Washington 7, Nebraska 6

May 21, 2005

LINCOLN, Neb.-- Washington (33-20) used back-to-back home runs by juniors Aimee Minor and Sarah Hyatt in the third and sixth innings to overcome a three run deficit and defeat host Nebraska (36-22) 7-6 this afternoon in the second day of NCAA Regional Tournament action. The back-to-back home runs marked the third and fourth times this season Minor and Hyatt have hit consecutive home runs. Washington advances to the winners bracket and will play against the winner of today's Nebraska vs. Creighton/Iowa game Sunday at 11 am (PST).

"You never go up to bat looking for a home run," said Minor. "I was just looking to get the ball into play and make up a little bit of the deficit. She'd been going out on me all day and I got a good pitch to hit (in the sixth). We struggled in the beginning of the season to come back but we didn't hit the panic button. This team has a lot of heart and we give it everything we've got."

"Momentum-wise, we were solid," said head coach Heather Tarr. "This team knows a three-run lead is not enough, especially against a team like Nebraska that has a lot of heart and a lot of speed. We kept to our game plan and played the game like the score was 0-0 no matter what. We knew we had six outs to score and we valued every out and every at-bat and found a way to do it."

The Huskies took the early 3-0 lead in the second inning with four hits. Minor led off the frame with her 16th home run of the season over the centerfield wall. Hyatt followed with her 14th blast of the season over the scoreboard in the left field. Husker ace Ashley DeBuhr struck out the next two batters but Jacki Hansen sparked a two out rally with a full count walk. Dominique Lastrapes followed with a single up the middle and Ashley Charters singled into right field to score Hansen and give Washington the 3-0 lead.

Nebraska answered in the bottom of the third with three runs on two hits and an error to knot the score at 3-3. UW hurler Caitlin Noble struck out the first batter of the frame before Trisha Tannahill got the Huskers first hit with a dribbler down the third base line. Noble loaded the bases with a hit batter and a walk. Carmen Kier then hit a slow roller to the shortstop to score Tannahill and Jamie Waldecker scored when Charters' toss to third base hit Waldecker in the back. Cassie Kleinsmith kept the rally going with a line drive into left field to score Devin Porter. Keir tried to score on the play from first and was thrown out at the plate with the relay throw from Charters. Ashley Boek came into the game to pitch and got the next batter to ground out to end the inning.

The Huskers took the lead in the bottom of the third inning with a RBI-single by Sheena Lawrick. Jessica Yoackim was hit by a pitch and Lizzy Rock sacrificed her to second base. Lawrick then singled up the middle to score Yoackim and give Nebraska the 4-3 edge.

Washington threatened in the fourth with a pair of hits but could not score the tying run. Lastrapes hit a one out single but was thrown out at third on a double by Charters down the left field line. Nebraska intentionally walked Kristen Rivera but DeBuhr notched her ninth strikeout of the game to end the inning.

Nebraska tacked on two unearned runs in the fourth on two hits and a Husky error. Anne Steffan reached base on a bunt single and was sacrifice to second base by Yoackim. Rock then hit a ground ball to Boek but her throw to first base was high and went into right field. Steffan scored on the play and Rock advanced to third. Lawrick then drove a hit into right centerfield to score Rock and put the Huskers in top 6-3.

Washington came back in the sixth, scoring four runs on back-to-back home runs by Minor and Hyatt. Charters sparked the rally, reaching base on an error by the second baseman. Rivera followed with a single into left field. Minor then belted a three-run home run to centerfield to tie the score 6-6. Hyatt followed with a home run off the left field score board to give Washington the 7-6 lead and eventual win. The back-to-back home runs marked the eighth of the season for Washington and the fourth for Minor and Hyatt.

Boek (19-12) earned the win as gave up three runs on five hits in 5.1 innings of work with three walks and four strikeouts.

DeBuhr (24-20) took the loss as she gave up seven runs on 12 hits over six innings with six walks and 11 strikeouts. The 12 hits and six walks were season highs for DeBuhr.

Minor finished the day 2-for-3 with four RBIs, while Lastrapes, Charters and Hyatt each had three hits.

Iowa and Creighton face off today in the elimination game at 2 pm (PST). The winner will play Nebraska tonight at 5:30 pm. The winner of tonight's game will play Washington tomorrow at 11 am.

-- Courtesy Washington