Saturday Pac-10 Softball Recaps

May 20, 2007

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

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 UGA 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 Georgia. The Bulldogs 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).

Ducks Headed to Championship Game after 8-4 Victory Over South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. - It had been three weeks since Ann Marie Topps hit her last home run, but the senior torched No. 19, a three-run shot dead to center field in Oregon's 8-4 victory over South Carolina on Saturday afternoon in the 2007 Regionals at Beckham Field.

With the win, the No. 2 seed Ducks (44-17) will have a rematch with South Carolina on Sunday in the Regional championship game scheduled for 10 a.m. The Gamecocks would have to defeat Oregon twice on Sunday to advance to the Super Regionals, the Ducks need just one victory.

South Carolina defeated N.C. State 4-3 to advance to the championship game.

'We are really happy to be sitting here as the winner because that was a great game,' head coach Kathy Arendsen said. 'We have great respect for South Carolina's effort.'

'Every other regional we have been in since I have been at Oregon we had to win the 'if necessary' game. It's a wonderful feeling to be in the other place.'

'I am incredibly proud of them, I think we are incredibly difficult to beat twice. So that obviously gives us an advantage. It's so key our speed gets on. Our first two hitters get on and good things happen and that's the way it had been all year. Suzie and Sari getting on brings up Jenn with two runners on where she excels in an RBI opportunity, and obviously that cashed in for us.'

Alicia Cook (23-4) picked up her second win of the weekend, allowing four runs on 12 hits. It was her 22nd complete game of the year.

Cook was also helped out by her defense, when the infield turned a 6-4-3 double play with runners on the corners and one out in the bottom of the fifth. South Carolina also left two runners on in the bottom of sixth and seventh. Cook struck out six on the day.

After Topps' home run gave Oregon a 5-1 lead in the top of the fifth, South Carolina put a run on the scoreboard when Lisa Longo doubled down the left field line to score Tori Martin.

In the top of the seventh Oregon added three insurance runs when freshman Neena Bryant's one-out, stand-up double off the wall in right center brought Jenn Salling and Sari-Jane Jenkins across the plate. Senior first baseman Kristi Leiter then added her second RBI in as many days, bringing home Bryant with a single to right field.

'All year we've been struggling to have timely hitting, and I think we are finally making adjustments now,' Jenkins said.

'We came up big. A lot of hitters came up big at times. Kristi Leiter had some key hits. Ann Marie came up big. Hopefully we can keep doing that. I think we have yet to reach our peak but good things are happening so we are going to keep pressing on.'

The Gamecocks (35-24) made things interesting after Lindsay Walker dropped a two-run single into shallow center field with two outs against her in the seventh.

Four Oregon players finished with multiple hits on the day, led by Jenkins' 3-for-4 performance. Salling was 2-for-3 as was Leiter. Joanna Gail finished with two hits as well, including her eighth double of the year.

South Carolina's Melissa Hendon (18-17) took the loss after allowing eight runs on 12 hits.

In the first Oregon took the lead for good, as Salling had runners at second and third with two strikes against her when she lined a two-run single through the right side, picking up multiple RBIs for the second consecutive game and giving Oregon a 2-0 lead.

Salling was able to pick up the RBIs after the speedy Suzie Barnes reached first on an infield single and stole second, followed by Jenkins, who improved her hitting streak to eight games and added her third stolen base of the Regionals.

'We have always stressed throughout the year to score first, to score in the first inning,' Salling said. 'Whenever we are visitors we try to get the momentum going.'

QUACK TRACKS: Oregon's 44th victory is the most for the program in Kathy Arendsen's five-year tenure...it also ties for her career high, set at Mississippi State in 2000...this is the first time in the history of the Ducks in 10 postseason appearances, that they have advanced to the championship game in just two games...Oregon advanced to the regional championship game in 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005, but did not move onto the Super Regionals...Sari-Jane Jenkins has had multiple-hit games in Oregon's last five contests...the Ducks are 4-1 in that span...Neena Bryant hit her 13th double of the season on Saturday, Kristi Leiter hit her 12th...Barnes stole her team-leading 41st base of the year, she now has 71 in her career - needing one to tie the all-time record owned by Kim Manning...Jenkins stole her 37th base of the year...Salling has 73 RBIs this year, and four in the last two games.

McGowan Leads No. 15 Softball Into NCAA Regional Championship With 100th Career Win, Two Home Runs, And Six RBI Against Louisville

Ann Arbor, Mich. - Senior pitcher Brianne McGowan earned her 100th career victory and helped her own cause by hitting a pair of home runs and totaling six RBI in No. 15 ranked Oregon State's 11-4 victory over University of Louisville in Saturday night's NCAA Softball Regional Tournament action.

With the victory, Oregon State (41-22) advances to Sunday's championship game against No. 10 ranked University of Michigan.

'I'm proud of this team,' said OSU head coach Kirk Walker. 'We finally started to play how we are capable and did a great job today.'

The Beavers came out on fire to open the game. A lead-off double to the right field fence from Cambria Miranda sparked the offense from the onset. Senior shortstop Mia Longfellow followed with an RBI single and then came around to score when McGowan sent a towering two-run home run over the left-center field fence.

Louisville closed within 3-2 when Cardinals right fielder Brooke McCrain belted a two-run home run over the right-center field fence in the bottom of the second inning.

A big third inning helped Oregon State extend its lead to 7-2 as the first four Beaver batters recorded singles and OSU batted around the order. McGowan drove in two more runs in the frame and freshman Kelly Dyer picked up an RBI when she drew a bases loaded walk.

The Longfellow and McGowan combination proved lethal again in the top of the fourth inning as Longfellow started the inning with her third hit of the game and then came around to score when McGowan hit a sacrifice fly to right field. The run scored was the 141st of Longfellow's career, tying her with Adrienne Alo (2003-06) as Oregon State's all-time record holder.

McGowan belted her second home run of the game in the top of the sixth inning with a 300-foot blast over the right-center field fence. The home run was the 10th of the season for the Reno, NV, native and the 35th of her career - moving her into sole possession of second place in the Beavers' all-time record book. The home run also marked McGowan's sixth RBI of the game, giving her 134 in her career - the second-most in Oregon State history. OSU made the score 10-2 later in the inning when senior third baseman Sherina Galvan had an RBI single to center field.

Louisville (37-25) picked up a run in both the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings and Miranda belted her team-leading 11th home run of the year for Oregon State in the top of the seventh to round out the scoring. McGowan's last trip to the plate saw Louisville pitcher Kristen Wadwell intentionally walking her.

McGowan, Longfellow and Miranda all scored three runs in the game. McGowan was a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate, while Miranda was 3-for-5. Longfellow picked up her second four-hit game in the past week with a 4-for-5 clip from the plate - once again matching the school record for hits in a single game.

McGowan (25-13) struck out six batters on the afternoon to raise her school record career total to 850 K's. Her 100 career victories rank in 11th place all-time in the Pacific-10 Conference record books.Sunday's championship game is scheduled to start a 10 a.m. PDT. The Beavers must win twice to garner a berth in the Super Regional. The game is a rematch of the 2004 NCAA Regional Tournament final when the Wolverines earned a berth to the Women's College World Series.

Cal Exits Tuscaloosa Regional with 13-1 loss to Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Ala. - The 2007 postseason run came to an end for the California Golden Bears after their 13-1 loss to 11th-seeded and regional host, Alabama on Saturday night from the Alabama Softball Complex. Cal lost earlier in the day to Tennessee Tech, 3-1, in the double-elimination format. Cal concludes its season at 34-32.

Alex Sutton, the lone senior on the squad, put the Bears on the scoreboard first after her solo home run (12th of the season) cleared the left field wall in the bottom of the first inning. Sutton finished her career with 111 runs, 112 RBI and 16 home runs in 244 games in a Cal uniform. Sutton will depart for New England where she will play for the Riptide in the National Fastpitch League which begins in June.

The Crimson Tide evened the score at 1-1 after Ashley Holcombe produced an RBI single to plate pinch runner Mallory Benak in the top of the second.

Kelly Montalvo's two-run single gave Alabama a 3-1 lead, before Mandy Burford's RBI single thru the left side pushed the Crimson Tide's lead to 4-1 in the top of the third.

The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles continued to surprise fans at Tuscaloosa Regional after their 3-1 win over Cal in the morning affair. TTU, who remains in the winner's bracket, faces Alabama tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. (CT). Tennessee Tech defeated Alabama, 4-2 on Friday.

Tennessee Tech wasted little time in generating its first two runs of the game in the first inning. After Beth Boden drew a lead off walk, Katie Speiser connected for a home run over the left field wall to put the Golden Eagles up 2-0.

Cal responded in the top of the third when Julie Meyer belted a solo home run over the center field wall, trimming the TTU lead to 2-1.

The Bears had one of their best scoring opportunities in the fourth inning when Gina Leomiti and Bernice Masaniai produced back-to-back singles to start the stanza. Despite a Katie Vickers sacrifice bunt which moved the runners to second and third, Golden Eagle pitcher Bonnie Bynum got Vernae Sevilla and Meyer to strikeout to end the scoring threat.

Tennessee Tech added another run in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice fly to left field.

LSU Tops Stanford for Regional Title, 11-5

Stanford, Calif. - The No. 16/18 Cardinal softball team recorded nine hits, four doubles and a homerun, but the offensive effort fell short of the five homerun effort of the No. 3 LSU Tigers. The teams evened in the hits and errors columns, but LSU claimed the Regional title by an 11-5 margin. Stanford concludes its season with a 35-21-1 record, while LSU advances to the Tempe Super Regional with a 55-10 overall mark.

Both teams were out of the gates quickly, with a combined eight runs in the first inning and a half. LSU started the scoring less than 10 pitches in, as Stanford pitcher Missy Penna had faced just one batter, when Tiger right fielder Rachel Mitchell put her first homerun of the game over the right center field fence, giving LSU a 1-0 lead.

Stanford responded, however, and notched three hits on its first offensive chance. Alissa Haber drew a four-pitch walk with two outs and Michelle Smith followed with a single to left field. On the next at bat, Maddy Coon stepped up with her first homerun since Mar. 10, ripping a shot over the fence in left center field. The blast, Coon's fourth of the season, gave the Cardinal a 3-1 lead.

Mitchell wasted no time taking the Tiger lead back, however, launching another ball over the left center field fence in the top of the second inning, this time with bases loaded. A hit batter, a walk and a single by Andrea Smith set the table for Mitchell, and the LSU freshman brought them all in with her third homerun in three at bats.

Stanford wasn't ready to give up, however, and knotted the score at five an inning later. Tricia Aggabao led off with a single and Haber followed with a double down the right line to put two on for Smith. The Stanford junior ripped a ball to left that was dropped by the LSU outfield, and Aggabao came around to score. Coon then drilled a ball at the Tiger shortstop, which was mishandled, allowing the tying run to score.

LSU hit homeruns in the next three innings, however, to seal the win and the Stanford Regional title. In the fourth inning, center fielder Leslie Klein cracked a two-run shot to dead center. In the fifth, it was Quinlan Duhon who went deep, rocketing a ball over the fence in left center. In the sixth, a lead-off shot by Smith put the Tigers up 9-5.

The Tigers put an exclamation point on the win with two more runs in the seventh. Killian Roesser led off with a single and, after another hit batter, Tayl'r Hollis doubled to right field to drive both runners in.

Stanford's offense was led by the 2-for-3 performances of Penna and Smith, with each notching a double on the night. Coon had four RBI to lead the team for the weekend, and Coon, Smith, Penna and Jackie Rinehart were named to the Stanford Regional All-Tournament Team.

UCLA Softball Falls to LMU at NCAA Regional

LOS ANGELES - UCLA softball saw its 2007 season come to a close on Saturday night at Easton Stadium, falling to Loyola Marymount by a 4-2 margin. The Lions advance to the championship game of the Los Angeles regional where they will play Hawai'i at 2:30 pm PT. The Lions must win twice in order to advance to Super Regionals, while the Rainbow Wahine require just one win to advance.

There was no miraculous rally, no big hit in the clutch, no magic at the end.

The Bruins dropped consecutive games to Hawaii 5-3 and Loyola Marymount 4-2 Saturday night and were eliminated from the NCAA tournament.

The Bruins rallied with two runs in the sixth inning and loaded the bases in the seventh. They even got a pinch hit from 2004 World Series' hero Kristen Dedmon, but could go no further.

'We fought down to our last swing,' senior shortstop Jodie Legaspi said. 'That's what we do as Bruins. That's what we live by. If we only have one swing left, we're going to go down with that last swing.'

Hawaii scored two runs on Brandi Peiler's two-run double in the top of the eighth. LMU jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Megan Ackermann's three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth and held off the Bruins rally in the seventh to pull out the victory.

Anjelica Selden took the loss for UCLA in the nightcap. She gave up four runs in 4.2 innings. Freshman Megan Langenfeld came on in relief and held the Lions scoreless the last 1.1 innings, but the deficit was too much to overcome.

The Bruins beat LMU 6-3 on Friday night, but that was before Ackermann went on a tear at the plate.

The former Westlake High standout was 3 for 6 on Saturday with seven RBI, blasted a grand slam home run in LMU's 5-3 victory over UC Santa Barbara earlier in the evening.

'You never like to end a season,' first-year UCLA coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said. 'As Bruins, we're always planning to get to the end. It's part of our culture. Tonight, we simply ran out of time.'

Seventh-Seeded ASU Softball Completes the Sweep To Advance To NCAA Super Regionals

PROVO, Utah - Ten strikeouts and back-to-back home runs later the seventh-seeded Sun Devil Softball team finds themselves returning home after sweeping the Provo Regionals Saturday with a 6-3 win over the BYU Cougars in Game 6. The Sun Devils are now 52-15 overall and will now return home to host the Tempe Super Regional against the winner of the Palo Alto Regional, either Stanford or LSU.

Katie Burkhart struck out 10 on the day en route to her 33rd win of the season, which ties her for the ASU single-season record for wins with Erica Beach's effort in the 2002 season. Burkhart's 10 K's also move her to 473 on the season, good for fourth all-time in Pac-10 single-season history and 16th all-time in NCAA history. She's also tallied 1,113 career strikeouts, putting her 23rd all-time in NCAA history in career strikeouts as a junior.

The Sun Devils jumped on the scoreboard first in the third as they rattled off three hits off of Christina Gywn and capitalized on a Cougar error to plate three, taking the 3-0 lead. BYU wasn't ready to give it up yet though as they hit four straight to take three back in the bottom of the inning and knot it at three apiece.

The Sun Devils weren't ready to keep it tied though as a lead-off walk to Kristen Miller was brought home on a two run shot to left from Ashley Muenz as she battled back from a 1-2 count to hit her sixth homerun of the season, giving ASU the 5-3 boost. Up next, slapper Jackie Vasquez decided to make career history as she sent the first pitch sailing over the right center wall for her first career home run. Burkhart set it on cruise control after as the Sun Devils closed out the Regional to take the 6-3 win and advance to the NCAA Super Regional Round.

'I'm extremely proud of the girls for this weekend's effort and I take my hat off to BYU, an outstanding team with amazing coaching and players. They never gave up at any point in this Regional and I can do nothing but salute them and everything they've accomplished this season.', said Head Coach Clint Myers of the series.

The Sun Devils now head back to Tempe to prepare for hosting the Tempe Super Regional where they will face either (10) LSU or Pac-10 rival Stanford. The series will be held at ASU's Farrington Stadium in Tempe on Friday, May 25 and Saturday May 26. The winner of the Super Regional will advance to the 2007 Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.

Arizona Softball Advances to Regional Final with 8-0 Win

TUCSON, Ariz. - The top-seeded Arizona softball team is headed to the regional title game after an 8-0 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday.

The Wildcats, which improved to 41-12-1 on the year with the win, have now outscored opponents 17-0 in two regional games this season.

The loss dropped Mississippi State to 35-26 in 2007. The Bulldogs will face the winner of the Pacific/Howard game for the right to face Arizona in tomorrow's game regional final.

Arizona second baseman Chelsie Mesa led the way with a 2-for-4, three-RBI showing at the plate. Four additional Wildcats tacked on RBI and Arizona punched out nine hits in the victorious effort.

Mississippi State had the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the fourth inning, but would not get much closer to scoring. Second baseman Chelsea Bramlett accounted for two of four Bulldog hits.

Arizona and Mississippi State were locked in a scoreless battle until the top of the fifth, when the Wildcats exploded for three runs.

With one out, Adrienne Acton reached on an infield single to short. Caitlin Lowe - who reached twice via error - sent a chopper to the shortstop as well. The ball would be good for an infield single and a throwing error on Courtney Bures gave UA runners on the second and third.

With a pair runners in scoring position, Chelsie Mesa knocked her third triple of the year to right-center field to plate the two UA outfielders. Next, Kristie Fox brought Mesa across with a warning-track sacrifice fly to center field.

The Wildcats added a run in their half of the sixth to bring the score to 4-0. With two outs, Sam Banister drew a walk before being lifted for pinch runner Jill Malina. K'Lee Arredondo followed with a double to the gap that brought Malina all the way around to score.

In the seventh inning, Arizona doubled its score with four more runs. UA used three hits, the Bulldogs' fourth defensive error of the day, two wild pitches and a walk to push the quartet of runs across.

Arizona pitcher Taryne Mowatt (32-10) tossed her second complete-game shutout in as many days and blanked an opposing team for the 14th time this year. The first-team all Pac-10 selection allowed four hits and one walk in seven innings of scoreless work. Mowatt's pitching counterpart Kelli Miller (18-11) drew the loss, having given up three runs on five hits in five innings of work.

Game Notes:-Caitlin Lowe was caught stealing for the first time this season, having stolen 47 straight bases in 2007 and 54 dating back to 2006.

-Arizona improved to 18-1 this year when its opponent commits two or more errors.

-Arizona improved to 52-6 all-time in NCAA games at Hillenbrand Stadium.

Up Next: Arizona will play the winner tonight's 6 p.m. matchup between the Mississippi State and the winner of the Howard/Pacific game. The Wildcats' will play at noon on Sunday. Live stats and a free webcast of the game will be available at arizonaathletics.com. Should Arizona lose, the two teams would play the 'if necessary' game at 2:30 for a trip to the super regional round.

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