Softball Defeats Michigan State, 12-8

May 21, 2004

ATHENS, Ga.- The top-seeded Washington softball team (38-17) broke two school postseason records this afternoon en route to the 12-8 victory over fifth-seed Michigan State (35-25) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies combined for 17 hits, led by freshman Dominique Lastrapes with five hits- both NCAA postseason records.

'We did some very good things today,' said coach Scott Centala. 'Ashley (Boek) pitched well and we hit well with runners in scoring position. We had some good at-bats with two strikes. Overall, it was a solid ballgame.'

Washington opened the game a single through the left side by Lastrapes. Aimee Minor then took a pitch off the leg but was forced to stay in the batters box after the home plate umpire ruled that Minor didn't make an effort to avoid the pitch. Two pitches later, Minor lined a single into right field to put runners on first and second with no outs. After a meeting on the mound between pitcher Jessica Beech and head coach Jacquie Joseph, the Spartans caught a break as Sarah Hyatt hit a pop-up just over second base that Natalie Feenstra caught and then stepped on the bag to double-off Lastrapes. Michigan State intentionally walked Kristen Rivera to bring up Dena Tyson who hit a soft line drive to the shortstop for the third out of the inning.

The Huskies took the lead in the second inning with two runs on one hit. Kathy Fiske led off the frame, reaching base on a dropped third strike. Beech then hit Amanda Oleson in the arm and a sacrifice bunt by Courtney Jeffries put runners on first and second with no outs. Rita Roach then battled through a 10-pitch at-bat before hitting a high chopper to second base. Roach was thrown out on the play but not before Fiske scored. Lastrapes then singled into shallow centerfield to score Oleson and give the Huskies the 2-0 lead.

Michigan State opened the bottom half of the inning with a leadoff walk to Brittany Green. Elizabeth Peterson then singled into left field but UW got out of the inning with a fly out to left field and a pair of strikeouts by Ashley Boek.

Boek fanned two more batters in the third inning to take over the No. 2 position on the Husky all-time single season chart with 261 career strikeouts.

Washington extended its lead in the fourth inning with three runs on four hits. Oleson led off with a single up the middle and then stole second base. Jeffries sacrifice Oleson to third and Lastrapes singled to the second baseman to bring her home. Minor followed with a double to deep left field to score Lastrapes from first base. Hyatt kept the rally going with a single down the left field line, scoring Minor from second to put UW on top 5-0.

The Huskies scored an insurance run in the fifth off of relief pitcher Christy McGew on one hit. Fiske reached base on a fielder;s choice and was replaced by pinch runner Jessica Wilkinson. Jeffries hit a two-out double to deep left field to score Wilkinson and push Washington's lead to 6-0.

Boek kept the Spartans in check in the fifth, sitting them down in order with a strikeout, ground out and line out.

Washington added to its lead in the sixth inning with a RBI single by Rivera. Lastrapes led off with a single up the middle and stole second base. Rivera followed with a single through the left side of the infield to give UW the 7-0 lead.

Tia Bollinger entered the game in sixth inning to relieve Boek. She struck out the first batter she faced before giving up an infield single. Bollinger promptly got the next two batters to ground out to end the inning.

The Huskies scored five more runs on six hits in the top of the seventh off of reliever Jackie Noble. Fiske led off with a single to the shortstop, followed by a single to centerfield by Callie Bergan. Lastrapes then doubled to right centerfield to score two runs. The hit marked her fifth hit of the day and her ninth of the postseason in as many at-bats. After a walk to Minor, Hyatt singled to right field, scoring Lastrapes. Rivera drew a full-count walk and Dena Tyson singled into right field to score Minor. Fiske then lined a single into centerfield to score Hyatt and give Washington the 12-0 lead.

Michigan State roared back in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring eight runs on eight hits. Bollinger struggled with her control, walking the first two runs in before giving up a grand slam to Brittany Green over the left field wall. Meghan Darhower singled to centerfield to score the seventh run of the inning, triggering a UW pitching change. Washington re-entered Boek and she got the first batter to hitter to hit a comebacker to the mound for the second out of the inning. Nicole Mercado then singled through the right side to score Janette Hurtado and cut the UW lead to 12-8. Boek closed out the game with a strikeout to preserve the win.

Boek (27-11) earned the victory as she scattered four hits over 5.2 innings, striking out eight. Beech (28-15) took the loss for Michigan as she allowed five runs and eight hits over four innings.

Lastrapes finished the day going 5-for-5 from the plate with three runs scored, while Minor went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

The Huskies will face No. 3 seed Georgia Tech in the winner's bracket Saturday at noon (EST). The Yellow Jacket defeated No. 2 seed and tournament host Georgia, 3-2, earlier today.

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