Washington's run ends at the Women's College World Series


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A .500 Sunday was not enough to keep the Huskies alive in the Women’s College World Series. Needing two wins to make it to Monday, Washington defeated Michigan but lost to Oklahoma to conclude its stay in Oklahoma City.

The day started off right for the Huskies when they eliminated Michigan 4-1 to make up for a 6-1 loss to the Wolverines in March. Heather Tarr’s ladies broke open a 1-0 pitchers’ duel in the sixth, scoring all four of their runs in that inning. Kimberlee Souza, who had come up with a walk-off home run earlier in the WCWS, provided the game-winning hit in one of the crazier plays you’ll see. With runners on first and second and one out, Souza smashed a shot that ricocheted off Michigan pitcher Sara Driesenga’s leg deep into the hole at shortstop. The speedy Victoria Hayward was able to race home from second and beat out shortstop Sierra Romero’s throw to the plate to tie it up at 1-1.

But the description of this play ain’t over. As Romero threw home, Husky pinch runner Marki Creger-Zier was able to come home as well after starting out at first base, making it 2-1 Huskies. STILL not done yet, because the throw back from home to second base to try to get Souza trickled away from the bag, allowing the Hawaiian to take third thanks to an obstruction call (now I’m done).

The Huskies scored twice more in the inning thanks to a Kylee Lahners double that pelted the third-base bag and a Whitney Jones RBI groundout.

That would be more than enough for Bryana Walker, who did a bang-up job in the circle all afternoon and never let Michigan seriously threaten once Washington took charge. Sierra Romero singled to lead off the bottom of the sixth but was erased on a pop fly on which she tried to tag up and take second. Only one other Wolverine reached base the rest of the day, and Washington was headed to a nighttime showdown with the No. 1 team in the nation.

Oklahoma presented the Huskies with another chance to exact revenge on a team that beat them earlier in the season, as Washington fell to Boomer Sooner 2-0 in February in San Diego. Could the Huskies beat a squad that was 6-0 against the Conference of Champions entering the night?

The Sooners made sure the answer came in the form of a negative response, as top-seeded Oklahoma bested Washington 6-2 to advance to the WCWS championship series against Tennessee and eliminate the Huskies from title contention.

It was going to be a tough task to advance to the championship series for Washington, needing to beat an Oklahoma squad twice in a row that hasn’t lost two straight all season. Husky underhander Kaitlin Inglesby held ‘em in check as long as she could, but the Sooners began to get the best of her in the third. No. 9 hitter Brianna Turang led off the inning with a triple down the left field line and scored soon thereafter on a wild pitch. Next, Lauren Chamberlain pummeled one a projected 299 feet out of the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium playing field to put the Sooners up 2-0. Oklahoma pitcher Keilani Ricketts (now 34-1 on the season, no big deal) then helped her own cause by moon-shooting one over the fence in center.

Ricketts was stellar in the circle for the vast majority of this contest, but the Huskies showed some life in the fifth. With her team down 4-0, Kylee Lahners ended the two-time USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year’s no-hit bid with a solo blast to lead off the inning. Washington put a couple of more runners on in the frame and women’s basketball player Mercedes Wetmore touched home plate to cut it to 4-2 when a throw from third baseman Shelby Pendley went into the outfield in attempt to get the force at second on a ground ball (Wetmore was on second when the AB started).

The Huskies gave one back in the sixth, but Washington had a chance to knot it up in the bottom half of the inning. Whitney Jones came to the plate as the tying runner with two out and two on but grounded out to second to end the threat.

Destinee Martinez provided the Sooners with an insurance run in the seventh with her RBI groundout that plated Ricketts, and the Oklahoma pitcher made quick work of the Huskies in the bottom half with a 1-2-3 inning that was punctuated by her 12th strikeout of the contest to end Washington’s season.

The Huskies end the campaign 45-17 after making it to the WCWS for the first time since 2010.

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