OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – For the third season in the row, the University of Washington Huskies softball team is headed to the Women’s College World Series semifinals, after winning two elimination games on Saturday.
The Huskies finished as the No. 3 team in the country and entered the tournament as the reigning WCWS runner ups. They ran through Regionals and Super Regionals without any problems, winning four straight games before getting to the World Series.
In a bracket with two Pac-12 foes, Arizona and UCLA, along with Minnesota, the Huskies were stunned by Arizona on Thursday and were thrust into a must-win situation.
The Huskies bounced back against Minnesota, after suffering through a several-hour rain delay late in the game. They came out from the break swinging, with freshman Sami Reynolds hitting a two-run double in the top of the sixth.
That play turned out to be vital for the Huskies as Minnesota put up two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and had runners on second and third. That’s when Taran Alvelo relieved Gabbie Plain, who was having a good game, and finished the game with a strikeout, giving the Huskies the 5-3 win.
In the second game, the Huskies took on Oklahoma State in a defensive show. Alvelo and her signature fastball was unhittable all night, striking out a WCWS record 16 batters without walking a single one.
Amirah Milloy nearly scored a two-run homerun in the second inning but was robbed by OK State outfielder, Cheyenne Factor. Milloy was able to find redemption in the fifth inning, when she hit a single to right field to score Taryn Atlee for the only score of the game.
Reynolds made another big play, this time on defense, making a catch at the fence to stop Oklahoma State from scoring a run late in the game. Washington ultimately won, 1-0.
The Huskies will advance to play UCLA in the semifinals. Washington needs to win two games to make it to the championship series while UCLA only needs to win one. Should the Huskies sweep UCLA, it would be the first time they will have gone to back-to-back championship series in school history.
Washington and UCLA will play Sunday at 10:00 a.m. PT, should the Huskies win there will be a second game at 4:00 p.m. PT.