Errors Costly as No. 24 Washington U. Softball Falls to Rochester 6-3
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Altamonte Springs, Fla., March 16, 2013 – The University of Rochester rallied with five runs in the seventh to defeat the No. 24 ranked Washington University in St. Louis softball team 6-3 Saturday in the final game of the 2013 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship Tournament in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
Sarah Wayson sent Rochester home with its first conference win after launching a pitch from junior pitcher Kelsey Neal over the right field wall for a walk-off three run home run. Neal (9-2) took the loss for Washington U. allowing six hits and six runs (two earned) in 6 2/3 innings pitched. Washington U. committed four errors, which led to four unearned runs.
Washington University finished in second-place in the UAA standings with a 5-3 record, three games behind Emory University (32-1, 8-0 UAA). It is the second time in the past three years and the fourth time overall that Emory finished with a perfect record in the conference championship.
The Bears struck first in their opening at-bat scoring a run on a pair of doubles. Senior Ashley Janssen led off the game with a double to left, and then scored after sophomore Adrienne White doubled to center. Rochester tied the contest in the bottom of the second by scoring an unearned run off Neal.
Washington U. answered back in the fourth inning after leadoff hitter sophomore Paige Biles reached base on a hit-by-pitch. Biles stole second and then scored on an RBI single by White. Biles was the table setter again in the sixth, as she reached on an error by the pitcher to start the inning and came around to score on the RBI single by White.
Rochester (1-11, 1-7 UAA) scored five runs on three hits and took advantage of a costly error in the seventh. After leadoff single by Nicole Watson, Tayler Fravel reached on a single to short to push Watson to second. Meghan Hennessy layed down a bunt on ensuing at-bat, but freshman Brooke Hofer misplayed the ball loading the bases.
Neal got Brittany Gage on a strikeout, and then walked Gena Bradford Tume to allow a run to score. Nina Korn followed with a sacrifice RBI to center to tie the score at 3-3 before Wayson provided the game-winning home run.
Washington U. had 10 hits in the win, but left a season-high 11 runners on base. Janssen (3-for-4, run scored) and White (3-for-4, three RBIs) each had three hits for the Bears, while Biles (2-for-3, two runs scored) was on base four times.
Washington University led the five-team tournament in batting (.397), and was third in pitching (5.18 ERA) and fourth in fielding (.940 pct., 13 errors). Janssen (.519, 14-for-27) and White (.500, 14-for-28) finished second and third in the individual batting, while Neal was third in pitching (3-1 record, 2.95 ERA). Janssen also led the tournament in runs scored (11), while Neal was first in doubles (five) and senior Maggie Mullen was tops in total bases (23).
Washington University (17-5) returns to action Saturday-Sunday, March 23-24, with four games at the Washington University Mizuno Invitational. The Bears take on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville at 11 a.m. and Central College at 1 p.m. Saturday, followed by games Sunday against Augustana College at 11 a.m. and No. 4 ranked Illinois Wesleyan University at 3 p.m.
Bear Notebook: The Bears finished second in the UAA for the fourth-straight year … Neal (13 games) and Mullen (12 games) both extended their hitting streaks with a single Saturday … The Bears have recorded double-digit hits in 15 of 22 games played … Janssen now has 97 runs scored for her career, two shy of entering the top-10 all-time at Washington U.