#5 UW 5, #21 Oregon 6 (8)

Jenn Poore lifted a solo home run just over the wall in left field to give the #21 Oregon Ducks a 6-5 victory over the fifth ranked Washington Huskies in eight innings at Husky Softball Stadium on an overcast Saturday afternoon.

With the victory Oregon tied the Huskies in the Pac-10 standings with 7-10 records, while improving to 29-16 overall and dropping the Huskies to 40-12-1. The Ducks also withstood a rally from a 5-1 deficit by the Huskies to tie the game.

Oregon never trailed in the game and took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning when Amber Hutchinson took Husky starter Ashley Boek deep over the left field wall for an opposite field home run, but Washington tied the game in the bottom of the fourth when Oregon shortstop Breanne Sabol booted a ground ball by Sarah Hyatt for an error, allowing Kristen Rivera to score. The Huskies had a chance to do more damage in the inning as Jaime Clark just missed a leadoff home run, settling for a double off the yellow stripe in left center field. Then Oregon starter Amy Harris intentionally walked Rivera for the second time in the game, choosing instead to pitch to Kathy Fiske and drawing boos from the crowd. It seemed like Fiske made the decision backfire, as she lined a single off the wall in center field. Husky head coach Theresa Wilson held Clark at third, but when Rivera overran second base, Clark broke for home but got thrown out by second baseman Erin Goodell.

The Ducks regained the lead and the momentum right away in the top of the fifth, answering the Husky tally in the fourth with four runs, capitalizing on two Husky errors. Sabol reached when Clark allowed her ground ball to get by her and into left field, and then Boek hit Hutchinson with a 1-2 pitch. Then on an 0-1 pitch to the next batter, Lynsey Haij, catcher Amy Hanson caught Sabol off second and threw to second baseman Amanda Oleson, but Sabol reached third safely when Fiske dropped Oleson's throw for another error. Haij grounded to Hyatt, who looked Sabol back to third before tossing to Oleson covering at first for the first out, with Hutchinson advancing to second on the play. Beth Boskovich then grounded a single through a drawn-in infield to score Sabol with the go ahead run and Andrea Vidlund made it 3-1 Oregon when she grounded a single into left center field to score Hutchinson. On the play Boskovich advanced to third and Wilson brought in Tia Bollinger to relieve Boek. Alyssa Laux grounded out to Oleson, with Boskovich scoring, and Poore drove home pinch runner Jackie Eliades with a single to left to make it 5-1.

Given the Huskies' recent offensive woes, it seemed as if they would go quietly down to another defeat, but they energized the home crowd by scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth, all with two outs. Hyatt and Hanson walked, and after Traci Tawney entered the game as a pinch runner for Hyatt, Rita Roach delivered a single to center to plate Tawney and cut the deficit to 5-2. Oleson then came to the plate and grounded a hit that got by both second baseman Goodell and right fielder Boskovich and all the way to the outfield wall for a triple to score Hanson and Roach and make it 5-4 Oregon. After Bollinger struck out the side in order in the top of the seventh, Clark sent the game into extra innings and the Husky crowd into a frenzy in the bottom of the frame when she lined the first pitch she saw from Ducks reliever Vidlund over the wall in left center field for her 12th home run of the season and a 5-5 tie.

With that long ball, Clark drove in her first run since April 18 and became the all-time Husky career record holder in RBI with 228, breaking the mark she shared with Jen Cline (1993-1996).

After Poore put the Ducks ahead in the top of the eighth with her home run off Bollinger, the Huskies threatened to tie or even win the game in the bottom of the eighth, as they put two runners aboard on a bunt single by Roach and an infield hit by Oleson. Aimee Minor then struck out against Harris, who re-entered the game in relief of Vidlund, for the second out, and the Huskies got what they wanted, an opportunity to tie or win the game with Clark at the plate. Clark got ahead in the count 2-1 against Harris, but she could not engineer a fairy tale ending for the Huskies, lifting a foul fly to Janell Bergstrom in right field to end the game.

Bollinger suffered the tough luck loss for Washington to drop to 22-9 despite pitching three and two thirds innings of two hit ball with five strikeouts. Vidlund, despite allowing two runs and six hits in one and two thirds innings, benefited from Poore's long ball to improve to 5-1. After the Huskies denied her the victory with their game tying rally, Harris bailed out Vidlund for her fifth save.

The Huskies close out their home season and look to snap a three game losing streak when they host the Ducks at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. With the eight regional sites for the NCAA Division I softball championships already determined, the game marks the final home appearance for seniors Clark and Tawney.

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