Softball Splits At Palm Springs Classic

Feb. 23, 2007

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calf.-- The No. 15 University of Washington softball team (9-2) split on the opening day of the Palm Springs Classic Friday, falling to No. 10 Texas 4-0 in the opener before bouncing back with a 8-3 win over Ole Miss in the nightcap.

Sophomore Danielle Lawrie (6-1) suffered her first loss of the season vs. Texas, despite striking out 13 Longhorns. She gave up four runs, only one earned, and five hits in the complete game. Lawrie has tallied double-figure strikeouts in all six of her starts this season.

Texas hurler Meahan Denny earned the victory, marking the first shutout thrown against the Huskies this season. Denny held UW to three hits and struck out 11.

The Longhorns took advantage of Washington mistakes in the first inning to take the early 1-0 lead. Shannon Thomas led off with a walk on a full-count illegal pitch and moved to second base on another illegal pitch. Megan Willis then hit a routine ground ball to the shortstop but the throw to first base was errant, allowing Thomas to score.

Washington worked a pair of walks off Denny in the bottom of the first but Denny tallied three strikeouts to get out of the jam.

Texas tacked on another run in the third inning, a rally again sparked by Thomas who hit a leadoff single to left field. After a Lawrie strikeout, Willis hit a fly ball that tailed away from right fielder Lauren Greer and landed in for an RBI-double to give UT the 2-0 lead.

The Huskies threatened again in the fourth inning after leadoff singles by Dena Tyson and Ashlyn Watson. An infield fly gave UT its first out and Willis quickly picked off pinch runner Amanda Fleischman at second bases for the second out. Another Denny strikeout got her out of the inning unscathed.

The Longhorns added two more runs in the fifth on two hits and another Washington error. MicKayla Padilla led off with a single to left field and Thomas followed with a hard slap that bounced over Dominique Lastrapes at third base. The duo then executed a double steal and the throw to third got past shortstop Kristen Shumaker to plate another run. A wild pitch brought home Thomas for the 4-0 lead and eventual Texas victory.

Washington put runners into scoring position again in the sixth frame with a leadoff single by Marnie Koziol and a walk to Lastrapes but Watson hit into a double play and Denny posted her 10th strikeout of the game to end the inning.

The Huskies stranded six runners on base, while Texas left five.In the nightcap, Washington pounded nine hits to defeat Ole Miss, 8-3.The Rebels took the early 2-0 lead in the first inning on a home run by Lauren Grill.

The Huskies answered in the second frame with one run on two hits to cut Ole Miss' lead to one. Tyson led off with a single through the right side of the infield and a ground-rule double by Greer scored pinch runner Sheila Reiten.

Washington took the lead in the top of the third inning on two hits and an error. Ashley Charters reached base on an error by the shortstop and Alicia Matthews followed with a single through the left side of the infield. Lastrapes then laced a triple down the right field line two score two runs and give the Huskies the 3-2 lead.

Ole Miss answered right back, stringing together three consecutive singles to score a run and tie the game at 3-3.

Washington broke the game open in the fifth inning with a three-run home run by Tyson. The blast to ceterfield scored Matthews and Lastrapes who had reached base on a walk and a single, and put UW on top, 6-3.

The Huskies scored a pair of insurance runs in the sixth on two hits and an error. Dani Stuart singled to right field and Charters followed with a walk. Matthews then single up the middle to score Stuart and a throwing error on the relay allowed Charters to score from first as Washington cruised to the 8-3 victory.

Junior Caitlin Noble (3-1) earned the complete game victory as she scattered nine hits and struck out eight.

Becky Nye (0-5) took the loss as she threw four innings of relief, allowing five runs on four hits.

Washington returns to action Saturday when it takes on Michigan State (3 p.m.) and Penn State (8:30 p.m.).

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