No. 4 Softball Downs Michigan State, 4-3

March 8, 2003

PLANT CITY, Fla. - The fourth-ranked Washington softball team (23-1-1) defeated Michigan State, 4-3, Saturday night in the second round of the Speedline Invitational championship bracket.

The Huskies used a solo home run by Kathy Fiske (Temecula, Wash.) in the top of the second inning to jump out on top, 1-0. Fiske jacked a 3-2 change-up over the center field fence for her sixth home run of the season.

Washington struck again in the third inning with another run to take the 2-0 lead. Aimee Minor (San Jacinto, Calif.) led off the inning with a walk and scored on a Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.) double into right centerfield.

The Spartans cut the lead to one in the bottom half of the inning, taking advantage of two Husky errors and a hit batman. Michigan State put two runners on base on an error and a hit by pitch. With two outs, Washington misplayed a ball down the right line that scored the runner from second and pulled the Spartens to within one.

MSU evened the score in the fifth frame, 2-2. After a Husky error, Ashley Boek (Redding, Calif.) came into the game in relief of starter Tia Bollinger (Santa Ana, Calif.) who had thrown a no-hitter through the first four innings. After a sacrifice bunt and a hit batsmen, the Spartens hit a single into left field to tie the game at two.

The Huskies regained the lead in the sixth inning on a two-run double by freshman Dena Tyson (Corona, Calif.). Kristen Rivera (Perris, Calif.) led off the inning being hit by a pitch and was replaced at first base by pinch runner Traci Tawney (Fall City, Wash.). With one out, Sarah Hyatt (Sedro-Woolley, Wash.) bunted down and reached base safely when the Spartens attempted to throw out the lead runner. The throw got by the short stop and Tawney advanced to third base. Hyatt then put herself into scoring position by stealing second. Tyson followed with a double down the left field, scoring Tawney and Hyatt and giving Washington the 4-2 edge.

Michigan State threatened UW's lead in the bottom of the sixth, placing its first two runners on base on an error and a double into right center, which scored a run. Bollinger came back into the game and got the Huskies out of the inning with a ground out and strikeout as Washington held on for the victory.

Boek earned the win (11-1), giving up two hits and a run in one inning of work. Bollinger picked up her third save of the season, giving up no hits and striking out five in six innings.

With the victory, Washington advances to the semifinal game of the Speedline Invitational on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. (EST). The Huskies will play tonight's winner of the Pacific vs. Stanford game.

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