Third-Ranked Softball Blasts No. 21 Oregon, 9-0

April 11, 2003

EUGENE, Ore. - Home runs by sophomore Kristen Rivera and freshman Dena Tyson sparked No. 3 Washington (35-5-1, 4-3) to a 9-0 run-rule victory Friday over No. 21 Oregon, the Huskies' third-straight win in Pac-10 play.

Junior Tia Bollinger (19-4) earned the win with five innings of three-hit ball, striking out one with no walks and one hit batter. After Oregon (20-12, 2-6) put its first three batters on base via an error, a single and a double, Bollinger earned outs from the next eight consecutive batters, and 12 of the final 14 batters she faced.

Rivera staked the Huskies to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, fouling off three straight pitches before sneaking a 3-2 pitch just inside the right-field foul pole to score junior Amanda Oleson, who singled to lead off the game. The home run was Rivera's team-leading 16th of the season, and the 52nd overall for Washington, equaling the team's total from the entire 2002 season.

In the bottom of the first, Rivera showed her defensive prowess as well. After Oregon put its first two runners on base, the sophomore catcher picked off the Ducks' Alyssa Laux at second for the first out of the inning. Later, she flashed the glove again, throwing out Oregon's Amber Hutchison as she attempted to steal in the fifth.

Oregon starter Amy Harris (7-9) held Washington hitless in the second, but surrendered a hard single to senior shortstop Jaime Clark in the third, who fell behind 0-2 but worked the count full, fouling off two additional pitches before ripping the ball down the left-field line. Clark stole second - her team-leading 22nd on 24 attempts this season - and scored on an error by Ducks' third baseman Lynsey Haij to put the Huskies up, 3-0.

To start the fourth, freshman Dena Tyson increased the lead to 4-0, crushing a 2-2 pitch well beyond the fence in left-center for her sixth home run of the season.

Anissa Meashintubby relieved Harris in the fifth and the Huskies went to work. Oleson singled and junior Rita Roach walked to put two runners on with no outs, each advancing one base on a groundout by Clark.

After an intentional walk to Rivera, sophomore Kathy Fiske drilled a grounder right at Oregon shortstop Breanne Sabol, whose throw to the plate was too late to catch the sliding Oleson. The next batter, Tyson, hit a nearly identical grounder that Sabol scooped up and hurled past catcher Jenn Poore, allowing Roach and Rivera to score, and Fiske to move around to third.

Freshman Sarah Hyatt drew a walk, loading the bases for rightfielder Aimee Minor, who drilled an 0-1 pitch into right field for a two-run double that provided the final 9-0 margin.

The Huskies will remain in the Willamette Valley over the weekend, traveling to Corvallis for games against Oregon State at 2 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday.

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