OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Michigan softball team couldn't get its offense going for the third straight game at the Women's College World Series and the Wolverines season is over as a result.
Kimberlee Souza's infield single in the sixth inning ended up bringing in the go-ahead run when it was misplayed by Michigan, and Washington beat the Wolverines 4-1 Sunday in a Women's College World Series elimination game.
Souza's grounder deflected off of Michigan pitcher Sara Driesenga (31-9), and shortstop Sierra Romero threw home too late to catch Victoria Hayward at the plate. Catcher Lauren Sweet then fired to second to try to keep Souza from advancing, but Romero dropped the throw and pinch-runner Marki Creger-Zier scored to make it 2-1.
Kylee Lahners tacked on an RBI double and Whitney Jones had a run-scoring groundout to extend the lead for 11th-seeded Washington (45-16), the 2009 champion. Bryana Walker (20-7) pitched a four-hitter.
"You can't keep a good team down very long," said Huskies coach Heather Tarr, whose team was shut out by Tennessee a day earlier and scored only seven runs in its previous four games.
"For us to be able to find the ways 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, four-run inning."
The Huskies advanced to face top-seeded Oklahoma on Sunday night, needing to beat the Sooners twice to reach the finals.
Jaclyn Crummey had an RBI infield single in the fifth for No. 8 seed Michigan (51-13), which didn't get done with its previous game until 2:28 a.m. and wasn't back at the team hotel until nearly 4 a.m.
"When you're in the World Series, I don't really think that sleep matters. I think sleep is overrated," Romero said. "Whatever it takes, you're going to do it. I think we did a great job last night and I think we fought really hard today, so I'm happy with it."
Romero was charged with an error on the game-changing play, when she went deep into the hole to track down the re-directed grounder. She then hustled to cover second base and was called for obstruction for preventing Souza from going to third after the ball had trickled away.
"It was just a good landing spot. There was nobody playing there. I got to the ball as fast as I could, and we just had to try to get outs," Romero said.
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