#3 Washington 11, #4 Arizona State 3

SEATTLE - Lauren Greer and Alicia Blake homered to highlight a seven run third inning and break the game open as the third-ranked Washington Huskies beat the fourth-ranked and defending national champion Arizona State Sun Devils 11-3 in five innings at Husky Softball Stadium on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

With the win before a standing room only crowd of 1105, the Huskies (30-5, 3-2 Pac-10) took the opener of the two game series and handed the Sun Devils (32-6,4-1) their first Pac-10 loss of the season.

The Huskies led 3-1 going into the bottom of the third before sending 11 batters to the plate. Danielle Lawrie led off with four pitch walk against Megan Elliott (9-4), and Ashlyn Watson grounded a single to left. Greer then drove a 1-1 pitch over the 220 marker in center field for a three-run homer, her second of the season, to put the Huskies up 6-1. At that point Sun Devil coach Clint Myers brought Megan Ellsworth in for relief, but the Huskies hit her hard as well. Morgan Stuart lined a double to left and Blake hit her first homer of the season on an 0-1 pitch, a shot over the wall in right center, to make it 8-1. Marnie Koziol flied out to center for the first out of the inning but Ashley Charters singled and went to third on a single by Kimi Pohlman. Charters scored on a groundout by Jen Salling and Pohlman touched the plate on a single by Lawrie to make it 10-1.

The Huskies capitalized on Elliott's wildness to take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. With one out Elliott hit both Pohlman and Salling with pitches. Lawrie singled to plate Pohlman and Watson drove in Salling with a sacrifice fly to left center.

The Sun Devils got on the board and made it 2-1 Huskies in the second when Katie Crabb hit a one out solo homer, her second, over the wall in left center.

The Huskies restored their two run advantage at 3-1 in the bottom of the second when Koziol singled, stole second, and scored on a base hit by Charters.

Trailing 10-1 going into their half of the fifth, the Sun Devils avoided getting run-ruled with two runs. They put runners on at second and third on a single by Jessica Mapes and double by Lesley Rogers. Mapes scored on an infield hit by Michelle Nulliner and Rogers scored on a single by Krista Donnenwirth.

Washington came right back in the bottom of the fifth with a run to send the home crowd home happy. They loaded the bases on singles by Koziol, Charters and Polhman. Pinch hitter Niki Williams then hit a grounder to shortstop Ashley Muenz, who should have gotten at least one out when she threw home to force Koziol, but she made a bad throw, allowing Koziol to score the game ending run.

Lawrie (21-3) started in the circle for the Huskies and got the win with her 21st complete game. She allowed three runs on seven hits. She walked two and struck out five. She also helped her own cause at the plate, going 2 for 2 with two runs batted in. Charters added a 3-for-4 effort with a run and RBI, while Pohlman continued her fine freshman season so far, going a perfect 3 for 3 with two runs scored and three stolen bases. Polhman raised her average to .387, while Charters improved her team leading average to .457. Elliott got roughed up in the loss, allowing six runs on six hits and two walks. She did not strike out a batter.

The teams conclude the two game series at 12 noon on Sunday at Husky Softball Stadium. The Huskies then play their next eight games on the road, beginning Friday, April 10 at UCLA. They do not play at home again until Wednesday, April 29, when they host the Bruins.


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