#2 ASU 3, #23 UW 0

SEATTLE - Katie Burkhart pitched an eight hit shutout to lead the second-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils to a 3-0 win over the 23rd-ranked Washington Huskies before 406 fans at Husky Softball Stadium on an overcast Friday afternoon.

With the win the Sun Devils won the season series from the Huskies two games to one and improved their Pac-10 leading mark to 15-1 and 53-3 overall, while the Huskies dropped to 5-10 and 26-19-1.

The Sun Devils got the only runs they would need against Aleah Macon in the top of the first inning, taking a 2-0 lead. Jackie Vasquez led off with an infield single and moved to second on an error by Dru Hester. Kaitlin Cochran reached on an infield single and Krista Donnenwirth walked to load the bases. Macon got Mindy Cowles to ground into a fielder's choice at home plate, but then forced home two runs with two bases loaded walks.

The Huskies had their chances to do damage offensively as they got eight hits and had runners on in every inning. Their best chance to break through on the scoreboard came in the fifth when they had runners at second and third with no one out courtesy of a walk to Marnie Koziol and a single by Ashlyn Watson.

Unfortunately for the Huskies they got victimized by an inconsistent strike zone from home plate umpire Paul Edds, as the next batter, Alicia Blake, got called out on a third strike that looked like an obvious ball. Edds generated many jeers from the partisan crowd as he seemed to expand Burkhart's strike zone but narrow Macon's. Following Blake's strikeout Jace Williams flared out to third and Bailey Stenson grounded out to second to end the inning.

Arizona State put the final run on the board in the top of the fourth when Katie Crabb hit a check swing home run, her fifth of the season, over the left field wall.

In recording her 29th complete game and 15th shutout of the season, Burkhart walked two and struck out 12 to increase her Pac-10 leading total to 381. She also lowered her earned run average to 0.75.

For the Huskies, Macon suffered the loss to drop to 15-12. She went five innings, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks. She struck out five. Caitlin Noble pitched the final two innings for the Huskies and gave up two singles.

The Huskies conclude their home season with a pair of games against 12th ranked Arizona at Husky Softball Stadium on Saturday, May 3 at 3 p.m. and Sunday, May 4 at 12:00 noon. Sunday's game will mark the final home game for senior Noble.

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