No. 8 Arizona State Softball Wins Wild Game Over No. 15 DePaul, 6-5
March 15, 2002
FULLERTON, Calif. - The eighth-ranked Arizona State softball team (26-6) defeated 15th-ranked DePaul, 6-5 today in a wild affair that saw the lead change three different times at the KIA Klassic Tournament. With the win, Arizona State posted an undefeated 3-0 record to win its pool and head into the championship bracket against Rutgers on Saturday.
ASU struck first with a single run in the first inning. After consecutive singles by Nichole Thompson and Phelan Wright, Kara Brun followed with another single to center to plate Thompson. The Sun Devils would tag one more run on in the third inning. Thompson again got the scoring going by opening the frame with a stand up triple. Wright then singled to left to drive in Thompson for the 2-0 edge.
However, the game would just get going in the fourth inning as DePaul's Gina Ramacci hit the first pitch she saw from Kristen Swetel over the left centerfield fence to tie the game at two. Erica Beach (16-3) then relived Swetel to end any other threat.
In the bottom of the fourth, Arizona State would take the lead again with two more runs. Jennifer Forner walked and then was sacrificed over to second by Missy Hixon. Thompson then hit into a fielder's choice, however, DePaul tried to get Forner at third but the throw wasn't in time. Wright then came through again with a single to center field to score Forner. Beach followed with another single to center, scoring Thompson for a 4-2 lead.
DePaul wasn't done though as they would take the lead once again with three runs in the top of the sixth off one ASU error. With the bases loaded, Jenny Doezie hit into a fielder's choice back to Beach, but her throw to home to get the runner clipped off catcher Adriana Garcia's glove as two DePaul runners came in to even the game at four apiece. The Blue Demons would take the lead on another fielder's choice back to Thompson at first, but Thompson's throw was also off the mark at home as DePaul scored again. Beach would then get the next two batters out to end the inning.
Now down 5-4 entering the bottom of the sixth, Arizona State had one more rally started again by Thompson, who lead off with an infield single, then advanced to second on an over throw by the third baseman. Wright then smacked a double to left center field to bring in Thompson to tie the game. With two outs and no one on, Beach came to the plate and blasted DePaul's Lindsay Chouinard's change up over the right field fence for the game-winning run.
Kirsten Voak then took over pitching duties in the top of the seventh. Voak got the next two batters to ground out and struck out the final DePaul batter to post her third save of the year.
Wright finished the game, going a prefect 4-for-4 with three RBIs, while Thompson went 3-for-4 with four runs scored. Beach also had a nice game with a 2-for-4, two RBI afternoon. Brun also continued her torrid pace, going 3-for-4 with one RBI.
Up next, Arizona State enters championship bracket play, facing Rutgers on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. (Pacific). If ASU wins it could set up a quarterfinal date against Arizona at 5:00 p.m.