No. 1 Huskies Hit Three Home Runs, Hold Off No. 9 Oklahoma

Feb. 26, 2010

Box Score

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Even on a day when Danielle Lawrie wasn't at her best, she was still too much for one of the top teams in the country.

Lawrie struck out nine despite allowing a season-high four runs and seven hits and also belted a two-run home run to lead the No. 1 Washington softball team to a 7-4 victory over No. 9/12 Oklahoma in their biggest test of the 2010 season as the defending national champions.

Niki Williams added a three-run home run and Taylor Smith had a solo shot for the Huskies, who have hit 15 home runs in 10 games this year.

The Huskies (9-1) fell behind in the first inning for the first time all year as the Sooners (10-2) jumped on Lawrie with a run on two hits. Haley Nix led off the game with a double, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a Jessica Shults' single up the middle before UW had even come to bat.

But Lawrie would respond in the bottom of the inning, getting the run back and then some with her bat. After Jenn Salling drew a one-out walk, Lawrie followed with her seventh home run of the season, a long blast to centerfield to give UW the lead. All seven of Lawrie's home runs this year have gone to centerfield and she is already just three home runs shy of her career high of 10 in 2007.

After the reigning National Player of the Year struck out the side in the second, she got some insurance in the bottom of the inning from the sophomore Smith, who launched her first home run of the season to left-center. Smith was making just her fourth career start in the game.

The Huskies then gave Lawrie some breathing room in the fifth on a three-run home run by Williams, her second of the season. Alyson McWherter led off the inning with a walk and stole second before moving to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kimi Pohlman. After Lawrie was intentionally walked, Williams made Oklahoma's heralded freshman pitcher Keilani Ricketts pay, blasting a three-run shot to left field.

UW's third long ball of the game chased Ricketts and brought on a new pitcher, who Morgan Stuart promptly greeted with a double to centerfield. Freshman Shawna Wright then ripped a double of her own to centerfield to make the score 7-1.

After the rough first inning, Lawrie settled down and retired eight of the next nine batters and 13 of 15, striking out four of five at one point. She allowed just a single in the second and a walk in the fourth.

But the Sooners would not go away easily, getting to Lawrie in the top of the sixth for three runs, all coming off the bat of Shults, who launched a three-run home run to right field, the first long ball of the year off Lawrie. OU got consecutive singles to start the inning before the freshman catcher sent her sixth home run of the season over the fence. Oklahoma would get another hit one out later, but Lawrie struck out the final two batters of the inning to escape without further damage.

With the score still 7-4 in the seventh, Lawrie struck out the first two hitters of the inning and got Chana'e Jones to fly out to end the game.

Oklahoma actually out-hit UW in the game, 7-5, but the Huskies drew four walks off Ricketts, including one by Salling, who leads the team with 11 walks in 10 games.

Lawrie, who improved to 7-0, struck out nine to move past former UCLA standout Anjelica Selden for eighth in NCAA history and fourth in Pac-10 history with 1,449 career strikeouts.

The Huskies play two games on Saturday at the Cathedral City Classic, facing No. 19/21 Fresno State at 5:30 p.m. and Oklahoma State at 8:30 p.m.

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