HONOLULU, Hawai’i – A four-run rally with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning helped propel No. 1 Washington to a 6-0 victory over the East Carolina softball team Friday afternoon at the Bank of Hawai’i Invitational Tournament. Bailey Stenson went 2-2 with a run scored and Danielle Lawrie drove in two runs for the Huskies. Washington improves to 13-1 with the win while East Carolina falls to 6-8.
Lawrie (10-0) recorded the victory, allowing two hits and no walks. The reigning National Player-of-the-Year also struck out seven Pirates. Toni Paisley (5-5) took the loss for ECU as she surrendered six runs on eight hits, all in the final three innings.
The pitchers dominated the first three frames as the only batter to reach base was Stenson, who walked with two outs in the bottom of the third. Sophomore Priscilla Velasquez had the best opportunity for the Pirates to break through during the first three innings when she hit a sinking line drive to right with one out in the second inning that was caught by a diving Stenson. Before the free pass to Stenson, Jenna Clifton hit a long fly ball with one out in the bottom of the third that was hauled in by senior left fielder Marina Gusman-Brown just in front of the wall.
In the bottom of the fourth, Jenn Salling recorded the first hit of the game as she led off with a bunt single. Lawrie followed with a grounder to shortstop and the Pirates forced Salling out at second base. Maggie Wagner came in to pinch run and after a pop-out, she stole second base. Morgan Stuart grounded out to senior Cristen Aona at third base to end the threat.
Gusman-Brown recorded ECU’s first hit with a sharp single to center field to lead off the top of the fifth. After a strikeout, Gusman-Brown attempted to steal second, but was called out on the play. A groundout by junior Sissy Jimenez ended the inning.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Washington put together a rally to take a 4-0 lead. Clifton drew a walk before Stenson singled to left field to put runners on first and second. Kimi Pohlman put Washington on the board with a single to right field that plated Clifton. Senior Vanessa Moreno threw the ball to Velasquez at first base, but the ball ticked off her glove and rolled away, allowing Stenson to score and move Pohlman to third. Salling drew a walk to put runners on first and third. After Salling stole second, Lawrie singled to right field to drive in the two for a 4-0 lead.
A leadoff home run to left center by Shawna Wright in the bottom of the sixth made the score 5-0. Washington tacked on one more run in the frame as Alyson McWherter singled and Stenson added another hit to put runners on first and second with one out. Sophomore Faith Sutton came on in relief of Paisley and got Pohlman to ground into a fielder’s choice. The ball was thrown back to Sutton in the circle, but time was never called, so Pohlman took off for second base. The Pirates attempted to tag out Pohlman at second, but the throw was late and McWherter scored the final run of the game.
Senior Charina Sumner led off the ECU seventh with a double to right center but was left stranded. It was the 187th hit of her career, tying her for ninth on the school’s all-time list.
The Pirates resume action tomorrow with two games beginning at 5:00 p.m. EST. East Carolina plays Seattle first before taking on Hawai’i at 9:00 p.m.