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WCWS: Sun Devils Dispatch Bruins, 4-0

 OKLAHOMA CITY – Arizona State plated a pair of runs in the third inning and another pair in the fifth as the Sun Devils defeated UCLA by a score of 4-0 on Friday night at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. 

The Sun Devils (63-5) advance to Sunday’s 2 pm CDT semifinal where they will need just one win to advance to the Championship Series. UCLA (51-8) falls to the losers bracket where they will face either Florida or Virginia Tech at 6 pm CDT on Saturday. 

Arizona State threatened in the bottom of the first inning, loading the bases on an intentional walk to Katilin Cochran, a bunt single by Jackie Vasquez and an intentional walk to Krista Donnenwirth to set up the force play following a double steal by Cochran and Vasquez. UCLA pitcher Anjelica Selden was able to work out of the jam, however, forcing the following Sun Devil hitters to line out, strike out and pop out to end the inning and the threat. 

When Cochran came up again in the third inning, she was intentionally walked once again. A walk to Vasquez gave the Sun Devils a pair of runners on base and a one-out single by Lesley Rogers put the runners in motion. A two-base miscue in the Bruin outfield allowed Cochran and Vasquez to score before Rogers was thrown out at the plate for the second out of the inning. 

Another pair of runs came across in the fifth inning as Cochran was walked to lead off, Vasquez reached on a fielders choice and Donnenwirth connected on an RBI single, bringing Cochran home. Vasquez would also score on the play thanks to UCLA’s second error of the game. 

That was more than enough offense for ASU ace Katie Burkhart, who struck out eight and scattered four hits in the shutout victory as she improved to 38-5 on the season. Selden took the loss for UCLA, falling to 29-4 on the season as she struck out nine and walked five (four intentionally) and allowed four runs, three of them unearned, on three Sun Devil hits. 

“It was a great win and we are excited,” said ASU head coach Clint Myers. “We are one win away from playing for a national championship.”