No. 10 Softball Competes At The KIA Klassic Tournament
March 14, 2001
ON TAP: The 10th-ranked Arizona State softball team (21-7) will head to Fullerton, California to participate in the Kia Klassic Softball Tournament, March 15-18.
ABOUT THE KIA: Sixteen of the nation's top teams will be broken into four pools. The Sun Devils will play in Pool C against host and ninth-ranked Cal State Fullerton, 11th-ranked DePaul and North Carolina. ASU will begin pool play on Thursday, March 15 against DePaul at 11:00 a.m. and Cal State Fullerton at 5:00 p.m. The Sun Devils will end pool play on Friday against North Carolina at 9:00 a.m. After pool play is completed, bracket play will begin with the No. 1 team from Pool C playing the No. 4 team from Pool B (Arizona, Louisiana-Lafayette, UNLV, Cal State Northridge)/the No. 2 seed plays the No. 3 seed from B/No. 3 seed will play the No. 2 seed from B/No. 4 seed from C plays the No. 1 seed from B. Depending on where ASU finishes they will either play later Friday night at 7:00 p.m. or on Saturday at 9:00 or 11:00 a.m. Last year, the Sun Devils won its pool and posted an overall record of 4-1.
LAST TIME OUT: ASU posted a 4-2 record, falling in the semifinal game at the National Invitational Softball Tournament in Sunnyvale, Calif. The Sun Devils defeated Santa Clara in a mercy rule, six-inning game, 9-1 to open pool play, and then defeated Sacramento State, 5-1. Against Santa Clara, ASU jumped all over the Broncos in the first inning as they scored five times. The Sun Devils would end the game under the eight run mercy rule in the sixth inning when they scored two more times. Kirsten Voak and Kristen Swetel combined to limit the Broncos to three hits, while ASU scattered a season-high 16 hits. In the second game, each team held each other at bay until ASU batted in the bottom of the sixth inning when they unloaded another five run barrage. Sacramento State would score one run in the seventh inning, but Beach closed the door for her 11th complete game of the year. Behind a combined two-hit pitching performance from All-Americans Beach and Voak, ASU shut out Purdue, 5-0 to win the pool. ASU scattered 10 hits, while Beach and Voak limited the Boilermakers to two hits. ASU scored once in the first, second, fifth and twice in the sixth inning to seal the win. Brun went 1-for-2 with two runs scored, continuing her hitting streak to 12 games. Beach started the game, going three innings on two hits. Voak then slammed the door for the final four innings as she struck out seven of the 12 batters she faced. Against Iowa, the Hawkeye's scored the first run in the second inning, however, ASU responded in the sixth inning with three runs on five hits. Three of the hits and two of the runs all came with two outs. Voak went the distance, allowing four hits, one unearned run with six strikeouts. Against fourth-ranked California, ASU out hit the Cal 4-2, but a two-run first inning by Cal was all the scoring the game featured. In the fourth and fifth innings, the Sun Devils had runners in scoring position, but couldn't plate anyone. ASU dropped its final game against Iowa in the by a 2-0 score. For the second straight game, ASU out hit their opponents 5-2, but was unable to score any runs. ASU stranded six runners, three in scoring position.
HEAD COACH LINDA WELLS: Arizona State's storied tradition of softball excellence continues to flourish under the tutelage of 12th-year head coach Linda Wells, one of the most prominent and successful coaches in NCAA history. Last year, Wells' achieved a coaching milestone that few can or will ever obtain, winning 700 career games. The Sun Devils earned Wells her 700th win with a 8-3 win over Cal State Fullerton (2/13/00). The team also tied school-records in the national polls reaching as high as No. 3 and for posting the most wins in a single season with 43. Wells also tutored six players on the Pac-10 All-Conference team, the most since the 1997 season. Wells has now coached 52 all- conference players during her tenure at Arizona State, averaging nearly five All-Pac-10 selections every season. Wells is currently the eighth-most successful active coach in NCAA Division I history with a 758-592-1 career record. She has led the Sun Devils to eight NCAA Regional appearances in 11 seasons, including her first trip to the College World Series in 1999. While at ASU, Wells has compiled 407 victories and has had five players earn a total of eight All-American awards.
LIFE'S A BEACH: Junior pitcher/designated player Erica Beach continues to have a stellar career as a Sun Devil. This year Beach is 11-4, including six shutouts and a 1.04 ERA with 75 strikeouts. She has thrown two one-hitters, had a scoreless streak of 27 innings and has tied her career-high in strikeouts (7) four different times. Beach posted a 3-1 record at the NFCA Leadoff Classic and was named on the all-tournament team. Offensively, Beach is batting .315 with two doubles, a team-high 14 walks and four home runs (two over 250 ft.) and has tallied 18 RBIs. Beach also became ASU's all-time home run hitter as she hit her 17th career shot against Indian State. She is also third all-time with 105 RBIs. After earning NFCA first-team All-American honors as a freshman, Beach claimed first-team All-Pacific Region honors and was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 pick as a sophomore.
VOAK'S RESUME: Two-time junior All-American pitcher/designated player Kirsten Voak is also looking to pick up where she left off last season. Currently at 7-2 with a 0.78 earned-run average, Voak already has pitched a perfect game (fourth career no hitter), struck out 51 batters in 45 innings and has issued just three walks. She is also holding opponents to a .101 batting average. After two ASU record-setting seasons (24 wins, 314 strikeouts/Fr.), (30 wins, 316 strikeouts/So.) Voak garnered her second NFCA All-American honor, was a first-team All-Pac-10 and second-team All-Pacific Region selection and was named the team's MVP and Pitcher of the Year. Last year Voak earned three Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors (2/22), (3/17), (4/3) and was named to the NFCA Leadoff Classic and NIST All-Tournament teams. She's currently third all-time in career wins (61) and second all-time in career strikeouts (681). She has also tallied 15 career double-digit strikeout games.
Voak's Career Double-Digit Strikeout Games (15):15 -- Oregon, 7 innings (4/2/00)15 -- Central Michigan, 8.1 innings (5/20/99)14 -- Utah, 7.1 innings (3/13/99)13 -- Santa Clara, 7 innings (3/10/00)13 -- Florida Atlantic, 7 innings (5/22/99)12 -- UNLV, 7 innings (3/26/00)12 -- Iowa, 7 innings (3/17/00)12 -- Portland State, 7 innings (2/26/00)12 -- Nebraska, 7 innings (2/13/99)12 -- Oregon State, 6 innings (4/24/99)12 -- Washington, 8 innings (4/10/99)11 -- Utah, 7 innings (3/10/00)11 -- Illinois State, 7 innings (2/20/00)10 -- Oregon, 7 innings (4/25/99)10 -- Utah, 7 innings (3/18/99)
FRESHMEN TRIO: Freshmen Kristin Farber, Phelan Wright and Kristen Swetel have all made immediate impacts early on this year. Combined the three are batting .384 (71-for-185) with 30 runs scored, six doubles, two home runs, 26 RBIs and eight stolen bases. Farber leads the team with a .404 average, while Swetel is 3-1 with a 0.64 earned-run average.
HOT BAT: Over the last six games, Phelan Wright has raised her batting average 51 points to a team-second best .384. Wright, who currently holds a nine game hitting streak (second longest on the team this year) collected nine hits, including two doubles with five RBI's. She batted .530 at the National Invitational Softball Tournament, earning all-tournament honors.
CAREER/ALL-TIME MILESTONES: Beach needs 11 RBIs for the all-time record ... Voak needs 126 strikeouts for the all-time record and 21 more wins for the school record ... Hixon needs 13 more doubles for the all-time record ... Arizona State, as a program, needs eight more wins to reach 900 in its history ... Beach needs six more wins to set a new career record (17)
BRUN'S A HIT: Sophomore shortstop Kara Brun, who made an immediate impact as a freshman, offensively and defensively, is picking up right where she left off. Brun's currently batting .344 with 31 hits and a team-high five doubles. She also has three home runs and 23 RBIs, also a team-high. Brun has tallied nine multiple hit games and six multiple RBI games (team high). She also held the team's longest hitting streak (12). At shortstop, Brun has committed only one error for a .991 fielding percentage and leads the team with 68 assists. In the ASU record book, she is already fourth all-time with 11 home runs and eighth all-time with 21 doubles. As a freshman, Brun earned All-Pac-10 second team accolades, was selected to the Region V All-Tournament team and was named the team's Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year. At the plate, Brun led the team in batting average (.352), hits (68), doubles (16), runs (44), total bases (108), and was second in RBIs (38). Brun also tied the single-season record in home runs (8). Brun posted 18 multi-hit games, eight multi-RBI games and held a team-high 16 game hitting streak.
A PERFECT START: In Arizona State's first game of the year, junior All-American pitcher Kirsten Voak claimed only Arizona State's second perfect game in school history as she blanked Utah State, 10-0 in five innings. Voak struckout nine batters with only two balls leaving the infield. For her effort, Voak was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week (Feb. 5-11). It was Voak's first perfect game and fourth career no hitter.
DYNAMIC DUO: Juniors Missy Hixon and Nichole Thompson, who play second base and center field respectively, each contribute in similar ways. Hixon, a two-time All-Pac-10 selection, is a three-year starter and has played in 155 career games ... she has produced 143 hits, five home runs, scored 75 runs and recorded 54 RBIs ... Hixon has also tallied 27 career doubles and stole 12 bases. Thompson, also a three-year starter, earned All-Pac-10 honors her freshman year and was an All-Pacific Region choice as a sophomore ... Thompson holds a career .325 batting average in 152 games ... she has produced 153 hits, scored 101 runs and recorded 48 RBIs ... Thompson has also tallied 17 doubles, three triples, stole 23 bases and has sacrificed 32 times.
DEVIL NOTES: ASU starts one senior, sometimes none at all ... eight players hold a cumulative grade-point average above 3.0 ... ASU has outscored its opponents 135-43 ... ASU pitchers are holding opponents to a .149 average ... ASU has walked 72 times ... 11 players have three or more RBIs this year with six players recording in double digits ... 12 of ASU's 21 wins have been shutouts ... Kristin Farber is batting .448 with runners on base ... Missy Hixon is batting .526 with runners in scoring position ... Phelan Wright has tallied 12 RBIs with two outs ... catcher Stacey Farnworth has thrown out four out of seven base runners attempting to steal and has picked off three runners ... seven different players have hit at least one home run ... six of ASU's seven losses have been by either one or two runs.
TOUGH SCHEDULE/TOUGHER CONFERENCE: As in any season, Arizona State will face many of the nation's top programs, including seven of its first 14 games against top-25 competition. Within the toughest conference in the nation, the Pacific-10, ASU will face a nationally-ranked team every time out. Seven of the eight Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top-14, including the top three and five of the top 10 positions. Additionally for the second straight season, all eight teams made postseason appearances with four teams advancing to the College World Series.
MEDIA INFORMATION: All publicity for the ASU softball team are coordinated by Assistant Media Relations Director Will Phillips at (480) 965-1237. Any interviews with ASU softball players or coaches should be arranged through Phillips with at least 48 hours notice.