OKLAHOMA CITY — No. 9 hitter Tory Lewis singled up the middle to score pinch-runner Whitney Hammond with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, and Tennessee beat Washington 1-0 on Saturday in the winners bracket of the Women's College World Series.
Both Lewis and Hammond are from Chattanooga and Girls Preparatory School.
"Our kids fought from the very beginning," Tennessee co-coach Ralph Weekly said. "It's all about timely hitting and it took us awhile to get that timely hit, but the kids never quit. They never got their heads down and they never stopped fighting."
Ellen Renfroe (19-4) allowed two hits and struck out 10 for Tennessee, which tonight at 7 EDT will play Washington or Florida again. The Huskies will face the Gators, whom UT beat 9-2 on Thursday, at 1 p.m. EDT. Tennessee would have to lose tonight and again Monday to miss the best-of-three finals starting Monday or Tuesday night. Florida finally edged Nebraska 9-8 in 15 innings in their elimination game that ended about 12:25 this morning.
Tennessee (51-10) stranded 13 runners through six innings against Washington's Kaitlin Inglesby (23-8), leaving the bases loaded three times. In the seventh, Cheyanne Tarango reached on an infield single and Hammond ran for her.
"I thought we played a great game," Washington coach Heather Tarr said. "We dealt with some things that, I think, a lot of teams would have folded with, with regards to a really tight strike zone. So be it. That's what it was. I thought Kaitlyn Inglesby threw a great game and threw obviously well enough for us to win. Unfortunately, offensively, we couldn't string anything together."
Melissa Brown sacrificed Hammond to second base. Rainey Gaffin walked and Hannah Akamine lined out to Inglesby, who unsuccessfully tried to double Gaffin off first base. Hammond took advantage and raced to third base, setting up Lewis' winning hit.
Oklahoma won the other winners-bracket game pushed back from Friday because of area storms, beating Texas 10-2 in five innings.