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For the second year in a row - in 27 total years - a Pac-12 team will not compete in the title game of the Women's College World Series. No. 1 Oklahoma knocked out No. 11 Washington Sunday night, 6-2, and the Sooners advance to the title series Monday night against No. 7 Tennessee.
Oklahoma (Big 12) is eager for the title after falling last year, 5-4, to 2012 National Champions Alabama (SEC) after holding a game-one lead.
The Sooners (55-4) scored first, with three runs in the top of the third and one in the fourth before Washington (45-17) followed with two in the fifth. But Oklahoma added one apiece in the sixth and seventh for its second straight trip to the big game.
Brianna Turang started off the third with a triple to left and scored on a wild pitch with Lauren Chamberlain following with a solo shot down the left field line for a quick 2-0 score. With two outs on a full count, Keilani Ricketts did what Ricketts does, and she, too, blasted a solo shot to center for a 3-0 Oklahoma lead.
In the bottom of the frame, Washington went out 1-2-3, with Whitney Jones striking out swinging, Jerrin Fa'asua grounding out to third and Kelli Suguro grounding out to shortshop.
With bases loaded in the fourth after Jessica Shults singled, Callie Parsons walked and Chamberlain was intentionally walked, Georgia Casey followed with an RBI walk, with pinch runner Erica Sampson scoring.
To lead off the bottom of the fifth, Washington's Kylee Lahners responded with a solo homer to center for UW's first run.
Senior Shawna Wright followed with a walk and Mercedes Wetmore came in to pinch run. After Fa'asua singled up the middle and Wetmore advanced to second. Suguro reached on a fielder's choice and Wetmore scored on a throwing error for Washington's second run.
Oklahoma then added its final two runs in the sixth and seventh with Turang scoring on Casey's RBI single and Ricketts plating on Destinee Martinez's RBI groundout to second base.
Ricketts (34-1) struck out 12 in the complete game. She allowed one earned run on three hits, two total runs and two walks.
Washington's Kaitlin Inglesby (23-9) struck out six, walked seven and allowed five earned runs on eight hits with six total runs.
No. 11 Washington (45-16) now has the task of taking on top-seeded Oklahoma (53-4) tonight after a comeback win over No. 8 Michigan (51-13) earlier today in elimination play. The Huskies knocked out the Wolverines from the WCWS with a 4-1 victory and will play the Sooners at 6:30 p.m. PT on ESPN2.
The night game will be another elimination match for Washington, which will have to beat Oklahoma to advance to another elimination game on Monday against the Sooners.
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth, UW took the top of the sixth to change that, scoring four for the win.
Victoria Hayward opened the frame with a single up the middle and advanced to second on Hooch Fagaly's sac bunt. Kaitlin Inglesby was then intentionally walked and Marki Creger-Zier came in to pinch run. Kimberlee Souza then singled her pitch off of Michigan pitcher Sara Dreisenga to left and reached third base on the throw and an error. Hayward and Creger-Zier scored.
Dani Braun entered to pinch run for Souza from third and plated when Kylee Lahners doubled down the left field line. Lahners then advanced to third on Shawna Wright's (2-for-3) single to center and crossed home on Whitney Jones's groundout to second for the 4-1 score.
Michigan recorded the game's first run when Sierra Lawrence scored on Jaclyn Crummey's RBI single to first. Lawrence had reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Bryana Walker won in the circle, striking out seven, walking three and allowing one earned run on four hits.
Driesenga allowed four earned runs on seven hits, walked two and struck out three.
No. 5 Arizona State (50-12) ended its season Saturday night -- technically Sunday morning -- losing 2-0 to No. 8 Michigan (51-12) in an elimination game. The first pitch wasn't thrown until nearly midnight.
Michigan will move ahead to play No. 11 Washington in another elimination game on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. PT.
It was Sierra Romero's two-run homer to right field in the top of the third, which scored Lyndsay Doyle, which won the game for the Michigan Wolverines. Doyle walked and advanced to second on Nicole Sappingfield's (2-for-3) sac bunt.
ASU's Mackenzie Popescue entered early in the top of the third to relieve Dallas Escobedo (30-6), who had allowed two runs on three hits, walked four and struck out three in 2.1 innings. Popescue followed with 4.2 scoreless innings, striking out four, walking one and letting up three hits.
Bases were loaded for Arizona State in the third and fifth, but groundouts ended ASU's chances of scoring. The Sun Devils stranded all nine runners that reached base.
It was the fourth time in ASU history that the Sun Devils advanced to the WCWS without earning a win, finishing 0-2 after sweeping the Tempe Regional 3-0 and the Tempe Super Regional 2-0. ASU was shutout for the first time this season and the first time since March 24, 2012 in a Super Regional game against LSU.
Michigan sophomore Sara Driesenga (31-8) threw the complete game, allowing zero runs on seven hits, striking out five and walking three.
Originally scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. CT, the first pitch wasn't thrown until 11:54 p.m. CT, following the 15-inning, five-hour first elimination game in which No. 2 Florida beat No. 14 Nebraska, 9-8.
No. 11 Washington (44-16) lost 1-0 to No. 7 Tennessee (51-10) Saturday afternoon when Tory Lewis's one-out single to center in the bottom of the seventh plated pinch runner Whitney Hammond from third base.
Washington will play the winner of the elimination game between No. 5 Arizona State and No. 8 Michigan on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. PT live on ESPN. Tennessee will compete in the winner's bracket Sunday night.
"Unfortunately, offensively we couldn't string anything together," said Washington head coach Heather Tarr. "We didn't draw any walks. Our quality at-bat percentage was way down for what we needed to do to win games. The team is going to be tough. We're going to stay tough and we're not going to let this thing get us down, and the good thing is we get to play again."
Tennessee's Ellen Renfroe (18-5) earned the win and held the Huskies to just two hits, while striking out 10.
Kaitlin Inglesby (23-8), who also pitched the complete game, allowed nine hits, fanned three, walked six and the only run scored was earned.
The Lady Vols stranded 15 on base, while the Huskies left just three.
No. 4 Texas' Blaire Luna struck out 10 to help the Longhorns defeat No. 5 Arizona State, 6-3, in the opening round of the Women's College World Series.
Arizona State (50-11) will play the loser of No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 8 Michigan on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. PT in double-elimination. Texas (49-8) will play the winner.
It wasn't until the top of the fifth that Arizona State's Alix Johnson got the game going with a two-run double to left center to bring home Bailey Wigness and Kayla Ketchum. But Texas fought back with four runs in the bottom to end Arizona State's lead. Brejae Washington and Stephanie Ceo (2-for-3) scored on Taylor Thom's RBI double and a throwing error before Kim Bruins hit a two-run homer to left, plating Thom for Texas' 4-2 advantage.
Haley Steele opened the top of the sixth frame with a solo shot down left, bringing ASU within one, before Texas scored the game's final two. Torie Schmidt touched home on Ceo's RBI bunt and Taylor Hoagland hit an RBI double to plate Rachel Scott.
Cheyenne Coyle (0-for-3) made it to third in the top of the seventh, but Steele popped up to third base to end the game.
Luna (31-5) earned the win tossing 6.0 innings. She walked three, allowed four hits and all three runs were earned. Kim Bruins struck out two, walked one and allowed one hit in 1.0 inning.
Arizona State's Dallas Escobedo fanned five, walked six, allowed six hits, six runs and five earned in 5.1 innings, unusual stats for the 30-5 pitcher. Mackenzie Popescue threw the final 0.2, striking out one and walking one.
No. 11 Washington (44-15) earned a 4-3 extra-innings win over No. 14 Nebraska (45-15) in the opening round of the WCWS. The Huskies will play No. 7 Tennessee on Friday at 4:00 p.m. PT. Nebraska will face No. 2 Florida in double-elimination on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. PT.
Washington's Kimberlee Souza (1-for-4) blasted a walk-off solo homer in the first-at bat in the bottom of the eighth to break the 3-all tie.
Nebraska took the first advantage, plating Gabby Banda (1-for-3) on Brooke Thomason's RBI fly out to left in the top of the first. Washington followed with two in the bottom on Kaitlin Inglesby's two-run homer to left center, scoring Victoria Hayward (1-for-1, 2 R).
Three innings later, Nebraska made it 2-all when Taylor Edwards (1-for-3) scored and soon followed with a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Tatum Edwards (0-for-4) reached home on a wild pitch. But Washington didn't let the Huskers get ahead of themselves as UW evened the score 3-3 in the seventh after Hayward tripled to right and scored her second run of the game on Hooch Fagaly's sac bunt.
Washington's Bryana Walker started the game, striking out two, walking one, allowing one hit, two runs and one earned in 3.0 innings of work. Kaitlin Inglesby (23-7) finished the game, earning the win after striking out two, walking one, allowing four hits and one earned run in 5.0 innings.
Starting for Nebraska, Tatum Edwards pitched 4.0 innings and struck out three, walked seven, allowed one hit, and both runs were earned. Emily Lockman closed, striking out four, walking one, getting two hits and both runs scored were earned.
No. 5 Arizona State is making its 11th trip to the WCWS, the seventh with head coach Clint Myers, after sweeping No. 12 Kentucky in the Tempe Super Regional, winning game two 5-2. The Sun Devils will play No. 4 Texas on May 30 and join fellow Pac-12ers No. 11 Washington.
ASU has won the WCWS title twice; last in 2011 after beating Florida, finishing their season 60-6, and first in 2008 over Texas A&M. Could this be Arizona State's year?
TEMPE SUPER REGIONAL:
No. 5 ARIZONA STATE vs. No. 12 KENTUCKY: Arizona State 5-4, 5-2
Arizona State (49-10) opened with a run in the top of the first, followed with singles in the third and fifth and earned two runs in the seventh for the win. Kentucky (41-21) plated singles in the bottom of the second and third.
Alix Johnson finished 2-for-4 with two runs, Haley Steele went 3-for-4 with one homer and 4 RBI, and Cheyenne Coyle was 1-for-1 with two runs, one RBI and three walks.
Johnson scored Arizona State's first run on Coyle's RBI single to right before Kentucky tied it 1-all on Nikki Sagermann's solo homer to left center in the bottom half of the inning's first at-bat.
Steele hit an RBI single to center to plate Coyle, but Kentucky rallied again when Ginny Carroll scored on Kara Dill's RBI single to center.
In the fifth, Johnson recorded her second run of the day; on a Steele RBI single, before Steele herself hit a two-run homer in the seventh that plated Coyle.
Dallas Escobedo (30-4) pitched the complete game, striking out five, walking three, allowing four hits, and both of Kentucky's runs were earned.
Kentucky's Nunley also threw the full seven innings, fanning two, walking five, getting seven hits, and all five of ASU's runs were earned.
Next, the Women's College World Series will start May 30 in double-elimination bracket play. The Championship Series will run game one on June 3, game two on June 4, and if necessary, game three on June 5 in a best-of-3 series.
May 30 at 12:00 p.m. ET: No. 11 Washington vs. No. 14 Nebraska
May 30 at 2:30 p.m. ET: No. 2 Florida vs. No. 7 Tennessee
May 30 at 7:00 p.m. ET: No. 5 Arizona State vs. No. 4 Texas
May 30 at 9:30 p.m. ET: No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 8 Michigan
The 2013 Women's College World Series field is set. No. 5 Arizona State is in, while top Pac-12 team No. 3 Oregon is out.
The complete list is No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 2 Florida, No. 4 Texas, No. 5 Arizona State, No. 7 Tennessee, No. 8 Michigan, No. 11 Washington and No. 14 Nebraska.
EUGENE SUPER REGIONAL:
No. 3 OREGON vs. No. 14 NEBRASKA: Nebraska 5-2, Oregon 4-3, Nebraska 4-2
In its fourth straight Super Regional appearance, Oregon (50-10) was hyped after such a stellar season to really make a run at the WCWS. Oregon finished 19-5 in the conference, three games better than UW and ASU, 21-1 at Howe Field, and had phenomenal pitching in senior All-American Jessica Moore and freshman Cheridan Hawkins. But, Oregon fell short to Nebraska (45-14) in the supers.
The Ducks received bids to the WCWS in Oklahoma City in 2012 and 1989, ending last year with a loss to California.
"Nebraska played fantastic the whole series," Oregon head coach Mike White said. "This wasn't the result we wanted, but I'm very proud of our ladies. We had another sellout crowd (1,794), and they will certainly miss an amazing senior class that left a legacy that will never be forgotten."
GAME THREE: Nebraska 4-2
Both Oregon and Nebraska scored two in the first inning, but the Huskers ran away with the win to advance to the WCWS after tallying a run in both the third and sixth innings.
Freshman Alicia Armstrong's RBI single to shortshop scored Courtney Breault from third for a 3-2 game and in the sixth Hailey Decker plated on Mattie Fowler's RBI single to right on an 0-2 count for a 4-2 game.
In the opening frame, Nebraska's Taylor Edwards and Gabby Banda scored when Breault reached on an error by Oregon's second baseman for an RBI. Then Oregon tied it 2-2 in the bottom when Courtney Ceo (3-for-4) and Janie Takeda (2-for-4) scored on Samantha Pappas's single to right center.
Moore (27-6) threw the first three innings, striking out one, walking none, allowing seven hits, and two of her three runs allowed were earned. Hawkins tossed the final four innings, fanning two, walking none, and allowing two hits and one earned run.
"We knew Nebraska was a really good team," senior Jessica Moore said, "I wouldn't say I'm shell shocked, because we were anticipating a great team.
"We had a lot of energy and momentum going into the second game. It went back-and-forth the whole series and we weren't able to grab control. Things just fell their way."
GAME TWO: Oregon 4-3
Takeda (1-for-6) scored the winning run on Pappas's RBI single to left center after singling to right and stealing second.
Nebraska plated first in the bottom of the opening frame on Tatum Edwards's homer to right center on a 2-0 count. Oregon fought back to tie it 1-1 in the top of the second when Janelle Lindvall scored on Takeda's at-bat.
Nebraska's Banda and Brooke Thomason (2-for-4) scored in the bottom of the fourth to up the Husker's edge to 3-1 before Lindvall homered to right center in the sixth and Ceo tied it 3-3 in the top of the seventh on Kaylan Howard's ground out to second base.
Extra innings ensued and three went by before Takeda took Oregon's first at-bat in the 11th and finally scored to end the game.
Moore pitched the first four innings, striking out five, walking none, giving up four hits and one of her three runs allowed were earned. Hawkins tossed the final seven innings, fanning 11 and allowing only two hits.
Tatum Edwards fanned six, walked five and allowed three earned runs on 14 hits.
Moore became Oregon's second-ever Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year, finishing her senior year with school records in wins (100), strikeouts (915), appearances (176) and innings (903). Moore also ranks top five in shutouts (fourth, 19) and complete games (fifth, 77).
Howard and Pappas ended their careers tied for record homers with 37. Pappas also holds school records for RBI (155), hits (238) and is top 10 career-wise in doubles (third, 39), walks (fourth, 91), games (fifth, 232) and batting (sixth, .360).
Allie Burger, who started all three games against Nebraska, upped her career batting average to .310, which is 15th-best all time.
No. 5 Arizona State (48-10) came away with a close 5-4 victory over No. 12 Kentucky (41-20) Saturday night in game one of the Tempe Super Regional.
The Sun Devils were leading 5-1 at the start of the sixth when Kentucky made it a one-run ballgame with three solo homers scored against Dallas Escobedo. Lauren Cumbess (1-for-4) opened with a solo home run to left on a 3-2 count. Alice O'Brien (1-for-2) then homered to right two at-bats later on a 1-2 count and Christian Stokes (2-for-3) smashed her second homer of the night to left center two at-bats after that on a 2-1 count.
Scoring opened in the bottom of the third when Arizona State's Bailey Wigness singled, Alix Johnson (3-for-3) singled to left and Cheyenne Coyle (1-for-2, 4 RBI) followed with a three-run homer to left field on a 3-2 count for a 3-0 lead.
Two innings later in the top, Kentucky made it a 3-1 game when Stokes hit a solo shot to center, her first of the game, but ASU pulled away 5-1 in the bottom when Johnson's triple to left center scored Wigness and Coyle's fly out to left plated Johnson.
Escobedo earned the win, striking out two, allowing seven hits and all four of Kentucky's runs were earned. Mackenzie Popescue tossed the final inning where she walked one of four batters faced.
Kentucky's Kelsey Nunley took the loss, striking out one, walking two and allowing five hits. All five of Arizona State's runs were earned.
Next, Arizona State will try to close out the Tempe Super Regional on Sunday, May 26. Game two starts at 5:00 p.m. ET. If Kentucky wins, an "if necessary" game three will follow roughly 45 minutes after the end of game two.
For the first time all season, No. 3 Oregon (49-10) lost at Howe Field, 5-2, to the bats of No. 14 Nebraska (44-13) in the opening game of the Eugene Super Regional. The Ducks are now 19-1 at home and the Huskers remain an undefeated 4-0 in postseason play, as they snapped Oregon's nation-leading 24-game home winning streak, dating back to last spring.
The Ducks, down 5-0 going into the bottom of the seventh, got a little relief when Samantha Pappas (1-for-3) and Kaylan Howard (1-for-3) each scored, but ultimately it wasn't enough for the Ducks.
Pappas singled to left center, advanced to second on Howard's single up the middle, tagged third when Janelle Lindvall walked, and plated on Jessica Moore's groundout to second. On that play, Howard advanced to third and then scored on a Nebraska shortstop error in Koral Costa's at-bat.
The game was scoreless until the top of the fifth but Nebraska freshman Alicia Armstrong (2-for-3) put a tally on the board when she scored from third on Gabby Banda's single to center. Then, with Jordan Bettiol on third, Tatum Edwards on second and Banda on first, senior Brooke Thomason (1-for-4), on a 2-2 count with two outs, homered to right center for a grand slam, upping Nebraska's edge to 5-0.
In the bottom, Oregon tried to get on board, but Howard, Lindvall and Moore all grounded out.
Big 10 Pitcher of the Year, junior Tatum Edwards (30-8), struck out two, walked three, allowed one earned run and held Oregon to five hits. Edwards earned the fourth 30-win season in school history.
Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year, senior Moore (27-5), fanned three, walked three, allowed six hits and all five runs were earned. Karissa Hovinga, pitching the final two innings, struck out three and allowed two hits.
Oregon needs two wins tomorrow, May 26, to advance to the Women's College World Series. Game two is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT. If Oregon wins, the "if necessary" game would start approximately 45 minutes after the end of game two.
Call it revenge for being swept at Missouri in the 2011 Super Regionals because this postseason No. 11 Washington (43-15) upset No. 6 Missouri (38-14) in game two 1-0 and is going to Oklahoma City for the first time since 2010. In addition to losing two years ago in supers, Washington was swept last season by California.
In Friday's first at-bat in the bottom of the first, Victoria Hayward, who hit the winning RBI in Thursday night's victory, smacked the ball out of right field. Not only did Hayward tally the game's only score, but in the low-hitting game, with both UW and Mizzou each nabbing just two, Hayward connected on both of Washington's. Missouri's Emily Crane and Jenna Marston hit one apiece.
Ending her career in the complete game, Missouri red-shirt senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas struck out four, walked one and Hayward's run was earned.
Washington's Bryana Walker also fanned four, but walked four and allowed two hits in 5.0 innings. Kaitlin Inglesby struck out one of six batters faced in 2.0 innings of work.
Next, Washington will compete in the double-elimination format at the Women's College World Series, which begins May 30 in Oklahoma City.
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