#14 Softball Takes On #2 Arizona, #9 Arizona State In Seattle
April 4, 2001
Last Week: 3/30 at #3 California* W, 2-0
This Week: 4/6 Arizona* 2 p.m.
Pac-10 Parity: The 14th-ranked Washington softball team began its defense of the Pac-10 title by grabbing two out of three in a trip to California and Stanford.
The Huskies scored a pair of upsets in the first two days, defeating #3 California (2-0) and #5 Stanford (5-1), before falling to the Cardinal on Sunday, 4-1.
Four of the conference's eight teams finished the weekend with 2-1 records, while #2 Arizona is currently at the top of the standings with a 2-0 mark.
More TV time: The 14th-ranked Washington softball team, a five-time College World Series participant, will have three home games televised by FOX Sports in 2001.
FOX Sports Northwest plans to air a pair of games on a tape-delay basis, beginning this Sunday, April 8, against Arizona State. The game with the Sun Devils, which is slated for a 1 p.m., start, will be broadcast on Monday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. The second game will be the Huskies' April 27, meeting with Stanford and will be shown the same day at 7:30 p.m.
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 Sports Net with the other two being the April 7, game between Arizona and UCLA and the April 14, game with Stanford and California.
Feeling Good At Home: In its first eight seasons, the Washington softball team has won 66 percent of its home Pac-10 Conference games. Last year, the Huskies went 9-2 overall with just a pair of one-run losses to UCLA and Oregon State. In 1996, the year the UW advanced to its first College World Series championship game, the team was nearly perfect with a 12-1 mark en route to the team's first conference title.
Overall, 54 percent of the team's 130 all-time Pac-10 wins have come in Seattle.
Washington's Pac-10 Record At Home
Best Of The Best: Just how tough is the Pac-10 Conference again this season? One can just look at the conference's combined 249-63-2 (.796) or maybe the fact that four teams are ranked in the top five in the country.
Last year, the Pac-10 sent all eight teams to the NCAA regionals for the second consecutive season.
Ranking Among The Best: In the first set of regional rankings released by the NCAA Division I Softball Committee on March 29, the Huskies are among the top 10 teams in the Pacific Region. Six of the seven other Pac-10 teams, not including Oregon, appear in the rankings, while Washington has also played the three other teams - Brigham Young, New Mexico and Utah. Unlike previous seasons, the first two regional rankings will be listed in alphabetical order and not ranked from top to bottom. The bi-weekly rankings are used as a part of the championship tournament selection process and consist of six regions with 10 teams apiece.
NCAA Regional Rankings 3/29
Pacific Region (Listed Alphabetically)
Back In The Saddle: After missing seven games due to a fractured finger on her catching hand, catcher Amy Hanson (Mt. Vernon, Wash.) returned to the Husky batting line-up versus both California and Stanford.
Hanson had played in the field during the nine-day Spring Break trip to California, but did not bat. The sophomore was forced to sit out both the home-series with Texas and the five-game Red Desert Classic from March 2-4.
Senior third baseman Kim DePaul (Tomball, Texas) had taken over for Hanson behind the plate, catching all seven games, while not allowing a passed ball. With Hanson's return, freshman Amanda Oleson (Agoura Hills, Calif.) who had taken DePaul's spot at third base, also returned to first base.
Freshman Record Watch: With her first Pac-10 weekend under her belt, UW freshman hurler Tia Bollinger (Santa Ana, Calif.) has already broken three Husky freshman pitching records and could set one more this weekend. With eight solo shutouts and an overall record of 22-2, Bollinger also has 147 strikeouts to her credit in 28 appearances.
UW True Freshman Season Pitching Records
Over-The-Fence Club: With three more home runs last weekend, the Huskies have hit 29 home runs so far this season. Senior Kelly Hauxhurst (Westminster, Calif.) went yard twice over the three-day span, belting a pair of solo shots versus California and Stanford to double her previous season high with four in 2001.
Junior Becky Simpson (Tumwater, Calif.) also hit her second career four-bagger against Cal, while sophomore Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.) celebrated her 20th birthday with a two-run shot against Stanford on March 31.
For the season, nine different players have tallied at least one home run with Clark leading the charge with eight.
Pitcher, Pitcher: Washington freshman Megan Owen (Spokane, Wash.) took the meaning of the words "utility player" to the fullest, when she logged her first career appearance at pitcher in the team's 12-0 loss to Texas on March 15.
Owen had originally come to fall practice as a middle infielder, but later was moved to the outfield. The right-hander was a three-time all-league pick as both a shortstop and pitcher at University High School in Spokane.
Owen's appearance comes on the heels of the announcement that junior Bridget Wilcox (Olympia, Wash.), one of the team's three pitchers entering 2001, will redshirt the season due to a rib cage injury.
Streaking Away: So far this season, three Husky players have had hitting streaks of 10 games or more. Freshmen utility player Amanda Oleson had the team's longest streak of 15 games (February 11 -March 3), while classmate Rita Roach (Norwalk, Calif.) also had an 11-game hitting streak from February 17 to March 2.
After going 0-for-2 at the plate in the season-opener with Louisiana State, UW outfielder Kelly Hauxhurst (Westminster, Calif.) had at least one hit in her next 13 games before a two-game drought against Michigan State and South Carolina. Hauxhurst, however, recovered to log another seven-game streak, which ended versus over Texas (March 11). For the season the senior co-captain has reached base at least once in 34 of 36 games.
Longest Husky Hitting Streaks
Scouting the Arizona Wildcats (38-2, 2-0 Pac-10): In what is one of the Huskies' most fierce rivalries, the second-ranked Arizona Wildcats travel to Seattle for a single game, April 6.
The Wildcats, under head coach Mike Candrea, opened the season with a 31-game win streak before dropping a pair of one-run games to Louisiana-Lafayette and Texas at the Kia Klassic tournament in Fullerton, Calif.
So far this season, Arizona has been led offensively by a trio of seniors including Lauren Bauer (.474 avg., 31 SB), Nicole Giordano (.472 avg.) and Toni Mascarenas (.469 avg., 16 HR). In the circle, the Wildcats boast three pitchers - senior Becky Lemke (0.94 ERA, 13-1), junior Jennie Finch (0.43 ERA, 13-0) and freshman Jenny Gladding (0.38 ERA, 12-1) - all of whom have shared staring time this season.
While Arizona owns a sizeable lead in the all-time series (34-11), the Huskies have won six of the two schools' last 10 meetings, including four of six in 2000.
Scouting the Arizona State Sun Devils (27-9, 2-1 Pac-10): After dropping four of five in the two schools' first ever meetings in 1993, the Huskies have dominated the Sun Devils ever since, winning 28 of the next 30 games. Washington will also look to extend their current win streak over Arizona State to eight with a sweep of the two-game series this Saturday and Sunday.
This season, under head coach Linda Wells, the Sun Devils are ranked ninth nationally, posting a record of 27-9 overall and a 2-1 mark in the Pac-10. ASU freshman Phelan Wright currently leads the team with a .392 batting average, while three other players are hitting above the .350 mark. Pitcher Erica Beach (1.16 ERA, 13-5) has seen the most time in the circle, recording a career-best 89 strikeouts in 144.1 innings, while Kirsten Voak (0.76 ERA, 10-3) and Kristen Swetel (0.71 ERA, 4-1) have also seen starting time.
Close Connections: As with almost all of Washington's Pac-10 games this season, the Huskies will have more than just a few prior connections with their opponents ... UW sophomore Jaime Clark and Arizona outfielder Lauren Bauer both attended Foothill High School in Santa Ana, Calif. ... Arizona senior Nicole Giordano is the sister of former Husky standout Jeanine Giordano ... Washington's Jaime Clark and Rita Roach (Norwalk, Calif.) teamed with Arizona's Jennie Finch to help the Orange County Batbusters finish second at the ASA Nationals in 1998 ... Washington's Tia Bollinger and Arizona State's Kristin Farber and Phelan Wright all played for Gordon's Panthers.
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).
Pickering Update (March 14): 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, recently underwent 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 the weekend of April 6-8 (Arizona, Arizona St.) as well as April 27, when the Huskies play host to the Cardinal at 2 p.m., at Husky Stadium.
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 continues April 7-8, with a pair of games versus Pac--10 conference foe Arizona State, and includes two more 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. To listen to live audio broadcasts on the web, go to www.1150ksrb.com.
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.
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 423-153 record, accruing an incredible .734 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 627-314 (.666) also includes stints at Oregon and Minnesota, and ranks her 21st among the most winningest active coaches in division I softball.