SEATTLE — There was a moment in the bottom of the sixth when the game was swaying in the direction of the Wolverines.
With one out, and two runners on, seniors first baseman Lou Allan and third baseman Taylor Bump were up in succession with a chance to give their team its first lead of the game.
But a fielder’s choice from Allan and a groundout from Bump ended that chance and, in turn, the game.
The fact Michigan (38-7) had only one chance to score all game sums up how the bout against Washington (44-12) went. The Wolverines lost 2-0 and were forced to play second winner take all game in the Seattle regional later Sunday night.
With their backs against the wall — only one loss away from elimination — the Huskies came out aggressive, swinging at a lot of pitches.
This strategy found them success early.
With two outs in the top of the first, catcher Morganne Flores sent a solo shot past the outfield stands to give Washington its first lead of the series at 1-0.
And, after a quick bottom of the inning where Michigan stranded junior outfielder Lexie Blair at second, the Huskies struck again. After an error from sophomore second baseman Julia Jimenez got outfielder Sarah Willis to first. A double from outfielder Jadelyn Allchin had Willis rounding third with only junior catcher Hannah Carson standing in her way. The throw came in time, but the obstruction rule gave Willis the run and Washington the two run lead.
The Wolverines continued to struggle offensively throughout the game registering just two hits. With both coming from junior outfielder Lexie Blair.
It wouldn’t be too long until the Michigan defense was called in to keep the close.
In the top of the fifth a one out single from Husky third baseman Baylee Klingler — that nearly went over the left field wall, mind you — got Washington a runner on. Just one pitch later, Flores came up big for the Huskies again. A single gave them two runners on with two more outs to work with. But two quick popouts from Washington batters later, and the game was still within reach.
However, the Wolverines offense couldn’t capitalize on the momentum and went three up, three down. Much as they did all game.
Yet still Michigan only found themselves down two in the bottom of the seventh. But with the bottom of their order up, success against the Huskies’ Gabbie Plain was still just as hard to come by. A strikeout from Carson, a popout from Jimenez and another strikeout from sophomore outfielder Lexi Voss later and the game was over.
There would be one more game to be played in Seattle.