Photograph: McNeese Pitcher Ashley Valolejo (Photograph: McNeese State athletics.)
SEATTLE, Wa.— McNeese softball was three outs away from reaching its first Super Regionals in program history but No. 7 Washington scored seven runs in the top of the seventh inning to complete a 7-6 comeback win that resulted in a heart breaking loss for the Cowgirls who end their season 47-16.
Despite the loss, McNeese certainly gained the respect they rightfully deserve from not only fans in attendance but from fans throughout the nation.
McNeese entered the day needing two wins to advance and Washington needed just one win to advance. The Cowgirls opened the day with a 1-0 win in the first game on a second inning solo homerun by freshman Corine Poncho to force the “if necessary” game. The shutout for the Huskies was their first shutout in postseason play since 2015 when Alabama defeated Washington 9-0 at the Tuscaloosa Regional.
Tate ended her career with the win to improve to 18-4 overall in the complete game win, allowing eight hits, with two strikeouts and two walks.
In the second game, McNeese used the middle three innings to score its runs, scoring three runs in the third, one in the fourth, and two in the fifth to lead 6-0.
Cowgirl starter Ashley Vallejo held the Huskies scoreless and allowed two hits through six innings but the seventh was when Washington got to her.
Washington led the seventh inning off with three straight hits and scored their first run of the game before scoring their second on a sacrifice fly. Another run came home on a single up the middle to cut the lead in have before a bases clearing double tied the game at six apiece. Following a Cowgirl pitching change that brought Tate in for Vallejo, Tate gave up a two out RBI double that eventually scored the winning run.
The Cowgirls, who were the home team had on last chance to either tie the game or win it. Reese Reyna led off with a single to center but was stranded on base as Washington completed the comeback.