Houston Ends Huskies Season With 2-1 Win
May 18, 2008
HOUSTON, Texas - Haley Valis hit a solo home run to lead No. 11 Houston to a 2-1 win over No. 24 Washington in the championship game of the NCAA Softball Houston Regional. The Cougars advance to an NCAA Super Regional for the first time in school history.
Washington's season comes to an end. They finished with a 30-25-1 record and picked up 30 wins for the 15th-straight season.
Angel Shamblin (35-3) went the distance for Houston, giving up just two hits, one earned run and three walks while striking out seven.
Valis put the Cougars on the scoreboard in the fifth inning with a solo shot to center field with one out and the count full.
The Huskies had a chance to breakthrough in the sixth inning after Amanda Fleischman led off with a bloop double to left field. But she was stranded there after Shamblin got three straight outs.
Houston (53-9) extended its lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth. Katie Bush reached on a one-out single and stole second. Aleah Macon, who had come on to pitch for the UW to start the inning, then walked three straight batters to bring in Bush.
Caitlin Noble, who started and pitched the first five innings, came back on for Macon and induced a groundout and got a strikeout to keep the score at 2-0.
Washington finally cut into Houston's lead in the seventh inning on a Morgan Stuart solo home run to center field. Stuart lined a 2-2 pitch with one out to make it 2-1.
Shamblin induced back-to-back groundouts to end the game and send the Cougars past Washington for the second time in the regional.
Noble, the Huskies lone senior, pitched well enough to win for Washington, scattering three hits over five and two-thirds innings. She struck out seven and didn't allow a walk but fell to 13-9 in her final game for the Huskies.
Her seven strikeouts moved her career total to 757, which moved her up one spot to No. 4 all-time at the UW. She passed Tia Bollinger, who had 753 strikeouts from 2001-04.
Houston finished with four hits, led by Bush's 2-for-4 performance.
NOTES: The Huskies are now 16-9 in NCAA tournament action under Tarr. Overall, Washington is 62-29 in the NCAA Tournament and 44-11 in regional play ... The last time Noble didn't allow a walk in more than five innings of work came in the Huskies second game of the season against Texas Tech on Feb. 8 ... Shamblin held the UW to three hits in the 14 innings she pitched against them ... Stuart's home run was her seventh of the year. She finished tied for the team lead with Alicia Blake.