Arizona State ace named player of the week

OKLAHOMA CITY -- After leading Arizona State to a perfect 3-0 record on the weekend against Pac-10 foes Cal and Stanford and allowing no runs in 16 2/3 innings pitched, Katie Burkhart was named this week's USA Softball Player of the Week.

In Burkhart's first outing of the weekend, she threw a dominating one-hit complete game shutout over the Cal Bears, striking out 12, and allowing only two runners to reach base as the Sun Devils won 8-0 in five innings. In her second outing, Burkhart threw 6 1/3 perfect innings against then No. 12 Stanford. A double to left that just fell fair robbed her of a perfect game, which would have been her second of the season. She closed out the game striking out 10 Cardinal batters as ASU cruised to the 7-0 win.

"I'm elated and it's amazing to be awarded with an honor like the USA Softball Player of the Week," Burkhart said. "It's flattering, but I know I'm only one component of the team. If the defense wasn't as strong as they were behind me then it would be another story and same for our offense which has really came to shine this last week. I have a phenomenal team behind me, which gives me confidence on the mound that they have my back, and in turn I have theirs by playing my hardest. Everyday that I take the field with my team I have the assurance of their best effort and support, which has been epic in my collegiate career."

In game three of the weekend, she entered the game in relief after Stanford jumped out to a 2-0 lead after three innings. Burkhart came in and shutdown the Cardinal offense as she retired the final 15 batters, striking out four to grab her third win of the weekend as the Sun Devils went on to win 8-2. She compiled a perfect 0.00 ERA in 16 2/3 innings of work over the weekend while striking out nearly half of the batters she faced. She fanned 26 of the 55 batters she faced while holding opponents to a .036 batting average.

"Katie is a phenomenal young lady who has truly grown into one of the premier pitchers in softball. Her work ethic and drive brought her to this level of performance, while making her unflappable and composed on the mound," said coach Clint Myers. "Last weekend she had an outstanding week and her numbers speak for themselves. Throwing a one-hitter to both Cal and Stanford and then coming in as relief to no-hit the Cardinal, proves her talent against two solid Pac-10 schools. We're excited to see what she can become and how she can help lead this team for the remainder of this season and for her senior campaign as well."

This is a first-time honor for not only Burkhart but also for Arizona State.