Huskies Down Texas, 5-3; Advance to Championship Sunday
May 17, 2008
HOUSTON, Texas - Caitlin Noble and Aleah Macon combined to hold Texas to three hits and No. 24 Washington held on for a 5-3 win over the Longhorns on Saturday evening to advance to the championship game of the NCAA Softball Houston Regional.
The Huskies will face Houston at 12:00 p.m. (Central) tomorrow, and must beat the Cougars twice to win the regional title and advance to Super Regional play.
Washington jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning, and led 5-0 after an inning and a half.
Bailey Stenson walked to lead off the game and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Marnie Koziol. Alicia Blake followed with a double to left centerfield to score Stenson and put the Huskies on the scoreboard. Blake went to third on the play as UT left fielder Kori Cook bobbled the ball.
The Huskies went up 5-0 in the next inning on a two-run home run by Blake to straight away centerfield. It was Blake's team-leading seventh home run of the season, and the Huskies first since March 30.
Texas cut into the lead in the bottom half of the inning with a single run. Kacie Gaskin singled down the left field line to start the inning off, but ended up at third base on the play after Koziol misplayed the ball. Brittany Barnhill then grounded out to first base, with Gaskin scoring to make it 5-1.
A two-run home run by Brittany Chalk in the fourth inning cut the Huskies lead to 5-3.
Noble pitched the first four innings for the Huskies, scattering three hits and allowing three runs, two of which were earned. She walked one and struck out one to up her record to 13-8.
Macon pitched three innings of hitless relief, and now has pitched seven innings of hitless ball against the Longhorns after pitching four innings of relief in the Huskies 2-1 win yesterday. Macon was credited with the save, making it the first of the season for Washington.
Blake and Stuart both went 2-for-4 at the plate, with Blake driving in three runs and Stuart driving in another. Blake scored a pair of runs, as did Stenson.
NOTES: The Huskies are now 16-8 in NCAA tournament action under Tarr. Overall, Washington is 62-28 in the NCAA Tournament and 44-10 in regional play ... The Huskies have a 13-5 lead all-time against Texas ... Macon has 262 strikeouts on the year and moved to No. 5 on the UW single-season strikeout list ... Blake now has 13 doubles, which leads the team ... Koziol had two sacrifice hits, giving her nine on the season. She is tied with Alyson McWherter for the team lead ... The Huskies have now tallied at least 30 wins for 15-straight seasons.