Lawrie Fires Perfect Game, Homers in Win

Tempe, Ariz. – If there was any question whether Washington senior Danielle Lawrie could repeat her record-breaking 2009 season, she showed Thursday in the Huskies' season opener that not only can she match it, she might be ready to surpass it.

The reigning National Player of the Year fired the first seven-inning perfect game of her career – and just the second in Husky history – and also added a solo home run and two RBI for good measure, leading the No. 1 ranked and defending national champion Washington softball team to a 5-0 win over Auburn in the Kajikawa Classic.

The Huskies hit three home runs in the game, including one by highly-touted freshman Hooch Fagaly, to cruise in their first ever opener as the defending national champions.

Lawrie (Langley, B.C.), who fired a six-inning perfect game as a freshman in 2006 and now has five career no-hitters, struck out 16 in seven innings while walking none. She struck out the first five batters of the game and her 16 Ks total gives her 1,381 in her career, moving her from 13th all the way up to 10th in NCAA history after one just game.

The game started on a strange note for the Huskies when leadoff hitter Kimi Pohlman was hit by a pitch and then was promptly thrown out trying to steal. Pohlman was safe on her first 20 steal attempts last year as a freshman before finishing the year 20-for-21. One out later, junior Jenn Salling – playing her first full season with the Huskies – belted her first home run as a Dawg. Salling, who hit 14 home runs as a freshman at Oregon, did not hit a home run in 89 at-bats last year in a half-season with UW.

The bottom of the inning was a display of what was to come for Lawrie, who started her senior season by striking out the first three Auburn hitters she faced, getting the first two batters swinging and the third looking.

The Huskies, meanwhile, were having some trouble of their own with Auburn senior Anna Thompson, who struck out seven Huskies in a row at one point and was sailing along, having retired 10 straight batters, when Lawrie led off the fifth inning. The senior broke up the string with a long home run over the centerfield fence to make the score 2-0.

After Thompson was lifted, the Huskies added some insurance in the sixth inning. Salling (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) singled and sophomore Niki Williams (Mission Viejo, Calif.) walked before the two pulled off a double steal to put two in scoring position with one out. Salling then came in to score on a wild pitch and Lawrie followed with an RBI single to plate Williams and make it 4-0.

The freshman Fagaly (Chino, Calif.) then showed her power potential in the seventh inning when she ripped UW's third long ball of the game, also to centerfield, to cement the game for the Dawgs.

Pohlman (Sammamish, Wash.) helped preserve the perfect game for Lawrie in the bottom of the seventh inning, making a sliding catch of a line drive in left field. Lawrie then fittingly ended the game with her 16th strikeout, her most in a seven-inning game since fanning 18 against Oregon early last May.

UW's Canadian duo was huge on the eve of the Winter Olympics being held in their native British Columbia, collecting four of UW's five hits. Lawrie finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBI while Salling was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.

Lawrie and Salling's blasts were UW's only two hits of the game off Thompson, who nearly matched Lawrie pitch-for-pitch with 13 strike outs in just five innings. But Lawrie was too much, holding the Tigers without a base runner in a game for the first time in their history.

The Huskies will play two more games at the Kajikawa Classic on Friday, facing Ohio at 3:30 p.m. PT followed by a battle with 2009 NCAA Tournament team Nevada at 6 p.m.


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