Softball puts away Hawaii to advance to Super Regional
No. 2 ASU Softball left no doubt Sunday afternoon in the Championship Round of the Tempe Regional as they posted ten hits in an 8-0 five inning win over Hawaii to advance to the Tempe Super Regional next weekend. The win pushes ASU to 59-5 overall and wraps Hawaii's 2008 campaign at 40-21.
The Sun Devils started the game strong, doing all the little things right as a first-inning lead-off single from Lesley Rogers was brought around with a sacrifice bunt and RBI single up the middle from Kaitlin Cochran to take the 1-0 advantage. Another home run from Mindy Cowles and an RBI single from Jackie Vasquez in the second helped ASU start to pull away with a 3-0 lead after two, with Cowles again taking the team lead in long balls with 16 on the year.
Up 3-0 after three innings, the Sun Devils shut the door in the fourth with Rhiannon Baca drawing a lead-off walk only to be brought home by three straight ASU singles. With bases loaded Kristen Miller took to the plate where she decided she wasn't to be outdone by Cowles' home run as she cranked a 1-1 change-up from Hawaii's Jessica Morton deep to left field for a grand slam, and tying Cowles for the team lead with 16 home runs on the year.
With the Sun Devils leading Katie Burkhart continued to baffled the Hawaii hitters as she gave up only three hits while striking out six en route to the complete game shutout and her 34th win on the year and her 111th in her career, tying her for 19th in NCAA history.
Head Coach Clint Myers gave praise of his team's performance this weekend stating, "This team is talented, aggressive, intelligent and they work very, very hard and I'm very demanding as the players can attest to. Again, the expectations that we have are what you saw. We're a well-hitting ball club and we prepared very hard for this Regional. Kudos to their ability and their performance."
The Sun Devils will now gear up to host the Tempe Super Regional where they'll face the winners of the Evanston Regional, the Northwestern Wildcats, whom ASU will take on this upcoming weekend in Tempe. The start of the Tempe Super Regional has yet to be determined.