Danielle Lawrie showed why she was voted USA softball player of the year this evening, while the huskies chased Stacey Nelson (who many thought should have been named player of the year) off the field after five innings. Lawrie dominated Florida with what was her best performance of the series, recording
12 13 strike-outs, two hits, only thee walks, and allowing four base-runners, only one of whom got further than first base. The win snapped the Gators 29-game win streak; only their fourth loss of the season,
In the top of the third Washington loaded the bases with a walk and two infield singles. This was followed by a two run single up the middle by Jenn Salling. When the throw from center field was just barely late to prevent the second run, Florida's catcher made an uncharacteristic error (Florida had the second best fielding percentage in the country at 97.8%) attempting to get the runner heading back to second. The ball sailed over the second baseman's head, as well as that of the center fielder, who was playing back-up too close. The ball rolled to the fence, allowing the two runners to clear the bases.
While Lawrie continued to shut-down the Gators, Morgan Stuart's two-run double in the top of the fifth made it 6-0, and for the second night in a row, Stacey Nelson was pulled from the game, something that's never happened to her before in her college career.
In the top of the sixth Ashley Charters brought the score to 8-0 with a two-run home run off of reliever Stephanie Brombacher, recording her school record 95th hit this season.
The end of the sixth inning brought out a comedy of errors. Being up by eight runs at the end of six full innings invoked the eight-run rule and the game was over. Or so thought both teams, the umpires, and the grounds crew. Seems like someday didn't distribute the memo that the eight-run rule is waived in the championship series games. So the umpires came back of the field, the grounds crew replaced the bases, and the 7th inning was completed.
With this win, the Huskies have now shut out the Gators twice this year, having beaten them 1-0 in nine innings back in March. We're one win away away from the UW's second national championship of the academic year.