No. 1 Huskies Squeak By Baylor, 1-0, In Eight Innings
March 6, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 1 Washington softball team overcame a 15-strikeout performance by Baylor freshman phenom Whitney Canion, scoring the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning on a passed ball to defeat the No. 24 Bears, 1-0.
The Huskies improved to 18-0 heading into their showdown tonight against Alabama, which is ranked No. 1 in the NFCA/USA Today Top 25. UW is No. 1 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll.
Washington was held to seven hits and struck out 15 times against Canion, but UW also had their ace, Danielle Lawrie, in the circle and the teams traded zeroes through the first seven innings. Lawrie didn't have her normal overpowering stuff, allowing a season-high five hits and striking out just seven, but after working in and out of trouble through the first five innings, she settled down to retire the final 11 batters of the game.
The Huskies rallied in the eighth when freshman Felecia Harris led off with a single. Junior Bailey Stenson then reached on a fielder's choice and stole second to give UW just its second runner in scoring position of the afternoon. Marnie Koziol and Kimi Pohlman followed with back-to-back infield singles to load the bases.
With two outs and Alicia Blake at the plate - the Huskies hottest hitter - Canion threw a pitch on the inside corner which bounced off the Bears' catchers' shin guard and got far enough away to allow Stenson to slide in with the winning.
With the win, Lawrie improved to 13-0 and extended her streak of consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to 74.1.
Freshman Kimi Pohlman and senior Ashlyn Watson combined to collect five of UW's seven hits in the game, with Pohlman going 3-for-4 for her first career three-hit game. Watson went 2-for-4 with a double to increase her team-leading average to .457.
The Bears had at least one runner in scoring position in each of the first five innings, including having two runners on base with less than two outs three times. Lawrie escaped a two-on, one out jam in the second and a second-and-third with one out jam in the fourth. The Bears then loaded the bases with one out in the fifth on a hit, a walk and a hit batter, but Lawrie retired the next two batters on a strikeout and a fielder's choice to escape. She did not a low a base runner over the final three innings.
The Huskies and Crimson Tide battle tonight at 6 p.m. CT/4 p.m. PT at Alabama Softball Complex. Live video will be available via http://www.rolltide.com.
● Lawrie lowered her season ERA to 0.16, allowing just two earned runs in 86.1 innings.
● Lawrie's seven strikeouts give her 984 in her career. She is just 16 shy of becoming just the second active NCAA Division I pitcher with 1,000 career Ks.