#15 Softball Heads Undefeated to Georgia to Face the Nation's Top Teams at NFCA Leadoff Classic
Feb. 22, 2006
Tempe, Ariz. -
The #15/16 Sun Devils are now a perfect 13-0 on the season after sweeping the sox-game Littlewood Classic tournament last week from
Next up, the Devils will test their road legs for the first time this season as they take off for the NFCA Leadoff Classic in
The Devils lead the all-time series history against the Tarheels 3-0, and the series against
Freshman Kaitlin Cochran in her first two weeks of collegiate softball, exploded onto the scene and claimed the first Pac-10 Player of the Week award of the season. The
After two weeks of tournament play, Cochran leads or is tied for the Pac-10 lead in seven hitting categories - batting average (.553), slugging percentage (1.158), On-base percentage (.633), hits (21), RBI (25), home runs (6) and total bases (44). She is also third in runs scored (15) and in stolen bases (6).
Her fellow Devils are no slackers either as Mindy Cowles leads the Pac-10 in runs scored with 17, with teammate Michelle Smith right behind her scoring 16 runs. Smith is also leading the Pac-10 in stolen bases with 14 on the season. Cowles is also currently tied for second in home runs in the Pac-10 with four on the season.
The Sun Devil pitching squad is also coming up huge for ASU this year as Ashley Werschky is currently holding fifth place in ERA in the Pac-10 with a .31 average and a .127 opponent batting average, and her fellow Devil Desiree Serrano also made the list in ninth place with a 1.12 ERA and a .167 opponent batting average.
The Votes Are In:
After starting off the season un-ranked, the Devils have not-so-quietly exploded into the top 25, with a #22 ranking after their first week of play and jumping rapidly into the #15/16 (USA Today-ESPN/NFCA) positions after just two weeks of play with no signs of slowing.
The 2006 squad has already begun to show promise in breaking records as they have as a team has hit 23 home runs in 13 games, while last year the Devils only hit 34 home runs in the entire season. The Devils have also batted in 92 RBI, which is 58% of last year's season total of 158 already. The Devils have already shown their speed and confidence on the base-paths as well, going 31-34 in stolen base attempts, where last season they only stole 34 bases all season. It took 22 games last season before the Devils obtained their current 99 runs on the season with 115 hits and a slugging percentage of .586 while posting a 10.69 ERA on their opposing pitchers. The Devil defense has also held its opponents to only 19 runs off of 42 hits and a .162 batting average.
Tough Schedule/Tougher Conference:
The Devils as always find themselves competing against some of the best softball teams in the world, in arguably the hardest softball conference in the world in the Pac-10. Currently, seven of the eight teams of the Pac-10 are ranked in the top 25, including the number 1, 3, 6 and 9 seeds. Since the Women's College World Series began in 1981, 17 of 24 National Champions have been Pac-10 teams, in 10 of those championship games, both teams were Pac-10 teams.