Softball Falls To No. 1 Michigan In Super Regional Final

May 28, 2005

ANN ARBOR, Mich.-- Washington (35-22) jumped out to a two-run lead in the third and deciding game of the NCAA Super Regional but could not hold off top-ranked Michigan (60-5) who scored 11 unanswered runs en route to the 11-2 six-inning victory. The Huskies' season comes to an end, while the Wolverines advance to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla., June 2-8.

'The first game was a good game,' said head coach Heather Tarr. 'The second game was not so good. I'm proud of our girls. I'm proud of the way they battled. We had our ups and downs this season and I'm absolutely, 100-percent proud of these ladies. We talk a lot about how it's not how you necessarily perform all of the time but it's how you respond to the things that happen to you and these guys were behind the eight ball so many times this year and we were in a lot of positions where a lot of people didn't believe we were going to get out of it and I'm not going to measure this team on this last game. I'm going to measure them on how they have responded. How did they respond to last nights loss? They came back and won a game today. And we were in a position to win another one and it just got out of hand. I'm going to measure this team, like I said, on how they respond to adverse situations and I wouldn't have wanted any other team besides this team to be here this weekend.'

The Huskies jumped on the scoreboard in the first inning with a two-run home run by Co-Pac-10 Player of the Year Kristen Rivera. The blast, her 21st of the season and 79th of her career, also scored Ashley Charters who had singled up the middle.

Michigan evened the score in the top of the second inning with a two-run home run by Nicole Motycka.

The momentum shifted for the Huskies in the bottom half of the frame when Caitlin Noble led off with a single and appeared to slide into home safely on an infield single by Charters but was called out for sliding outside the baseline.

The Wolverines took the lead in the third, scoring two runs on three hits. Alessandra Giampaolo led off the frame with her second home run in as many days and ninth overall. Jessica Merchant followed with a single up the middle and scored on a single by Grace Leutele to put UM on top 4-2.

Michigan replaced starter Lorilyn Wilson with Jennie Ritter in the third and Washington did not record another hit.

Michigan posted four more runs in the fourth frame with two outs. Becky Marx and Giampaola walked and Merchant reached base when she swung and missed strike three but the pitch was wild and got passed Rivera. Samantha Findlay hit a two-RBI double down the left line and Motycka drove in two more with a single through the left side as Michigan took the 8-2 lead. Caitlin Noble replaced started Ashley Boek and struck out the next batter to end the inning.

The Wolverines tallied three more runs in the sixth on two hits and two errors. Giampaolo scored on an error by Rivera at the plate and Leutele hit a two-run home run off the left field score board to take the 11-2 lead and eventual win.

Ritter (33-2) picked up the victory as she held Washington to no runs and no hits over four innings, while striking out five.

Boek (20-14) took the loss for UW as she allowed eight runs on nine hits, while striking out six.

Today marked the final game for six Husky seniors, including Callie Bergan, Boek, Kathy Fiske, Kirsten L'Heureux, Rivera and Jessica Wilkinson.

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