SEATTLE – Seattle University softball allowed just two earned runs, battling Mississippi State in a 5-3 defeat in the Redhawks’ first Division I NCAA Tournament contest Friday evening at the University of Washington. SU (39-16) will face the loser of Friday’s night UW-Fordham game on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in an elimination game.
Carley Nance got out to a terrific start in the circle, holding the potent Bulldog offense hitless into the third inning.
A one-out walk by Breanna Timmons set up the first run of the game. Olivia Viggiano singled on the infield, putting runners at first and second with two outs. Ally Choate fell behind in the count 0-2, but the sophomore singled back up the middle and Timmons hustled home, sliding perfectly to beat the tag for a 1-0 advantage.
The Bulldogs replied with three runs in the bottom of the third, as Kat Moore hit a bases-loaded double to put MSU ahead.
Nance walked in the fourth and Timmons singled in the fifth, but SU was unable to produce any more in the middle of the contest.
In the fifth, Nance put two runners on and Shianne Smith came on in relief with one out. She retired the first batter she faced, but allowed a single and an SU error brought in two runs for a 5-1 difference.
Kaylee Ree led off the seventh with a walk, bringing Nance to the plate. The Maple Valley, Wash., native smashed a 2-1 delivery over the rightfield bleachers, pulling the Redhawks within 5-3. Timmons and Alyson Matriotti both worked deep into their at-bats, but MSU held on to advance to Saturday's winner's bracket.
Nance pitched 4.1 innings, allowing two earned runs and three hits. She struck out three Bulldogs. At the plate, Nance went 1-2 with a homer and a walk. Smith relieved with 1.2 innings of shutout pitching.