NCAA Softball Super Regionals: Washington advances to WCWS, Utah and Arizona eliminated

The Pac-12 will have three representatives at the 2017 Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, with Washington joining UCLA and Oregon after defeating Utah Sunday night in a Game 3 in Seattle. Arizona follows the Utes into the offseason after dropping Game 3 to Baylor.

NCAA Seattle Super Regional: No. 6 seed Washington 2, No. 11 seed Utah 1

Washington

After a combined 31 runs in the first two games, solid pitching from Taran Alvelo and sound defense lifted Washington to a surprisingly low-scoring 2-1 win over Utah Sunday night in Seattle, sending the Huskies to Oklahoma City for their 12th Women’s College World Series appearance in program history.

The 11th-seeded Utes had their chances to break through late in the game but were held in check by a combination of Alvelo and the defense behind her. Utah loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning but were only able to bring in one run on an Anissa Urtez sac fly as a result of a diving catch by Trysten Melhart in right field. In the sixth inning, Utah’s Heather Bowen tried to bunt a runner over from first, but a hard-charging Kirstyn Thomas was able to get to the bunt in time to get the force out at second. Later in the inning, Husky catcher Morganne Flores threw out a runner trying to steal third.

Utah pitcher Katie Donovan did a great job in limiting a high-powered Washington offense to just three hits, but the Huskies were able to score a run apiece in the first two innings thanks to Ali Aguilar scoring on a wild pitch with two outs in the first and Aguilar producing a sacrifice fly in the second.

Alvelo was splendid in scattering eight hits and two walks over seven innings while striking out three Utes to pick up her 32nd win of the season, while Thomas went 2-for-2 from the No. 8 spot in the Husky lineup.

Utah

Urtez went 2-for-2 with the RBI sac fly, while right fielder Alyssa Barrera had a 2-for-4 day at the plate for Utah.

Appearing in its first WCWS since 2013, Washington will begin its stay in Oklahoma City with conference foe Oregon.

NCAA Tucson Super Regional: No. 15 seed Baylor 6, No. 2 seed Arizona 5

Arizona

Shelby McGlaun hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the top of seventh, and 15th-seeded Baylor erased a 5-3 deficit to upset second-seeded Arizona 6-5 in Game 3 of the Tucson Super Regional to advance to its fourth Women’s College World Series and first since 2014.

Arizona scored twice in the bottom of the sixth on a Reyna Carranco RBI single and Mo Mercado bases-loaded walk to take a 5-3 lead, but Taylor McQuillin couldn’t slam the door shut in the top of the seventh, putting the first two hitters on base before McGlaun’s home run to dead center.

Arizona got a lead-off walk in the bottom of the seventh, but pinch runner Alexis Dotson was thrown out at second trying to advance on a wild pitch that caromed right back to the catcher. Dejah Mulipola and Carranco both walked to give the Wildcats runners on first and second with one out, but Ashleigh Hughes flied out to center and Nancy Bowling grounded out to second to end the game.

Mercado and Jessie Harper both had two-hit days for Arizona, with Mercado driving in two and Harper producing one RBI. Pac-12 career home runs record-holder Katiyana Mauga walked three times but popped out to shallow center in her only at bat in the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded and one out and Arizona nursing a 4-3 lead.

McGlaun had a 3-for-4 day for the Lady Bears, capped by her clutch home run in the seventh, while Gia Rodoni picked up the win in the circle in relief of starter Kelsee Selman, who went 5.2 innings and recorded the last two outs of the game, giving up five runs on eight hits and five walks.

Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year Danielle O’Toole fought back from a rocky start to the game to give the Wildcats six solid innings in the circle, giving up three runs while scattering 10 hits and two walks. McQuillin recorded the last three outs but picked up the loss after surrendering the three-run homer to McGlaun.

The Wildcats trailed 3-1 until a two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth, when Mercado and Harper produced back-to-back run-scoring singles with the bases loaded. Baylor appeared to re-take the lead in the top of the sixth when Taylor Ellis crossed home plate, but she was called out on an Arizona appeal when the third-base umpire ruled that Ellis did not touch third base.

After the teams traded runs in the first inning, Shelby Friudenberg’s two-run homer put the Lady Bears up 3-1 in the third inning. Friudenberg drove in the first three runs for Baylor, going 2-for-2 with two walks.

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