Huskies Winning Streak Snapped With 1-0 Loss
May 8, 2009
SEATTLE - The No. 4/5 Washington softball team had its five-game winning streak overall and its 14-game home winning streak snapped Friday as the No. 12/13 Cal Bears squeaked out a 1-0 victory at Husky Softball Stadium.
The loss drops UW to 40-10 overall and 13-7 in Pac-10 play and eliminates the Huskies from the conference title race. Cal improves to 35-17 overall and 10-9 in conference.
Cal starter Marissa Drewery held the Huskies in check throughout the game, allowing just four hits to improve to 21-10. The Huskies had runners on base in all but one inning, but Drewery and the Cal defense worked out of the jam every time.
Danielle Lawrie did not allow an earned run in the game and struck out seven while allowing just four hits herself. But the Bears were able to push across a run in the sixth inning and the run would hold up, dropping Lawrie to 31-6.
The top three Huskies in the lineup - Ashley Charters, Kimi Pohlman and Jenn Salling - each had hits in the game as did freshman Niki Williams, but the Huskies were unable to string any of their hits together.
Lawrie and the UW defense thwarted two rallies with double plays early in the game to hold the Bears off the scoreboard, one in the third and another in the fourth. Cal put a runner on base in each of the first two innings, drawing a two-out walk off Lawrie in the first and getting a two-out hit in the second, but Lawrie got the next batter each time. In the third, the Bears put the leadoff batter on with a single, but after a fielder's choice ground out, Lawrie got the next batter to line into a double play to the shortstop Salling.
In the fourth, the Bears again got a leadoff single followed by a fielder's choice, but this time Lawrie started a 1-6-3 double play to get out of the inning.
The Huskies, meanwhile, got a two-out double by Salling in the first and a two-out single by Charters in the third but were unable to push across a run. They also got a leadoff walk by Salling in the fourth, but the Bears turned a double play of their own to end the threat.
The Bears finally broke through in the sixth inning with an unearned run. Pac-10 stolen base leader Jamia Reid lifted a ball to the warning track in left field and sped around the bases with a stand-up triple. On the following play, Lawrie got Shannon Thomas to ground back to the circle but after Lawrie checked Reid at third, she threw to first and the throw pulled Williams off the bag just enough to allow the speedy Reid to scoot home uncontested.
UW had a chance to bounce back in the bottom of the inning, putting two on with two out on a single and a stolen base by Kimi Pohlman and an intentional walk to Salling. But Drewery escaped the jam with a fly out and a ground out.
The Huskies had one final chance in the seventh. Morgan Stuart was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning but the next two batters popped up and struck out, respectively. Cal catcher Sanoe Kekahuna then threw out pinch-runner Amanda Fleischman trying to steal to end the game.
With UCLA's 1-0 win over Stanford today, the Bruins clinched the Pac-10 title, with the Huskies and Stanford currently tied for second place with identical 13-7 conference records heading into the final game of the regular season. UCLA and Stanford will square off Saturday while the Huskies will face Cal again as they try to claim second place in the nation's most competitive conference.
UW completes the weekend series and the regular season Saturday against the Bears at Noon. The game marks the final regular-season appearance at Husky Softball Stadium for seven Husky seniors. A ceremony will take place immediately following the game to honor the Class of 2009, which includes Alicia Blake, Ashley Charters, Lauren Greer, Marnie Koziol, Dani Stuart, Jessica Ventoza and Ashlyn Watson.
The Huskies will find out their postseason fate on Sunday when the NCAA Selection Show airs on ESPNU at 7 p.m. PT.
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