Washington scored a run in both the seventh and eighth innings and rallied from down, 1-0, to defeat sixth-seeded Mizzou, 2-1, Thursday night (May 23) in game one of the NCAA Columbia Super Regional. Mizzou carried a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning after scoring a go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI infield single from sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth (Yorba Linda, Calif.), but Washington used a game-tying RBI single through the left side to tie the game and then an RBI double in the eighth off the bat of Victoria Hayward to complete the comeback.
Mizzou starter Chelsea Thomas (Pleasantville, Iowa) took a shutout into the bottom of the sixth inning, but was tagged with the loss (24-5) after UW’s late-inning heroics. She went 8.0 innings, scattering just five hits with seven strikeouts but was charged with a pair of earned runs. Mizzou’s defense broke down late despite several great plays in the early stages of the game. A fielding error in the seventh inning helped UW get the run, and a Mizzou throwing error in the eighth inning allowed the winning run to reach second base.
Washington starter Kaitlin Ingelsby went 6.0 innings and allowed just four hits and one earned run while striking out three against just three walks, but was in line for the loss before the late-inning heroics. Reliever Bryana Walker earned the win after tossing 2.0 perfect innings with a pair of strikeouts, moving her to 18-7 on the season.
In the bottom of the third, freshman Emily Cranehit her 16th double of the season, a hit that tied the all-time freshman season record, previously held by senior catcher Jenna Marston (St. Louis, Mo.) in 2010. Despite the good start, Mizzou was still unable to score. Junior OF Mackenzie Sykes (Blue Springs, Mo.) followed up with a skilled diving catch in center field to make the final out in the fourth inning, keeping the score tied at zero.
Crane started the bottom of the sixth inning with a leadoff walk, and she was advanced to second after a sacrifice bunt from Marston. Sophomore Angela Randazzo (Poway, Calif.) singled to first base, advancing Crane to third, and Roth gave the Tigers the go-ahead run with an infield single to Washington’s shortstop.
The Huskies came back in the top of the seventh as Kaitlin Inglesby was issued a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Kylee Lahners reached base thanks to a fielding error, and a single to left field brought Inglesby around to home plate, tying the score at one.
The deciding factor came in the eighth inning when Hayward ripped her game-winning double to centerfield, sending Kelli Suguro around the bases. Suguro reached on a lead-off single and advanced to second on an error by Roth. Mizzou put up a fight, but the Tigers could not come back in the bottom of the eighth.
Mizzou will now need to win two games on Friday, May 24, to earn a spot at the Women’s College World Series. Game two is scheduled for 5 p.m. at University Field, and will air nationally on ESPNU.
COLUMBIA SUPER REGIONAL SCHEDULE (CDT)
Thursday, May 23
8 p.m. – Game One: Washington 2, Mizzou 1 (8 innings)
Friday, May 24
5 p.m. – Game Two: Mizzou vs. Washington (ESPNU)
8 p.m. – Game Three (if necessary – ESPN)