11-Run Inning Lifts UW Over Long Beach
Feb. 15, 2009
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The No. 7/10 Washington Husky softball team capped a perfect 4-0 weekend at the Campbell Cartier Classic in style on Sunday, exploding for 11 runs in the third inning to defeat No. 25 Long Beach State, 14-1.
The Huskies equaled their season high from two nights ago with 15 hits in the game. As a team, Washington hit .409 with six doubles, three triples and four home runs in the four games over the weekend, two of which came against ranked teams. They improved to 9-0 for just the fourth time in school history and are one win shy of equaling the school record start of 10-0 set in 2002.
Three Huskies had at least two hits in the game while 10 different Huskies collected at least one hit. Senior Alicia Blake led the attack with a 3-for-3 effort with three runs scored and two RBI. Junior Bailey Stenson went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI while senior Jessica Ventoza had her first career multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI, the latter of which was also the first of her career.
Junior ace Danielle Lawrie (6-0) got the win in the circle, coming in to shut the door in the first inning after Long Beach State jumped out to a 1-0 lead and had the bases loaded with two outs. She went on to allow just one hit in 4.1 innings, striking out seven batters, including six of the last eight.
Freshman Felecia Harris got the start for UW and had a rocky first inning, but she more than made up for it in the top of the second with a three-run home run to right centerfield, her first career home run.
Blake started the rally in the second inning with a double to right center and sophomore Morgan Stuart walked with two outs to set the stage for Harris, who ripped a line drive that just barely snuck over the right-centerfield fence to give UW a 3-1 lead.
The Huskies then exploded for 11 runs on eight hits in the third inning, sending 16 batters to the plate. Blake was the catalyst with two RBI singles in the inning.
Senior Ashley Charters started the inning with a walk and promptly stole her sixth base of the season. One out later, Blake ripped her second hit of the game to center to score Charters and the Huskies would get the next seven batters on base. After Lauren Greer singled, Stuart followed with a triple to right center - her second three-bagger of the weekend - to plate both Greer and Blake. Harris followed with a walk before Ventoza ripped an RBI double over the centerfielder's head, her first hit and RBI of the season.
The Huskies didn't stop there, scoring five runs with two outs. Blake drove in her second run of the inning with a single which loaded the bases, and Greer and Stuart followed with RBIs on a bases loaded walk and hit by pitch, respectively. Freshman Taylor Smith capped the scoring with a two-run single, her third hit in four collegiate at bats.
'We made a lot of changes in that game and didn't lose a beat with anyone we put out there,' Husky head coach Heather Tar said. 'We have a lot of confidence in our offense and regardless of who's pitching we know we'll score runs. Felecia did a good job today of knowing what she needed to do offensively and keeping her defense on defense. She drove that ball 230 feet on a line over the fence.'
While the hitting was the big story for the Huskies over the weekend - piling up 38 runs in four games - the pitching was also solid, allowing just four runs. Lawrie broke the school's all-time strikeout record in Saturday's win over San Diego State and went over the 900 mark. She now sits alone at the top of the Husky record books with 908 Ks in just over two seasons.
'She's a great pitcher and good enough to put up those numbers,' Tarr said. 'The pitcher whose record she broke, Jennifer Spediacci, did some great things as a pitcher here in her time. More than any of those records though, Danielle wants to do what no other pitcher has done in this program and that's win a national championships. We have a team that's capable of doing that but now it's a matter of going through some battles. We'll get some battles next weekend and it'll give us a chance to see what were made of.'
The Huskies head to Palm Springs, Calif., next week to play in the Cathedral City Classic, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country. Among UW's opponents next weekend will be a showdown with No. 2 Florida on Friday, Feb. 20 at 5:30 p.m. PT.
UW will stay home the following week to host the Husky Softball Classic, Feb. 27-March 1, taking on Boise State, Portland State and Seattle University. For ticket information, click here.
● Four of the five UW freshmen have hit home runs in the Huskies' first nine games this season. In all, seven different players have gone yard for UW. The Huskies have hit 10 home runs in the first two weekends after hitting just 29 all of last season.
● Charters stole her sixth base of the season on Sunday giving her 102 for her career. She moved past Angie (Marzetta) Mentink over the weekend into third all time. The record is 113.