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Softball hosts Diamond Devil Invitational

March 08, 2012

The No. 5 Arizona State softball team hosts its final home tournament of the non-conference season with the Diamond Devil Invitational. The Sun Devils will play four teams through the weekend, with the schedule as follows (all times MT and subject to change):

Friday, March 9
vs. Valparaiso, 5:30 p.m. | GameTracker
vs. East Carolina, 7:30 p.m. | GameTracker

Saturday, March 10
vs. Pacific, 5:30 p.m. Webcast By | GameTracker

Sunday, March 11
vs. New Mexico State, 1 p.m. | GameTracker

The full tournament schedule, live stats and results can be found on the tournament page or by clicking here. The Arizona State and Pacific game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona, which can be found here. Live stats are provided for ASU games. Thus far she is an untouched 9-0 with a 0.28 ERA in 49.1 innings pitched - she has struck out 34 and held opponents to a .171 batting average.

Hillary Bach was drafted by the Akron Racers on Wednesday March 7, 2012, in the second round. She has earned two Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week selections (Feb. 21 and March 6), after throwing a perfect game against Wichita State on March 3rd and opening the season with a 0.00 ERA through 32.1 innings pitched. 

ASU is on a hot 17-game win streak, sweeping the weekend including all five games in the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational. The Devils saw their first overtime game in an eight-inning duel against Creighton, but were able to win five of the remaining six in less than seven innings.

This will be the first matchup between the Sun Devils and the Crusaders, who are 11-3 after seeing action in the UTEP Invitational in El Paso, Texas. The Crusaders have a .338 batting average, led by Jordan Rutkowski's .556 and her slugging percentage of 1.111. 

East Carolina:
The ECU Pirates are 8-10 so far in the season, coming off of a shutout victory over Cal State Fullerton after a four-game loss in the DeMarini Invitational. The Devils are 1-0 against the Pirates in previous matchups. East Carolina has a collective .248 average, spearheaded by Alex Fieldhouse's 12 RBI and .346 batting average. 

The Tigers currently hold a record of 10-8 on the season and 6-15 against the Devils all-time. Nicole Matson leads the squad in RBI with 19 so far and three others are tied at 10 apiece (Nikki Armagost, Kelsey Rodriguez, and Amy Moore).

New Mexico State:
ASU is 30-6 over the 13-10 Aggies, who are hitting a collective .309 at the plate. Tiare Jennings has a .797 slugging percentage and 28 RBI, and Amber Olive has the best hitting percentage with .431 on 31 hits in 72 at-bats.

Hillary Bach cemented her name in Sun Devil lore on March 3, becoming just the fourth to toss a perfect game in ASU history. Bach blanked Wichita State 9-0 through five innings of work with five strikeouts. She stands with former Sun Devils Katie Burkhart (three games), Erica Beach (one game) and Carrie Breedlove (one game) as the only pitchers to throw perfect games for the ASU.

Mackenzie Popescue recorded her first career no-hitter over the Wichita State Shockers. With a final score of 11-0, Popescue helped the Devils run-rule the Shockers in five innings, throwing four strikeouts and only one walk.

Senior shortstop Katelyn Boyd moved up in the ASU record books with her performance in the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational. Boyd tallied fifteen RBI on the weekend, seven alone against Creighton on Tuesday, to boost her to third overall in career RBI, with 202 throughout her tenure. Boyd also successfully stole five bases, which moved her to third in career steals on a total of 71.

ASU launched twelve out of the park through the weekend, including five homers from Katelyn Boyd, two from Amber Freeman and three from Elizabeth Caporuscio. Boyd leads the team with nine home runs on the season and Caporuscio follows closely with eight.

A-State dominated the conference weekly honors as Hillary Bach and Katelyn Boyd were named Pitcher and Player of the Week for Feb. 27 - March 4, as announced by commissioner Larry Scott. It is Boyd's first and Bach's second weekly conference award in their careers, as well as the 64th and 65th for Arizona State softball.