ASU softball sweeps Pac-10 conference awards
In a vote of the league's eight head coaches, ARIZONA STATE swept almost every award and placed six on the Pac-10 All-Conference first team. Outfielder Kaitlin Cochran was named the Pacific-10 Conference Softball Player of the Year and the Sun Devil's Katie Burkhart was named Pitcher of the Year. Freshman Krista Donnenwirth was named Newcomer of the Year, while ASU second basemen Mindy Cowles and STANFORD catcher Rosey Neill were both awarded Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors. Coach of the Year was awarded to Arizona State's Clint Myers, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced on Wednesday, May 15, 2008.
Cochran, a junior from Yorba Linda, Calif., led the Sun Devils to their first Conference Championship in school history. Arizona State went 18-3 in the Pac-10, finishing one game ahead of second-place UCLA and much of that title is owed to Cochran's prowess at the plate. The junior captured the Pac-10 batting title for the third year in row, hitting .436, almost 20 points better than her nearest competition. She also led the Conference in multiple statistical batting categories including slugging pct (.833), on-base pct. (.606), runs (73), doubles (18), total bases (130), and walks (58). Heading into the postseason, she also currently sits among the nation's leaders in runs (2nd, 1.2 per game), slugging pct. (10th), walks (2nd, .95 per game) and on base pct. (3rd). Cochran is the first player in Pac-10 history to capture Newcomer of the Year in her freshman campaign (2006) and Player of the Year in the next two seasons.
Burkhart, a senior from San Luis Obispo, Calif., also repeats as Pitcher of the Year as she was once again a dominant force in the circle for the Sun Devils. The Pac-10 leader in strikeouts (418), Burkhart posted a record of 32-5 in 2008 and needs four wins in the postseason to break her own school record of 35 wins set last year. Already the Sun Devils' career strikeout leader, Burkhart is on pace to break her own school record for strikeouts in a single season, also set last year (517). Her 1,575 K's ranks third on the Pac-10 career charts, having recently passed California's Jocelyn Forest's 1,203 strikeouts (1999-2002). Burkhart went the distance in all of her 32 starts, and posted 15 shutouts and three saves. Opponents hit just .135 vs. Burkhart, best in the Pac-10. Her 0.88 ERA is the nation's 10th lowest, and her 11.5 strikeouts per seven innings ranks second. Burkhart has had 23 games of double-digit strikeouts this season along with four no-hitters and three perfect games. She was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week on three occasions. She became the first Sun Devil to earn the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year honor last year.
Donnenwirth managed to distinguished herself from a talented pack of Conference freshman, unanimously capturing the Newcomer of the Year award. The third basemen from Mission Viejo, Calif., established herself as one of the top young talents in the Pac-10 leading the conference in RBI with 64 while hitting .351 on the season, good for ninth in the Conference. The freshman also drilled 14 home runs, tied for third in the league and trailed only teammate Kaitlin Cochran in total bases with 120 on 65 hits, which ranked fourth in the conference. Appearing in 60 of the team's 61 games and starting 59, Donnenwirth struck out only 18 times in 185 at-bats. She was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of April 15-21 after going 3-for-5 and crushing two home runs against rival Arizona.
Cowles, a senior from Riverside, Calif., picks up her first Defensive Player of the Year award as she was the stalwart up the middle for the Pac-10 Champion Sun Devils. She led the Conference in fielding double plays (13) and committed only six errors on the year for a defense which turned the second most double plays in the Pac-10. Cowles was not just a great defender, however, as her 14 home runs led the Sun Devils and were third in the Conference and her 51 RBI were second most in the league.
Myers, in his third year at the helm of Arizona State, picks up his first Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor after leading the Sun Devils to the first Conference crown in school history and a No. 2 ranking in both the ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA polls. Myers, who has upped the school record for wins in two of his three years as head coach, once again is on pace to eclipse the mark of 57 set in 2007, having amassed a 55-6 record this year. He will be trying to guide the Sun Devils to their first ever Women's College World Series title starting this weekend as they host the Tempe Regional. Arizona State has reached the Women's College World Series six times, with its best finish being tied for third in 2002.
The last team to sweep the awards was the University of Arizona in 1998, although only three awards were given at that point.
2008 ALL PACIFIC-10 CONFERENCE SOFTBALL TEAM
Player School Yr Pos Hometown
Katie Burkhart ASU SR P San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Kaitlin Cochran ASU JR OF Yorba Linda, Calif.
Mindy Cowles ASU SR 2B Riverside, Calif.
Krista Donnenwirth ASU FR 3B Mission Viejo, Calif.
Alissa Haber STAN SO OF Newark, Calif.
Amanda Kamekona UCLA JR 2B Chino Hills, Calif.
Brittany Lastrapes ARIZ FR OF Laguna Nigel, Calif.
Jenae Leles ARIZ JR 3B Fair Oaks, Calif.
Kristen Miller ASU SR C Diamond Bar, Calif.
Rosey Neill STAN SO C Laguna Hills, Calif.
Missy Penna STAN JR P Miami, Fla.
Laine Roth ARIZ JR 1B Glendale, Ariz.
Anjelica Selden UCLA SR P Vacaville, Calif.
Jackie Vasquez ASU SR OF Tuscon, Ariz.
Player School Yr Pos Hometown
Valerie Arioto CAL FR P/OF Pleasanton, Calif.
K'Lee Arredondo ARIZ SO SS Tempe, Ariz.
Alicia Blake WASH JR C Olympia, Wash.
Neena Bryant ORE SO OF Placentia, Calif.
Samantha Camuso UCLA FR OF Redding, Calif.
Krista Colburn UCLA SR OF Mukilteo, Wash.
Maddy Coon STAN JR SS Chappaqua, N.Y.
GiOnna DiSalvatore UCLA FR 1B Palm Harbor, Fla.
Sanoe Kekahuna CAL FR 1B Maui, Hawai'i
Megan Langenfeld UCLA SO P/DP Bakersfield, Calif.
Gina Leomiti CAL JR OF San Diego, Calif.
Cambria Miranda OSU SR 2B Camarillo, Calif.
Taryne Mowatt ARIZ SR P Corona, Calif.
Jace Williams WASH FR 3B Encinitas, Calif.
Adrienne Acton, ARIZ; Tricia Aggabao, STAN; Rhiannon Baca, ASU; Callista Balko, ARIZ; Stacie Chambers,
ARIZ; Lovena Chaput, ORE; Dani Chisholm, OSU; Alicia Cook, ORE; Marissa Drewrey, CAL; Cyndi Duran,
ARIZ; Kelly Dyer, OSU; Amanda Fleischman, WASH; Joanna Gail, ORE; Erin Guzy, OSU; Erin Howe, STAN;
Sari Jane Jenkins, ORE; Donna Kerr, UCLA; Paige Lowe, OSU; Aleah Macon, WASH; Bernice Masaniai, CAL;
Katie Schroeder, UCLA; Michelle Smith, STAN; Bailey Stenson, WASH; Morgan Stuart, WASH; Katie Vickers,
PAC-10 ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Player School Pos Hometown
Valerie Arioto CAL P/OF Pleasanton, Calif.
Samantha Camuso UCLA OF Redding Calif.
GiOnna DiSalvatore UCLA 1B Palm Harbor, Fla.
Krista Donnenwirth ASU 3B Mission Viejo, Calif.
Erin Guzy OSU OF/1B Beaverton, Ore.
Monica Harrison UCLA SS Garden Grove, Calif.
Sanoe Kakehuna CAL 1B Maui, Hawai'i
Melisa Koutz STAN 1B Valencia, Calif.
Brittany Lastrapes ARIZ OF Laguna Nigel, Calif.
Aleah Macon WASH P Upland, Calif.
Audrey Roderfeld OSU C/DP Vista, Calif.
Katie Schoeder UCLA OF Yorba Linda, Calif.
Lauren Schutzler ARIZ OF Monterey, Calif.
Jace Williams WASH 3B Encinitas, Calif.
Monique Fuiava, ORE; Donna Kerr, UCLA; Cortney Kivett, ORE; McKenna Lowe, OSU; Lesley Rogers, ASU;
Morgan Stuart, WASH.