No. 12 Softball Drops Both Games At The KIA

March 13, 2003

FULLERTON, Calif. - The 12th-ranked Arizona State softball team (22-9) suffered two losses in their first two pool games Thursday at the KIA Klassic Tournament in Fullerton, California, falling to sixth-ranked Oklahoma, 5-3 and Cal State Northridge, 4-3.

In the first game against Oklahoma, Kelli Braitsch's walk-off three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh lifted the Sooners to a come-from-behind 5-3 win. Oklahoma opened a 2-0 lead until the Sun Devil scored three in the sixth inning to take the lead.

Kristin Farber opened the inning on an infield error by the Sooners third baseman. Kara Brun followed a double to left to move Farber to third. Phelan Wright also doubled to left, scoring Farber and Brun to tie the game. Adriana Garcia hit a sacrifice fly to right, allowing Wright to move to third. Carla Strege then came in to pinch hit for Cheryl Evans. Strege, after fighting off several pitches, singled to left field to drive in Wright for the 3-2 edge until the Sooners bottom of the seventh.

Desiree Serrano (14-5) suffered the loss, giving up 10 hits and five runs with five strikeouts. Oklahoma's Dana Askins earned the win after reliving starter Kami Keiter in the fifth inning. Keiter gave up six hits and two unearned runs, while Askins allowed only one hit in an inning and two-thirds.

In the second game against Northridge, the Matadors went up 3-0 in the third inning as freshman pitcher Ashley Werschky (5-3) had control problems early. After walking the first two batters, Serrano came in relief of Werschky, but gave up an RBI double to Emilee Moores. After striking out the next batter, Jade Abel hit into a fielder's choice, scoring one more run and Sondra Milchiker hit a sacrifice fly to rightfield to plate the final run.

However, the Devils would cut the lead the 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth. Farber began with a single which was followed by a Brun home run to center field that hit the top of the fence just going over for her team-leading ninth of the year. CSUN then posted one more run, which turned out to be the game-winner in the fifth inning on an infield error. The Devils then got that run back in the bottom of the fifth when Cheryl Evans, who was pinch hitting for Keri Pulcifer, drilled the first pitch she saw over the leftfield fence for her fifth home run of the year.

But that was all ASU would get as Northridge pitcher Kia Fennell closed out the rest of the game. Fennell limited ASU to four hits and three runs, while Werschky took the loss. Brun extended her team-leading hitting streak to 12 games.

Up next, the Devils will finish pool play against UNLV on Friday at 9:00 a.m. Following that game, ASU will be seeded in bracket play, starting either later Friday at 5:00 p.m. or Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

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