Washington Softball Clinches World Series Berth

May 23, 2004

ATHENS, Ga.- Clutch hitting by the Washington softball team (40-17) lifted the top-seeded Huskies to the 3-1 victory over No. 2 seed and host Georgia (55-17) this afternoon in the Regional Championship. The victory advances Washington to its second-straight Women's College World Series and seventh overall.

Georgia threatened in the first inning, putting runners on first and second with two outs. The Huskies sat the first two batters down with a fly out to left field and a bunt to third base. Shannon Lewis then singled up the middle and Ashley Godfrey walked. Washington got out of the inning with an outstanding defensive play by Husky shortstop Amanda Oleson. Michelle Green hit a sharp grounder to Oleson's right that she backhanded on a short hop, making the flip to third for the force.

Dominique Lastrapes led off the bottom half of the inning for the Huskies with a single through the left side but Bulldog pitcher Kasi Carroll got out of the inning with a fielder's choice and a pair of strikeouts.

Georgia led off the third with a base hit bunt by Nicole Barber that hugged the chalk between the front of the batter's box and the first base line. Boek got the next two batters to pop-up to second base and Kristen Rivera threw Barber out trying to steal second base. It marked just the ninth time this season Barber has been thrown out trying to steal in 68 attempts.

The Bulldogs pressured Washington's defense again in the fourth inning. Ashley Godfrey reached on an error and two outs later, Julie Milner was struck by a pitch. Jade Jarvis lined out to Aimee Minor in right field to end the inning.

Washington's defense stifled the Georgia hitters in the fifth inning. Barber hit a one-out single through the right side of the infield and was sacrificed to second by Katie Lewis. McKeon then lined a ball off of Sarah Hyatt's glove at first base but Lastrapes was trailing from second and made the flip to first to get out of the inning unscathed.

The Huskies went down in order in the second, third and fourth innings, before rallying in the bottom of the fifth. Kathy Fiske hit a one-out single into centerfield and Oleson followed with a single through the right side of the infield. Senior Rita Roach then hit a high chopper over the first baseman to score Oleson from second and give Washington the 1-0 lead.

Georgia answered in the top of the sixth inning with one run on one hit. Godfrey led off the frame and was hit by a pitch. Green sacrificed Godfrey to second where she was replaced by pinch runner Melissa Cook. Boek got Courtney Knight to ground out to third base but Cook advanced to third on the play, just sliding under the tag by Oleson. Jarvis then hit a high chopper to Oleson at shortstop. Oleson charged in and got off the side arm throw but Javis was called safe on the bang-bang play and Cook scored to tie the game at 1-1.

Washington came back in the bottom of the sixth, scoring two runs on three hits. Minor led off with a double to the left centerfield gap and the Bulldogs intentionally walked Rivera to face Dena Tyson with one out. Tyson singled up the middle to score Minor. Fiske then belted a line drive into left field to score Rivera.

Georgia went quietly in the top of the seventh, going down in order with a line out, a pop-up and a ground out.

Boek (29-11) earned her fourth win of the tournament as she held the Bulldogs to five hits, while striking out four. Carroll took the loss for Georgia (18-8) as she allowed three runs on eight hits, while striking out eight.

Lastrapes was named the Regional Most Valuable Player as she led all players with a .800 average, going 12-for-15 from the plate with four RBIs and six runs scored. Boek and Minor were also named to the All-Tournament team for the Huskies. Boek went 4-0 over the weekend with a 0.53 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 26.2 innings. Minor hit .455 (5-for-11) with two doubles and five runs scored.

The Huskies travel to Oklahoma City on Monday and will face the winner of the Region No. 1 tournament. Oklahoma/Louisiana-Lafayette will play that game today at 4 p.m. (EST). Washington will open the College World Series on May 23 at 6 p.m. (CST) as the No. 8 seed.

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