Huskies Start Postseason With 9-1 Win

May 15, 2009

AMHERST, Mass. - The No. 3 Washington softball team kicked off the 2009 postseason by getting solid pitching and hitting to defeat Sacred Heart, 9-1, at the UMass Softball Complex in a game called after five innings due to the mercy rule.

Danielle Lawrie allowed just two hits and struck out 12 to improve to 33-6 and she was backed by 12 hits from her offense, three coming from fellow Canadian National Team player Jenn Salling.

The Huskies (42-10) scored in every inning, plating one each in the first and second, two in the third, three in the fourth and two in the fifth to end the game. Lawrie, meanwhile, did not allow a base runner until the fourth inning and struck out at least two batters in every inning.

Salling led the way with a 3-for-4 day with two runs and an RBI while a pair of freshmen made impressive NCAA debuts. Kimi Pohlman went 2-for-3 with two runs and a stolen base while Niki Williams went 2-for-2 with a walk and three RBI. Senior Alicia Blake also chipped in with a 2-for-2 day and a walk while fellow senior Lauren Greer drove in a pair of runs.

Lawrie got the game started off on the right foot, striking out the first two batters of the game - one looking and one swinging - for her 399th and 400th strikeouts of the season.

After Sacred Heart's leadoff hitter in the second inning hit a line drive down the third base line which Morgan Stuart snagged for the first out, Lawrie got the next two batters looking for strikeouts No. 3 and No. 4 in the game. She then struck out the side in the third inning to give her five in a row and seven in the game through three innings.

The Huskies, meanwhile, jumped on Sacred Heart right away, with Pohlman getting the rally started with a one-out single to left and stealing second on the first pitch before coming around to score on a line single to right by Salling.

Lawrie started a rally of her own in the second inning, lining a single up the middle before Blake laced a double into the right-center gap to put two runners in scoring position with nobody out. After Williams walked in her first career postseason plate appearance, Greer plated Lawrie with an RBI groundout to make the score 2-0.

UW loaded the bases again in the third inning on a single by Ashlyn Watson, a Pioneer error and an infield single by Blake. Williams then laced a single to left field to score pinch runner Alyson McWherter and Greer recorded her second RBI groundout of the game to make the score 4-0.

The Huskies kept tacking runs on in the fourth, getting an RBI single by Stuart and a two-run single by Williams. Salling led off the inning with a single and Watson followed with a walk before Stuart lined a single up the middle to score Salling. After pinch-runner Marnie Koziol and Stuart moved up on a fly out by Lawrie and Blake walked, Williams struck again with a hard line drive through the left side to plate two.

The Pioneers (25-27) finally broke up Lawrie's perfect game in the fourth after the junior retired the first 10 batters of the game when Jessica Perez singled just inside the third baseline. But the junior struck out the next two batters to escape the jam.

Sacred Heart did get to Lawrie in the fifth inning, however, when their leadoff hitter was hit by a pitch and the next batter ripped a double to centerfield. But Lawrie shut the Pioneers down, striking out the next three batters to give her 12 in the game.

UW then came right back in the bottom of the fifth to push two runs across and end the game. Pohlman and Salling led off the inning with back-to-back bunt singles and Koziol followed with a chopper to the third baseman who tried to get Pohlman at third, but the throw went into left field, allowing the speedy Pohlman to head home. After Stuart was intentionally walked to load the bases, Lawrie followed with a sacrifice fly to shallow center to score Salling and end the game.

The Huskies will play in Saturday's winner's bracket game at 2:30 p.m. ET against the winner of tonight's UMass-Cornell game. Live audio will be available on KKNW-1150 AM.

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