Gator Softball Teams Dream Ends in Defeat
Kimi Pohlman raced home on a squibber back to the circle that Gator pitcher Stacey Nelson couldn't handle, giving Washington the decisive run in a 3-2 victory for its first NCAA softball championship Tuesday night.
With the bases loaded in the third inning, Morgan Stuart tapped
the ball a few feet in front of home plate, but Nelson (41-5) was
unable to scoop it cleanly. That allowed the go-ahead run to score.
National player of the year Danielle Lawrie (42-8) shut out the
top-seeded Gators (63-5) the rest of the way to clinch the title
with a two-game sweep.
Washington (51-12) kept the championship in the Pac-10 by
keeping Florida from bringing the Southeastern Conference its first
title. The Pac-10 has won 21 of the 27 Women's College World Series
titles, with Arizona State and Washington joining powerhouses UCLA
(11 championships) and Arizona (eight) the past two years.
Florida's Aja Paculba led off the game with a triple to
right-center field past a diving Aly McWherter and came in on a
passed ball. Kristina Hilbreth reached on an error, moved to second
on Enea's infield single and was able to sneak into third on a
steal when Stuart lingered too far from the base to tag her. She
scored on Megan Bush's sacrifice fly.
Washington answered immediately against Nelson, who led the
nation in ERA but was coming off two of her worst outings of the
season. Lawrie's RBI single and a wild pitch that brought in
Pohlman evened the score at 2 in the bottom of the first.
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