Washington Media Relations

#8 UW 4, #21 Michigan 2

Morganne Flores delivered a tiebreaking two run double with two outs in the top of the sixth inning to lift eighth ranked Washington to a 4-2 win over 21st ranked Michigan in a dramatic NCAA regional final at Husky Softball Stadium on a picture perfect 74 degree Sunday afternoon.

With the win the Huskies (46-11) punched their ticket to a best of three super regional for the 11th time in program history and will host Pac-12 rival Utah the weekend of May 25-28 with a berth in the Women's College World Series on the line.

The Utes will come to Seattle seeking to avenge a regular season ending  series sweep against the Huskies in Salt Lake City, including the finale when Washington rallied from a 12-1 deficit to win 13-12 in eight innings. 

Megan Betsa (25-10), who came into the game with an NCAA-leading 403 strikeouts, started in the circle for the Wolverines (43-13-1)  and managed to go the distance despite yielding nine walks. She gave up all four runs, earned, on five hits while striking out nine. She allowed a runner in every inning and twice escaped bases loaded jams.

In the third, Julia DePonte hit a soft liner that looked like it would drop for a hit but Faith Canfield caught it in shallow right field to end the inning. Then in the fourth Casey Stangel struck out swinging.

The third time loading the bases, with the score tied at 2 in the top of the sixth, would prove the charm for the Huskies. With one out, Kelly Burdick, who finished 2 for 2 and reached base in all three of her plate appearances, walked.  Ali Aguilar then got drilled in the back with a pitch to put runners at first and second. After Sis Bates advanced the runners with a groundout to first, Stangel walked on four pitches to load the bases.

Flores came up. She hoped to make it 6-2 but swung and missed for strike one.  After taking a ball for a 1-1 count, she took another huge cut, but missed again for strike two. The next pitch, however, got drilled into the corner for a clutch double to score Burdick and Aguilar to make it 4-2 Huskies and bring a standing room only crowd of 1,537 to its feet.

As the designated home team, Michigan made the Husky crowd sweat in the bottom of the seventh inning when Aidan Falk and Tera Blanco singled with none out. Every batter who came to the plate at that point represented the potential winning run and a long ball would force a second game.

Taran Alvelo, however, came up huge for the Huskies in the circle. She struck out pinch hitter Alex Sobczak swinging, got Lindsay Montemarano to foul out to first base, and then got pinch hitter Taylor Swearingen to foul out on one pitch to Flores to extend the Husky season for at least one more weekend.

Alvelo (31-6) notched the complete game, allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings. She fanned three.

The Wolverines, as they did on Saturday, used the long ball to take a 1-0 lead. With two outs in the first Canfield drove a 1-0 pitch just over the wall in left for her ninth homer of the season.

In the top of the third,  Burdick energized a lethargic crowd with a one out triple into the gap in right center and Aguilar put the Huskies up 2-1 when she smacked a 2-0 pitch from Betsa into the bleachers in right center for her 12th homer of the season.

Michigan tied the game in the bottom of the fourth with one out when Canfield got hit by a pitch and scored on a double to right center by Falk.

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