Huskies Avenge Loss, Pick Up Doubleheader Sweep
March 7, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - With their ace in the circle and their offense clicking again, the No. 1/3 Washington Husky softball team avenged their only loss of the season, returning the favor to No. 3/1 Alabama, 6-0, Saturday in the Easton SEC/Pac-10/Big 12 Challenge.
Earlier in the day, UW snuck by No. 11/12 Georgia, 2-0. The Huskies are now 20-1 on the season.
All-American ace Danielle Lawrie got both the complete-game shutout victories to improve to 15-0 and extend her streak of consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to 88.1 innings. She also recorded her 1,000 career strikeout in the sixth inning against Alabama en route to the four-hit shutout.
The Huskies roughed up Alabama's All-American Charlotte Morgan for six runs on 12 hits. UW came into the game struggling at the plate, scoring just three runs in their three previous games. Washington's first three hitters in the lineup went a combined 7-for-10 at the plate with three runs and two RBI.
Senior Ashley Charters led the way for UW, just missing hitting for the cycle, notching a single, double and home run. She finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. No. 2 batter Kimi Pohlman went 2-for-3 with a run, a sacrifice and a triple while senior Ashlyn Watson went 2-for-3 with an RBI to continue her hot hitting as she is 7-for-12 on the weekend with two runs and thee RBI. Freshman Felecia Harris added two hits and three RBI for the Huskies.
After getting just two hits and getting shutout for the first time all season against the Tide in Friday's game, the Huskies came out swinging from the get-go, scoring a run in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Watson. Charters led off with a single through the left side and was sacrificed to second by Pohlman. After a wild pitch moved Charters to third, Watson followed with a sac fly to give the Huskies the lead.
UW picked up a single run in the third when Charters blasted her fifth home run of the season over the right-center field fence.
The Huskies then broke the game open with four runs in the fifth inning all with two outs, the big hit coming on a two-out, bases loaded double by freshman Felecia Harris which cleared the bases.
UW started the rally with three consecutive singles from Pohlman, Watson and Alicia Blake, the latter of which scored UW's third run of the game. After Morgan Stuart was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Harris ripped a shot down the third base line to score all three runners.
Lawrie did the rest, striking out eight and allowing four hits and three walks. She held Alabama's 1-5 batters hitless in the game as they went a combined 0-for-16. She now has 10 shutouts this season and 158 strikeouts in 100.1 innings pitched to go along with a 0.14 ERA.
She recorded career strikeout No. 1,000 with two on and one out in the sixth inning, becoming just the second active NCAA Division I pitcher to reach the milestone. She then escaped the jam with strikeout No. 1,001.
It was fitting the milestone strikeout came with two runners on as Lawrie has been at her best with runners on base this week. She stranded 11 Alabama runners in the game and has left 25 total runners on base in her three outings this weekend.
The Tide's biggest threat came in the second inning when they loaded the bases with one out on a hit, an error and a hit batter. But Lawrie got a force out at home for the second out and struck out Alabama All-American Kelley Montalvo swinging to end the threat.
In the first game, the Huskies defeated No. 11/12 Georgia, 2-0, with Watson providing all the offense Lawrie needed to earn the victory.
Watson notched the first multi-home run game of her career, knocking a pair of solo shots over the left field fence to give her a team-high six this season, tying a career high.
With the game scoreless, the senior led off the fourth inning with a home run that caromed off the left field foul pole, then drilled a one-out shot to straight away left field in the sixth to give Lawrie all the cushion she needed. The junior All-American struck out 10 and allowed just two hits.
After working in and out of jams to strand eight Baylor runners on Friday, this time Lawrie left six Bulldogs on base, escaping a bases loaded jam in the sixth. Lawrie did not allow a hit through the first five innings until Georgia put runners on second and third in the sixth with none out after a leadoff double and single. Lawrie got the Bulldogs' Alisa Goler, who came into the game with 39 RBI in 14 games this season, to pop up to third then struck out clean up hitter Megan Wiggins, who has been equally as dangerous this season.
After a walk to Brianna Hesson, Lawrie struck out Kristyn Sanberg for the third time in the game to escape.
The Huskies play Georgia again tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. PT in their final game of the Easton SEC/Pac-10/Big 12 Challenge.