#18 UW 4, Harvard 0

SEATTLE - Bryana Walker struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh to wrap up her first career postseason shutout as the 18th ranked Huskies punched their ticket to super-regionals with a 4-0 over Harvard in the Seattle regional final at Husky Softball Stadium on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Walker (10-5) gave up a leadoff single to Whitney Shaw in the bottom of the seventh but came back to strike out pinch hitters Marika Zumbro and Jessica Ferri swinging, both on 3-2 pitches. Leadoff batter Jane Alexander, who reached base twice earlier in the game, first on a walk and then on a double, came up to the plate next. She took a ball, but then fouled away the next pitch for strike one, looked at called strike two and then struck out swinging to send the partisan Husky crowd home happy.

The game did not begin well for Walker when Alexander drew a free pass on four pitches to lead off the bottom of the first, prompting assistant coach Lance Glasoe to visit the circle. After that Walker struck out both Ashley Heritage and Kasey Lange swinging and retired Stephanie Regan on a tapper to pitcher to end the inning.

Walker finished with a three hitter, walking two and striking out seven. She also threw the Huskies' third shutout in as many regional games, following Kaitlin Inglesby's solo effort on Friday against Harvard and the combined whitewash by Kasey Stanchek and Inglesby against Texas Tech on Saturday.

Rachel Brown (21-7) threw her fourth straight complete game for the Crimson but lost to the Huskies for the second time. She gave up four runs, three earned, on six hits. She walked three and struck out two.

The Huskies, as the designated road team, scored an unearned run and went up 1-0 in the top of the first. Leadoff batter Victoria Hayward reached base when Alexander bobbled her grounder to short for an error. Then Hayward stole second and one out later scored on a line single to left by Inglesby.

Although that run turned out to be the only one the Huskies would need they added three valuable insurance runs in the top of the fourth to make it 4-0. Shawna Wright led off with her second single of the game and two outs later Hayward walked. That brought up Niki Williams, who absolutely crushed the first pitch she saw from Brown well over the all in left center field for a three run home run. It would be the only home run the Huskies would get in the regional, but it could not have come at a better time.

With the win, the Huskies (39-17) will next either play a best two of three series against top seeded California in Berkeley or Arkansas right back at Husky Softball Stadium the weekend of May 24-27. Not long after the last pitch the Husky faithful started chanting "Go Arkansas!"

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