Washington captured the NCAA softball championship for the first time, beating Florida 3-2.

Share story

OKLAHOMA CITY — Washington added another state to its postseason collection — euphoria.

Washington’s three-week, 6,899-mile trek through Massachusetts, Georgia and Oklahoma in the NCAA softball tournament ended with a national championship Tuesday.

National player of the year Danielle Lawrie rushed catcher Alicia Blake and second baseman Ashley Charters threw her glove to the Space Needle after the Huskies won their first NCAA title with a 3-2 victory over No. 1 Florida.

“It was always my vision that this was something we would be capable of doing,” said Washington coach Heather Tarr, who played for the title with the Huskies in 1996 and took over as coach in 2005.

“We went through the toughest road anybody had to hoe to get here. Ultimately, I think that’s what caused that to happen.”

The No. 3 Huskies (51-12) won five of their six games here, all compete games, all by Lawrie, who was named the tournament MVP after striking out 48.

Lawrie, a junior, won her 42nd game, tying the Pac-10 season record, while giving up six hits and two runs, one earned.

She struck out eight, including the final two batters of the game with Florida runners on first and second base, to finish with 521 strikeouts, one short of the Pac-10 season record.

“I can’t say enough about Danielle and the ability to carry a team on her back, from September ’til now,” Tarr said.

Washington is the fifth Pac-10 team to win the series, and Pac-10 teams have won 22 of the 28 titles.

Senior Charters and freshman Kimi Pohlman had singles in Washington’s two-run first inning, tying the score after Florida (63-5) scored twice in the top half.

Charters and Pohlman had hits in all six games, and the Huskies led World Series teams in both batting average (.304) and ERA (1.88).

“This is definitely the best senior gift I could get,” Charters said. “Words can’t really describe it. We had a very tough road to get here. But we wouldn’t have been here if it was easy. It was all meant to be.”

Charters, Pohlman, Morgan Stuart and Niki Williams were named to the all-tournament team. Stuart tied a record with five hits in one game and set a record with four doubles. Williams set records for RBI in a game (seven) and series (10).

Washington gave Lawrie the only lead she would need in the third inning, when Pohlman hit a sailing line drive that Florida center fielder Michelle Moultrie dropped for an error.

Jenn Salling and Lawrie — who spent 2008 with the Canadian Olympic team — singled to load the bases. Stuart then hit a slow grounder toward the mound that Florida pitcher Stacey Nelson (41-5) charged but bobbled, enabling Pohlman to score for a 3-2 lead.

Francesca Enea doubled off the left-field fence with one out in the seventh and Kelsey Broder walked before Lawrie ended the game with strikeouts.

Lawrie handed the Gators three of their five losses this season while giving up one earned run in 23 innings, with two shutouts.

She beat them, 1-0, in nine innings in Palm Springs, Calif., on Feb. 20.

After that victory, Lawrie said Florida coach Tim Walton compared the Gators to Pac-10 elite programs UCLA and Arizona, indicating the Huskies didn’t belong in that class.

“I remember him not giving us any recognition for how we played,” Lawrie said. “I said after the first game [Monday], it means nothing. Every single pitch that I threw I gave 100 percent of what I had. I felt good with everything.”

Washington 3, Florida 2

Washington AB R H BI BB SO Avg
Ashley Charters 2b 3 1 1 0 0 1 .447
Kimi Pohlman lf 3 2 1 0 0 0 .360
Jenn Salling ss 3 0 1 0 0 1 .270
Danielle Lawrie p 3 0 2 1 0 0 .268
Morgan Stuart 3b 3 0 0 0 0 1 .322
Alicia Blake c 2 0 0 0 1 0 .271
Marnie Koziol pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 .219
Ashlyn Watson dp 3 0 0 0 0 0 .330
Lauren Greer rf 3 0 1 0 0 1 .203
Bailey Stenson rf 0 0 0 0 0 0 .160
A. Fleischman 1b 0 0 0 0 0 0 .182
Niki Williams 1b 1 0 0 0 0 1 .288
A. McWherter cf 0 0 0 0 0 0 .273
Totals 24 3 6 1 1 5
Florida AB R H BI BB SO Avg
Aja Paculba 2b 4 1 1 0 0 2 .368
Kristina Hilberth c 4 1 2 0 0 0 .386
Lauren Heil pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Francesca Enea lf 3 0 2 0 0 1 .339
Brooke Johnson pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Kelsey Bruder rf 2 0 0 0 2 0 .369
Megan Bush ss 3 0 0 1 0 1 .327
Ali Gardiner 1b 3 0 1 0 1 1 .295
Danyell Hines pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Corrie Brooks 3b 2 0 0 0 0 1 .301
Michelle Moultrie cf 3 0 1 0 0 1 .261
Kim Waleszonia dp 3 0 0 0 0 1 .326
Stacey Nelson p 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 27 2 7 1 3 8
Florida 200 000 0 2 7 2
Washington 201 000 X 3 6 3

E — Moultrie (3); Nelson (4); Salling (5); Lawrie (5); M. Stuart (12). DP — Washington 1. LOB — Florida 10; Washington 5. 2B — Enea (11). 3B — Paculba (5). SH — Enea (1); Brooks (6); Williams (3). SF — Bush (2). SB — Hilberth (10); Enea (3); Moultrie (15). CS — Koziol (3).

Washington IP H R ER BB SO ERA
Danielle Lawrie W, 42-8 7 7 2 1 3 8 0.97
Florida IP H R ER BB SO ERA
Stacey Nelson L, 41-5 6 6 3 2 1 5 0.61

WP — Nelson (12); Lawrie (13). PB — Blake (10). Inherited runners/scored: None. Pitches/strikes — Nelson 95/62; Lawrie 119/73. Umpires — HP: Keith Kearney 1B: Sally Walker 3B: Kevin Davis. Time — 2:28. Attendance — 5,807.

E — Moultrie (3); Nelson (4); Salling (5); Lawrie (5); M. Stuart (12). DP — Washington 1. LOB — Florida 10; Washington 5. 2B — Enea (11). 3B — Paculba (5). SH — Enea (1); Brooks (6); Williams (3). SF — Bush (2). SB — Hilberth (10); Enea (3); Moultrie (15). CS — Koziol (3).

Softball champions
For the 22nd time in 28 years, the NCAA softball champion is a Pac-10 team.
Year Team Record
2009 Washington 51-12
2008 Arizona State 66-5
2007 Arizona 50-14-1
2006 Arizona 54-11
2005 Michigan 65-7
2004 UCLA 47-9
2003 UCLA 54-7
2002 California 56-19
2001 Arizona 65-4
2000 Oklahoma 66-8
1999 UCLA 63-6
1998 Fresno State 52-11
1997 Arizona 61-5
1996 Arizona 58-9
1995 UCLA* 50-6
1994 Arizona 64-3
1993 Arizona 44-8
1992 UCLA 54-2
1991 Arizona 56-16
1990 UCLA 62-7
1989 UCLA 48-4
1988 UCLA 53-8
1987 Texas A&M 56-8
1986 Cal St. Fullerton 57-9-1
1985 UCLA 41-9
1984 UCLA 45-6-1
1983 Texas A&M 41-11
1982 UCLA 33-7-2
* Title vacated due to NCAA infractions.