SEATTLE – (March 6) Madison Cathcart hit a walk-off grand slam, capping a fantastic day for the sophomore, as Seattle University softball swept Toledo, 6-4 and 7-4, in the 2018 opener at Logan Field Tuesday.
“That was a great way to start our home schedule,” said Coach Geoff Hirai. “The team showed gumption and fight and everything that we talk about in practice.
With the Rockets ahead in the nightcap, 4-3, SU (13-9) came to the plate for the bottom of the seventh. Erika Rodgers singled to start the rally. Ally Choate posted a base hit to center. Kaylee Ree followed with a deep drive to straightaway center that went over the head of the Rockets’ centerfielder. As the ball was relayed in, Rodgers and Choate found themselves between bases. The duo then did their best to evade being tagged, as Toledo frantically looked for an out. After 12 throws on the play, all Redhawks were safe, with Rodgers at third, Choate at second, and Ree at first.
With nowhere to put her, Cathcart stepped into the batter’s box. The sophomore had already reached base in all six of her previous plate appearances on the day. Cathcart blasted a pitch deep into the night, over the rightfield scoreboard, lifting SU to a dramatic 7-4 victory.
The native of Longview, Wash., went 3-3 with two home runs, a double, and six RBIs in the contest. She is the nation’s leader with 12 homer this season.
To get scoring started, Ree was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the first. Cathcart brought her in with a double to left for a 1-0 lead.
Cathcart gave SU a 2-0 advantage with a solo homer in the fourth. Morris then singled. Nicole Bolasky pinch-ran and stole second and third. Kristjanson lined a double, plating Bolasky for a 3-0 margin. The Rockets answered with three runs in the top of the fifth, tying the contest. They scored a run in the seventh to go up, 4-3.
SU held a 2-1 edge going into the sixth inning of the first game. The Redhawks broke the game open, as Cherise Silvan hit a bunt single and Sara Dominguez singled, putting runners at the corners with no outs. A Ree walk loaded the bases. After an out, Choate singled up the middle to bring in a run. Cathcart then laced a double to right centerfield, clearing the bases and making it 6-1.
The visitors scored three times in the seventh, but Shianne Smith came on for the save, garnering a foul out to Cathcart to end the game.
Choate went 3-4 with two runs and an RBI. Cathcart drew three walks and then hit the bases-loaded double in the sixth. Susanne Morris and Silvan had two hits apiece. Nance pitched 6.1 innings, allowing seven hits and four runs. The WAC’s strikeout leader retired five Rockets via K.
Pitching and defense controlled play until late in the contest. The Redhawks scratched out a run in the bottom of the second, taking a 1-0 edge. Morris singled to left to lead off. Rodgers pinch-ran and stole second base. A Breanna Timmons sacrifice bunt moved Rodgers to third and Silvan followed with a base hit to centerfield.
Toledo tied the game in the fourth, but SU regained its lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Choate singled and advanced to second on an error. Cathcart then walked. With two outs, Morris found grass in center, singling to drive in Choate for a 2-1 margin.
SU travels to California for the CSUN Invitational this weekend. It will play five games over three days.