Georgia Forces Tiebreaker In Softball Regional Championship
May 20, 2007
LINCOLN, Neb. - The Georgia Bulldogs (46-27) used a ninth-inning leadoff home run by Megan McAllister to defeat the Washington softball team (37-17) 2-1 in the NCAA Regional Championship Sunday afternoon to force a tiebreaker game slated for a 1:52 p.m. (PST) start. The winner of that game will advance to next week's Super Regional.
The loss snaps Washington's 16 game regional game win streak and marks the Huskies' first regional loss since the 2002 season. It also marks Washington first defeat at Bowlin Stadium in 10 regional games, including postseason runs in 2003 and 2005.
The Huskies took the early 1-0 lead in the first inning with an RBI-single by junior Lauren Greer. The hit scored Dominique Lastrapes, who had reached base on a single to centerfield and moved into scoring position on a fielder's choice. It marked the third consecutive game Washington has scored a run in the first inning.
UW ace Danielle Lawrie meanwhile kept the Bulldogs in check, retiring 12 batters in a row after giving up a leadoff single to Kellie Middleton in the first. Georgia didn't have another base runner until Chelsea Cantillo led off the fifth inning with a single to right centerfield but Lawrie sat the next three batters down in order to preserve the Huskies' 1-0 lead.
Washington miscues in the sixth opened the door for the Bulldogs as Georgia scored an unearned run to tie the score 1-1. Kristin Schnake was hit by a pitch to open the frame and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Middleton then hit a hard chopper to Nicole Moojen at third base and Moojen's throw to first was high, allowing the runners to move to second and third with no outs. Lawrie got Sojourner Moody to pop-out to first base but Melissa Wood lined an RBI-single to left field to knot the score. Lawrie got out of the inning with a pop-up to shortstop and her seventh strikeout of the game.
Both teams went down in order in the seventh, sending the game into extra-innings. Moojen led off the eighth with a line drive single into left field and moved to second on a fly-out by Ashley Charters to the centerfield warning track. Georgia hurler Kasi Carroll worked her way out of the jam, however, with a strikeout and ground out.
Georgia threatened in the bottom of the eighth when Middleton reached base on a fielding error by Lastrapes at second base. Middleton moved into scoring position on a ground out by Moody and Lawrie notched the third out of the inning with another strikeout.
Washington put runners on second and third in the top of the ninth with a walk and an error on the Bulldog first baseman but Carroll was able to get Ashlyn Watson out on strikes to strand the runners.
McAllister came up big for Georgia in the bottom of the ninth, taking Lawrie's second offering and belting it over the left field wall for the game-winner. It marked McAllister's 10th home run of the season.
Lawrie (26-11) took the tough loss as allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits with no walks and nine strikeouts over eight innings.
Carroll (29-9) earned the victory as she held UW to one run on six hits with three walks and six strikeouts.