May 17, 1998
SEATTLE--The Washington softball team won its third consecutive regional tournament on Sunday afternoon to to advance to the College World Series, shutting out No. 12 Louisiana State for the second day in a row to win, 6-0. Fourth-ranked UW improves to 49-13 on the season and will face Massachusetts on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. PT in the CWS, held at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Behind the stellar offensive and defensive play of sophomore Jennifer Spediacci, the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, Huskies outscored their opponents 17-0. Spediaccis 0.00 ERA included a no-hitter against LSU on Saturday and a complete-game shutout today with 18 total strikeouts over the weekend. She also was 4-for-5 at the plate with four RBI and one run. Joining her on the all-tournament team were freshman Kelly Hauxhurst, sophomore Erin Helgeland, and junior Becky Newbry, who knocked in the winning run in each of UWs games.
LSUs Brandi Landry held the UW hitters in check early in the game, however, allowing just two hits in the first three innings with no runner advancing past second. Meanwhile, the Tigers collected five hits in the first four frames and put a runner on third twice. The turning point in the game was an alert play by UW second baseman Christie Rosenblad in the top of the fourth, throwing out Tara Asbill at the plate for the third out after missing a chance to put Tyra Perry out at first.
The momentum shifted right there in their favor, LSU interim coach Glenn Moore said. If we get that run, they tense up a bit and were able to relax. But its a game of momentum, and they threw some water on the fire and did what they had to do.
Washington then used that momentum at the plate in the bottom of the fourth. In consecutive at bats, senior Eve Gaw doubled to the left center wall and Newbry tripled to the same place to send pinch runner Angela Bennett home. She then scored off a sacrifice fly by Helgeland to put the Dawgs up 2-0.
The Tigers threatened again, loading the bases with one out before a pop out and a looking strikeout ended that rally. But the Huskies continued their production of runs in the fifth frame, gathering four off as many hits. Singles by Rosenblad and Leutzinger set up a Hauxhurst RBI-double, and then Leutzinger went home off a sacrifice fly by Gaw. UWs final two runs by Hauxhurst and freshman Kim DePaul came off Tiger errors in the field.
We said that this weekend would be a true testament to how much out team has matured, UW coach Teresa Wilson said. Now they have one segment of the postseason under their belts. Theyve come together as a team. They have a quiet confidence--which worries me sometimes--but once the game starts, they turn it on.
Louisiana State 000 000 0 -- 0 7 2 Washington 000 240 x -- 6 10 0 Brandi Landry, Julie Stashko (5) and Stephanie Hastings, Kelly Mashburn (6); Jennifer Spediacci and Jeanine Giordano. WP-Spediacci (24-6). LP-Landry (22-6). 2B-LSU, Ducote; UW, Hauxhurst, Gaw. 3B-UW, Newbry.
Region No. 4 All-Tournament Team Jennifer Spediacci, P, Washington, Most Outstanding Player Becca Allen, IF, Northwestern State Tara Asbill, IF, Louisiana State Kelly Hauxhurst, OF, Washington Stephanie Hastings, IF, Louisiana State Erin Helgeland, OF, Washington Brandi Landry, P, Louisiana State Becky Newbry, IF, Washington Diedra Oliver, IF, Long Beach State Jodi Otten, IF, Louisiana State Jennifer Owens, P, Northwestern State Jaime Villones, IF, Long Beach State