May 23, 1998
OKLAHOMA CITY--The Washington softball team followed the pitching of sophomore Jennifer Spediacci, used a double by freshman Kelly Hauxhurst, and capitalized on an error by Nebraska to down the Huskers, 3-1, and advance to the semifinals of the College World Series for the third straight season.
Fourth-ranked UW will face No. 3 Fresno State on Sunday at 2:15 p.m. CT. Because FSU is undefeated in the CWS, if Washington wins, the two teams will square off again at 7:15 p.m. CT for the right to play for the NCAA title on Monday at 1 p.m. All semifinal games on Sunday will be aired live on espn2. UW's 2:15 p.m. outing will be broadcast on a delayed basis on KRPM-AM 1090 at the conclusion of the Husky baseball game.
Neither team could move runners around the bases until the Huskies did so in the fifth inning. Freshman Kim DePaul walked to lead off the frame before senior Leah Francis fielders choice turned into an error by the third baseman trying to throw DePaul out at second. Both Huskies advanced another base to set up a two-out, two-RBI double by Hauxhurst. The shot that just cleared the third basemans outstretched glove was only her third extra-base hit of the season.
Senior Eve Gaw then led off the sixth inning with her eighth home run of the season. Washington put at least one runner on base in every inning.
Meanwhile, Spediacci (26-6) took a no-hitter into the final frame before Nebraskas Ali Viola sent a ball over the left field fence for the Huskers only score of the game. Spediacci struck out nine batters, her 20th appearance of the season in which she had at least a 1:1 ratio of strikeouts to innings pitched. She has 22 complete games this season.
This was an incredible ball game, UW coach Teresa Wilson said. Nebraska played well and we played well. Jen threw an incredible game. We got a couple of breaks, finally, to go our way. We feel very fortunate to get a win versus such a good team. It was important for us to bounce back.
Fresno State is very confident right now. They have a nice balance of speed and strength. They are hitting the ball as well or maybe better than anyone right now, and they have a good pitching staff. We have our work cut out for us tomorrow.
Washington 000 021 0 -- 3 6 1 Nebraska 000 000 1 -- 1 1 2 Jennifer Spediacci and Jeanine Giordano; Jenny Voss and Jenny Smith. WP-Spediacci (26-6). LP-Voss (40-9). 2B-UW, Leutzinger, Hauxhurst. HR-UW, Gaw; UN-Viola