February 24, 1986
San Luis Obispo, California
|Residence||San Luis Obispo, California|
|Alma mater||Arizona State University|
|Years active||2005 – present|
|Employer||US women's national softball team|
|Known for||Professional Softball|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Parent(s)||Bill and Debbie Burkhart|
Katherine Burkhart (born February 24, 1986) is an American, former collegiate All-American, left-handed softball pitcher originally from San Luis Obispo, California. She won a National Championship for the Arizona State Sun Devils where she played from 2005-2008 and also pitched for the USA Softball team. Burkhart also played professionally for the USSSA Pride, Tennessee Diamonds and Carolina Diamonds in the NPF in addition to playing in Japan. She owns numerous records for the Sun Devils and for the NCAA Division I. Following the 2012 NPF season, Burkhart announced her retirement as a player. In April 2016 Arizona State University honored her by retiring #7, before their game against the Oregon Ducks.
Arizona State Sun Devils
For her sophomore campaign, Burkhart was named to the Pac-10 Second Team. She threw a no-hitter and set new school records in strikeouts, shutouts (tied), innings pitched and strikeout ratio. Her wins were good for second all-time; all of her marks remain top-10 for the Sun Devils.
Beginning on March 2 in a win over the Southern Utah Thunderbirds, Burkhart went on a career best 41.2 consecutive scoreless inning streak that was snapped in a 10-inning loss to the FSU Seminoles on March 16. For the streak, Burkhart went 6-1 over 9 games (4 complete) fanning 69 and giving up 17 hits and 4 walks. On April 8, Burkhart set a school and career record by recording 23 strikeouts in a loss to the Washington Huskies. The single game total tied her for 5th all-time in the NCAA. Combined with pitchers Caitlin Noble and Danielle Lawrie, the game featured the most strikeouts combined ever in a game at 42. Later on April 14, Burkhart won a 10-inning duel with Alicia Hollowell and the Arizona Wildcats to combine for an NCAA record 37 strikeouts. The Sun Devils made it to that year's Women's College World Series and had a win over the Oregon State Beavers but eventually was eliminated by the Tennessee Vols in extras on June 3, 2006.
In her junior year, Burkhart earned her first 2007 NFCA First Team All-American citation to accompany First Team Pac-10 and Pitcher of The Year honors. She set the season strikeouts and innings record with career bests, while also breaking her own wins and strikeout ratio marks and tying the shutout record again.
Burkhart fired her first career perfect game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on March 15. Later on April 24, Burkhart reached 1,000 strikeouts in relief vs. the UNLV Rebels. She joined an exclusive list of NCAA Division I pitchers to accomplish the feat in three season or less.
For her senior year, she was awarded First Team All-American, All-Pac-10 and Pitcher of the Year for a second year in a row. Burkhart achieved the conference pitching Triple Crown for her strikeouts, wins and ERA (the two latter both career best). Her shutouts, WHIP and strikeout ratio (11.3) were also career highs and together with her wins set new school records; in addition, her ERA was ranked in the top-10 also for a season. She threw two perfect games.
On February 15, Burkhart struck out 18 Western Michigan Broncos in 7-innings for a career high in regulation. That same game also started a career best 15 consecutive game win streak that was snapped on March 20 in a one-run loss to the FSU Seminoles. Defeating the Arizona Wildcats on April 9, Burkhart won her 100th career game.
Arizona State won the 2008 Women's College World Series, and Burkhart was named the Most Outstanding Player on June 3 vs. the Texas A&M Aggies. She pitched back-to-back shutouts against Aggies with 13 strikeouts in the final game to clinch the title. This was Arizona State's first WCWS championship under the current format. She also matched the finale game record for strikeouts with the 13 in the game. To get there the Sun Devil went undefeated and ended her career on an 11-game win streak.
In her career overall, Burkhart set and owns the Arizona State records for wins, strikeouts, shutouts, strikeout ratio and innings pitched. She is top-10 in the newly named Pac-12 for the same records. In the NCAA, Burkhart ranks 7th in strikeouts, 10th in strikeout ratio (10.7) and is tied 5th for perfect games (3) for her career.
On February 18, 2008, before her final season at Arizona State, Burkhart was selected first overall in the National Pro Fastpitch Draft. After posting league highs of 13 wins and a 1.87 ERA along with team highs of 149 strikeouts, 15 complete games, and 131⅔ innings pitched during her rookie season in the NPF, Burkhart was voted as the NPF Player of the Year. For the American offseason, Burkhart commenced her rookie season in the Japan Softball League, for Toyota Shokki- the team Michelle Smith has played with for 16 years.. Burkhart has played for the Philadelphia Force, USSSA Pride, & the Carolina Diamonds, before retiring in 2012. Since then she has coached D1 programs as the assistant coach and runs Pitch Responsibly, Inc. a company dedicated to giving back to the young women and parents in the sport.
In 2016 alone she was announced as Pac-10 All-Century team along with players like Lisa Fernandez, Jennie Finch, Natasha Watley, etc. and ASU retiring her #7 jersey in honor of her outstanding records held at the university. She has also been inducted into the ASA Hall of Fame and her High School, San Luis Obispo as a Hall of Fame Athlete.
Burkhart was first named to the USA Softball national team on June 15, 2009. She made her first appearance at the 2009 Canada Cup and combined with Jennie Finch to pitch a no-hitter against the Netherlands, which the United States won 8–0 in five innings due to the run rule.
Arizona State Sun Devils
- "Katie Burkhart: ASU Softball Pitcher". 2008-06-02. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- Aird, Donovan (2009-06-27). "Softball's Future: Burkhart's most important pitch: Return softball to the Olympics". The Tribune. Retrieved 2009-07-20.[dead link]
- Latzke, Jeff (2008-06-03). "Arizona State wins NCAA softball title in rout". Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-07-20.[dead link]
- "Katie Burkhart goes No. 1 in the 2008 National Pro Fastpitch Draft". ASU News. 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- "Philadelphia Force Presents Clinic with Katie Burkhart" (Press release). Philadelphia Force. 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- "USA gets two more wins". Amateur Softball Association. 2009-07-09. Retrieved 2009-07-20.