ASU softball clinches first Pac-10 title
In their last regular season game at Farringon Stadium the Sun Devil Softball seniors led the way Saturday afternoon as they led their squad over the 23rd-ranked Cal Golden Bears 5-2 in front of 1,325 faithful to clinch their first-ever Pac-10 Championship. The win wraps the 2008 regular season for ASU with a record of 56-5 and 18-3 in the Pac-10 and drops Cal to 40-23 overall and 7-14 in the conference slate.
Sunday afternoon saw ASU light the spark early and never look back as they came out in the second inning to score three. Kristen Miller led the charge taking the first pitch she saw on the day deep to left center for her 14th home run of the season. That sparked the rally for the Sun Devils as Caylyn Carlson laid down a bunt single that was brought home by an RBI double from Rhiannon Baca who was plated herself by yet another double from Jackie Vasquez.
The Bears capitalized on a Sun Devil error though as they pushed an unearned run across in the fourth to cut ASU's lead to 3-1 before cutting it down to 3-2 in the fifth after routine pop-up got lost in the sun dropping in to allow one more Cal run to squeak in.
That was enough to get ASU on fire again in the fifth with Kaitlin Cochran leading off with a walk and Mindy Cowles hitting her 14th home run of the season and 56th of her career, nailing a 3-2 ball over the center field wall to put ASU ahead 5-2 for good.
Katie Burkhart closed out the game with a final tally of five hits and one earned run allowed with six strikeouts to take her 32nd win on the year and her 109th career win, tying her for 21st all-time in NCAA history.
The victory concludes the Sun Devils 2008 regular season, which has already proven to be a memorable one, just how memorable remains to be seen as the Sun Devils will host their annual Selection Show viewing party to see who they'll face in the NCAA Regionals tomorrow at Majerle's Sports Grill in Chandler at 7 p.m.