TEMPE, Ariz. – Coming into the game, the No. 3 Huskies bout with San Jose State on Friday afternoon at the Littlewood Classic in Tempe, Ariz. figured to be a good matchup, pairing two teams who were 6-0. But the Huskies put up 16 runs in the first three innings at the Tempe Sports Complex, and there was quickly no doubt about who the stronger team is.
The Huskies (7-0) defeated the Spartans (6-1) by a final score of 18-1, marking the most runs the Huskies have scored since they knocked off UC Riverside, 22-3, on Feb. 13, 2011. Bryana Walker tossed 5.0 innings of one-run ball, allowing just two hits while striking out four to move to 3-0.
The Huskies defeated Illinois State (1-4) earlier in the day, 9-1.
“It was good to see everybody play today and get some at-bats,” head coach Heather Tarr said. “It was good to see Whitney [Jones] keep going with what she’s been doing offensively. Ali Aguilar had some good at-bats for us today.”
“Every game, it’s a different hero,” said Hayward., who hit her first home run of the season against San Jose State. “It’s not one person contributing everything. Contributions are coming from everywhere, which is really a good thing to have at the beginning of the season.”
The Huskies opened the game with back-to-back singles from Hayward and Aguilar to take a quick 1-0 lead. One batter later, Lahners hit an RBI-single, and then Hooch Fagaly hit her first home run of the season, a two-run round-tripper, to give the Huskies a 4-0 advantage heading into the bottom of the 1st.
“It was good to square one up finally,” Fagaly said. “I like our energy, our energy is keeping us in ballgames, keeping us focused. Our bats definitely help, and we’ve got to stay strong on defense.”
In the top of the 2nd inning, the Huskies sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six runs, highlighted by a pair of 2-run doubles off the bats of Lahners and Jones. Lahners finished 3-for-3, with two runs scored, two doubles, and four RBI. She now has 19 RBI on the season.
The Huskies added six more in the 3rd inning and two in the 5th on Hayward’s two-run home run.
Walker retired 10 of the first 11 batters she faced, as she tossed the Huskies second complete-game of the day, joining Kaitlin Inglesby.
“They’re going to continue to get better and better the more they get opportunities to pitch,” Tarr said of Walker and Inglesby. “They have the capability to be two of the best pitchers in the country when they work together, and it was good to see them work today.”
The Huskies will continue play at the Littlewood Classic tomorrow with a pair of games, beginning at 5:00 p.m. (Pacific) vs. SIU Edwardsville (1-4) before taking on Michigan State (2-3) at 7:15 p.m. (Pacific). The Huskies will wrap up the tournament with a matchup against 2013 National Champions Oklahoma (3-2) at 10:15 a.m. (Pacific) on Sunday.
All three games will be played at Farrington Softball Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University. All three games will also feature live audio with the voice of Husky Softball, Mike Brown, here.