Washington pitcher Danielle Lawrie hurled the 16th no-hitter in Women’s College World Series history as the 11th-ranked Huskies opened the 2007 tournament with a 3-1 win over No. 14 DePaul in front of a record 5,295 Thursday afternoon at Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
The win moves UW to 41-17 on the year and into a 6 p.m. CDT contest Friday evening with the winner of Thursday’s second contest between sixth-ranked Northwestern and ninth-rated Arizona State. DePaul will face the loser of that contest in an elimination game Saturday at 11 a.m. CDT.
Lawrie, the sophomore from Canada, gave up an unearned run and struck out nine with a walk as she moved to 30-11 on the year and became the first pitcher since UCLA’s Keira Goerl in 2003 to hurl a no-hitter in the series. Her feat also made WCWS history as it was the first no-hitter hurled while allowing a run.
“It was awesome and something that I am going to always remember,” Lawrie said. “It was a great feeling. There is not much more to say other than thanks to Alicia (Matthews) for helping me out and calling a great game. Without her helping me stay consistent and keep teams off-balance, I would be nowhere.”
That unearned run put the Blue Demons (46-12) on top 1-0 in the top of the third inning. Stephanie Blagaich reached on a fielder’s choice, and after stealing second, a throwing error by Lawrie on Shea Warren’s ground ball allowed her to score the tournament’s first run.
That lead was short-lived, however, as Dena Tyson delivered a two-out home run, her 18th of the season and first since Apr. 29, in the bottom half of the frame that scored Ashley Charters, who led off with a double, and put the Huskies up 2-1.
“DePaul was a very tough team. I know we no-hit them, but they were very tough at the plate and were very tough outs,” UW head coach Heather Tarr said. “Our team played great defense behind Danielle, and Alicia (Matthews) caught a great game. It was a great job by Dena (Tyson) for staying tough after her first at-bat by knocking Ashley Charters in with a home run.”
Washington extended the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth as Ashlyn Watson hit a solo home run, her second of the year.
The round-tripper combined with a Nicole Moojen walk chased DePaul starter Tracie Adix (21-3) from the game. Adix allowed the three UW runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
Becca Heteniak pitched a perfect final two and two-thirds innings, striking out five.
“I think it was just a day where we didn’t execute our game plan. We had a much different game play, obviously,” DePaul head coach Eugene Lenti said. “We didn’t expect to get no hits. We wanted our hitters to be aggressive, but you have to give Lawrie credit. She kept us off-balance the whole day. We have a lot of work to do, but you have to give a lot of credit to Washington.”
The game was a rematch of the 2000 WCWS opener, and the result was the same as Washington won that game 3-2.