Hayward named MVP as “Purple” Sweeps Purple-and-Gold Series
SEATTLE – The Purple-and-Gold series concluded Thursday at Husky Softball Stadium, as the “Purple” team defeated “Gold”, 4-3, sweeping the three-game series. Senior Victoria Hayward went 2-for-4, highlighted by a bases-clearing, two-out triple, to earn MVP honors. “Purple” won game one by a final of 3-0 and claimed game two, 5-4.
“We’re fortunate as a program because our team takes it seriously and they know how to compete,” head coach Heather Tarr said. “The fact that we got three really good games was nice. It replicates a Pac-12 series, so the ability for teams to make adjustments is critical to their ability to win.”
Senior Bryana Walker started in the circle for “Purple” and went 4.0 innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits. One of those 4 hits was a solo home run off the bat of senior Whitney Jones in the bottom of 3rd inning, bringing “Gold” within one run, 3-2. But that came after Hayward had already given “Purple” a 3-run lead in the top of the 2nd, with a 3-run, two-out triple against the “Gold” team starter, senior Kaitlin Inglesby.
“On my first swing, I kind of whiffed, so I needed to re-focus,” Hayward said of her at-bat in the 2nd. “The ball was up a little bit, so I just tried to turn on it, and it found a nice spot on the field where nobody could get to it, so we all got to keep running.”
Hayward finished the series 7-for-10, with one double, one triple, and six RBI.
“Purple” added another run in the top of the 5th on a Kylee Lahners home run to make it 4-2, Purple. Freshman Bridget Raftery answered back for “Gold” with a solo home run in the bottom of the 5th against Hailey Bator, making it a one-run game in favor of “Purple”. But Bator held “Gold” scoreless for the final 2.0 innings, securing the series sweep for “Purple”.
“I think this was the best Purple-and-Gold week we’ve had, with regards to competing, keeping it game-like, and keeping it fun,” Tarr said.
The Huskies will transition into 8-hour practice weeks on Monday until the team comes back from winter break in January.
“We’re now able to go into some fine-tuning on skills, whether it’s pitching, hitting, or defense,” Tarr said. “We’re excited to be able to get on a schedule that allows us to work more with individual student-athletes, and then, of course, we’re really excited to get back as a team in January.”
The Huskies will host a Coaches’ Clinic on Saturday, January 25 and an All-Skills Clinic for players on Sunday, January 26. For more information, visit washingtonsoftballcamps.com. Details on how to register for the camps will be posted soon.
The Huskies will open the 2014 season on Feb. 7 against the Baylor Bears in the UNLV Sportco Kick-Off Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 2014 home opener will come against conference foe Utah on March 14 at Husky Softball Stadium in Seattle.