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ASU softball team 1 win away from national title

June 02, 2008

ASU’s softball squad plated runners in the first, third and fifth innings to take a 3-0 victory over Texas A&M in the first game of the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.

It’s ASU’s first time ever to play for the national title, and the Sun Devils have yet to lose in the 2008 WCWS, improving to 4-0. The team’s overall record is now 65-5, while the opening-game loss in the best-of-three series dropped Texas A&M to 57-9 on the season.

Katie Burkhart threw a two-hit complete-game shutout with 11 strikeouts for the Sun Devils. The ASU senior hurler got all the help she needed from Pac-10 RBI leader and teammate Krista Donnenwirth, who went 3-for-3 with three RBIs at the plate.

Burkhart is now 40-5 for the season, with 20 complete-game shutouts to her credit.

“It’s a relief to be able to go out with three runs and pitch,” said Burkhart, who struck out 11 Aggies during the contest. “It’s a real stress reliever. You don’t have to go and pitch with a 0-0 ballgame; however, I’m so confident even if that were to happen. Our hitters are so amazing this year that it’s really enjoyable to be on the mound and do work for them.”

One of Donnenwirth’s hits was a solo home run deposited deep over the left-field fence in the third inning. It was the ASU freshman’s 15th home run of the season.

“I knew at my first at-bat she (A&M pitcher Megan Gibson) pitched me outside, and I took the ball the other way,” Donnenwirth said. “So I was kind of ready for that inside pitch, and I just batted up on her.”

The Sun Devils are now 35-0 on the season when scoring in the first inning, and they’re now 12-0 for the year when scoring at least three runs.

Game 2 of the championship series is set for 5 p.m. Arizona time, June 3, at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN2HD.