No. 8 Softball Advances To The Semifinals Of The Silver Bracket

Feb. 23, 2002

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Behind a walk-off two-run homerun with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning by ASU's Kara Brun (her second of the game), the eighth-ranked Arizona State softball team (12-3) advanced to the semifinals of the Silver Bracket at the NFCA Leadoff Classic by defeating 19th-ranked Notre Dame, 3-2. In the earlier game, ASU topped 10th-ranked Michigan, 6-4 to advance as the second-seed into the Silver Bracket.

Against Notre Dame, the Irish jumped to a 2-0 lead in the third inning. ASU was held scoreless and had only three hits until the Sun Devils' broke through in the bottom of the sixth inning with a single run. Junior Kara Brun launched the first of her two home runs as she belted the first pitch she saw from Notre Dame's Carrie Winsen over the left field fence. In the bottom of the seventh, Brun provided the winning margin again. With two outs, Phelan Wright singled to keep the inning going for Brun. The shortstop from Glendale, Arizona, then stepped to the plate and smacked her second home run of the game (third of the tournament) to win the game for the Sun Devils in a thrilling fashion, 3-2.

Kirsten Voak started the game, going four innings before Erica Beach (8-1) came in relief for the final three innings, not allowing a hit.

Against Michigan, ASU jumped on the Wolverines early with three runs in the first inning. Nichole Thompson opened with a bunt, followed by an infield hit by Kristin Farber. Both runners then advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Thompson tried to get the first run across on a Missy Hixon fielder's choice, but was thrown out at the plate. However, Wright would step to the plate and double to right field, driving in Farber and Hixon. Wright would advance to third on another wild pitch, allowing Adriana Garcia's single to bring her in for the third run.

ASU would strike for three more runs in the third inning. After a Hixon walk and a Wright single, Brun crushed the second pitch she saw from the Michigan pitcher over the center field fence to up the score to 6-0.

Michigan would chip away at the lead with one in the fourth, off of a solo home run, and three more in the fifth to cut the lead to 6-4. Beach (7-1) started, going four and a third innings with five strikeouts before giving way to Kirsten Voak who finished the final two and two-thirds innings.

Up next, Arizona State advances to the semifinals on Sunday with another match up against Michigan at 10:00 a.m.

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