Pitcher Hillary Bach (Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE)
With the No. 3 seed in hand and a spot hosting a regional, the defending national champion Arizona State softball team began NCAA Tournament play on Friday night.
Their first round by facing LIU Brooklyn, who entered the tournament with just a 25-33 record. As one may imagine for a sub .500 team facing a team the caliber of the Sun Devils, ASU made quick work of the Blackbirds, downing them 9-0 in just five innings.
As she had been all year, pitcher Hillary Bach was nearly unhittable, earning her 20th win of the year with a two-hit shutout. The Sun Devil offense was led by home runs by Amber Freeman and Haley Steele, who combined for five RBI, and Elizabeth Caporuscio, who knocked in another three.
The win advances ASU to a match-up against Syracuse, who enter the game at an impressive 41-14. First pitch will be at 1:00pm at Farrington Stadium.
Click here to see the full (and printable) 2012 softball tournament bracket.