SEATTLE -- The Huskies opened the Seattle Regional of the NCAA tournament in dominant fashion Thursday at Husky Softball Stadium in front of a crowd of 1,066. Kaitlin Inglesby threw six shutout innings, Ali Aguilar hit her first collegiate grand slam, and the Huskies knocked off the Iona Gaels 8-0 in six innings.
The Huskies (34-13) wasted no time in getting runners on base against Iona (24-23) in the bottom of the 1st inning. Victoria Hayward led off with a walk. Three consecutive walks to Hooch Fagaly, Inglesby and Kylee Lahners brought home a run.
Then, freshman Aguilar stepped to the plate for her first collegiate postseason at-bat and made a big statement. Aguilar connected for her first collegiate grand slam home run, propelling the Huskies to a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st. Aguilar finished 2-for-4, with one run scored and five RBI.
Aguilar’s home run gave Inglesby some room to work. She was making her 16th career postseason appearance and went right after the Gaels batters. After allowing a one-out single in the 2nd – Iona’s only hit of the game – Inglesby retired the last 14 batters she faced.
The Huskies drew 10 walks in the ballgame, and in the 3rd inning, two of those walks led directly to runs. After Inglesby and Lahners walked to leadoff the inning, Aguilar drove home Inglesby on a base hit, and Jones plated Lahners with a sacrifice fly, giving the Huskies a 7-0 lead.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 6th, Dani Braun took a hit by pitch to force home pinch-runner Mercedes Wetmore and send the Huskies to the 8-0 win.