Saturday, April 2, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Northwest Sports Briefing

Freshman reliever rescues Huskies

EUGENE, Ore. — Freshman Caitlin Noble allowed one hit in 2-1/3 innings of relief and Aimee Minor homered as Washington opened the Pac-10 fastpitch softball season with a 4-3 victory over Oregon yesterday.

Minor launched a towering three-run homer to left field with two outs in the first inning after leadoff batter Ashley Charters was hit by a pitch and Kristen Rivera walked. It was Minor's 10th home run this season.

The Huskies (17-9 overall) went ahead 4-0 in the second inning with an unearned run. Jacki Hansen reached base on a two-out infield throwing error, and Charters chased her home with a line-drive single to center field.

Noble, a right-hander from Eastlake High School in Sammamish, relieved senior starter Ashley Boek (11-5) after Boek gave up three runs in the fifth. Noble ended the inning with a strikeout.

Noble breezed through the sixth with two strikeouts, and escaped a jam in the seventh. With two outs and the bases loaded, Ann Marie Topps of Oregon (20-10) hit a drive over the left-field fence that was barely foul, and Noble then struck her out for her first save.

"It's great to start the Pac-10 season off with a win," said UW coach Heather Tarr. "We're going to build on it."

Senior Kathy Fiske made her first appearance since breaking her hand Feb. 13 and hit a two-out single in the sixth for Washington.

The Huskies play at Oregon State today.

Other fastpitch

Playing for the first time since March 19, Western Washington (4-12) lost to Montana State-Billings and Cal State Bakersfield, both by 9-1 scores, in the Easton Tournament of Champions in Modesto, Calif. Central Washington (11-11) fared better, beating Cal State San Bernardino 7-3 before losing to Montana State-Billings 6-4.


Adam Sorgi doubled and homered and Michael Taylor had three doubles among his four hits to key a 20-hit attack by Stanford (15-9, 1-0) in a 14-5 Pac-10 win over Washington State (15-15, 0-4) in Pullman.

• Kiel Thibault, Aaron McGuinness and Darin Holcomb each had three hits as Gonzaga rolled past San Diego 14-0 in a West Coast Conference game in San Diego. Josh Monroe (5-1), a junior right-hander from Woodinville, pitched his first shutout for the Bulldogs (17-9, 4-2).


Washington junior Paige Mackenzie was tied for seventh place after shooting a 1-over par 73 in the first round of the PING/ASU women's invitational in Tempe, Ariz. The Huskies were tied for ninth in the 17-team event, 14 strokes behind leader UCLA.


• Gonzaga's men's and women's teams led the West Coast Conference in attendance this season, their first in the new McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane. The Bulldogs men averaged 5,994 fans for 13 home games, and the women's team averaged 1,817.

• Gonzaga sophomore forward Sean Mallon was one of 10 men's players named to the Division I-AAA national scholar-athlete team. (Division I-AAA includes the 90 schools that do not sponsor football programs.) Mallon, from Mead High School in Spokane, has a 3.28 GPA in political science.


• The 13th-ranked UW men's team was overpowered by sixth-ranked UCLA, 5-0 in Los Angeles. Washington faces No. 12 USC today.

• Three third-set losses cost the 19th-ranked Washington women's team as it was upset 4-3 at home by Sacramento State.

Local game line scores 


Gonzaga 103 001 270 — 14 20 0
San Diego 000 000 000 — 0 7 2
Monroe and Thibault; Blaine, Church (7), Holzhauer (7) and Abruzzo. W- Monroe (5-1). L- Blaine (5-4).


Washington 310 000 0 — 4 3 2
Oregon 001 020 0 — 3 5 1
UW- Boek, Noble (5) and Rivera; Oregon- Kontra, Harris (2) and Richards. HR — Minor(10). W — Boek (11-5). L — Kontra (4-2). Save — Noble (1).


C. Washington 000 102 4 — 7 13 0
CSU San Bernardino 000 300 0 — 3 4 3
Sara Badgley and Kelli Spaulding. Regina Farfan and Crystal Fraijo. W-Badgley (7-4). L-Farfan (3-12).


Montana St.-Billings 300 000 3 — 6 8 2
C. Washington 200 020 0 — 4 5 1
Jordan Waverek; Joey Ehnes (6) and Layne Pavey. Sarah Withers; Sara Badgley (2) and Kelli Spaulding. W-Ehnes (14-6). L-Badgley (7-5).

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company


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