McWherter's RBI-Single Lifts Huskies Past No. 15 Hawaii, 3-2
March 8, 2008
HONOLULU - Alyson McWherter singled home pinch-runner Jessica Ventoza from second base in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead the No. 22 Washington Huskies past No. 15 Hawaii, 3-2, at the Malinhi Kipa Aloha Tournament on Saturday afternoon. Earlier in the day, the Huskies pounded out 15 hits on their way to an 11-1, five-inning win over Southern Illinois.
Washington (14-6-1) trailed early against the Rainbow Wahine, who was the designated visiting team despite playing on their home field after losing a coin flip. Hawaii (15-5) scored a run in the top of the first inning, and the score remained 1-0 in Hawaii's favor until the Huskies scored two runs in the sixth inning.
McWherter led off the bottom of the sixth for the UW with a double off the top of the left centerfield fence. After Amanda Fleischman popped out to the catcher, McWherter moved over to third on infield single by Bailey Stenson. An infield single by Marnie Koziol loaded the bases before McWherter came home to score on a catchers interference call when Morgan Stuart swung and her bat his the catchers glove. Stenson scored a few pitches later on a wild pitch and Washington had a 2-1 lead after six innings.
Hawaii tied it up, though, in the top of the seventh. With one out and the bases loaded, Tanisha Milca hit a line drive to centerfield where McWherter made a spectacular diving catch for the second out of the inning, but Malamaisaua Manuma scored on the play after tagging up at third base.
In the bottom of the seventh, Alicia Blake led off with a single to left field and moved up to second base on a wild pitch. Jessica Ventoza came on to pinch run for Blake, and then McWherter delivered her game winning hit on a ball that bounced over third baseman Clare Warwick's head out into left field.
Washington finished with six hits off Hawaii starter Courtney Baughman (8-2), led by McWherter's 2-for-3 effort at the plate.
Aleah Macon went the distance for the UW, scattering four hits and striking out four to improve to 5-3 on the season. Macon gave up two earned runs and walked three in the game.
In their morning game against Southern Illinois, the Huskies scored three runs in the third inning and then seven more in the fourth on their way to an 11-1 win in five-innings.
Washington's 15 hits were a season-high as Koziol hit 4-for-4 and Stenson was 3-for-4 with three RBI.
Also for the Huskies, Morgan Stuart was 2-for-3 with four RBI, Blake was 2-for-3 with two RBI and Fleischman was 2-for-2 with an RBI. Both Blake and McWherter doubled in the game.
Caitlin Noble got the win in the circle to improve to 9-3. She finished with six strikeouts and five walks in five innings, while giving up just three hits.
The Huskies earned the No. 1 overall seed in pool play via their 4-0 record. They open up bracket play tomorrow at 3 p.m. PT against the winner of the Southern Illinois vs. Idaho State game earlier in the morning. If the Huskies win, they advance to play in the title game at 7 p.m. PT.