Seventh-ranked Washington remained perfect on the season, as All-American and 2008 Olympian Danielle Lawrie led the Huskies to a 6-0 victory over the Nebraska softball team on Sunday in the Huskers' final game of the Cathedral City Classic.
Lawrie, who compete for NU Associate Head Coach Lori Sippel with Team Canada at the Beijing Olympics, produced offensively and defensively for Washington. In the circle, Lawrie improved to 8-0 by tossing a one-hit shutout. Senior Darcy Rutherford led off the game with a single for Nebraska, but that would be the only baserunner of the game for the Huskers. Lawrie retired the final 21 batters she faced, including 15 by strikeout. At the plate, Lawrie finished 1-for-2 with a home run and a walk to help Washington improve to 13-0 on the season.
Nebraska fell to 6-3 with the loss, as freshman right-hander Ashley Hagemann dropped to 3-2 on the season. Hagemann was hurt by the long ball, as she allowed two home runs and three earned runs in 1.2 innings. Senior Molly Hill came on in relief and did not allow an earned run while allowing only one hit in 2.1 innings. On the day, Hill did not surrender an earned run while tossing eight innings against two of the nation's top offenses in No. 12 Northwestern and No. 7 Washington. Junior Alex Hupp made her season debut in the circle by allowing one run in two innings.
In the bottom of the first, Hagemann retired the first two batters she faced before issuing a walk. She then jumped ahead of Ashlyn Watson 1-2, before Watson worked the count full and lined a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left for a two-run homer.
Hagemann was burned by another 3-2 pitch in the second when Lawrie hit a towering solo home run over the right center field fence. The next three batters followed with singles to load the bases before Hagemann coaxed a pop out for the second out. Hill then came on in relief and got a ground out to end the inning.
Hill retired the side in order in the third, but in the fourth, Lawrie drew a leadoff walk. Amanda Fleischman came on to run for Lawrie and promptly stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. Hill then walked the next batter before a slap single on a bang-bang play at first brought Fleischman home.
Leading 4-0, a successful double steal put Huskies at second and third with still no outs. Hill limited the damage to just the one unearned run, as she retired the next three batters.
Hupp came on to pitch the fifth and allowed a walk and a bloop single to the first two batters she faced. She bounced back by retiring the next three hitters.
The first two batters reached again in the bottom of the sixth, but Hupp could not escape damage this time. A one-out RBI single gave Washington a 5-0 lead and a sacrifice fly one batter later closed out the scoring.
Nebraska returns to action next weekend, when the Huskers travel to Columbus, Ga., for the NFCA Leadoff Classic.