Arizona State 10, Hofstra 1

May 20, 2005

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Arizona State University softball team defeated Hofstra, 10-1 in five innings, Friday night in the opening game of the 2005 NCAA Region 12 Championships held at the Alabama Softball Complex in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The win not only improved the Sun Devils' season record to 30-24, but it also advanced them in the winner's bracket of the double elimination tournament hosted by Alabama. Hofstra slipped to the losers bracket with an overall 41-15-1 record on the season.

The Sun Devils, despite a three-hour and 30 minute delay for torrential downpours and lightning in the area, were able to record eight hits an tallied all 10 of their runs in the first three innings, including a five-run spurt in the third. Offensively, Kim Zadrozny and Ashley Werschky each notched a pair of hits and three runs batted in while Sharee Zaleski crushed a Pride offering over the score board in left center field for her team-leading 12th home run on the season. Jen McCard and Michelle Smith added the other hits with McCard collecting a double.

Following a quick first inning that saw starter Katie Burkhart face four batters and allowing one hit with one strikeout, the clouds opened and delayed the game. Upon returning the to field, the Sun Devils went to work, picking up three runs on one hit and two Hofstra errors. After Bridgette Caron reached on an error, Zadrozny walked and Valerie Savilla hit into a fielder's choice to put runners on the corners, Werschky lined a double into the right center gap to bring home Caron for the early lead. After Heidi Knabe grounded out to advance the runners, Rhiannon Baca reached on an error that allowed two more runs to score.

The top of the second saw Burkhart and the Sun Devil defense sit the Pride down in order with a ground out and two strikeouts. In the bottom half of the stanza, Zaleski singled to center field before Smith walked. Caron then reached on a sacrifice bunt combined with a throwing error to load the bases for Zadrozny, who drove in a pair of runs with a single to center field to end the ASU scoring in the inning.

In the third, Hofstra's Lisa Torres doubled to center field before a Kelly Morris sacrifice bunt advanced the runner to third. Following a pop foul out to Heidi Knabe behind the plate, Lisa Wambold singled under the glove of the Werschky at third base to drive in Torres for the lone Hofstra run.

With one out in the third, McCard doubled to left center before being brought home by Zaleski as she cranked a shot over the score board for a 7-1 lead. After Smith was walked, she stole second and then advanced to third one pitch later on a wild pitch charged to starter Callie Osborne. At the top of the order, Caron walked to place runners on the corners where she stole second before moving to third while Smith scored on a single by Zadrozny. Two batters later, Werschky struck again as she lined a double down the right field line to plate Smith and Zadrozny for the final runs of the contest for the Sun Devils.

The fourth inning saw Desiree Serrano take the circle where she picked up three strikeouts in two innings of work while allowing no hits to the seven batters she faced. Burkhart, who went three innings for ASU, allowed one run on three hits with four strikeouts to improve to 12-13 on the season while Osborne slipped to 24-6 after having her five game winning streak snapped.

ASU will face the winner of the Alabama (the region's No. 1 seed and national No. 12 seed) vs. Mississippi Valley State contest that was played Friday evening. The Sun Devils will take the field at 1:30 p.m. Saturday with the winner of that contest playing again at 6:30 p.m.

-- Courtesy Arizona State