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WESCO ATHLETIC NEWS STSPN
The No. 15 Washington softball team wrapped up a 4-1 weekend at the Littlewood Classic on Sunday with an 11-5 win over North Texas. Offensively, Kimberlee Souza led the team with three hits while Courtney Gano and Casey Stangel drove in three Husky runs.
The Huskies (8-2) used timely hitting to knock off the Mean Green, plating 11 runs for the fourth time this season and forcing North Texas to make four pitching changes. Kasey Stanchek (2-2) earned the win, tossing a total of six innings, allowing four runs off five hits and striking out four.
With the game scoreless through two innings, Washington took advantage of a pair of singles by freshmen Trysten Melhart and Taylor Van Zee. Kylee Lahners then drew a walk to load the bases and Souza delivered an RBI single to score Melhart for the first run of the game. Washington went on top 2-0 after Gano's chopper to short scored Van Zee.
After the Mean Green drew a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth, a two-run home run by Mallory Land tied the game at 2-2.
The Huskies regained the lead, however in the bottom half of the inning after Julia DePonte drew a leadoff walk and a single by Kelli Suguro put a pair on. Melhart’s bunt-single then scored DePonte. After a wild pitch advanced Suguro and Melhart, Van Zee’s double drove them home to give Washington a 5-2 edge. Lahners and Souza were both hit-by-pitch to load the bases for Stangel who delivered a double and plated two more Husky runs. Washington led 7-2 after four innings of play.
After a scoreless fifth inning, North Texas plated three runs in the sixth to make it a two-run game. Back-to-back solo home runs by the Mean Green forced Washington to make a pitching change as freshman Kirstyn Thomas entered in relief.
North Texas hit a single and double to put a pair on and after a walk loaded the bases, the Huskies made their second pitching change of the inning, this time bringing in Stangel. Washington's lead was trimmed to just two runs after the Mean Green drew a walk to score a run, but Stangel regained her composure and forced a groundout to end the inning.
The Huskies would add insurance in the bottom of the sixth with the help of back-to-back singles by Lahners and Souza. Ali Aguilar started the inning by drawing a leadoff walk, Van Zee reached on an error and Lahners' hit loaded the bases. The Dawgs went on top 8-5 after Souza ripped an RBI single to plate Aguilar.
Gano's double down the line then scored two more Husky runs and Stangel's sac-fly scored pinch runner Kelly Burdick as the Huskies took an 11-5 advantage.
The Mean Green did not go down quietly in the final frame, hitting a double and drawing a walk to put a pair on. Stanchek re-entered with one-out to close out the contest that she started, forcing a groundout and flyout to end the game.
Washington will stay in Arizona to play a doubleheader against Grand Canyon in Phoenix tomorrow. The Huskies and Lopes are scheduled to play at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. PT.