#13 Softball Plays Host To Texas Saturday, Sunday
March 7, 2001
This Week's Schedule:
Last Week's Results (At St. George, Utah):
Home Sweet Home: The 13th-ranked Washington softball team returns to Seattle this Saturday and Sunday, March 10-11, for its first two home games of the 2001 season after opening with its first 22 games on the road.
The Huskies will play host to non-conference foe Texas, with single games each day beginning at 2 p.m. PT., at the Husky Softball Stadium.
Success In St. George: The Huskies fell just one game short of completing a perfect weekend at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah, March 2-4. The UW split its opening games with Utah (W, 8-0) and Brigham Young (L, 6-7), but then rebounded with a pair of wins against Missouri (W, 3-2) and Southern Utah (W, 8-2) Saturday. Washington, behind a three-run home run by sophomore Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.), then got a critical 3-0 win over #17 Nebraska to wrap-up tournament play.
Coming Home: After playing its first 47 games away from the Husky Softball Stadium in 2000, Washington's road home has been much shorter this season. The Huskies' pair of games against Texas, March 10-11, mark the earliest home games in program history with the previous coming in 1999 versus Stanford on March 27.
Success In Seattle: In the program's first eight seasons from 1993-2000, the Huskies have posted an incredible .779 winning percentage at home, carrying a 127-36 record into this weekend. The UW also is 117-24 (.830) at Husky Softball Stadium, after playing its inaugural season in 1993 in nearby Bellevue, Wash.
Washington In Home Openers (6-2)
Huskies On the Air Waves: The Washington softball team will have eight games broadcast live on KSRB 1150-AM in 2001, beginning this weekend. 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.
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.
Return of the Long Ball: After hitting 15 home runs in their first 17 games, the Huskies tagged six more in five game this weekend to bring the season total to 21.
Two players, senior Kelly Hauxhurst (Westminster, Calif.) and freshman Courtney Jeffries (Eugene, Ore.), joined the over-the-fence club last week as Hauxhurst hit a pair of three-run shots and Jeffries tallied her first career home run against Southern Utah.
The Fourth and the Fifth Are For Us: The 2001 Huskies have had alarming success in the both the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, the UW has outscored opponents 20-7, while in the fifth, the team has outscored the opposition 23-2.
Tia's Terrific: UW freshman pitcher Tia Bollinger (Santa Ana, Calif.) is picking up right where former All-American pitchers Jamie Graves and Jennifer Spediacci left off. Bollinger, at 13-2 overall, has all but two of the team's wins so far this season in the circle, and leads the Pac-10 Conference in wins and appearances (18).
The right-hander also has combined with teammate Shannon Walsh (Covina, Calif.) to throw a pair of one-hitters versus both Texas Tech and Maryland, while recording solo one-hitters versus Tennessee-Chattanooga and Southern Mississippi.
Bollinger carried a no hitter through five innings against Hofstra, before being relieved by Bridget Wilcox (Olympia, Wash.) in the top of the sixth, and no-hit Southern Mississippi through 4.1 innings.
Hit Parade: UW outfielder Kelly Hauxhurst and freshman utility player Amanda Oleson (Agoura Hills, Calif.) have been the keys to consistency for the 2001 team. Hauxhurst, who leads the team in batting with a .423 average, had a 13-game hitting streak halted versus Michigan State, but after a two-game drought, brings a six-game streak into this weekend's games with Texas.
Oleson, meanwhile, had the team's longest hitting streak of 15 games, until going 0-for-3 versus Missouri on March 3.
Catcher, Catcher: For the second straight weekend, those familiar with Husky softball over the past four seasons may see a very unfamiliar sight behind the plate. Senior co-captain Kim DePaul (Tomball, Texas), who started all 224 games at third base since arriving at the UW in 1998, took over the team's starting catching job last weekend after sophomore Amy Hanson (Mt. Vernon, Wash.) fractured her ring finger on her catching hand against Kansas (Feb. 25).
DePaul caught all five games at the Red Desert Classic in Utah and did not allow a passed ball, while throwing out one of two base runners attempting to steal.
Scouting the Texas Longhorns (10-10): The Huskies will look to make it seven in a row against the Longhorns with a sweep this weekend. The two schools have faced five times before, including three times in 2000, with the Huskies winning each.
This season, under head coach Connie Clark, Texas is 10-10 overall with a doubleheader against in-state foe Houston still to play before this weekend. Seven of the Longhorns' losses have been to teams ranked in the top 25.
Leading the way for Texas is sophomore Marlo Hanks, who boasts a .350 batting average to go along with 11 runs scored and a 1.000 fielding percentage. Sophomore All-American Lindsay Gardner (.344 avg.) and senior Trisha Tatro (14 RBI) are also offensive threats. In the circle, two Texas pitchers have seen starting time, including senior Charla Moore (4-6) and freshman Natalie King (4-5).
Close Connection: UW senior Kim DePaul and Texas freshman Sarah Wieszczak both attended Tomball High School in Tomball, Texas.
In the Stats: In the first set of statistics released by the Pac-10, Washington currently ranks fourth in the conference in batting with a .286 team average and seventh in team ERA with a 1.85 mark. The Huskies also are first in triples with nine, while individually, freshman pitcher Tia Bollinger is first in both wins (13) and appearances (18).
On The Horizon - Another Road Trip: After playing host to two home games, March 10-11, the Huskies head to California for an eight-day road trip. Washington's journey will take them to Fullerton, Calif. for the four-day Kia Klassic, followed by single games Tuesday versus Cal State Fullerton and Northwestern. The UW will then finish up their spring break journey with a doubleheader at Cal State Northridge on Wednesday, March 21.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 414-148 record, accruing an incredible .737 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 618-309 (.667) also includes stints at Oregon and Minnesota, and ranks her 21st among the most winningest active coaches in division I softball.