Washington, ASU lose in WCWS action
The Pac-12 went 0-for-2 on Saturday/early morning Sunday at the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City as Washington lost a heartbreaker to Tennessee and Arizona State fell to Michigan in a game that finished around 2:30 a.m. local time. Washington will play Michigan at 12:30 p.m. PT Sunday, while Arizona State's season is over.
Kaitlin Inglesby had held strong inside the circle for Heather Tarr’s crew, pitching under duress seemingly the whole contest. Despite loading the bases in three of the first four innings and allowing a runner to reach third in each of the first four frames, Inglesby kept the Lady Vols scoreless. It stayed that way through the sixth with the First-Team NFCA All-American stranding 13 Tennessee base runners in that span.
Unfortunately for Inglesby, her offense wasn’t able to provide any help thanks to a stellar performance in the circle by Ellen Renfroe (one of three Renfroes on the Lady Vols’ roster), who allowed just two hits and struck out ten.
In the seventh, Inglesby was no longer able to pull off the juggling act. With runners on first and second and one out, She made a great grab on a line drive hit right back to the circle by Hannah Akamine, but Inglesby’s throw back to first darted away from Hooch Fagaly’s glove in an attempt to double up Rainey Gaffin to end the inning. This allowed Whitney Hammond to move to third, and the extra base would prove costly in the next at bat when Tory Lewis’ liner looped through the infield to plate Hammond.
WALKOFF RBI SINGLE FOR @torymarielewis!!!! GAME OVER UT 1, UW 0!!!!!
— Lady Vol Softball (@LadyVol_Sftball) June 1, 2013
It’s not over yet for the Huskies, but the road to their second WCWS title has become considerably more difficult.
One swing of the bat was all that was necessary to decide this contest when Big Ten Player of the Year Sierra Romero blasted a Dallas Escobedo offering over the right field fence to give the Wolverines a 2-0 edge in the top of the third. The inning could have been worse for Clint Myers’ club, but Mackenzie Popescue came in to relieve Dallas Escobedo in the circle and iced two Wolverines to get the Sun Devils out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam without any further damage.
The Sun Devils’ best chance to score came in the bottom of the fifth when they loaded the bases with nobody out. And, with Pac-12 Player of the Year Amber Freeman coming to the plate, it seemed like as good of a spot as any for the Forks. It didn’t turn out that way, however, as Freeman hit into a 5-2-3 double play and Bethany Kemp struck out after an intentional walk to Haley Steele to end the inning without putting up a crooked number.
Arizona State would also get the leadoff batter on base in the next two innings but were unable to do any further damage. The Sun Devils got a little unlucky in the seventh; first on a questionable double-play after instant replay showed Cheyenne Coyle beat the throw to first, next on Freeman’s game-ending groundout that bounced off third baseman Amy Knapp’s glove right to Sierra Romero, who in turn flipped to Caitlin Blanchard at first in time to end the Sun Devils’ season.
Still a heck of a campaign for Clint Myers and crew, as the Sun Devils’ head honcho has led them to seven WCWS appearances and six 50-plus win seasons in his eight years in Tempe.
We lose 2-0 to Michigan. That's the end of our #WCWS run. We finish the season 50-12. Thank you fans for a wonderful year!
— ASU Softball (@ASUSoftball) June 2, 2013
Michigan got a masterful performance from Sara Driesenga, who had to go the distance against Arizona State as the only regular pitcher available for Carol Hutchins’ side. She scattered seven hits and struck out five in the process of shutting out the Sun Devils.