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University defeats Mead to capture GSL slowpitch softball title

It took two extra days and several bags of drying compound, but University finally got its slowpitch softball championship.

Kylee Hughes went 3 for 3 with a home run, Kirsten Anstrom had three hits and scored twice and University (22-0) defeated visiting Mead 10-1 in the Greater Spokane League title game on Friday. It’s the second year in a row the teams have faced off for the title.

U-Hi has won nine GSL titles and has played in every district championship game in the 11 years that slowpitch has been an official sport in the GSL.

The title game, originally planned for Wednesday, had to be rescheduled twice because of rain.

“Mother nature finally cooperated,” U-Hi coach Jon Schuh said.

All but one Titans starter had a hit and eight of their 10 batters scored, with no errors on defense.

“We had a couple of girls playing in positions they hadn’t necessarily played in all year long and they did a good job,” Schuh said. “I really felt that if we could play defense and just continue to be offensive threats then we could be OK, and it turned out that way.”

U-Hi trailed 1-0 headed to the bottom of the third. With two outs, Anstrom started the rally with a triple and scored on a double by Courtney Awbery. Awbery came home on a single by Natasha Nelson to give U-Hi the lead for good.

The Titans busted it open in the fourth. Hughes led off with a homer to right. Consecutive singles by Hannah Click and Emily Stannard put runners on the corners. Kourtney Richardson plated a run with a single, Sierra Apocada drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to center and the last run came in on Anstrom’s single to make it 6-1.

Anstrom, a senior, said coming into the title game undefeated made it that much more challenging.

“It’s definitely more nerve-wracking,” she said. “It’s not like we were coming in with nothing to lose. It’s like ‘Oh, we gotta win it. We have to play good.’ Everybody wants to take us down.

“I feel like it’s something we were expected to do and we made it happen.”

Nelson doubled to lead off the fifth and scored on Brooklyn Hecker’s single to put the Titans up 7-1.

U-Hi padded its lead and picked up three more runs in the sixth on four straight singles by Apodaca, Anstrom, Awbery and Nelson. The 10th run came home on a sacrifice fly to center by Hecker, but Nelson was thrown out trying to move up to third to end the inning.

By then, the Titans had built a comfortable lead.

Click retired Mead in order in the top of the seventh, and the Titans were left to celebrate their title. Click went the distance and limited Mead to one run on 10 hits – all singles.

Mead (17-6) was led by Ashley Hammond and Destiny Scott with three hits apiece.