No. 7 Softball Splits First Two Games At The NIST

March 8, 2002

PLEASANTON, Calif. - The seventh-ranked Arizona State softball team (20-5) split its first two games in pool play today at the National Invitational Softball Tournament, falling to host San Jose State, 1-0 and shutting out Buffalo, 2-0.

In the first game, Arizona State out hit the Spartans 7-3, but left eight runners on base, five in scoring position. San Jose State was limited to three hits, but scored the game's only run in the bottom of the third. Carol Forbes, who was also the winning pitcher, opened the inning with a double to left center. After a sacrifice to move Forbes to third, Becca Baldridge pop a single just over the third baseman's head and out of the reach of left fielder Jennifer Forner to plate Forbes the eventual winning run.

In the fifth inning, ASU had runners on first and second, but were unable to score. With one out in the seventh, Forner singled up the middle and then advanced to second on a Kristin Farber ground out. Forner then advanced to third on a wild pitch. However, Nichole Thompson hit a hard infield shot to the SJSU third basman who picked it off the ground to throw Thompson out at first to end the threat and game.

Kirsten Voak (5-3) suffered the loss, despite allowing only three hits with nine strikeouts.

In the second game against Buffalo, Kristen Swetel (2-0) posted her first complete game shutout of the year as she held the Bulls in check on four hits.

The Sun Devils posted their two runs in the third inning. Forner started the frame with a walk and then stole second. Farber then reached first on an infield hit, advancing Forner to third. After Farber stole second, Thompson singled to right field to drive in Forner and move Farber to third. Kara Brun followed with a deep sacrifice fly to center field to score Farber.

Buffalo never threatened as ASU turned two double plays and stole four bases.

Up next, Arizona State will end pool play tonight at 8:00 p.m. (Pacific) against Northern Iowa. ASU will then get placed in bracket play, which will begin at 10:00 a.m. Saturday.

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