and the Bears fell short of the WCWS after being swept by the Gators by a score of 4-2 in both contests ... Valerie Arioto finished the season with 71 hits, six shy for the fourth most in a single season in school history. Her 55 runs are the second most for a season in program history ... Cal's 280 RBI is a new single season program record, eclipsing last year's record of 278.

OREGON (35-29, 5-16): The Ducks faced a daunting task in the Norman, Okla. regional and after dropping their opening game against the host Sooners, rallied with victories over Tulsa and Arkansas to gain entry into the regional championship game, a rematch with Oklahoma. The Sooners came out firing in the final, dropping the Ducks 11-0 in six innings... Duck senior Alicia Cook (17-14) started her third game in as many days. Altogether, the Elmira, Ore., native and team's pitcher of the year pitched 15.1 of the 26 innings in the weekend's four games and went 1-2 with a shutout and save, struck out nine and walked three.

OREGON STATE (28-31, 6-15): The Beavers were the lone Pac-10 team to not make the NCAA Tournament, surprisingly after a 2-1 final weekend that included wins over No. 24/24 Washington and No. 3/3 UCLA ... Senior Cambria Miranda finishes her OSU career second in school history in home runs (42) and stolen bases (44) and sixth in RBI (120).

STANFORD (49-15, 11-10): On their second long road trip of the NCAA Tournament, the Cardinal's run came to an end in College Station, Texas as the Texas A&M Aggies were able to dispatch the Cardinal 6-1 and 9-4 in the super regionals ... Michelle Smith hit her 40th career home run in the final at bat of her Stanford career, becoming just the second player in Stanford history to hit 40 career home runs, joining Olympic gold medalist Jessica Mendoza with the landmark feat ... Junior pitcher Missy Penna finishes the season with 37 wins, second only behind ASU's Burkhart.

UCLA (51-9, 17-4): UCLA picked up a gritty 1-0 win over Arizona to open the tournament, thanks in large part to senior pitcher Anjelica Selden who struck out nine in the effort, but the Bruins dropped back-to-back contests to Arizona State and Florida to finish the WCWS tied for fifth place. Selden struck out 27 over the three games, finishing her career with the most strikeouts in school history and eighth most in Division I history, with 1,441 punch-outs. She is also first in appearances and second in innings pitched, wins and complete games in UCLA history.

WASHINGTON (30-25-1, 7-14): The Huskies pulled off victories over the Texas Longhorns but were unable to overcome the pitching of Angel Shamblin and the No. 11 Houston Cougars as UW was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament after the regional round ... Senior pitcher Caitlin Noble tallied seven strikeouts in her final career appearance which moved her career total to 757 and to No. 4 all-time at Washington ... Morgan Stuart hit her seventh home run of the season in the deciding game and finished tied for the team lead with Alicia Blake.

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