The #5 Washington Huskies (38-9, 15-4) took to the softball diamond on Friday for their final regular season home series and started off with a bang as senior pitcher Gabbie Plain threw a six-inning no-hitter taking down the Utah Utes with a run-rule 8-0 win.
Saturday saw the Huskies follow up with a come from behind win, with Plain pitching, as they fell behind 3-0 before bringing the runs across, including three off a home run by sophomore Kelley Lynch.
Friday’s game had Plain (26-1) knocking down the Utes as she struck out 10 for her sixth career no-hitter. The Washington offense did their part as they scored five in the first two innings as they were led with a four-for-four night by junior Baylee Klingler.
They sealed the win with pushed the score to 8-0 and ended the game to give Plain the no-hitter. It made her only the third Husky pitcher in program history with multiple no-hitters against Pac-12 opponents joining Danielle Lawrie and Stephanie Burns.
On Saturday there was a different kind of fireworks that included controversy and an ejection and more records.
Plain took the start and recorded eight strikeouts including her 800th career strikeout making her the fifth Husky to achieve the mark as she joined Lawrie, Taran Alvelo, Jennifer Spedicacci and Ashley Boek on this record list.
With the Utes leading 3-0 Washington was fighting back in the bottom of the fourth. With one out and a runner now on third Klingler stepped in for her at-bat.
A pitch got away from Utah catcher Katie Faulk and the Husky runner took off from third in an attempt to steal home. She successfully crossed the plate while the catcher tried to corral the ball and toss to a teammate who had arrived at the plate. Klingler stayed near the plate looking like she had no place to go.
Immediately after the play Faulk pointed to Klingler seeming to imply that she interfered with the play.
Home plate umpire Sean Wells gathered the other umps for a meeting and after coming to a decision told Huskies head coach Heather Tarr and Utes head coach Amy Hogue that the runner was out and signaled the out call to make it official.
Coach Tarr did not appear happy with the call as Washington tried to point out that Klingler didn’t have anywhere to move to during the play. Coach Tarr moved toward Wells to discuss her displeasure with the decision.
As Coach Tarr stepped up to Wells he moved slightly back and she moved slightly forward each time obviously saying something to him until the umpire had had enough and tossed Coach Tarr from the game.
Whether Coach Tarr meant to be tossed is anyone’s guess but her team seemed extra fired up afterwards and put their offense in gear.
The Huskies had gained one run back in the fifth when sophomore Jadelyn Allchin hit her second ball off the wall, a triple down the left field line that scored a run.
Washington showed their power in the sixth as they sent nine Huskies to the plate. They were started off by Klingler and senior Morganne Flores on base after Flores’s double put them both in scoring position. After a throwing error added another run it was senior Noelle Hee who stepped up with a single to center to tie the game at 3-3 before the three-run home run by Lynch put Washington up 6-3.
Utah got one run back in the top of the seventh before being shut down for the 6-4 Huskies win.
Washington also took the night cap 6-0 with freshman Sarah Willis the starting pitcher going 1.1 scoreless innings before senior Pat Moore took over to get her third win of the season against no losses.
The Huskies scored two in the second inning and then in the bottom of the sixth they blasted four consecutive extra base hits to put the game away.
The game included back-to-back jacks when Klingler hit her team leading 16th home run followed by senior Morganne Flores’s 58th career home run to tie her for third in program history with former Husky shortstop Ali Aguilar. Flores, Klingler and junior Sami Reynolds all have double digit home run counts.
Other notable notes so far this weekend: Senior Sis Bates hit her 60th hit of the year making this her fourth season with 60 plus hits. She joins Taylor Van Zee and Kimi Pohlman as the only Huskies with four 60 plus hit seasons in the last 15 years.
Willis extended her hitting streak to six games hitting .461 during the stretch. It’s the longest since Reynolds’s seven game hit streak ending the season in 2019. Lynch is hitting .500 with three runs and four RBIs this weekend.
Washington wraps up their final regular season homestand as they celebrate their seniors at noon on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9, 2021.
Seniors Livy Schiele, Taryn Atlee, Bates, Emma Helm, Moore, Hee, Kaija Gibson and Flores will be calling it a career with the Huskies while Plain, who is also a senior, has stated she will take advantage of the NCAA’s “extra year” available to all players who had their season cancelled in 2020 to become a “super senior” and return in 2022 for her final year. Sunday’s game will be available for audio and/or video viewing via gohuskies.com or the Pac 12 Now app.
Washington is currently ranked fifth in the nation and if all ends the same is in the running to host a regional.
If they do and win out they will also host a Super Regional for the opportunity to win into the NCAA College World Series held annually at the Hall of Fame Stadium located at the USA Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City.