Vallejo pitches shutout, Cowgirls advance to Seattle Regional championship game

Published 12:06 am Sunday, May 21, 2023

Ashley Vallejo tossed a six-hit shutout in McNeese State’s 1-0 win over Minnesota Saturday night to keep the Cowgirls season alive at the Seattle Regional of the NCAA tournament.

The win sends the Cowgirls (46-15) into Sunday’s championship round against host Washington (40-12). Game one is at 3 p.m. A Washington win gives the Huskies the regional championship and a home series in the Super Regional round next weekend.

A McNeese win would force a second, winner-take-all game 30 minutes following the first game.

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Washington beat McNeese 3-1 in Saturday’s first game, sending the Cowgirls into the elimination game against the Gophers (38-19), who beat Northern Colorado 4-0 in Saturday’s second game to stay alive.

Vallejo kept Minnesota’s powerful offense in check, holding the Gophers to six singles and no extra-base hits. She struck out three and walked one.

Minnesota was 2-for-11 with runners on base and 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

Cowgirl freshman Corrine Ponch drove in the game’s only run with a second inning single to score Mariana Torres, who reached on a walk.

In the first game, Washington’s Jadelyn Allchin drove in two Husky runs and scored the other. She hit a solo homer to put Washington ahead in the second inning, then singled to score Madison Huskey in the fourth. Silentrain Espinoza hit a fielder’s choice grounder to score Allchin.

McNeese scored in the seventh when Emily Phillips walked and scored on a wild pitch.