Charters' Walk-Off Blast Gives UW Weekend Sweep
April 5, 2009
SEATTLE - Washington senior Ashley Charters showed why she is one of the top hitters in the country Sunday, blasting a walk-off solo home run to right-centerfield in the bottom of the seventh inning, giving the No. 3 Huskies a 3-2 win over No. 4 Arizona State at Husky Softball Stadium.
The victory Sunday gave the Huskies a weekend sweep of No. 9 Arizona and No. 4 Arizona State as they improved to 31-5 overall and 4-2 in Pac-10 play. The Sun Devils, who came into the two-game series 4-0 in Pac-10 play, fell to 32-7 and 4-2.
UW also stayed undefeated at home, improving to 9-0 behind another solid outing by their ace Danielle Lawrie. She shut down the Sun Devils' high-powered offense for the second straight day, allowing two runs on five hits and struck out eight. She also did not walk a batter in the game and upped her record to 22-3.
For the third straight day, the Huskies scored in the first inning, manufacturing a run on just one hit. Charters led off with a four-pitch walking and promptly stole second then advanced to third on a long fly out to center by Jenn Salling. Lawrie then followed with a base hit down the left field line to give UW a 1-0 lead.
The Sun Devils took the lead back in the fourth after not getting a runner on base through the first three innings. Lesley Rogers broke up Lawrie's no-hit bid with a single to center field and stole second to set up Katelyn Boyd, who doubled to the right-center gap to tie the game. With two outs, Kaylyn Castillo then hit a perfectly placed blooper down the right field line which dropped in to plate Boyd.
Arizona State nearly added another run in the fifth, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Rogers then hit a hard liner to left field but Marnie Koziol made a shoe-string grab to save at least one run.
The Huskies then got the run back in the fifth with Charters leading off the inning with a double to right center to extend her hitting streak to 16 games. After Charters moved up to third on a ground out by Kimi Pohlman, Salling then hit a ball to the second baseman whose throw home was not in time to get Charters at home.
The Sun Devils looked like they might mount a rally in the sixth when All-American Kaitlin Cochran laid down a bunt single to lead off the inning. But despite Cochran stealing second to put the go-ahead run in scoring position, Lawrie retired the next three batters and set the side down in order in the seventh to set the stage for Charters.
The two-time All-American then took a one-out, 2-0 pitch and launched it over the bleachers in right-center, sending the 922 fans in attendance into a frenzy and giving the Huskies a share of second place in the conference.
Charters went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and an RBI in the game, giving her nine consecutive multi-hit games. She is batting an incredible .617 (21x34) in those nine games and has batted .565 (13x23) in six conference games.
Senior Alicia Blake also picked up two hits for UW, going 2-for-3.
The Huskies will hit the road next weekend to face UCLA in a two-game series in Los Angeles, facing the No. 5 Bruins on Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11 both at 1 p.m. UW will not return home again until they host the Bruins on April 29 at 1 p.m.
● This weekend marks just the second time in school history the Huskies have swept a weekend series against the Arizona schools at home. They also won two against Arizona and one against Arizona State over the same weekend at home in 2000.
● With five runs scored over the weekend, Charters moved into sole possession of second on the UW career charts.