Washington beat Florida 3-2 to earn its first softball national title. It was UW's first appearance in the best-of-three championship series, which started in 2005 (the Huskies advanced to the championship game in 1996 vs. Arizona and in 1999 vs. UCLA).
Washington finished the year with a 51-12 record and became the 22nd Pac-10 team in 28 years to win the WCWS. A Pac-10 team has advanced to the championship finals in 23 straight seasons.
After being shut out in Game 1 of the championship series, Florida (63-5) scored two runs (one earned) in the top of the first inning tonight. Aja Paculba led off the game with a triple and crossed home plate on a passed ball before a Megan Bush sacrifice fly knocked in Kristina Hilberth. Hilberth reached on an error.
Washington countered with two runs in the bottom of the first on three singles and a wild pitch.
The Huskies took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third frame when a fielding error by Florida pitcher Stacey Nelson allowed Kimi Pohlman to score her second run of the game. Pohlman reached base that inning on an error by center fielder Michelle Moultrie.
Washington junior pitcher Danielle Lawrie (42-8) went coast-to-coast for the Huskies this week, throwing all 44.2 innings of the team's six games. Tonight, the Langley, B.C., product allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits while fanning eight.
Lawrie moved into sole possession of second place on the UW all-time wins list with 96. Jennifer Spediacci (1997-00) holds the record with 100 wins. Lawrie's eight strikeouts tonight gave her 521 on the season, one shy of the Pac-10 single-season record (Arizona's Taryne Mowatt struck out 522 in 2007).
UF senior pitcher Stacey Nelson (41-5) suffered the loss, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits in 6.0 innings. The Gators' offense stranded 10 runners on base.
An 8-0 loser last night, Florida dropped back-to-back games for the first time since March 31, 2007, when Mississippi beat it in both games of a doubleheader.
Tonight's defeat was just Florida's second in 54 games this year when scoring first.
Washington led the WCWS in team batting average (.304) and team earned run average (1.88). UW pitcher and tournament most outstanding player Danielle Lawrie led all hurlers with 49 strikeouts.
A Women's College World Series record 120 runs were scored this year for a record average of 8.0 per contest (15 games). The previous record for runs in a WCWS was 95 (16 games) in 1997. The previous record for runs per game was 6.8 in 1996 (89 in 13 games).
Tonight's attendance was 5,807. This year's WCWS total attendance was 60,512, second most in the 28-year history of the event (62,463 in 2007). The 6,724 fans per session this year set a WCWS record (previous mark was 6,648 per session last year).
Since the start of the best-of-three championship series in 2005, this week marked the third time the national champion won the first two contests. Arizona defeated Northwestern in two games in 2006 and Arizona State swept Texas A&M in 2008.