College softball: Washington defeats Nebraska and No. 1 Oklahoma in final day of Puerto Vallarta Challenge
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mex. – The No. 13 Washington Huskies had a perfect day during the final day of the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, defeating Nebraska (0-4), 7-5, and reigning national champion and No. 1 Oklahoma (2-2), 1-0.
In the win over Nebraska to begin the day, Washington had a base runner every inning - and multiple runners in every frame but two. The Huskers struggled to maintain momentum against Husky ace Taran Alvelo, resulting in a 7-5 win for the Huskies.
After sending seven batters to the plate in the top of the first inning and scoring three times, Nebraska managed only one hit and just two base runners over Alvelo's final five innings.
Nebraska got on the board early with RBI from Alyvia Simmons. Two batters later, Haley Donaldson singled for another RBI making the score 2-0. The Huskers extended their lead to 3-0 after a throwing error by Morganne Flores allowed a runner from third to advance home.
Ali Aguilar hit a single as Washington's leadoff hitter. Julia DePonte (2-for-3) stepped up to the plate and hit her first home run of the season, bringing in Aguilar to make the score 3-2.
The momentum kept going for the Huskies as Sis Bates hit a ball deep into right field for a triple, bringing Taylor Van Zee home from second. Morganne Flores followed by hitting a double into centerfield allowing Bates to advance home.
Going into the top of the second, the Huskies led Nebraska 4-3.
The Huskies extended their lead in the bottom of the third inning beginning with an RBI from Aguilar who sent Bates home. With bases loaded Kelly Burdick (2-for-3) singled to the pitcher allowing Melhart to score. The Huskies ended the inning up, 6-3.
The game came down to the wire in the top of the seventh inning when pitcher Kaylan Jablonski lined an RBI double followed by another run on a Husky error. With two outs and the tying run on base, Aguilar made a sliding stop and a strong throw to DePonte on first base to end the game.
In the following game against No. 1 Oklahoma, Washington had the same 9 on the field with the exception of Kaija Gibson in left field and Stangel as the designated player.
Van Zee got the ball rolling in the bottom of the second inning with a solo home run, her first of the season and the only run scored in the game.
The Huskies were able to hold back the Sooner offense for the remaining five innings. Alvelo totaled for two strikeouts and five hits, causing the Sooners to leave six runners on base.
Outfielders Gibson and Melhart also played an integral role for the Husky defense combining for four extraordinary saves to keep the Sooners off the board.