Huskies Fall To Arizona In WCWS Semifinal- Finish Third
June 3, 2007
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.-- The sixth-seeded Washington softball team fell to top-seeded Arizona for a second time Sunday, this time an 8-1 loss, to be eliminated from the Women's College World Series. The Huskies finish the season tied for third in the nation with a 42-18 record, while the Wildcats advance to the best-of-three championship series vs. fifth-seeded Tennessee. The third place finish marks Washington's highest national finish since the 1999 team placed second.
Washington, who was making its eighth WCWS appearance and 14th consecutive postseason appearance has been the national runners up twice (1996 and 1999) and has placed third three times (1997, 1998 and 2007).
"We had a great season," said head coach Heather Tarr. "We wanted to keep playing because we wanted to keep playing as a team. We wanted to win but we really enjoyed ourselves as a team all year. This has been one of the most fun experiences I have had as a coach. We are going to really miss our seniors. They have contributed immensely this year and I am very happy that our young players got to experience this. I am also glad that Danielle (Lawrie) got to have this experience in the College World Series so when she moves forward next year in her international experience (with the Canadian National Team) she has this in the back of her mind, as well as getting back and contending for a national championship in the future with this program. I wanted to say how proud I am, especially of these two seniors (Dominique Lastrapes and Dena Tyson), who came to Washington under different circumstances and helped lead us back."
Arizona jumped on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning, scoring two runs on three hits. Senior Caitlin Lowe sparked the rally with a leadoff single to centerfield and Chelsea Mesa followed with a bunt single. Jeana Leles then laced a two-RBI double to the left field corner that fell just out of reach of Marnie Koziol.
The Wildcats scored again in the third inning when Sam Banister delivered a two-out RBI-single that right fielder Lauren Greer charged in and dove for but could not glove. The hit scored Kristie Fox who had singled through the right side and moved into scoring position on a walk to Leles as UA took the 3-0 lead.
The Huskies went down in order in each of the first three innings before senior All-American Dominique Lastrapes sparked a two-out rally with the team's first hit of the game with a single to shallow centerfield. Senior All-American Dena Tyson followed with single up the middle and junior Lauren Greer tallied UW's third-straight hit with an RBI-single to left field to score Lastrapes and cut Arizona's lead to 3-1.
Noble was touched for four runs on three hits and an error to open the sixth inning as UA took the 8-1 lead. Callista Balko drew a leadoff walk, followed by a single to right field by K'Lee Arredonda. Adrienne Acton then reached on a fielding error by Noble to load the bases. Mesa broke the game wide open with a two-run double off the right-centerfield wall and a sacrifice fly by Fox scored another. Leles then singled to left field to score Mesa and put Arizona on top, 8-1.
Washington went quickly in the sixth and seventh innings with its only hit coming from freshman pinch hitter Alyson McWherter with a single to right field in the sixth.
Lawrie (31-13) took the loss as she allowed four runs on eight hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in five innings. Noble gave up four runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in two innings.
Taryne Mowatt (40-11) earned her second win of the day vs. the Huskies as she held them to one run on four hits with nine strikeouts.
"I would have never written this story," said Tyson. "I am the type of person that believes that everything happens for a reason. Finishing third in the nation is something I would have never dreamed of. Even as a freshman I thought we were pretty good, but never would have dreamed of what happened here. I don't know if this team would have been built without Coach Tarr. I feel like everything happened for a reason."
"I would say the past few weeks have been some of the most fun few weeks I have played here at UW," said Lastrapes. "In Nebraska when we had our backs against the wall in that first championship game and coming back and winning that, and when we hosted the super regional at home and playing in front of a record sell-out crowd and beating Alabama in two games. We came here and beat people who people didn't think we could beat. I am so happy and it is bitter sweet. I am sad that we lost and that it is over, but I am so happy that I got to be a part of this."