Softball Advances To NCAA Regional Championship With 8-0 Win Over Georgia

May 19, 2007

LINCOLN, Neb.-- The Washington softball team (37-16) exploded for 11 hits against Georgia (44-27) Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Regional Tournament en route to the 8-0, five-inning victory. The mercy-rule win marks the eighth for the Huskies this season and catapults the Dawgs into Sunday's Regional Championship.

Washington improves to 9-0 all-time in postseason games played at Bowlin Stadium, including four wins in 2003, three wins in 2005 and two wins this weekend.

'Offensively, we were able to do our job,' said head coach Heather Tarr. 'I don't think (Georgia) threw its best pitcher at us. We anticipate that they will try to return to face us on Sunday. Overall, it was a well-played game, and we had control over it the whole time.

'I think overall we're a pretty dynamic offense in that we have slappers who can hit the ball on the ground and make things happen on down to people who can hit the ball out of the park. If they take one part away, then we can get them with another.'

While the Huskies jumped all over GU pitcher Christine Hamilton, sophomore ace Danielle Lawrie kept Georgia guessing all day allowing just one hit- an infield single by Sojourner Moody in the third- while striking out five. The five K's brings her season total to 389 strikeouts, which breaks her own school record of 387 strikeouts set last season.

The Huskies raced out to the 3-0 lead in the first inning on four hits. Junior All-American Ashley Charters led off with a single up the middle and moved to second on a single to left field by sophomore Marnie Koziol. Senior All-American Dominique Lastrapes followed with a four-pitch walk to load the bases and senior Dena Tyson line a two-RBI single into left field. After a line out, Lawrie singled up the middle to drive in Lastrapes and give UW the 3-0 advantage.

Washington added two more runs in the second inning on three hits. Charters led off with a stand-up triple to right field and scored on a triple by Koziol that rolled to the warning track in left-centerfield. The Bulldogs elected to intentionally walk Tyson to face junior Lauren Greer and she proceeded to rip an RBI-single into right-center to score Tyson and put the Huskies on top, 5-0.

Charter's triple marked the 10th of her career, tying her for fourth on the UW all-time list with former All-American Becky Simpson (1999-2002).

The Huskies pulled away in the fourth, scoring three more runs on three hits and an error to push their lead to 8-0. Lastrapes got the rally going, dropping a bunt and reaching base on a throwing error by third baseman Megan McAllister. Tyson followed with a single off the right field wall but was thrown out when both she and Lastrapes ended up on second base. Greer followed with a walk and Lawrie capped off the inning with a three-run home run over the left-centerfield wall for her 10th homer of the season.

Lawrie closed out the game with a pair of ground outs and a pop-up to seal the UW victory. She improves to 26-10 on the season as she held the Bulldogs to one hit, walked two and fanned five.

'You just have to go up there with the same approach,' said Lawrie. 'Like I said yesterday, every single game, you go out there and hit your spots. (Catcher) Alicia (Matthews) is going to call a great game; I already know that going into it. Hopefully, things turn in your favor, which they did today. You thank the offense yet again, and the defense made some great plays. We came out with a `W,' and you can't ask for more.'

'Last year, I pitched a lot in the postseason and in the Pac-10. I gear up for the end of the season. This is our time to shine, and this is when I have to step up there and do the best I can so we can go a full seven innings. I have to be strong for 20 innings if that's how many I have to throw. I'm mentally ready to do that.'

Christine Hamilton (15-14) took the loss as she gave up eight runs on 11 hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

The Huskies will play in their fifth consecutive NCAA Regional Championship Sunday at 11 a.m. (PST) against an opponent yet to be determined. Nebraska and Creighton play today at 2 p.m. in the loser's bracket with the winner taking on Georgia at 5:30 p.m. The winner of the 5:30 game will take on the Huskies Sunday and will need to beat Washington twice to advance to next weekend's Super Regional.

NOTES: Ashley Charters has four triples this season, tying for eighth on the UW single-season list (Tami Storeseth, 1993, 1995) ... Washington's two triples is a single-game postseason record for the Huskies ... Danielle Lawrie (26-10) is one win away from entering the UW top-five list (27, three players tied) ... Charters is one run away from entering the UW single-season top-10 list (55, Rosie Leutzinger, 1999).

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