Washington beats Northwestern, sweeps through Seattle Regional
SEATTLE -- The Huskies dominated the opposition through the Seattle Regional, and Saturday’s championship matchup with Northwestern was no different.
The Huskies defeated the Wildcats, 9-0 in five innings to advance to their 7th consecutive Super Regionals appearance, as head coach Heather Tarr earned her 400th win. Tarr has collected each of her 400 wins in her 10 years at Washington, and now has the Huskies moving on to their 9th Super Regional berth in her tenure.
The Huskies will next face the winner of the Gainesville Regional, which features 5th-seeded Florida, Florida A&M, Stetson, and UCF.
The Huskies earned run-rule victories in each of their three Regional games, outscoring their opponents, 26-0. The Huskies have now won 12 of their past 13 games, since Apr. 18, and seven of those wins have been run-rule victories.
“I really proud of our team and how we competed all weekend,” Tarr said. “Pitching and defense wins championships, and that has always been our formula, as it will continue to be our formula. Of course, timely hitting helps. We found a way to score often, early and a lot, so that was a good thing.”
Though they were playing in front of 969 of their hometown fans at Husky Softball Stadium on Saturday, the Huskies were the visiting team for their matchup with Northwestern. The Huskies took advantage of the opportunity to bat first, putting a run on the board in the top of the 1st inning.
With two outs in the 1st, Kaitlin Inglesby and Kylee Lahners drew back-to-back walks. Then, Ali Aguilar followed with an RBI-single, giving the Huskies the early 1-0 advantage.
Aguilar provided the Huskies next run, as well, drilling a solo home run in the 3rd inning to give the team a 2-0 lead. The freshman from Orangevale, Calif. homered twice during Regional play and has now hit safely in six consecutive games.
Inglesby made the start in the circle and mowed down the Wildcats offense, allowing just two singles through the first three innings and five over the course of five innings.
“Our defense was phenomenal all weekend, and that makes it easier as a pitcher to know that I can pitch to them and they’ll be behind my one hundred percent and get the outs,” Inglesby said.
In the top of the 4th, Marki Creger-Zier reached base on a hit by pitch and scored all the way from 1st base on Victoria Hayward’s RBI-double, as the Huskies took a 3-0 lead. Hayward reached base safely in all four plate appearances, registering two hits and two walks.
The Huskies exploded for six runs in the top of the 5th for the final tally of 9-0. The key hit in the inning was provided by Hooch Fagaly, who came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. Fagaly get a hold of a pitch and hit it out of the ballpark for her 2nd grand slam of the season.
“Throughout the lineup our team did really well picking each other up, and it just happened to be my turn,” Fagaly said. “I’m just happy that I was able to come through for them.”
Inglesby held the Wildcats scoreless in the bottom of the 5th to secure the Huskies trip to the Super Regionals. With the win, Inglesby improves to 15-4 on the season.
Inglesby and Bryana Walker combined to shutout their Regional opponents on 8 hits over 16.0 innings while striking out 12 opposing batters in three games. Inglesby threw two complete games and Walker tossed all five innings of the Huskies 9-0 win over BYU on Friday.
And with her 400th career win on Saturday, Tarr guided the Huskies to yet another Super Regional appearance.
“It’s pretty cool to know that we have almost two eras of players who have contributed to that, which is pretty amazing,” Tarr said. “It’s just cool for our program to have won that many games in ten years.”