May 15, 1998
SEATTLE -- A two-run homer by junior Becky Newbry in the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs put Washington in the winner's bracket of the NCAA Softball Region No. 4 tournament, defeating Northwestern State, 2-0. The Huskies improve to 47-13 and face No. 12 Louisiana State on Saturday at 11 a.m. LSU downed No. 15 Long Beach State, 2-0, in the first game on Friday, and LBSU and Northwestern State will meet at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Demons collected five hits to Washington's four and put a runner on third twice but could not cross home plate. UW sophomore Jamie Graves allowed four hits and struck out four in five innings before classmate Jennifer Spediacci (22-6) came in to earn the win. She added two strikeouts to her UW season-record, now at 171, and gave up one hit.
The Huskies had only three hits through the first five innings before Newbry's second home run of the season. Freshman Kelly Hauxhurst landed on second on two errors to lead off the inning and rounded the bases on Newbry's shot over the left center fence.
"I thought it was a very good game played by both teams," UW coach Teresa Wilson said. "We were hoping that if we kept hitting the ball hard, we'd finally find a hole. I guess the hole was on the other side of the fence."
In the first game, LSU's Brandi Landry (22-5) held Long Beach State to just three hits and her teammates hit away for seven to earn a win in their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance. Senior Jodi Otten singled in the first inning and stole second before an errant throw to first allowed Otten to score.
The Tigers struck again in the fourth frame. Freshman Dee Douglas singled, stole second and took third on a wild pitch before a double to the left center wall by classmate April Janzen knocked Douglas home.
Game One Long Beach State 000 000 0 -- 0 3 1 Louisiana State 100 100 x -- 2 7 1 Kristi Fox and Jaime Villones; Brandi Landry and Stephanie Hastings. WP-Landry (22-5). LP-Fox (21-7). 2B-LSU, Janzen.
Game Two Northwestern State 000 000 0 0 5 2 Washington 000 002 x 2 4 0 Jamie Graves, Jennifer Spediacci (6) and Jeanine Giordano; Jennifer Owens and Shannon Straty. WP-Spediacci (22-6). LP-Owens (18-8). 2B-NWSU, Allen. HR-UW, Newbry.
Notes and Quotes:
Louisiana State vs. Long Beach State
LOUISIANA STATE INTERIM COACH GLENN MOORE: "Today was a little bit easier than we expected. We thought there would be more pressure. We got some great defense and shut down their offense. We really came out focused."
LSU INFIELDER ASHLEE DUCOTE: "Today we stayed in control. We kept ourselves from getting too hit today--we controlled our emotions."
LONG BEACH STATE HEAD COACH PETE MANARINO: "We made some mistakes early which cost us a run. We couldn't seem to recover after that. I'm disappointed, but we're a very young team. There was a lot of pressure today and we just couldn't get the hits."
Washington vs. Northwestern State
WASHINGTON HEAD COACH TERESA WILSON: "I thought it was a very good game played by both teams--great pitching, great defense. It shut out all the fires. We were hoping that if we kept hitting the ball hard, we'd finally find a hole. I guess the hole was on the other side of the fence."
On the pitching change: "Jamie did a great job. We were forcing them to make a lot of adjustments--changing locations, changing pitches. We just wanted them to have to make another adjustment."
On the pitching staff: "Our pitchers have been a big strength for us all year. On this team, we don't have individuals; we have a staff. We have a left-hander and two right-handers, which forces teams to adjust. It's a huge advantage."
WASHINGTON FIRST BASEMAN BECKY NEWBRY: "I was just looking to hit the ball hard. I'm trying to "swing with passion," and that's been a big help."
WASHINGTON PITCHER JAMIE GRAVES: "There's a little pressure, but I liked it. It's nice to get the first one out of the way. I've pitched in a lot of pressure situations, and I've learned that you can't treat it like it's any different. You just have to keep doing what you're doing, and hopefully everything will work out."
NORTHWESTERN STATE HEAD COACH GAY McNUTT: "Overall, I'm pleased with this game. Our philosophy is to keep the game close. If we can keep the game close, it doesn't matter who we're playing, we have a chance. We had every opportunity to score; in fact, we probably had more opportunities to score. We hit the ball as well as we have all year, we just didn't take advantage.
NORTHWESTERN STATE PITCHER JENNIFER OWENS (on Newbry's home run): "We thought we could get her on an inside pitch, but she just turned on it. I wish that I could go back and not throw that pitch, but I can only learn from it now."