OKLAHOMA CITY -- Monica Abbott threw her 23rd career
no-hitter and struck out 16 to break the single-season record and
help Tennessee open the Women's College World Series with a 2-0
victory over Texas A&M on Thursday night.
The 6-foot-3 Abbott (47-3) broke the strikeout record of 663 set
by Southern Mississippi's Courtney Blades in 2000. Abbott finished
the game with 665.
Earlier, Washington's Danielle Lawrie threw the first no-hitter
in four years in the World Series, leading the Huskies to a 3-1
victory over DePaul. Also, Northwestern beat Arizona State 2-0, and
defending champion Arizona beat Baylor 2-1 in nine innings.
On Friday in the double-elimination tournament, Tennessee will
face Arizona, and Washington will play Northwestern.
India Chiles and Shannon Doepking had RBI singles for Tennessee
(60-6) in the seventh inning off Amanda Scarborough (26-9).
Texas A&M (46-13) loaded the bases with one out in the first,
but Abbott got the next two batters on a fielder's choice and
strikeout to end the inning. Texas A&M had only one other
baserunner, in the fifth when Scarborough led off with a walk.
Abbott, honored Tuesday night as the USA Softball National
Collegiate Player of the Year, holds NCAA career records for wins
(186 against only 32 losses), strikeouts (2,381), shutouts (109)
and appearances (248).
Washington 3, DePaul 1
Lawrie (30-11), a member of the Canadian national team, struck
out nine and became the first pitcher in world series history to
allow a run in a no-hitter.
It was the second no-hitter of Lawrie's college career,
following a perfect game against Utah Valley State on Feb. 26,
2006. The last no-hitter in the World Series was by UCLA's Keira
Goerl in the 2003 championship game.
After Lawrie's throwing error allowed the Blue Demons to score
first, Washington's Dena Tyson hit a two-run home run to left field
off Tracie Adix (21-3) with two outs in the third to give the
Huskies a 2-1 lead. It was Tyson's 18th home run.
Ashlyn Watson added her second home run of the season off Adix
in the fourth.
Washington improved to 41-17, and DePaul dropped to 46-12.
Northwestern 2, Arizona St. 0
Tracy Williams homered for Northwestern, and Eileen Canney
(32-9) threw a one-hitter while avoiding NCAA batting leader
Katie Logan had an RBI double in the third, and Williams added
her 15th home run.
Canney walked Cochran, who leads the nation with a .495 batting
average, in all three of her plate appearances and the rest of the
Sun Devils (54-16) could manage only Michelle Smith's bunt single
in the sixth inning.
Canney, who struck out 11, won her 96th game at Northwestern
(51-11) to move within one of the school record set by Lisa
Ishikawa from 1984-87.
Arizona State's Katie Burkhart (35-12) threw a complete game,
allowing five hits while striking out eight.
Arizona 2, Baylor 1, 9 innings
Kristie Fox homered on the first pitch of the ninth inning to
push top-seeded Arizona (45-12-1) past a Baylor team making its
first appearance at the World Series.
Fox's 15th home run of the season went just over the extended
arm of Baylor left fielder Tiffany Wesley and inside the foul pole
to send the Wildcats into a celebration at home plate.
Fox also scored the Wildcats' other run after doubling to lead
off the fourth inning. She moved to third on a single by Jenae
Leles and scored on Laine Roth's groundout.
Eighth-seeded Baylor (50-15) came right back to tie it when
Kirsten Shortridge scored on the second of consecutive passed balls
by Arizona catcher Callista Balko in the top of the fifth.
Arizona's Taryne Mowatt (37-10) struck out 15 in a two-hitter to
outduel Lisa Ferguson (25-8).