Diamond Dawgs Dominate in San Diego
Feb. 13, 2009
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Washington Husky softball team showed Friday it could win with dominating pitching or dominating offense, defeating UC-Santa Barbara, 3-0, and Utah State, 16-3, on day one of the Campbell Cartier Classic at the San Diego State Sofball Stadium.
UW improved to 7-0 on the season, its best start since kicking off the 2003 season with a 9-0 record. The Huskies need just three wins to equal the school-record setting start of the 2002 team, which opened 10-0.
'Those were two good wins. I think this morning was good for us because we weren't satisfied offensively with our performance and we came back in the afternoon and were able to capitalize on some big scoring opportunities,' Washington head coach Heather Tarr said. 'It was great to get contributions from the freshmen in game two. Defensively we weren't the sharpest, but we found a way to answer back after being down two runs. It was great to see our team respond immediately and keep the momentum throughout the whole game.'
The first game was a display of the Huskies' dominating pitching and defense as junior ace Danielle Lawrie struck out 12 and allowed just two infield hits in posting her second consecutive shutout. She improved to 4-0 on the season and struck out 12 batters in a game for the third time in four starts. She now has 48 strikeouts in 29.0 innings pitched this season, putting her just two strikeouts away from tying the UW career record in just over two seasons.
The second game was all offense as UW pounded out 15 hits and scored its most runs in a game since a 22-1 win over Nevada in 2005. Five different Huskies had at least two hits, lead by a trio of freshmen. Niki Williams went 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, Jenna Clifton went 2-for-3 with two runs scored while Kimi Pohlman had the big blast, a grand slam in an eight-run fourth. She finished the game 2-for-3 with a run scored and five RBI. Sophomore Morgan Stuart and senior Ashlyn Watson also came up big for the Huskies, with Stuart going 2-for-2 with three runs, a walk and an RBI, and Watson going 2-for-3 with two RBI.
In the first game, Lawrie cruised to the victory, striking out nine batters in a row after inducing a groundout to the Gaucho's leadoff hitter. The string was broken in the fourth inning when Jessica Ziegler beat out an infield single, but Lawrie rebounded to strike out the next two batters and went on to retire eight of the next nine until Ziegler collected her second infield single to lead off the seventh. Lawrie retired the next batter on a fly ball to centerfield and Morgan Stuart dove to her left to snare a line drive at third base and doubled off Ziegler to end the game.
The Huskies scored all three of their runs in the second inning, starting with a leadoff home run by Watson, her third of the season. Senior Alicia Blake followed with a walk and scored when Lawrie helped her own cause with a double down the left field line. Two batters later, Williams plated Lawrie with a sacrifice fly to left field, giving the All-American pitcher all the cushion she needed.
Charters finished the game 2-for-2 with a triple, a walk and a stolen base and was the only Husky with more than one hit in the game.
In the second game, the Huskies used a six-run third and an eight-run fourth to overcome a 2-0 deficit and breeze past Utah State, 16-3, in a game called after five innings due to the mercy rule.
The Aggies got on the board first with two runs in the top of the second inning, but the Huskies came right back to tie the score with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Williams led off the inning with a single then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Clifton. Stuart followed with a deep drive to right field which bounced off the wall and rolled past the right fielder, allowing Stuart to slide into third with a triple.
One out later, the Huskies tied the score when Charters reached on an error, allowing Stuart to score.
The Huskies then broke out for six runs in the third inning to take an 8-2 lead. UW notched five consecutive hits to start the inning and Blake, Clifton, Pohlman and Watson all had RBI singles while Williams added an RBI double. Watson started the inning with a single and concluded the rally with a two-run single to give the Huskies a big cushion.
UW added another eight runs in the fourth, with the big blast provided by Pohlman, whose first career home run was a memorable one. She connected for the Huskies' second grand slam of the season to deep centerfield, giving the Dawgs a 14-3 lead. Also in the inning, sophomore Ashley Tuiasosopo collected a pinch-hit bases-loaded single for her first hit and RBI of the season and Charters also had an RBI on a bases-loaded walk.
The Huskies play just one game on Saturday against host San Diego State at 7 p.m. They conclude play over the weekend with an 11:30 a.m. game on Sunday against Long Beach State.
Ashley Charters hit UW's first triple since 2007 in the third inning. UW did not hit a triple in 2008, the first time in school history the Huskies did not have a three-bagger. Morgan Stuart hit UW's second triple of the season against Utah State.
The triple was the 11th of Charters' career, putting her one behind Tami Storseth for third all time.
Lawrie is just two strikeouts shy of tying Jennifer Spediacci for most career strikeouts in UW history. Spediacci struck out 894 batters in 124 games between 1997 and 2000. Lawrie has struck out 892 in just 98 games.
Charters stole three bases in the two games and now needs just 12 to tie the all-time UW record.