Softball Defeats No. 17 Georgia In 12-Inning Thriller

Feb. 8, 2003

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Oregon seniors Lynsey Haij and Alyssa Laux are at the top of Oregon's batting order for a reason. On Saturday, Haij drove in Laux in the bottom of the 12th inning to lift the Ducks to their second-consecutive upset, defeating No. 17 Georgia in a 4 hour, 15 minute contest at the Seminole Classic in Tallahassee, Fla. Oregon is now 7-1 overall this season - the best start since at least 1986 when records were first kept.

'Lynsey Haij was outstanding for us offensively today,' Oregon head coach Kathy Arendsen said. 'Again, I thought we played great defense and stayed tough throughout. Our pitching has continued to be a strong point for us and I'm very pleased. Now I want to focus on the final game of the tournament so we can go home undefeated in a very tough tournament.'

Haij had a career-high five hits in the game, finishing 5-for-6 with a run scored and the game-winning RBI. Laux was 2-for-6, including a lead-off triple in the 12th inning to set up Haij's at-bat. On Friday, it was Laux who hit a two-RBI single in the seventh inning to lift the Ducks past ninth-ranked Florida State. It marks the first time since 2000 that Oregon has defeated ranked opponents in back-to-back games.

'I just felt confident up there,' Haij said. 'I was focusing on hitting it up the middle and that's what I did. I think mentally we were the stronger team and we wanted it more. We've gotten to a point where we want to win every time out.'

Freshman pitcher Amy Harris (Eugene) relieved junior Anissa Meashintubby in the sixth inning and went on to pitch seven innings to pick up her third win of the season - her second over a ranked team. Harris allowed zero runs through seven innings and struck out six batters in the win.

Sophomore Erin Goodell hit a two-out two RBI single just over Georgia shortstop Ashley Godfrey to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. It was Goodell's second multiple RBI game of the tournament and tied her RBI total (5) from all of 2002. Oregon had two hits in the inning as well as two walks to load the bases and were aided early on an error by Georgia third baseman Michelle Tyree.

Oregon's defense came through in the top of the third inning, fending off a two-out rally by the Bulldogs. After a single each by Tyree and center fielder Nicole Barber, Georgia second baseman Katie Lewis advanced the runners to second and third when she was out unassisted at first base. Meashintubby intentionally walked All-American Kim Wendland to load the bases and Oregon freshman Breanne Sabol made the decision pay off with a textbook play in Georgia's next at bat to secure the third out and the Ducks' lead.

Georgia finally got on the board in the top of the fourth inning when Courtney Knight led off with a triple and scored on an RBI single by catcher Shannon McKeon. With two outs and runners at first and second, Meashintubby made two consecutive plays, picking up the force out at third on a hard hit ball by Tyree and making a play to first in the Bulldogs' next at bat for the third out.

The Bulldogs tied the game, 2-2, in the top of the sixth inning after pitcher Michelle Green reached on an error and later scored on an RBI single by McKeon. Harris prevented Georgia's go-ahead run from scoring by striking out Shawna Norris and forcing Tyree to pop up to second base.

The Ducks faced another Georgia threat in the top of the seventh inning as the Bulldogs led off the inning with the top of their order. Barber led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a single by Lewis. Oregon took another chance, intentionally walking Wendland to load the bases for a second time in the game. Harris struck out Godfrey for the first out and Green flew out to right field for the second out. Oregon freshman Dani Baird made a running catch in center field in Georgia's next at bat for the third out.

Oregon had runners at first and second in the bottom of the seventh, but was also unable to capitalize, forcing extra innings for the second time this season. Oregon is now 2-0 in extra inning games this season. The two teams combined for 26 hits, but defense proved to be key as Georgia left 17 runners on base while Oregon left 10 stranded.

With the win, Oregon secured its second tournament title, but has one game remaining vs. Florida A&M University following the Florida State/Georgia came, which followed Oregon's game.

Oregon 3, No. 17 Georgia 2Georgia 000 101 000 000 - 2 15 1Oregon 200 000 000 001 - 3 11 2Win: Harris (3-1); Loss: Green (3-1)3B: Knight (1); Laux (1)
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