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.
Ellen Renfroe (19-4) allowed two hits and struck out 10 for Tennessee, which will next face a team from the losers' bracket.
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.
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' game-winning hit.
The Women's College World Series resumed Saturday after a harrowing night of severe storms in central Oklahoma.
At least six of the eight teams in the NCAA softball championship rode out the storms at the Cox Convention Center, which has an underground parking garage, and in the tunnels that connect it to hotels in downtown Oklahoma City.
"We could kind of tell throughout the whole week that possibly there was going to be this happening, so I think the whole team was mentally prepared for it," Washington coach Heather Tarr said. "You just deal with these things like any sort of team event that happens or any sort of adversity in the games. We just deal with it as a team and compensate and adjust and work together to stay together.”
When Tracy Schneweis, the turf manager at the stadium, left the facility about 11:30 p.m. Friday, he said he thought there would be games played Saturday. He just didn't know when, considering the amount of rain that fell. According to the Oklahoma Mesonet, 7.08 inches of precipitation was recorded at nearby Spencer.
Schneweis arrived at the stadium at 5:30 a.m. Saturday. By 6:30, there were about 30 people working either on the main field or the stadium's auxiliary fields, where the teams were scheduled to start practicing at 9 a.m.
"It was a trial by fire," said Schneweis.
Grounds workers first removed the tarp from the main field and liked what they saw on the infield.
"The infield skin is great right now," Schneweis said. "We had it covered all night. The tarp did its job. It served its purpose. That's wonderful. You always wonder, with that much rain coming down, if it's going to seep up or run back under there. Thankfully for us, it didn't, so that way we could focus on the outfield.”
He estimated that "90 percent of the outfield is in very good shape. The other 10 percent, all things considered, is in really good shape. . Nothing is unsafe at this point.”
In the 45 minutes before the game, members of the grounds crew used vacuums on wet spots in the outfield, particularly by the warning track, which Schneweis said tends to hold water. The grounds crew also had to clean out the dugouts, which flooded, to prepare them for the teams.
"I'm just glad we're playing ball," he said.