May 22, 2004
ATHENS, Ga. – Washington’s Ashley Boek (28-11) shut out No. 23 Georgia Tech (47-18) to lead the Huskies (39-17) over the Yellow Jackets, 2-0, in the semifinals of the winner’s bracket at the Athens Regional. Junior Katie Donovan led the offensive attack, going 2-for-3, while junior Jessica Sallinger (31-9) tasted defeat for the first time in the regional, scattering five hits, allowing two runs and striking out seven.
“We just didn’t execute today,” said head coach Ehren Earleywine. “I thought we would move their pitcher more than we did, but that’s tournament play. We just have to get ready to play tonight.”
The Huskies’ Rita Roach scored the winning run on a balk call against Sallinger and Sarah Hyatt drove in the insurance run for Washington in the bottom of the fifth inning to send Washington to the championship game on Sunday afternoon.
Pitching was the story for most of the day as neither team managed a run through the first four innings. Washington had a runner on first with no outs when lightning postponed the game for 38 minutes. Sallinger induced a ground ball after the rain delay for the first out, but the Huskies player continued to second from first for a stolen base. UW’s Amanda Oleson was then caught stealing at third base by senior Tasha Waugh for the second out and Sallinger struck out the next hitter to keep the game scoreless.
Lightning postponed the game for the second time in the top of the fifth inning with Tech coming to bat. After an hour-and-37 minute delay, Tech’s Waugh reached base on a walk with one out. Sophomore Amy Hosier reached base on an error to give the Jackets runners at first and second. Senior Soraya Reddick reached on a fielder’s choice as the UW third baseman stepped on third base for the second out and Boek recorded a foul out to third base to end the inning.
The Huskies put their first two runners on base in the bottom half of the fifth inning on consecutive singles to third base. The next Washington batter was hit-by-a-pitch to load the bases. The Huskies then scored on a balk by Sallinger to take a 1-0 lead. Sarah Hyatt extended the lead to two with a sacrifice fly to left field as the Jackets trailed 2-0. Kristen Rivera was then intentionally walked. Sallinger tallied her fifth and sixth K’s of the afternoon to end the inning as the game moved the sixth inning with the Huskies leading by two.
Donovan singled up the middle with one out in the sixth inning to give Tech a base runner. Boek retired the next two Tech batters to end the inning as UW remained on top by two. Both teams went down in order in the next inning as the Rambling Wreck fell by a score of 2-0.
Tech will face the winner of No. 2 seed Georgia and No. 5 seed Michigan State for the right to meet Washington in the title game. The game will start at approximately 7:30 p.m.