Noting the 1999 Husky Softball Team
June 10, 1999
SEATTLE - 1999 SEASON IN A NUTSHELL
UW MISSES TITLE BY ONE RUN: The Huskies came close to upsetting top-ranked UCLA in the CWS championship game, putting the tying run on first with two outs in the seventh. But the rally fell just short, as UCLA won, 3-2. Washington was making its second appearance in the title game in the past four years and its fourth straight showing at the World Series in seven years of existence.
UW won its first three Series games-all against Pac-10 foes-by a three-run margin. The Dawgs downed Arizona State, 4-1, in the opener before shutting out Arizona and Cal by 3-0 counts. The Wildcats managed just one hit off Jennifer Spediacci, who threw the complete game. In the final, the Bruins scored two runs in the first inning and one in the top of the second before UW answered with one in the bottom of the second. The Huskies held UCLA in check the remainder of the game and scored again themselves in the bottom of the seventh, but their two-out magic ended. UW had scored eight of its 10 runs in the Series with two outs, and added one more in the final, but could not send the tying run home.
CWS ALL-TOURNAMENT: Kim DePaul, Melissa Downs and >b>Jennifer Spediacci all earned spots on the College World Series all-tournament team. DePaul and Downs both led the team with four hits in the Series, with DePaul knocking in three RBI and Downs scoring a run. Spediacci had all four decisions of the CWS, with the UCLA loss her first career postseason defeat in 12 decisions.
UW HOSTS AND SWEEPS NO. 3 REGIONAL: For the third time in four years, Washington earned the right to host one of the eight regional tournaments, and the Huskies improved its regional winning streak to 13. Blowout wins over Colgate (8-0 in six innings) and Tennessee (12-1 in five) set the stage for a semifinal game against Cal State Fullerton. The Titans stretched UW to the limit before the Huskies scored the only run of the game in the top of the ninth inning. Washington then shut out Hawai'i, 3-0, for the regional title.
Jamie Graves earned most valuable player honors, going the distance against CS Fullerton for one of her two wins and putting the winning run on base with a triple in that game. Joining her on the all-tournament team were Kelly Hauxhurst, making her third postseason all-tournament team, Rosie Leutzinger, Becky Newbry and Jennifer Spediacci.
SIX EARN ALL-PAC-10 MENTION: Six Huskies landed on the Pac-10 all-conference team, including three first-teamers. Junior aces Jamie Graves and Jennifer Spediacci, along with senior Becky Newbry, each were named to the first team, while sophomore Kim DePaul and juniors Melissa Downs and Rosie Leutzinger were named to the honorable mention list. The honor was Newbry's fourth-two on the first team and one each on the second team and honorable mention list. Graves and Spediacci both repeated their first-team mention from a year ago after earning honorable mention and second-team honors, respectively, as freshmen. DePaul and Leutzinger are repeat honorees after earning second and first team accolades, respectively, in 1998. It was Downs' first Pac-10 honor.
SCHEDULE DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY-9.9: Head coach Teresa Wilson's philosophy is to face as many tough opponents as possible in the regular season to prepare the team for anything come tournament time. She certainly achieved that mission in 1999. A few notes on the ledger's degree of difficulty, intensified by a conference slate packed with top-25 opponents: -- UW played 39 of its 61 regular-season games against teams ranked at the time. The Dawgs were 24-15 in those outings. o The Huskies sported a 34-16 record against teams which had been ranked at some point in the season. -- Ten of the 15 UW foes, representing 34 games, which were ranked at any time during season appeared in every poll in 1999. Three other opponents-Cal, Oregon and USL (nine more games), were excluded only from the preseason ranking. -- UW's 28 wins against top-25 teams topped 1998's record of 24. -- Washington's total of 39 games against top-25 foes in the regular season is surpassed or tied by only three teams, all of which are members of the Pac-10: Arizona (43), ASU (40) and OSU (39).
PITCHING STAFF SECOND TO ONE: UW's pitching staff finished with the second-best ERA in the nation and tops in the Pac-10, sporting a collective 0.88 ERA to destroy the school record. Only Fresno State's 0.51 was better. Jamie Graves' 0.76 led the conference and was fifth in the nation, with Jennifer Spediacci coming in tied for 20th at 0.99.
PITCHERS BREAK 12 SCHOOL RECORDS: Graves and Spediacci led a staff that broke 12 school records, most of which the two had helped established in 1998. Largely, the pair combined to set 12 team standards: lowest ERA (0.88), opposing batting average (.179) and slugging percentage (.232), fewest runs (99), hits per seven innings (4.47), triples (6) and walks (71), and most shutouts (32), strikeouts (408) and strikeouts per seven innings (6.09).
NEWBRY BREAKS TRIPLES, POSITION RECORDS: Becky Newbry saved her best season for last, earning first-team All-America honors while hitting .436. That average ranked second in the Pac-10 and 17th in the nation and stands second on UW's season-best list. Newbry finished her career ranked in UW's top 10 in every offensive category, including first in triples (16) and second in games played (266), runs (181) and hits (286). She became the program's first three-time All-American while breaking the unofficial position record, playing every position on the field except pitcher during her career. Newbry also was the first softball player to earn UW's female athlete of the year award.
TWO MILESTONES IN TWO WEEKENDS: UW head coach Teresa Wilson reached two milestones in two consecutive weekends of competition. The seventh-year Husky coach won her 300th win with the program on Mar. 5 with a 9-0 win against Portland State in the Easton Showcase Tournament. The previous Friday she registered her 500th career victory on Feb. 26 in the NFCA Leadoff Classic against Missouri, her alma mater. UW defeated the Tigers, 3-0, in pool play against the school at which Wilson earned All-America honors as a pitcher in 1983.
UW FINISHES SECOND IN NATION...BUT THIRD IN THE PAC-10: After the dust finally settled on the Pac-10 battleground, sixth-ranked Washington finished in third place with a 15-12 mark. A traditionally tough league, the Pac-10 outdid itself this season. All eight teams were ranked in at least the top 19 in the nation the entire conference season, and all eight earned a berth into the NCAA tournament for the first time ever. UCLA won the league title with a 22-6 mark, followed by Arizona's 19-9 record.