A Noble Start
March 6, 2005
"Go Big or Go Home" is the motto of the 12th-ranked 2005 Washington softball team and freshman pitcher Caitlin Noble is taking it to heart. In just her third start of the season, Noble broke the school record for most strikeouts in a regulation game with 16 against Willamette in six innings. The record was extra sweet for Noble who topped the 15 strikeouts of UW pitching coach and former Husky All-American Eve Gaw in 1995.
"Setting the record was really exciting," said Noble. "By the last inning I knew I had a shot at it and it was fun to do it with my family and former teammates and coaches in the stands. It was kind of fun knowing it was Coach Gaw's record too. "
"I think it's awesome that she broke the record," said Gaw. "I've known Caitlin since she was eight and there is nobody that I'd rather have break it. She has all the physical tools to be a successful at this level. She needs to continue to work on her presence on the mound and her thought process but she's committed to getting better."
Last weekend, Noble became just the third freshman in Washington history to toss a no-hitter in the 4-0 win over Kansas at the Palm Springs Classic. She became the second Husky to throw a no-hitter this season as senior Ashley Boek held Willamette hitless on Feb. 19.
For Noble, a native of Sammamish and graduate of Eastlake High School, attending the University of Washington was a dream come true. She attended every Husky softball camp since she was seven and took private pitching lessons from Gaw for three years.
"I always wanted to be a Husky," said Noble. "When I was offered a scholarship, I knew right away that I was going to take it. I signed with Washington as soon as the NCAA would let me."
Noble is off to a superb rookie campaign, recording 74 strikeouts in 41 innings this season and proving herself essential in Washington's pursuit for its first national title. Head coach Heather Tarr is pleased with what she has seen in Noble's collegiate debut and is confident that she will become an anchor of the Husky program for years to come.
"Caitlin is going to be a great person to build this program around," said Tarr. "She's competitive, intelligent and has a lot of room to grow. She has a great work ethic and over time has the ability to develop into one of the nation's premier pitchers."
The Huskies, who have played in the last two College World Series' and seven overall, will need Noble to carry a large load this season to return to the national championship tournament. She has a 3-3 record to start the year, being the hard luck looser in two games in which Washington did not score a run. She boasts a 1.71 earned run average and has thrown three shutouts in seven appearances.
"Pitching in the College World Series has always been and goal of mine," said Noble. "I know that I am going to have to continue to improve during the season and win some ball games to take some pressure off Ashley. Having a balanced pitching staff is going to be key to us making a run at the national title."