No. 3 Huskies Earn Doubleheader Sweep Of New Mexico
March 21, 2009
SEATTLE - The No. 3 Washington softball team improved to 26-3 with a doubleheader sweep over New Mexico Saturday, with a five-inning 14-3 win in the first game and a 4-3 eight-inning win in the second game.
The Huskies pounded out 14 hits - including three home runs - in the opening contest to win by the mercy rule, but had a much more difficult time in the night-cap, getting 10 hits but stranding 13 runners on base to get pushed to extra innings before Niki Williams drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth to win the game.
Senior Ashley Charters sparked the Huskies all day from the leadoff position, going 5-for-7 with two runs and three RBI in the two games, including the game-tying two-run single in the bottom of the sixth in the second game with the Huskies trailing 3-1. Charters also added two stolen bases on the day to take over as Washington's all-time leader.
In the circle, the Huskies were led by their two freshmen, Felecia Harris and Jenna Clifton, who each picked up victories to give ace Danielle Lawrie a rest. Harris got the start in the first game and allowed just one earned run on six hits and struck out three to improve to 6-2. Clifton, meanwhile, made her first career college start and earned the win to improve to 2-0, allowing no earned runs and seven hits while striking out two. Harris did not walk a batter while Clifton allowed just two free passes in eight innings.
The Huskies hit three home runs in the first two innings of the opener, getting back-to-back shots to deep center off the bats of Morgan Stuart and Lawrie. The home runs were the third of the season for Stuart and second for Lawrie. Harris then helped herself out with a solo shot to left leading off the second, her fourth long ball of the year.
Charters led off the opening inning with a single and stole second then scored when Williams singled and got in a rundown between first and second, allowing Charters to come home to tie the game. Stuart then followed with a two-out blast to center to give UW the lead and Lawrie followed with another deep shot to center.
After Harris made it 5-1 with her shot in the second, the Huskies broke open the game with seven runs in the third, sending 11 batters to the plate. Harris got the scoring started with a two-run single and Charters followed with an RBI single. Williams then ripped a three-run double to clear the bases and Ashlyn Watson singled to plate Williams and increase the lead to 12-1.
UW would tack on two more runs in the fourth on a two-run single by Alyson McWherter.
Charters and Williams went a combined 4-for-6 with four runs and four RBI as the top two in the order with Charters going 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI and Williams going 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBI. Lawrie went 2-for-2 with a run, an RBI and a double to go along with her home run while Harris had a perfect 2-for-2 game with two runs and three RBI.
Stuart chipped in two runs and two RBI while Taylor Smith had a hit in her only plate appearance coming off the bench and scored twice. In all, 10 different players had a hit in the first game, with Kimi Pohlman and Bailey Stenson also getting into the act.
Runs were a little harder to come by in the second game for UW as they left runners on base in all but one inning. Trailing 3-0 going into the sixth after New Mexico scored three unearned runs, the Huskies tied the game with three runs all coming with two outs. Amanda Fleischman started the rally with a single to left field and Marnie Koziol reached on an infield to single to put two runners on for Kimi Pohlman, who beat out an infield single. The Lobos' pitcher then threw the ball into right field, allowing Fleischman to score.
Charters then stepped up and ripped her third hit of the game to left field, driving in both Koziol and Pohlman to tie the game.
The Huskies got two runners on base in the seventh but were unable to push across a run until the eighth, when Koziol led off with a single and stole second before Pohlman and Charters walked to load the bases. Williams then drew the Huskies' ninth walk of the game to plate the winning run.
The All-American Charters went 3-for-4 in the second game, adding a walk to go along with her two RBI. She also stole her 114th career base, taking over the top spot in the UW record books.
Koziol had a season-high three hits, going 3-for-4 with two runs and a stolen base while Fleischman went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
The Huskies and New Mexico conclude their three-game series Sunday with a single game at Noon at Husky Softball Stadium.