Huskies Drop WCWS Opener To Georgia, 6-3
June 3, 2010
OKLAHOMA CITY - A two-out, three-run homer from Georgia's Megan Wiggins in the sixth inning broke a 3-3 tie and led the Bulldogs to a 6-3 win over Washington in the Huskies' first game at the 2010 NCAA Women's College World Series Thursday night.
The No. 1-ranked Huskies (50-8) must now play an elimination game Saturday against Arizona. A win in that game, and they'd need three more victories to earn a spot in the championship series. Georgia, which went 1-2 against the Huskies in three WCWS meetings last year, improved to 49-11 on the season. The Bulldogs next face Tennessee Friday.
UW ace Danielle Lawrie (40-4) suffered the loss. The senior All-American went the distance, allowing six runs on 11 hits while striking out five.
Georgia reliever Erin Arevalo (19-6), who came on to start the second inning, worked four and one-third scoreless innings for the victory.
Washington led 3-0 after one inning, but Georgia scored one in the fourth, two in the fifth and then three in the sixth on Wiggins' home run.
After the Huskies retired the side in order in the top of the first, they got to work in their half of the inning.
Jenn Salling led off with a walk and moved to second on a groundout. After an infield single off the shin of the pitcher from Lawrie and a strikeout, left fielder Niki Williams came through with a two-out double off the fence in left field, plating Salling to put the Huskies in front, 1-0.
Freshman Hooch Fagaly followed by singling through the left side, bringing home both Lawrie and Williams to stake the Huskies to a 3-0 lead.
The first eight Georgia batters were retired in order to begin the game before Ashley Pauly notched the Bulldogs' first hit with a two-out single in the third. After a walk put runners at first and second, Wiggins put a slight scare into the Husky faithful when she lofted a fly ball to center, but it was caught in front of the track by Alyson McWherter to end the inning with the 3-0 lead in tact.
The Bulldogs broke through for their first run in the fourth when catcher Kristyn Sandberg belted a long home run to left-center, her seventh round-tripper of the season.
Washington had a shot to add to its lead in the bottom of the fourth as an error, a single and a walk loaded the bases. But, Arevalo got a force at the plate for the second out and then coaxed a popup to end the inning.
Georgia opened the fifth inning with four straight singles. The fourth of them, from Wiggins, drove in a run to cut the lead to 3-2, leaving the bases loaded with one out. Alisa Goler then hit a ground ball to second and the Huskies threw home to get the lead runner at the plate for the first out. Brianna Hesson then hit a grounder to first, but this time, the throw to the plate was just late and Taylor Schlopy slid in safe, tying the game at 3-3.
Yet another infielder grounder, this one to third base off the bat of Sandberg, resulted in a second out on the force at the plate and UGA's Ashley Razey nearly put the Bulldogs in front, but her liner was snagged by a diving Salling at short to keep the score 3-3 and end the inning.
In the sixth, Georgia rallied again. A pair of singles put runners at the corners with one out, but a strikeout gave the Huskies a good chance to get off the hook. Wiggins, however, followed with her 16th home run of the season, to straightaway center field, to put the Bulldogs on top for the first time, 6-3.
Washington threatened in the bottom of the sixth. A hit batter and a walk, plus a wild pitch, put runners at second and third with one out. But, reliever Alison Owen came on and got a strikeout and then walked Lawrie to load the bases and bring the go-ahead run to the plate. Freshman Shawna Wright then fouled off several two-strike pitches, including a long fly ball deep to left, but finally struck out to end the inning.
The Huskies will have the day off Friday before taking on Arizona, Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Central Time (11:30 a.m. Pacific) in an elimination game. The game will air on ESPN2.