Not long ago, the question was, would the ASU women's fast-pitch team ever beat archrival Arizona in a regular-season game, much less win the conference championship and, gasp, the 2008 NCAA College World Series? After all, it was the Wildcats who were two-time defending national champs going into this year's Division I playoffs in Oklahoma City. Even after ASU had swept Arizona in its three-game season series this season, most fast-pitch pundits still viewed the Sun Devils as pretenders to the crown worn so often by their hated opponents to the south. But come next season, ASU will be the defenders, not the pretenders, after sweeping through the field (which included Arizona) and winning the whole enchilada, thanks in large part to the remarkable, five-win pitching performance of senior southpaw Katie Burkhart. Head coach Clint Myers deserves huge kudos for taking a program that famously underachieved again and again under his predecessor and climbing with his young charges to the very top of the women's fast-pitch ladder.