Huskies sweep Portland State

Freshman Ashley Boek pitched a three hitter and set a career-high with 10 strikeouts as 12th ranked Washington rolled to a 9-1 five inning victory over Portland State and swept a non-conference doubleheader from the Vikings on Tuesday afternoon at Husky Softball Stadium.

UW 9, PSU 1 (5)

The Huskies took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Leadoff batter Becky Simpson struck out but reached base on a wild pitch, advanced to second on a sacrifice, and scored when cleanup batter Kristen Rivera grounded a single into right field.

Washington added to the lead with four runs in the third, stringing together consecutive one out singles by Rivera, Amanda Oleson, Courtney Jeffries, Kathy Fiske, Megan Owen and Steph Nicholson.

Portland State got on the board in the fifth, as Kara Ray led off with a double into the gap in right center field, moved to third on an error by Nicholson, and scored on an infield single by Alayna Petersen.

The Huskies scored four times in the fifth to make it 9-1 and reach the eight run lead necessary to shorten games to five innings. Kathy Fiske doubled over the head of center fielder Summer Conroy and scored when second baseman Megumi Hackett allowed Megan Owen's ground ball to roll through her legs for an error. Owen stole second and Nicholson singled to put runners at first and third. Owen then scored, beating Petersen's throw home on a tapper by Rita Roach. Jaime Clark then singled to score Nicholson and Rivera lined a single off the left center field wall to score Roach and give the Huskies the margin needed to send the fans home early.

On the mound, Boek improved to 12-1 with her eighth complete game of the year. Megan Herscher started for Portland State and took the loss to drop to 2-5 despite pitching a complete game, her sixth of the season, as she allowed all nine runs and 12 hits in 4 1/3 innings.

UW 6, Portland State 2

Steph Nicholson lined a two run home run over the left field fence to break a 2-2 tie as the Huskies came from behind to defeat Portland State 6-2 in the opener.

As they did in two games against UCLA on Friday and Saturday, the Huskies fell behind in the first inning, allowing both Portland State runs. Monica Martell led off with a walk, Megumi Hackett singled, and one out later, Nichole Ivie lined a double down the left field line to score Hackett. Husky starting pitcher Tia Bollinger then struck out Kayla Lewis, but catcher Kristen Rivera could not hold on to the pitch and it bounced away from her for a passed ball, allowing Lewis to reach safely and the Vikings to load the bases. Vanessa Applegate then blooped a single into shallow left field to score Annie Peccia.

The Huskies got a run back in the bottom of the first, as Kristen Rivera singled to center field to score Rita Roach. Washington then tied the game in the third inning on consecutive extra base hits, a triple by Becky Simpson over the head of right fielder Martell and a double down the left field line by Roach.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Megan Owen reached on a hit by pitch and then Nicholson, after taking two strikes and fouling off three more pitches, lined the next offering from Portland State starter Morgan Seibert over the left field fence for her second home run of the season.

The Huskies tallied their final two runs in the bottom of the fifth as Jaime Clark singled, Rivera walked, and both runners scored on a double by Nicole Wicks.

In the pitcher's circle, Bollinger settled down after allowing the two runs in the first. She improved to 14-5 with her sixth complete game of the season, allowing eight hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts. Seibert took the loss to drop to 6-9 despite pitching her 13th complete game of the season. She allowed six runs on eight hits and three walks with six strikeouts.

With the doubleheader sweep, Washington improved to 32-9 overall while Portland State dropped to 9-18. The Huskies next return to Pac-10 conference action when they travel to Tucson, Arizona to face the #2 Wildcats on Friday, April 5 at 6 p.m.

NOTES:
Jammin' Jamie: With singles in both games of the twinbill, Jaime Clark has now extended her current hitting streak to a personal best 16 games and has also now reached base via a hit, walk, or hit by pitch in 51 consecutive games, dating back to the 2001 season.

Oleson injured: Husky first baseman and #5 batter Amanda Oleson suffered a sprained right ankle in the third inning of the second game when she beat out an infield single and had to leave the game.

Pillaging PSU: With the sweep of Tuesday's doubleheader, Washington has now extended its all-time series record with Portland State to 23-0.

In 10 years of Husky softball, the team has also never lost a home game to a non-conference opponent, and with the wins on Tuesday, improved its record to 64-0, including a perfect 14-0 in NCAA Regional action.

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