No. 4 Softball Dodges No. 21 UMass Threat, 1-0

March 6, 2003

PLANT CITY, Fla. - The fourth-ranked Washington softball team (18-0-1) defeated No. 21-ranked Massachusetts (6-4), 1-0 in eight innings this evening to open the Speedline Invitational.

The game unfolded like a classic pitchers dual between Washington's Tia Bollinger (Santa Ana, Calif.) and UMass' Kaila Holtz. Bollinger held the Minutewomen hitless through six innings with nine strikeouts. Holtz limited the Huskies to two single with seven strikeouts. Neither team advanced a runner beyond second base through the sixth frame.

Washington threatened in the bottom of the sixth, placing runners on first and second with one out but the rally was ended when UW hit into a double play.

Massachusetts created its own rally in the top of seventh with a leadoff single by Brandi Cross that broke up the Bollinger no-hitter. A sacrifice bunt later, Holtz singled up the middle and UMass waved pinch runner Kristi Stefanoni home. UW centerfielder Rita Roach (Norwalk, Calif.) came up with the ball throwing and picked the runner at the plate to keep the game locked at 0-0.

The international tiebreaker rule went into effect to start the eighth inning. UMass led off the frame with pinch runner Pam Sulick on second base. Bollinger struck out the first two batters and got pinch hitter Jessica Bartlett to ground out to second base to end the inning.

Washington opened the bottom of the eighth with Aimee Minor (San Jacinto, Calif.) on second base. Amy Hanson (Mount Vernon, Wash.) moved Minor to third on a picture-perfect sacrifice bunt. Freshman Dena Tyson (Corona, Calif.) notched the game-winner with single up the middle to score Minor and give UW its 18th win of the season.

Bollinger (10-0) finished the game with two hits, a walk and 12 strikeouts, which ties her career-high. Holtz (2-3) took the though loss with five hits, one run and seven strikeouts.

The Huskies continue tournament play tonight with a 6 p.m. game against Hofstra.

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