#12 UW 7, #17 Cal 4

SEATTLE - 12th ranked Washington scored the first six runs of the game and survived a late power surge by California to beat the 17th ranked Bears 7-4 in the opener of a season ending three game Pac-12 series at Husky Softball Stadium on a balmy Thursday evening.

The Huskies (15-7 Pac-12, 37-14) got to national player of the year candidate Jolene Henderson for a run and a 1-0 lead right away in the bottom of the first inning.

Victoria Hayward led off with a bunt base hit, stole second, and one out later scored on a single by Kaitlin Inglesby off the glove of Britt Vonk at second base. Then in the second inning the Huskies added three more runs with two outs to make it 4-0. Whitney Jones led off with a walk against reliever Vanessa Alvarez and got forced at second on a fielder's choice grounder by Kelli Suguro.

Hayward kept the inning alive with another infield single off Vonk's glove. Suguro and Hayward advanced a base on an illegal pitch by Alvarez. Fagaly drove in Suguro with an infield single for 2-0 and Kaitlin Inglesby followed with a bloop single off the glove of a diving Ashley Decker in center field. Hayward scored easily and when the Bears seemed to take their time getting the ball back into the infield Fagaly scored all the way from first.

The Huskies added two runs for 6-0 in the bottom of the third. Kimberlee Souza led off with a line single to right and one out later Whitney Jones lined a single to center. After Jennie McNeill grounded into a pitcher to first putout Suguro grounded a single to right to plate Souza and Jones.

The Bears (9-13, 35-16) used the long ball to get on the board in the top of the fifth. With one out Alvarez singled and the next batter Cheyenne Cordes drove the first pitch from Inglesby (21-6) over the wall to the left of the center field scoreboard to make it 6-2. Then in the top of the sixth the Bears cut the deficit to 6-4 with another two run homer. With one out Breana Kostreba got hit by a pitch and after Vonk struck out looking, Victoria Jones drove a 1-1 pitch from Inglesby just over the wall in dead center field.

Kylee Lahners gave the Huskies a big insurance run and a 7-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth with a solo homer over the wall in left center field.

Inglesby took that three run lead into the top of the seventh. She retired Alvarez on a soft liner to Suguro and Cordes on a groundout to short. Khala Taylor lined an opposite field single to left to extend the inning but Inglesby got Lindsey Ziegenhirt to fly out to right to end the game.

Inglesby recorded a complete game in the circle, allowing eight hits. She walked one and struck out three, none bigger than the one she got in the top of the third. The Bears had the bases loaded with two outs and cleanup batter Danielle Henderson at the plate but Inglesby struck her out swinging to preserve what was a 4-0 Husky lead at the time.

In her only inning for the Bears Jolene Henderson gave up one run on three hits. She struck out one. Alvarez went six innings and gave up six runs, all earned, on nine hits. She walked three and did not strike out anyone.

The two teams return to Husky Softball Stadium for the middle game of the series at 7 p.m. on Friday evening.

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