Arizona State Sun Devils softball

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Arizona State Sun Devils
Arizona State Sun Devils athletic logo

University Arizona State University
Conference Pac-12
Location Tempe, AZ
Head Coach Craig Nicholson (1st year)
Home Stadium Alberta B. Farrington Softball Stadium
(Capacity: 1,535)
Nickname Sun Devils
Colors Maroon and Gold

             

National Championships
2008, 2011
WCWS Appearances
1982, 1987, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Conference Champions
2008, 2011

The Arizona State Sun Devils Softball team represents Arizona State University in NCAA Division I College Softball. The team competes in the Pac-12 Conference, and plays its home games at Alberta B. Farrington Softball Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. The previous head coach of the Sun Devils was Clint Myers, who had guided the team to the Women's College World Series in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013. The 2008 Sun Devils team won the National Championship for the first time in school history.

History[edit]

1960s and 1970s[edit]

The Sun Devil softball team began in 1967. By the 1970s, the team had been established under head coach Mary Littlewood as a power. Some of the best players in the country became Sun Devils in the early 1970s. Among them were: Paula Miller; Marilyn Rau; Ginger Kurtz and Judy Hoke. All of these women at one time during their playing careers were selected as Amateur Softball Association All-Americans.[1] The 1972 and 1973 teams won the Women's College World Series, which at the team was not organized by the NCAA but by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) and the Division for Girls' and Women's Sports (DGWS). The softball team continued to grow throughout the 1970s. They joined the Intermountain Conference in 1975. From 1976 to 1979, the Sun Devils made the AIAW Women's College World Series every year including a fourth place finish in 1976 and 1977 and two ninth place finishes in 1978 and 1979. The Sun Devils also finished first in the Intermountain Conference in 1977 and 1978 for the school's first conference championships.[2]

1980s and 1990s[edit]

Mary Littlwood continued to guide the Arizona State softball team throughout the 1980s. Arizona State joined the Western Collegiate Athletic Association in 1980 and won the conference in 1980. In 1982, the NCAA officially began to sponsor softball. The 1982 Sun Devil softball team went to the NCAA Women's College World Series in its first year organized by the NCAA. They finished fourth that year. From 1984 to 1987, ASU made four straight trip to NCAA Regionals and returned to the Women's College World Series in 1987 where they finished 7th. In 1986, the Pac-10 Conference began softball play with Arizona State one of its members. They finished second in the conference in their first two seasons with the new conference. Mary Littlewood retired in 1989 after a successful run of coaching. She finished with 493 wins and won three conference championships, 9 Women's College World Series appearances and 13 trips to the postseason.

Linda Wells, who came to Arizona State from Minnesota, was chosen to replace Littlewood for the 1990 season. In her first two seasons with the Sun Devils, the team won 43 both years and made NCAA Regionals both years also. The 1991 team went 15-5 in the competitive Pac-10 conference, which was good enough for a second place finish. However, in the years following the 1991 season, the Sun Devils softball team began to slide slightly. The made a Regional in 1993, but failed to do so again until 1997. The program began to rebound in 1999 when they finished 7th at the Women's College World Series and finished the season with a 41-28 record.

2000s[edit]

The Sun Devils continued to make the NCAA Regionals from 2000 to 2003. However, they continued to struggle in the very competitive Pac-10 conference rarely finishing above .500 in conference play. Arizona State did still continue to receive bids to the NCAA Tournament, and they made the Women's College World Series in 2002 again barely missing a chance to play for the national championship. Following a loss to Hofstra in the 2005 NCAA Tournament, Wells announced her retirement. She finished her career with the Sun Devils with 563 wins, which is the most in school history, and two Women's College World Series appearances.[3]

Clint Myers, who came from the junior college ranks, was hired to replace Linda Wells as head coach and has elevated the program to new level. His first season in 2006 saw the Sun Devils win a then school record 53 games and make a trip to Oklahoma City for the Women's College World Series. The Sun Devils have made the Women's College World Series in five of his first six seasons. Myers has also guided the Sun Devil program to its first ever Pac-10 Conference championship in 2008. The Sun Devils finished off the 2000s making four straight appearances in the Women's College World Series. The 2008 softball team captured the first ever NCAA Championship for softball for the school.[4]

2008 National Championship[edit]

The 2008 Sun Devil softball team finished the season with a school record 66 wins with only 5 losses. They also earned a school record 18 wins in the Pac-10 on their way to the conference championship. They earned a number six national seed to begin the NCAA tournament and hosted both the Regional and Super Regionals. The team shut out Stony Brook and Hawaii twice to earn a spot in Super Regionals. They played the 11-seeded Northwestern Wildcats in the Tempe Super Regional where they won the first two games of the series 3-1 and 9-0. In the first game of the 2008 Women's College World Series, Arizona State defeated Alabama, who was the tournament's three seed, 3-1. The Sun Devils had to score three runs in the 7th inning to beat the Crimson Tide. They then faced the UCLA Bruins, who they defeated 4-0 for a spot in the National Semifinals where they had to face Alabama again. The Sun Devils again defeated Alabama 3-1 for a spot in the National Championship three game series against the Texas A&M Aggies. The first game saw the Sun Devils defeat the Aggies 3-0. In game two, the Arizona State clinched the school's first national championship by beating the Aggies 11-0, which was one of the largest defeats in a championship game in the history of the Women's College World Series.[5]

2010s[edit]

Arizona State softball continues to be ranked among the best in the country. In 2010, the Sun Devils won 44 games and lost to the Florida Gators in the NCAA Gainesville Super Regional, which was the first time in the Clint Myers era that the Sun Devils did not make the Women's College World Series. In 2011, the Sun Devils won the school's second Pac-10 championship and earned the number one seed in the NCAA tournament. The Sun Devils again earned a spot in the 2011 Women's College World Series by winning the Tempe Super Regional against Texas A&M.[6] The Sun Devils subsequently swept the WCWS and defeated the Florida Gators in two games for the 2011 NCAA national championship. The championship marked the 400th national championship in Pac-10 conference history and ASU became one of only four softball programs in the country to win multiple NCAA titles.[7]

Head coaches[edit]

Year-by-Year Results[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]