Washington had struggled offensively for much of the Women's College World Series. And the No. 11 Huskies looked like they were heading for another cold performance — and thus, elimination — Sunday afternoon against eighth-seeded Michigan.
But then Washington exploded for four runs in the sixth inning, which was all it would need in a 4-1 comeback victory at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
“It's kind of like one of those things where you can't keep a good team down very long,” Washington coach Heather Tarr said. “For us to be able to find a way to stay in the games that we were staying in to be able to win them, I think that says a lot about our team.
“It was just only a matter of time for our team to be able to have a big fourrun inning. We found a way to get the leadoff runner on, and then get her over.”
The Huskies will next face Oklahoma Sunday at 8:30 p.m. and will need to beat the top-ranked Sooners twice to reach the championship series.
After 4 1/2 innings of scoreless play, Michigan scratched a run across with small ball when Sierra Lawrence reached on a fielder's choice following a bunt, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored on an infield single by Jaclyn Crummy.
But Washington immediately answered with its big frame — and got its first two runs in wacky fashion after some help from the Michigan defense.
Following a single by Victoria Hayward and an intentional walk to Kaitlin Inglesby, a ball off the bat of Kimberlee Souza deflected awkwardly off pitcher Sara Driesenga. Hayward beat the throw home, and then a fielding error by shortstop Sierra Romero after Lauren Sweet threw to second base to try to snag Souza allowed pinch runner Marki Creger-Zier to score.
“It was hard for me to see,” Tarr said. “I was wheeling the runners around (at third base), and I saw it go off the pitcher's leg, and it looked like it was going into no man's land. And I was hoping that Romero couldn't get it because she is such a good athlete. So I was hoping she couldn't get it to throw us out (at home).”