Gabbie brilliant in College World Series debut

Gabbie Plain pitches for the Washington Huskies in game one of the College World Series iin Oklahoma City.

Gabbie brilliant in College World Series debut

Australian softball star Gabbie Plain has pitched a brilliant game for the Washington Huskies in the College World Series against Florida State.

Gabbie Plain

The post-game media conference.

Thrust into the national spotlight as a freshman, Plain found herself pitching the opening game of the biggest college softball event of the year in Oklahoma City.

She allowed just one run in seven innings, but that one run was all it took for Florida State to win 1-0.

The win gives the Seminoles the upper hand in the best-of-three series, with game two scheduled for tomorrow morning (AEST).

While Washington coach Heather Tarr and ESPN commentators lauded her performance, Plain described it as “average”.

“It wasn’t my best performance, but it wasn’t necessarily bad,” she said at her post-game media conference.

“I didn’t have as much command as I would have liked, unfortunately, but it was enough to help out the girls. They were still getting ground balls and outs for me.”

The key moment in the game was a solo home run by Florida State catcher Anna Shelnutt in the sixth inning.

“The ball was a bit higher than I would have liked it to be, but it was just a good hit,” Plain said of the decisive hit.

“She read it well, went with it and put it where she wanted it to go. There’s not much you can do about that.”

Gabbie Plain

Gabbie Plain is congratulated by teammate Sis Bates.

The Huskies had a chance to hit back late in the game, but a sensational defensive play by Florida State infielder Jessie Warren in the seventh inning ended the threat.

Plain has amazed veteran softball watchers in the US with her calmness under pressure. Most freshmen spend much of their time on the bench, but she has been thrust into key moments all season and performed admirably.

Plain, a 183cm right-hander from Sydney, has represented the Junior Spirit and pitched for New South Wales at Under-19 National Championships. She has had a taste of international softball at the 2017 Japan Cup and hopes to be a regular player for the Aussie Spirit after her college career.

Asked about her first year as a college athlete — which included a perfect game against Utah — Plain described it as “an incredible experience”.

“I never would have seen myself here in my wildest dreams. I’m just a freshman, so to get the game one start is incredible. I really can’t put it into words, it’s just a feeling that you get.”

The Seminoles are now one win away from College World Series glory, but the Huskies believe they can still win the next two games.

“It’s another opportunity,” coach Tarr said. “Thank goodness it doesn’t end tonight. We have another chance. These guys are awesome.”

Gabbie Plain

A big crowd in Oklahoma City for the first game of the College World Series.