Huskies Advance to Fourth Straight College World Series!!
May 23, 1999
SEATTLE - The Washington softball team finished the NCAA Region 3 tournament undefeated with a 3-0 win over Hawaii on Sunday at Husky Softball Stadium in front of 1,340 fans to advance to the College World Series for the fourth straight time. Washington will face Arizona State in its first game on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the ASA Don Porter Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla. The tournament runs through Monday.
Freshman designated hitter Shannon Walsh pounded a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning to break open a scoreless game and knocked in the third Husky run, while junior Jennifer Spediacci pitched a one-hitter and struck out 10 to lead Washington to its sixth shutout in its past seven regional outings. Spediaccis strikeout total is a UW postseason single-game record.
The game began with Spediacci retiring Hawaiis first three batters with swinging strikeouts and she fanned three more in the next two innings. Meanwhile, the Dawgs had five hits in the first four frames but could not get a runner safely across home plate until the fifth, when sophomore Christie Rosenblad singled before Walshs third dinger of the season and UWs first of the tournament.
"I felt good before the game, said Spediacci. This was probably one of my best warm-ups before a game ever. The first inning really set the tone. My curve ball had a lot of movement to it today."
In the sixth frame, junior Melissa Downs walked and moved to second on an error during junior Erin Helgelands at-bat before Walsh singled pinch runner Jessica Bork in. Spediacci struck out four more in the last three innings, and sophomore Kelly Hauxhursts catch in left field ended the game.
UW gave up just one run in it four wins to make it four straight runs through regional play with out a loss, including 13 consecutive games. For the tournament, the Husky staff allowed just nine hits in four games, with 27 strikeouts and only one walk. The hits, strikeouts and walks are all UW regional records.
"I think that going through the stressful Pac-10 schedule, which is like playing a championship every week, that stress brings out the best, said UW head coach Teresa Wilson. I think us getting through the way that we did, finishing up and continuing to peak from that Oregon series to now, has really brought them together. The Pac-10 is so strong that if you don't have that team confidence, you're not going to survive."
Five of the eight teams which advanced to the College World Series are from the Pacific-10 Conference: UW, Arizona, Arizona State, California and UCLA.
ALL TOURNAMENT TEAM
NCAA REGION 3 FINAL
Hawaii 000 000 0 0 1 2 Washington 000 021 x 3 8 1Jennifer Spediacci and Jeanine Giordano; Janelle Gonzales, Kelly Gentle (6) and Dana Degan.
WP-Spediacci (21-8). LP-Gonzales (8-7).
LOB-UH 3, UW 7. HR-UW: Walsh.