May 23, 2009
ATLANTA – No. 3 Washington (45-11) pounded out 14 hits and defeated No. 14 Georgia Tech (46-14), 7-1, this afternoon in game one of the Atlanta Super Regional at Mewborn Field. The Yellow Jackets will now need to beat the Huskies twice Sunday (1 p.m./ESPN) in order to advance to the Women’s College World Series. If Tech wins Sunday’s first game, a winner-take-all third game of the series would be played at 3:30 p.m.
Redshirt junior Jen Yee hit her team-leading 16th home run of the season to account for Tech’s scoring. Washington ace Danielle Lawrie improved to 36-7 with the win as she allowed the one run on four hits. She walked one and struck out 10. Starting pitcher Jessica Coan (8-4) took the loss for Tech as she was charged with two runs on three hits in three innings. Coan walked one and did not strike out a batter.
Six different Washington players had two hits apiece, including Ashley Charters who hit her eighth home run of the season. Jenn Salling had a double and three runs scored as well for UW.
The Yellow Jackets had a chance to score in the first inning as redshirt junior Jen Yee led off with a walk and went to second base with one out on a ground out by senior Blair Shimandle. Danielle Lawrie was able to strike out both seniors Whitney Haller and Tiffany Johnson, however, to strand her former Canadian Olympic teammate Yee in scoring position.
In the bottom of the first inning, UW’s Ashley Charters led off the frame when she hit a 1-2 pitch from freshman Jessica Coan over the right-center field fence for a solo home run, her eighth of the season.
The Huskies added to their lead in the bottom of the third inning after Coan hit Jenn Salling with two outs and then scored when Lawrie blooped a double down the left-field line. The inning could have been worse if not for another spectacular catch by Shimandle in center field. Morgan Stuart hit a shot to dead center which Shimandle caught leaping as she crashed into the fence.
Both teams left golden scoring chances on the table on in the fourth inning. After making her highlight-reel catch to end the third inning, Shimandle ripped the first pitch she saw from Lawrie into center field for a single, Tech’s first hit of the game. Haller followed with a single into right-center giving the Yellow Jackets runners at first and third with nobody out, but Lawrie was able to get out of it. Johnson roped a ball right at Washington shortstop Jenn Salling, who caught it and threw to first doubling off Haller. Sophomore Kristen Adkins then fouled out ending the threat for the Yellow Jackets.
In the bottom of the frame, the Huskies loaded the bases with nobody out but Adkins, who began the inning in the circle for Coan, got out of it and kept the Jackets still within striking distance. Niki Williams hit a ground ball to Johnson at third base. She tagged the runner and then threw back to the shortstop Yee covering third to complete the double-play. Adkins then got a come-backer to end the inning and keep it a 2-0 game.
Washington then made it a 3-0 game in the bottom of the fifth inning when Morgan Stuart delivered a two-out RBI off the center field fence, but the Jackets got the run back in the top of the sixth inning. Yee led off the frame with a solo home run to dead center field, her team-high 16th round-tripper of the season. With two outs, Johnson stood at second base after an error but Lawrie got Adkins to pop up and send the game to the bottom of the sixth inning.
No. 14 Georgia Tech and No. 3 Washington will play game two of its best-of-three series tomorrow at 1 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPN and streamed online at ESPN360.com. If a game three is necessary, it would follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of game two.
Washington continued to pile up the hits and added four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break the game wide open at 7-1 and that was more than enough for Lawrie.
For complete coverage of the Atlanta Super Regional, log onto the Tournament Central page at www.ramblinwreck.com. There you will find links to watch each press conference live for free, quotes, notes, stats and much, much more.