Huskies stymie Brigham Young
Freshman pitcher Kaitlin Inglesby used a mix of power and off-speed pitches to toss a two-hitter and she and her teammates provided just enough offense to lift Washington to a 4-1 win over Brigham Young on Friday at Husky Softball Stadium, advancing to Saturday's NCAA regional championship round.
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Overpowering? No. Effective? Yes.
Freshman pitcher Kaitlin Inglesby used a mix of power and off-speed pitches to toss a two-hitter, and she and her teammates provided just enough offense to lift Washington to a 4-1 win over Brigham Young on Friday at Husky Softball Stadium, advancing to Saturday's NCAA regional championship round.
The 12th-seeded Huskies (36-14) need one win Saturday to advance to their sixth super regional in the seven seasons that college softball has employed the regional/super regional format.
At 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Washington will face the winner of Friday's late game — Auburn (40-18) vs. BYU (39-17). If the Huskies lose, the decisive game of the double-elimination formula will be played at 5 p.m. Auburn eliminated Portland State 2-1 Friday evening.
Inglesby, a 6-foot-1 native of Portland, struck out six (one in every inning except the sixth), walked one and served up only one damaging pitch, one that BYU's Caschjen Atagi drilled over the right-center-field wall to lead off the fifth.
That cut Washington's lead to 3-1 and, after an infield error and Inglesby's one walk put two runners on with just one out, created UW's biggest jitters of the afternoon.
Inglesby (24-8) responded by retiring No. 9 hitter Jessica Dugas on a bunt attempt and then caught Kristi Delahoussaye looking at a called third strike. Inglesby retired the final six batters she faced.
"She mixes them up," BYU coach Gordon Eakin said. "She moves the ball up, down, in, out. Her change was not great but good enough to make her hard pitches look a little tougher.
"She just did a nice job keeping us off-balance."
At the plate, Inglesby, No. 2 for UW in batting average (.411) and home runs (11), reached base in all three at-bats Friday — two walks and a run-scoring double down the left-field line in the seventh.
Where does Inglesby provide the most pop for Washington? At the plate or in the circle?
"Equal," said UW coach Heather Tarr. "You score the runs and then hold them off? That's pretty good."
Inglesby followed a six-hitter Thursday with her two-hitter Friday.
"I thought she threw with good command, good poise," Tarr said. "She didn't get rattled in that inning when they got a couple of runners on. She just stayed tough and got tougher as the game went on."
The Huskies got their first run in the fourth when Niki Williams, on second, drew a catcher's throw to Delahoussaye, BYU's second baseman, and broke for third. Delahoussaye's throw to third was in the dirt and Williams dashed home for a 1-0 lead.
In the fifth inning, Williams stroked a based-loaded single that brought home two runs and put UW up 3-0.
The Huskies finished with eight hits, two (in three at-bats) for sophomore second baseman Maggie Wagner, a Woodinville grad.