SEATTLE (ABC4 Sports) – After 31 runs were scored in the first two games of the NCAA Super Regionals, Utah and Washington hooked up in a pitching duel in the deciding third game, and the Huskies pulled out the win at home, ending the Utes season with a 2-1 victory.
“These kids have played their guts out and I am so proud of everything they have been able to accomplish,” head coach Amy Hogue said. “This team, you cannot be frustrated with in any way. The put a goal out there at the beginning of the season and went after it. They have done everything right and we were just one swing away today. I would not have asked for anything different from them.”
“We played with guts and put it all out there with our hearts on our sleeves,” Hannah Flippen said. “That same recipe has worked for us all season so we thought we could do it again tonight.”
Katie Donovan retired 15 of the final 16 batters and allowed just three hits to the high-powered Huskies, but suffered the loss on the mound.
Taran Alvelo, making her third start of the series, picked up her 32nd win of the season with a complete game effort.
“I knew I needed to go right at them and my defense made some big plays to keep us in it,” Donovan added.
Washington took the lead in the first when the first two runners reached base and Ali Aguilar scampered home after a wild pitch.
The Utes threatened in the second after Anissa Urtez singled and Bridget Castro walked on four pitches but Taran Alvelo fought back, striking out the next three batters to keep UW in front.
In the Washington half, it put the first two batters on base again, and a sacrifice fly by Aguilar would plate another run for a 2-0 lead.
Utah loaded the bases in the fourth on singles by Flippen, Urtez and Heather Bowen, but a grounder to second ended the threat.
The Utes got on the board in the fifth as Delilah Pacheco singled to start it off. Alyssa Barrera would double to put a pair in scoring position before Flippen was intentionally walked. Urtez lofted a ball to right that resulted in a sacrifice fly and Utah’s first run.
The final chance for Utah arrived in the sixth when Kelly Martinez was plunked and Kay Kay Fronda poked a ball to left with one out. The Utes tried to take advantage of the situation, but pinch runner Ryley Ball was tagged out trying to steal third and a ground ball kept UW in front.
Utah finished 37-16 with a record third-straight NCAA Tournament berth and consecutive Super Regional appearances. Utah was trying to make its first appearance in the Women’s College World Series since 1994.