The No.1 Washington softball team emerged victorious on Saturday after two close games both ended in dramatic fashion, with a walk-off in the early game followed by a near no-hitter in the evening game.
Bates saves the day with walk-off single
Following a morning rain delay that pushed its games back three hours, Washington picked up where it left off Friday, beating the UAB 7-6. The Huskies (4-0) started hot on offense with a six-run first inning, chasing Blazers starter Jaycee Cook out of the game just two-thirds of an inning into her first collegiate appearance.
After a Sis Bates hit-by-pitch and Morganne Flores walk, Madison Huskey stepped up to the plate for UW. Huskey, who started the game on the bench, was forced into the game after Sami Reynolds injured her ankle making a catch in the top of the first inning. Minutes after coming off the bench, Huskey smacked a three-run home run to left field, the first home run in her career away from Husky Softball Stadium.
Washington added three more in the first inning which featured the first career hit and RBI for freshman Kelley Lynch.
Leading 6-0 early, it looked like the Huskies were going to cruise to another easy victory but the Blazers did their best to climb back into the game. Two home runs by UAB sophomore Sierra Fraizer in the second and fourth inning cut into the UW lead, but the Blazers weren’t done. A leadoff walk in the fifth inning forced a pitching change for UW, as freshman Brooke Nelson entered the game. An error and three doubles later, the Blazers tied the game at seven.
The Washington offense, which went stagnant after a Flores home run in the second, came alive in the seventh inning. Jadelyn Allchin hit a leadoff single and then Gabbie Plain, who relieved a struggling Nelson, bounced a single over third base in her first plate appearance since last April.
A Taryn Atlee double play moved Atlee to third and sent Sis Bates to the plate with two outs. Bates worked a 2-2 count and slapped a single to right as the Huskies won in walk-off fashion in game one.
Plain bounces back in style
A day after allowing the most hits in her UW career, Gabbie Plain avenged herself in a big way against Georgia Tech, holding the Yellow Jackets to one hit and leading the Huskies to a 2-1 win.
Plain retired the first 10 batters she faced before finally allowing a walk in the fourth inning. Another dominant stretch from Plain followed as she retired the next nine batters in order, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning before a soft grounder by Tech’s Breanna Roper spoiled what would have been Plain’s fifth no-hitter.
Washington’s only runs came in the fifth inning. Lynch led off with a double, then Bates worked a 10 pitch at-bat which she capped with a one-out RBI triple into the corner. Bates then scored on a Flores single, which would turn out to be the game-winning run.
Washington caps off the Buzz Classic with a game against Furman on Sunday at 3 P.M. before heading to Florida for another tournament next week.
Reach reporter Anthony Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @edwardsanthonyb