#4 Softball Starts 10-Day Adventure In Florida
Feb. 14, 2001
Going South: After opening up its season with a 4-1 start in Arizona, the fourth-ranked Washington softball team will once again hit the road for a 10-day road trip, spanning three states. The Huskies fly out on Thursday morning to Tampa, Fla., for the Holiday Inn Invitational, before leaving Monday morning for Tennessee. The team will then play a Wednesday doubleheader at Tennessee-Chattanooga before heading to Columbus, Ga., for the NFCA Leadoff, Feb. 23-25.
Nebraska?: Although the Huskies were scheduled to play six games in Phoenix, Ariz., they actually only got to count five of them.
After starting their game with Georgia late and then going into extra innings with the Bulldogs (10 in fact), the game with Nebraska started almost two hours late. The two teams managed to play three innings, before the game was called due to time constraints (Nebraska had to catch a flight) with the Cornhuskers leading 3-0.
Because the contest did not go at least the required five innings, the game did not count toward either team's overall record. The two schools are scheduled to meet once again on March 4, in Utah.
400 And Over: The UW recorded its 400 victory as a program with a 11-3 win over New Mexico State in the team's second game of the year. The Huskies had entered the season with an eight-year, 399-141 all-time record and a .739 winning percentage since 1993.
Pac-10 Player of the Week: Washington senior Christie Rosenblad (Fillmore, Calif.), who hit four home runs in consecutive at-bats Saturday, was named the Pac-10 softball player of the week, the conference office announced Monday.
Rosenblad sparked the fourth-ranked Huskies to a 4-1 start at the Fiesta Bowl Invitational in Phoenix, Ariz., last weekend. The team's starting second baseman hit her first two home runs in her last two at-bats against Texas Tech and her next two in her first couple at-bats against 18th-ranked South Carolina.
Rosenblad also had the game-winning RBI in three of the Huskies' four wins and led Washington in batting with a .444 average (8-for-15) to along with a team-high eight hits and five runs scored.
Rosenblad posted a phenomenal 1.167 slugging percentage with 21 total bases and eight RBI, while already recording a career season-high for home runs with four. It is her first weekly honor, while it is the 42nd for Washington all-time.
Rosenblad Hits Four Home Runs...In A Row: For a player who hit just five home runs in her first three seasons as a Husky, senior Christie Rosenblad surprised everyone with four home runs in four consecutive at bats in two games last Saturday.
The senior's streak began in her second at bat against Texas Tech - a solo shot to left field in the fourth inning. Rosenblad then followed it up with what would turn out to be the game-winning home run in the sixth inning, a two-run, two-out shot which broke a 1-1 tie. In the team's next game versus 18th-ranked South Carolina, Rosenblad slapped a pair of solo home runs in both the second and fourth innings, with the latter being the game-winner in Washington's 5-1 victory. The streak finally came to a halt in the fifth inning on a long foul-out to left field.
Although there is no category for Rosenblad's accomplishment in the NCAA record book, the second baseman did post a career high for home runs in a season, and became just the third player in team history to hit two home runs in a game twice.
The Long Ball: After leading the country last season in home runs per game (1.18/game), the Washington softball team picked up right where it left off, hitting nine home runs in its first five games. Freshman Shawna Norris (Littleton, Colo.) got the ball rolling in the team's game versus New Mexico State, going yard in her first collegiate at-bat with a towering shot to straight-away center field. Senior Kim DePaul (Tomball, Texas) then hit a two-run shot in the sixth inning - her 16th career home run.
Besides Rosenblad's two home runs against Texas Tech and South Carolina, sophomore Amy Hanson (Mt. Vernon, Wash.) and junior Becky Simpson (Tumwater, Wash.) both went yard for the first time in their careers on Saturday. Sophomore Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.), who hit 23 last year, added the team's ninth home run of the year against Georgia.
On The Tube: Washington's May 5, game with Pac-10 foe Oregon has been scheduled to air live on FOX Sports Net at 2 p.m. (PT). The Huskies' game with the Ducks is one of three Pac-10 games set for FOX with the other two being the April 7, game between Arizona and UCLA and the April 14, game with Stanford and California.
Pickering Update: Former Washington standout Sara Pickering (1994-97), who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease last March, has had a relapse. Pickering, now an assistant softball coach at Stanford under former UW assistant John Rittman, is scheduled to undergo a Stem Cell Transplant in mid-March.
In support of Pickering, the Washington softball team will give supporters a chance to send their well wishes on April 27, when the Huskies play host to the Cardinal at 2 p.m., at Husky Stadium.
The Stanford also is currently in the process of setting up a web site for people to stay updated on Pickering's condition.
Perfect In The Sunshine State: The Huskies head to Florida, for only the second time in program history. In 1999, Washington went 5-0 at the Louisville Slugger Classic in Gainesville, Fla., defeating both fifth-ranked Michigan and #20 Florida twice, while also blanking Virginia Tech. This weekend at South Florida's Holiday Inn Invitational, UW will two face two, first-time opponents (Maryland and Hofstra), along with three teams (Maryland, Hofstra and Notre Dame) which will play their first games of the 2001 season this weekend.
Scouting the Maryland Terrapins (0-0): After advancing to the 1999 NCAA regionals, Maryland finished its 2000 season with a 27-28 overall record and a third-place finish in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Under head coach Gina LaMandre, the Terrapins return all-conference selections, junior catcher Beth Radford (.303 avg.) and senior shortstop Jen Potzman (.270 avg.). Three pitchers also return, with junior right-hander Amanda Bettker (14-14) leading the way.
Scouting the South Carolina Gamecocks (5-4): In the second scheduled meeting with the Huskies, South Carolina entered the season ranked 18th and currently stands at 5-4 overall in 2001, including a victory over 12th-ranked Nebraska.
Under 15th-year head coach Joyce Compton, the Gamecocks have six starters returning from a team which went 41-28 in 2000 and advanced to the NCAA regionals for the 10th time in school history. Both starting pitchers, Stacy Johnson and Megan Matthews are 2-2 so far this season, while third baseman/outfielder Samantha Jennings is batting a team-best .350.
The UW leads the all-time series between the two schools (2-1), including a 5-1 win last Saturday at the Fiesta Bowl Invitational.
Scouting the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0-0): Washington and Notre Dame face for just the second time overall, and the first time since 1996, when the Huskies beat the Irish 7-1 at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.
Under head coach Liz Miller, the 19th-ranked Irish return all nine starters from last year's squad which went 47-14 overall and advanced to the NCAA regionals for the second straight season. Leading the way will be a pair of second team All-Americans in shortstop Melanie Alkire (.376 avg.) and left-handed pitcher Jennifer Sharron (26-7).
Scouting the South Florida Bulls (3-7): Washington and tournament host South Florida play for the second straight season, almost a year to the date after the Huskies handed the Bulls a 10-0 defeat February 18, at the Texas Invitational in Austin.
The Bulls, under head coach Ken Eriksen, return four starters and all three pitchers from a squad which went 41-33 in 2000. This season, South Florida has a 3-7 record and have been led offensively by Ginny Georgantas' .438 batting average. Senior pitcher Jessi Kowal has all three wins for her team and will bring a 0.43 earned-run average into this weekend's tournament.
Scouting the Hofstra Pride (0-0): One of two first-time opponents for the Huskies this weekend, Hofstra advanced to the NCAA regionals last season, upsetting Louisiana-Lafayette before falling to Southern Mississippi and Louisiana State.
Led by head coach Bill Edwards, seniors Amanda Hallaway (.331) and Lisa Ciavardini (.314) both hit over .300 in 2000, while sophomore pitcher Kelly Blois is the Pride's most experienced returning pitcher with a 7-3 record as a freshman.
Close Connections: Freshman Megan Owen (Spokane, Wash.) will get to see two of her summer ball teammates when the UW faces Maryland ... Owen and Maryland freshmen Liz Gall and Casey Leiter all played for the Snohomish County Merchants ... UW head coach Teresa Wilson will get to see her former college coach at Missouri, South Carolina's Joyce Compton, for the second time this season ... another pair of former summer ball teammates, UW's Tia Bollinger (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Notre Dame's Alexis Madrid will face each other when the UW plays the Irish Saturday ... Bollinger and Madrid led Gordon's Panthers to the ASA national championship in 1998.
Four At First: The University of Washington softball team, which finished fifth in the nation last year at the College World Series, has been ranked fourth in the 2001 USA Today/NFCA preseason coaches' poll released January 24. The first regular season poll will begin February 21.
The Huskies' number four national ranking marks the 66th consecutive poll in which the team has been within the top six, dating back to the beginning of the 1996 season. Last year, the UW occupied the top spot for 12 straight weeks, including six as the unanimous selection, after being ranked second in the preseason poll. Washington has been in the top 25 every year since late in 1993, its inaugural season.
The UW is scheduled to face 15 of the top 25 teams at least once during the regular season. Six other future Husky opponents also received votes in the poll.
Pac-10 Power: The University of Washington softball team, which has made five consecutive trips to the College World Series, has been picked to finish fourth in the Pac-10 in a poll of conference coaches released January 16.<
The Huskies, who finished their 2000 season with a number five national ranking, received 27 points overall to place behind Arizona (46), UCLA (46) and Arizona State (34). Arizona and UCLA both tied for first place with 46 points and four of the eight first-place votes. Behind Washington was Stanford (25), California (20), Oregon State (17) and Oregon (9).
Huskies On the Air Waves: The Washington softball team will have eight games broadcast live on KSRB 1150-AM in 2001. Mike Brown will handle play-by-play duties for the fourth- straight season, while John Cowley will provide color commentary.
UW is one of the few softball programs in the nation with regular-season games broadcast by a local radio station. This year's schedule begins March 10, with the first of a pair of games versus non-conference foe Texas, and includes four other Husky home games as well as two road games from Corvallis, Ore. Each game's broadcast will begin and end with a 15-minute pre- and post-game show, featuring interviews with UW players and coaches.
First Pitch Luncheon: Washington will play host to its second annual "First Pitch" luncheon, Friday, March 9, in the Don James Center at Husky Stadium. The luncheon, which honors the UW softball and baseball teams, will begin at 12:30 p.m.
Fans and supporters of the UW baseball and softball teams can mingle with players and coaches from the two teams. Husky football coach Rick Neuheisel will serve as the master of ceremonies. The cost of the event is $20 per person. For a $140 donation, a sponsor receives a table for seven, or a table for six, plus a spot for a player or coach. Reservations are due by March 5. For more information, call (206) 616-1180.
Playing With Fire: Washington senior third baseman Kim DePaul was selected as the eighth pick overall by the Tampa Bay FireStix in the 2000 Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL) Senior Draft on December 2. DePaul, a second-round selection, was one of 24 college seniors picked by one of the league's four teams.
DePaul becomes the fourth Husky to be selected by a team in the WPSL's Senior Draft. Last season, standouts Jeanine Giordano (Tampa Bay FireStix), Jamie Graves (Akron Racers) and Jennifer Spediacci (Tampa Bay FireStix) were picked 19th, 20th and 22nd, respectively.
Attendance Figures Well for Huskies: In statistics released by the NCAA, the University of Washington was ranked second nationally in home attendance average last season with 1,497 fans per game. Fresno State was first with an average of 2,360, while Arizona ranked third with 1,330 fans per game. Fresno State, Washington and Arizona were the only schools in division I, II and III, to average over 1,000 fans per game.
The Huskies' average home attendance in 2000 also was up by 781 from 1999 (the most of any NCAA sponsored softball school), and the UW was ranked third in overall attendance, despite having only 15 home dates.
Dear Diary: Wonder what goes on behind the scenes and in the minds of Husky softball players and coaches? You will have two opportunities for the second year in a row to read a more personal account of Washington softball. Head coach Teresa Wilson will post bi-monthly diary submissions to the cnn-si.com site, while one Husky player per week will write about the team's fortunes on and off the field on the school's official site, www. gohuskies.com.
Far And Wide: The 2001 schedule will take the Huskies to seven different states beginning with Arizona, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, and Utah in just the first month of the season. The UW will later take trips to California and finally Oregon.
The Huskies trip to Tennessee for a mid-week doubleheader in Chattanooga will be their first to the Volunteer state. In the program's nine-year history, the team has traveled to 11 states.
Meet Assistant Coach Drew Christmon: Drew Christmon, an assistant at the University of Kansas in 2000, has been named an assistant softball coach at the University of Washington. A native of Oklahoma City, Okla., he will serve as the team's hitting coach in addition to assisting UW head coach Teresa Wilson in all administrative aspects of the program.
Head Coach Teresa Wilson: Teresa Wilson wasted no time in building a perennial contender for the NCAA Championship at the University of Washington. In eight years, Wilson has led the Huskies to five straight trips to the College World Series, including appearances in the championship game in 1996 and 1999. UW has earned seven straight berths in the NCAA tournament, a No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA poll, and two Pac-10 titles.
As the only head coach in Husky history, Wilson has led the Huskies to a 403-142 record, accruing an incredible .740 winning percentage. All totaled, Wilson's players have earned 19 All-America certificates, 58 mentions on all-Pac-10 squads, and 44 all-conference academic honors.
A fierce competitor, Wilson, a native of Pickering, Mo., was an All-American pitcher at the University of Missouri from 1980-83. Her 14-year career coaching record of 607-303 (.667) also includes stints at Oregon and Minnesota, and ranks her in 21st among most winningest active coaches in divison I history.
Player of the Week
Pitcher of the Week
Huskies vs. This Week's Opponents
Maryland, Hofstra: First Meeting
South Carolina (3-2): W, 5-1 (2001), W, 6-0 (1997), L, 0-1 (1997), L, 2-9 (1997), W, 4-1 (1996)
Notre Dame (1-0): W, 7-1 (1996)
South Florida (1-0): W, 10-0 (2000)
2001 Pac-10 Standings
1. Arizona 10 0 0 1.000