Although women's sports are often ignored by the media and general public, Arizona State University fans should start paying attention, as the Sun Devil softball team is on the verge of history.
After dominating the regionals, the No. 1 Sun Devils (53-6, 17-4 Pac-10) will host the 16th-seeded Texas A&M Aggies in the Super Regional with a trip to the College World Series on the line.
Since the Sun Devils are currently the No. 1 team in the country, it is only natural for fans to think about the possibilities of winning a national championship. If being the No. 1 overall team was not enough of a reason for fans to get excited about the enormous possibilities, then maybe a comparison to the 2008 national championship season will heighten the excitement.
In 2008, the Sun Devils won their first ever Pac-10 championship. In 2011, they won their second.
In 2008, the Sun Devils defeated Texas A&M in the championship. In 2011, the Sun Devils play Texas A&M in the Super Regional.
In 2008, Krista Donnenwirth, Lesley Rodgers and Mandy Urfer were all starters. In 2011, those three seniors are once again in the starting lineup and leading with experience.
While there are plenty of similarities between the 2008 and 2011 softball teams, the 2011 team may be even more talented, as it seemingly has no weakness.
Defensively, the Sun Devils are led by starting pitcher and freshman sensation Dallas Escobedo, who has posted a 30-3 record and recorded 28 complete games so far this season.
Escobedo was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week twice and was also named the conference's freshman of the year.
The strength of the ASU pitching staff was clearly seen in the regional, as the Sun Devils only allowed one run.
However, the Sun Devils scored 24 times, showing that they are dominant on offense as well.
In the 59 games the Sun Devils have played so far, they have won via the run rule 22 times.
ASU's offensive attack begins at the very top of its lineup. Leadoff hitter and shortstop Katelyn Boyd hit six of her 17 home runs to lead off the game and also hit for a remarkable .431 average during the regular season.
The Sun Devils are certainly confident and playing good softball, but the longer they keep playing, the more difficult the road will become.
"We have to play good softball," ASU coach Clint Myers told The State Press. "The softball is going to get better from here on out. We have Texas A&M coming in, and then hopefully move on to the college world series."
In 2008, ASU won its first ever national championship. In 2011, ASU's final results are still to be determined, but Sun Devil fans should be excited about the seemingly historic possibilities.
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