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Cathi Aradi

WCWS: Arizona State Takes Opening Game of Championship Series

 OKLAHOMA CITY – Arizona State’s offense showed up in full force on Monday evening at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium as the Sun Devils defeated Texas A&M by a score of 3-0. 

ASU (65-5) and the Aggies (57-9) played tonight in front of a Championship Series-record 7,062 fans and will take to the field again on Tuesday night at 7 pm CDT. 

Arizona State scored early and never looked back. In the top of the first inning, Jackie Vasquez drew a one-out walk, was wild-pitched to second base and scored on a single to right by Krista Donnenwirth to give the Sun Devils a 1-0 lead. 

Donnenwirth struck again in the third inning with a two-out solo shot just over the left field fence, and recorded her third RBI of the game in the fifth inning. After Kaitlin Cochran put her first hit of the WCWS, a single, into left field, she would steal second and score on a Donnenwirth single to right field, giving the Sun Devils a 3-0 lead. 

Donnenwirth went 3-for-3 with a run scored and all three RBI for the Sun Devils on Monday night. 

That was plenty of offense for ASU All-America pitcher Katie Burkhart. Burkhart improved to 40-5 with the win, striking out 11 and allowing just two hits in the walk-free shutout. 

For Texas A&M, Megan Gibson took the loss, striking out one and walking three while allowing seven hits and three runs. Gibson did record one of A&M’s two hits on the night, a double in the fourth inning. 

“It’s a great feeling but it’s only halfway,” said ASU head coach Clint Myers. “We have great athletes and they are well-coached. I’m anticipating and hoping that we come out and play the same way [tomorrow]. Great defense. Great pitching. Great offense. It’s a tough combination.”