Softball Hosts National Championship Rematch This Weekend
April 19, 2000
IN THE POLLS (Apr. 19)
HUSKY QUICK FACTS
1999 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP, TAKE 2: The top-ranked UW softball team (46-4) continues its opening homestand this weekend, hosting No. 3 UCLA (32-7, 7-2) on Friday at 2 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. The Huskies hold a one-game lead over the Bruins in the Pac-10 standings. The third game of their regular-season series will be at UCLA on May 10. Saturday's outing will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net. Tod Pickett and Angie Arlati will provide play-by-play and color.
SPRING FLING WEEKEND MEANS FREE ADMISSION: Saturday is UW's fifth annual Spring Fling, when various activities and games take place on campus and are all free of charge to the public. The weekend begins with the UW women's soccer team playing the Over-30 national squad at 10 a.m., followed by the UW football scrimmage at 11:30 a.m. Should the Husky Softball Stadium become sold out, spectators may watch the game from the east end of Husky Football Stadium.
PAC-10 STANDINGS: The Huskies entered last weekend tied for second in the Pac-10 standings, but after sweeping Arizona and Arizona State, and both Arizona and ASU handing UCLA a loss, UW took sole possession of first place. Washington's only conference title was in 1996, when the team finished 23-4 in the league and 59-9 overall as the College World Series runners-up.
Pl Team Pac-10 Pct. Games Back Overall Pct. 1. Washington 8-1 .889 --- 46-4 .920 2. UCLA 7-2 .778 1 32-7 .821 3. Arizona 7-3 .700 2 44-6 .880 4. Arizona State 5-5 .500 3.5 37-10 .787 5. Oregon 4-6 .400 4.5 29-17 .630 6. Oregon State 3-7 .300 5.5 31-13 .716 7. California 3-8 .273 6 39-14 .736 Stanford 3-8 .273 6 34-11 .756
SPEDIACCI, HAUXHURST EARN PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS: Senior Jennifer Spediacci was named NFCA Player of the Week for her performance against No. 2 Arizona and No. 4 Arizona State last weekend, and she and junior Kelly Hauxhurst swept the Pac-10 Pitcher and Player of the Week honors. It marked the third time this season the Huskies have swept the awards. Hauxhurst hit .538 (7-13), including 3-for-3 on Sunday against Arizona. Her seven hits included a double and a triple for a slugging percentage of .846, and she scored four runs and knocked in two more. Spediacci went 2-0 while maintaining a 0.00 ERA, with complete-game shutouts over ASU and UA. She struck out 23 in 14.0 innings and held opposing batters, including the nation's best-hitting team in UA and the eighth-best in ASU, to a .176 average. She walked just two batters and offensively hit a three-run homer against Arizona on Sunday.
STINGY WITH RUNS AT HUSKY SOFTBALL STADIUM: Washington's pitching staff is one of the best in the nation, but they are even tougher at home. The Dawgs have not allowed a run to cross their own home plate in 37 consecutive innings, dating back to a 12-1 win over Tennessee in the NCAA regional tournament last season. Prior to that, UW opponents posted goose eggs on the scoreboard for the previous nine innings, meaning opponents have gone scoreless in 46 of the past 47 innings in the friendly confines of Husky Softball Stadium.
POLLING THE HUSKIES: Washington is the No. 1 team in the nation for the eighth straight week in the USA Today/NFCA poll after appearing in the second spot in the preseason rankings. The Huskies have been the unanimous choice in four of the polls. UW has been ranked No. 1 three other weeks in program history, all late during the 1996 season, and have been ranked in the top six in the nation the past 61 weeks dating back to the first weekly poll in 1996. UW has been in the top 25 every year since late in its inaugural year.
ABOUT UCLA: The Bruins are ranked third in the nation and bring records of 32-7 and 7-2 into the weekend. UCLA has put together two lengthy winning streaks this season. The squad opened winning nine games before dropping two in a row to Hofstra and Sacramento State. They then reeled off another 14 in a row before another pair of back-to-back losses to Illinois State and No. 7 Fresno State. The Bruins have a 13-4 mark against ranked opponents. Natasha Watley leads UCLA offensively, with a .419 average, including seven doubles, four triples and a home run, and 21 stolen bases. Julie Marshall leads in the power department with nine homers, five doubles and two triples. Amanda Freed posts a 1.04 ERA in 134.2 innings with 155 strikeouts, and Courtney Dale made her first apperance last weekend after injuring her throwing arm earlier in the year. Head coach Sue Enquist is in her 21st year as a member of the UCLA coaching staff. She solely took over the role of UCLA's head coach in 1997 following the retirement of longtime Bruin coach Sharron Backus. The two served as co-head coaches from 1989-96. Since then, the Bruins have compiled a 565-110 (.837) record.
ABOUT THE SERIES: UCLA leads the series 22-10, and the Huskies and Bruins split their four regular-season games last year, but the Bruins won the one that counted--the national championship game. The Huskies had ended the Bruins' season in the 1996 College World Series, but UCLA returned the deed a year later. Half of UW's wins have come in Seattle against 10 losses.
PAC-10 SCHEDULE FEATURES SINGLE-GAME WEEKENDS: The Pac-10 schedule will have a different look to it this season. In the past, teams have played home-and-away weekend doubleheaders with each league foe. This season, single games will be played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with each team playing the other three times in a home-and-away format. For instance, when UW plays the Arizona schools, it will face Arizona State on Friday and Arizona on Saturday and Sunday. When UW travels, it will play Arizona on Friday and Arizona State on Saturday and Sunday.
LAST WEEK: The Huskies opened their homestand with a bang, shutting out No. 4 Arizona State (2-0) and No. 2 Arizona (2-0, 7-0) before a packed stadium. Jaime Clark introduced the fans to UW's power hitting, smacking a towering home run in her first-ever at-bat--and the team's third at-bat at home this season--against ASU. Another run in the second inning and 11 strikeouts for Jennifer Spediacci gave UW the 2-0 win. Jamie Graves and Kim DePaul delivered the heroics on Saturday against Arizona, with Graves fanning nine batters and DePaul knocked a two-out, bases-loaded double to drive in both runs of that win. The Huskies then exploded for seven runs against the Wildcats on Sunday and Spediacci mowed down 12 for the team's third straight shutout over top-four teams. A wild first inning produced two runs, Spediacci and Melissa Downs homered, and the Huskies scored at least one in the first four frames to put the game away. The week began with a doubleheader sweep of Portland State (6-0, 8-3).
I FEEL LIKE A BROKEN RECORD: The Huskies have broken so many records this season, and are near so many others, it almost seems redundant to keep mentioning them all...but I will anyway.
WASHINGTON IN THE NATIONAL STATISTICS: UW ranks high in several individual and team statistical categories nationally. Following are the stats through games played Apr. 9.
PAC-10 MOVING UP IN POLL: You've never had to look far to find Pac-10 representatives in the USA Today/NFCA poll, and now your search will be even shorter. All eight squads are in the top 20, the league holds the top four positions, and three more are in the top 13. Right behind the No. 1 Huskies are Arizona, UCLA and ASU (tie), and Cal is ninth. Stanford (12th), OSU (13th) and Oregon (20th) round out the conference.
STRENGTH OF THE PAC-10: If anyone still questions the strength of the Pac-10 in softball, consider this: the league posted an amazing 241-39-1 (.859) pre-league mark, with nine losses against other Pac-10 foes and 23 to top-25 foes. Last year the league sent all eight teams to the NCAA for the first time in history.
THAT'S QUITE A ROAD TRIP: Washington opened the season with a very long road trip, of sorts. Although the Huskies returned home between each trip, they played 47 games-about 73 percent of their regular-season schedule-on the road before gracing the fields of Husky Softball Stadium this weekend. Washington will play 13 home contests by mid-May, 11 against teams ranked in the top 25.
ZONING OUT: In the first six weekends of play this season, the Huskies played in no one time zone on consecutive weekends and hit all four in the contiguous United States during that span: Mountain Time (Tucson, Ariz.), Pacific Time (Northridge, Calif.), Central Time (Austin, Texas), Mountain Time (St. George, Utah), Eastern Time (Columbus, Ga.) and Pacific Time (Fullerton, Calif.). Washington has logged 15,852 air miles and 283 bus miles so far this season.
ANOTHER TOP-25 LADEN SCHEDULE: Eighteen of Washington's 32 regular-season opponents this season are ranked in the top 25 in the polls or were at game time. With all eight Pac-10 teams in the rankings, all 21 league outings and 20 non-league games will be vs. top-25 squads.
CLARK'S TRIO OF THREE-RUN HOMERS: When freshman Jaime Clark knocked a three-run blast against No. 22 Oregon, it was her third straight game of accomplishing such a feat. She also did so against No. 12 Oregon State and No. 4 California.
21-HIT SALUTE: Senior Rosie Leutzinger singled or better in 21 straight games this season to topple the school mark of 15 in that category. Leutzinger garnered a hit in every game from the Mar. 4 outing against No. 23 Nebraska to the Apr. 8 game vs. No. 12 Oregon State, none of which were played in the comforts of Husky Softball Stadium. During that span, she had nine multiple-hit games and faced 15 ranked foes. Her batting average of .395 (32-81) included six doubles and a triple.
LEUTZINGER STEALS THE RECORD: Senior Rosie Leutzinger topped UW's most wanted list in the thieves department. Her stolen base in the sixth inning of the first game against Long Beach State on Mar. 24 gave her a program-record 106 stolen bases in 124 attempts, topping Shelley Brown's numbers of 105/118. Leutzinger has 23 SB this season and 107 in her career, and should have three season totals in UW's top 10 by the end of her career.
GRAVES KILLS APPEARANCES RECORD: Senior Jamie Graves toppled another record in UW's first outing against Cal this year. Graves' appearance that game gave her 154 in her career (she now has 157), displacing Stephanie Burns for the top spot in that category. She already holds the UW season records for ERA (0.76--she currently is at 0.55) and appearances (53), and the season and career marks for saves (6 and 10), and fewest walks per seven innings (0.59 and 0.92).
LONG BALL RECORD PHENOMENON: The Huskies already have broken two school home run records this season. Washington has hit 63 home runs in 50 games, on pace to knock about 86 balls out of the park. That number would more than double the previous program record of 39 set in 1995. The long ball hasn't figured prominently in Washington's success the past couple of years, with just 26 a year ago and 15 in 1998. Redshirt Jenny Topping leads the squad with a program-record 19, and freshman Jaime Clark has 16, her first coming on her second collegiate pitch.
"OVER THE FENCE CLUB": UW's "Over the Fence Club" has a membership of 12 this season, and seven Huskies have hit at least two. The Huskies have pounded a school-record 63 dingers this season, and Jenny Topping's 19 also breaks the individual season mark.
MORE ON HOME RUNS: Washington has hit home runs in all but 15 games this season, and 115 of its 303 runs have come off four-baggers. Seven Huskies have hit two or more homers this season-Jenny Topping (19), Jaime Clark (16), Erin Helgeland (7), Kim DePaul (6), Jennifer Spediacci (5), Melissa Downs (3) and Christie Rosenblad (2). Four UW players have hit two or more four-baggers in one day: Clark (twice), DePaul (twice), Helgeland and Topping (four times).
THIS NOTE SPONSORED BY DENNY'S: Grand slam, anyone? Jenny Topping has served up four this year and Kim DePaul two, doing what only three other Huskies had ever done before. Topping's latest came at Portland State on Apr. 10. She also slammed Utah at the Red Desert Classic, her second in as many days after serving up No. 25 Oklahoma State the previous day. Another came at the hands of No. 17 Illinois-Chicago at the NFCA Leadoff Classic. DePaul, a Tomball, Texas, native, debuted in the Lone Star State by hitting a bases-loaded home run in the second game against Southwest Texas State and added another against Utah.
HIT INEQUITY: There seems to be an inequity in the hit category of Washington games. The Huskies have collected double-digit hits in 16 games and have five or more in all but five outings. In contrast, UW has given up more than five hits just nine times. The Dawgs pounded 15 hits in five innings against South Florida for a season high.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PITCHING?: With all this talk about the Husky hitters, one might forget UW has one of the best pitching staffs in the nation. Seniors Jamie Graves and Jennifer Spediacci each have earned All-America honors, and last year, with sophomores Shannon Walsh and Bridget Wilcox, UW had the second-best staff in the nation with a 0.88 ERA. The foursome are on their way to possibly breaking that school record in 2000, with a staff ERA of 0.65, which ranks fourth in the nation. Graves and Spediacci also should own virtually every season and career record at UW.
THE GOODS ON GRAVES: Graves is 20-3, with seven wins over ranked opponents. She sports a team-best 0.55 ERA, with 128 strikeouts and 23 walks in 140.1 innings. The lefty had a career-best day in the semifinals of the Kia Klassic against No. 12 Oregon State, striking out 12 and hitting her first-ever home run. She threw 8.1 innings, allowing no earned runs, before Jennifer Spediacci relieved her to pick up the win. Graves earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors for her efforts during the Kia Klassic and was named to the NFCA Leadoff Classic all-tournament team after shutting down Utah and No. 5 Louisiana State in the semifinals.
"SPED-ING" TOWARD ANOTHER STRIKEOUT RECORD: Jennifer Spediacci already holds the UW career strikeout mark-she established that record two-thirds of the way through her junior season-but she could break her own season mark of 250 this season. Spediacci has 224 whiffs in 169.0 innings at about the halfway mark of the year. She is 25-1, defeating 20 ranked teams, with a 0.58 ERA and 30 walks. Spediacci has struck out 10 or more batters against nine ranked opponents: No. 19 Texas (12), No. 17 Illinois-Chicago (10), No. 23 Nebraska (12), No. 8 Fresno State (10), No. 14 Iowa (11), her 13 against No. 16 Louisiana-Lafayette and No. 12 Oregon State was a career high, No. 4 Arizona State (11) and No. 2 Arizona (12).
TOPPING THE RECORDS: At her current rate, Jenny Topping could own quite a few offensive records at Washington, both season and career, along with a national mark or two. Realizing her career is young, consider: with 34 walks in 46 games this year, and 41 in 55 games in her career, she would break the NCAA career record for walks, which is 178. UW hitting coach Jen Cline, coincidentally, is second on that list with 175. Topping also has 19 home runs, which breaks the Husky season mark. Her RBI total of 74 also tops the UW mark of 71.
HER REPUTATION PRECEDES HER: Redshirt freshman Jenny Topping had made only 32 plate appearances as a Husky prior to this season. Yet her first three of the 2000 season were walks, two of them intentional, against first-team All-American pitcher Courtney Blades. Topping hit .533 (8-for-15) in her first six games as a freshman before tearing her ACL in the eighth game of the season. She hit three homers, knocked in 11 runs and walked seven times a year ago.
CLUTCH HITTING: The Huskies have had some clutch hitting this season, with 143 of their 282 RBI-more than half-coming with two outs. Jenny Topping leads in that category with 30, with Jaime Clark adding 22, Kim DePaul 19 and Jennifer Spediacci 15.
HAUXHURST PUTS TOGETHER 15-GAME STREAK: Junior Kelly Hauxhurst put together a string of 15 games in which she collected at least one hit, tying the school record in that category before senior Rosie Leutzinger's 21-game streak. Hauxhurst hit at least one single in every outing from games against Cal State Northridge (2/12) through Utah (2/26). She was 17-52 during that streak, hitting .327. She is hitting .313 with 40 runs scored.
ROSENBLAD'S STREAK ENDS AGAINST FRESNO STATE: Junior Christie Rosenblad has made the most of her hitting opportunities this season and has become a steady fixture in the offensive lineup after hitting part-time a year ago. Rosenblad's .337 average, fifth on the squad, was been bolstered by a 14-game hitting streak, which ended against Fresno State in the title game of the NFCA Leadoff Classic. The second baseman hit .475 (19-40) during that streak, including 10 runs, three RBI, three doubles and a homer.
FOUR STRIKEOUTS IN AN INNING?: Three strikeouts in an inning just isn't enough for Jennifer Spediacci. In the fifth inning against No. 23 Nebraska (at approximately 11:45 p.m.), Spediacci fanned four batters. How? On third strikes, if the catchers drops the ball, the batter must be thrown out at first or will be called safe, which is what happened.
THREE PITCHES AND YOU'RE OUT: Jennifer Spediacci needed just nine pitches to strike out the side in the first inning against No. 17 Illinois-Chicago at the NFCA Leadoff Classic. She followed that by striking out the next two batters and struck out two in the final inning. All totaled, she whiffed 10 Flames.
DEAR DIARY...: Wonder what goes on behind the scenes and in the minds of Husky softball players and coaches? You'll have two opportunities 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 every other Thursday, starting Feb. 17, while one Husky player per week will write about the team's fortunes on and off the field. Those will be posted on www.gohuskies.com each Tuesday, beginning Feb. 15. Check in this week with Jeanine Giordano.
BIG INNINGS: Washington has put together some high-scoring innings. The Huskies scored seven runs in the sixth inning against Southwest Texas State and Utah, and got six in the first frame versus South Florida and Portland State. UW put five runs across against San Diego State (first inning), Cal State Northridge (fourth), Southwest Texas State (fifth), No. 19 Texas (second), No. 25-tie Oklahoma State (fifth), No. 23 Nebraska (fifth) and No. 4 Cal (second).
SIX-FOR-SIX: The Huskies won all six regular-season tournaments they entered this season. UW swept through five tournaments undefeated: the Pepsi Arizona Classic, the Matador Invitational, the Red Desert Classic, a title they shared with Stanford, the NFCA Leadoff Classic, and the Kia Klassic. The Dawgs also brought home the Texas Invitational title, avenging a loss in round-robin play to No. 7 LSU in the championship game.
U-DUB DRIBBLES: UW broke the school record for consecutive wins with 23 from mid-February to mid-March. The Huskies sandwiched a loss between streaks of nine and 23 to jump out to the best start in program history...UW is 24-1 in shutouts this year and has won all 10 of its run-rule games...Eleven Huskies have multiple-hit games, led by Jenny Topping's 18, 17 by Rosie Leutzinger and 16 by Jaime Clark...UW is one of only two teams which has a current four-year streak of appearances at the College World Series. Arizona is the other...UW is tied for sixth all-time in CWS wins with 11 and was the youngest program to win a game in the NCAA CWS...UW competed in six regular-season tournaments in five different states this season: Arizona Softball Classic (Tucson, Ariz.), Matador Invitational (Northridge, Calif.), Texas Invitational (Austin, Texas), Utah Tournament (St. George, Utah), NFCA Leadoff Classic (Columbus, Ga.) and Kia Klassic (Fullerton, Calif.).
JAIME CLARK DEBUTS WITH PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS: Freshman shortstop/right fielder Jaime Clark burst on to the collegiate scene with power and consistency, earning the season's first Pac-10 Player of the Week honor. In seven games, three against top-five opponents, Clark hit .444 (8-18) with a 1.167 slugging percentage. She knocked her second collegiate pitch-against first-team All-American Courtney Blades, no less-out of the park at the Pepsi Arizona Classic. In that tournament, in which No. 2 Washington defeated No. 5 Southern Miss twice and No. 4 Arizona once, Clark registered a home run, a double and three walks.
CLARK EARNS NATIONAL HONORS: Freshman Jaime Clark earned Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player of the Week honors after her .706 (12-17) performance at the Red Desert Classic. In five games, Clark turned in four home runs and three doubles for a 1.588 slugging percentage. The shortstop/right fielder maintained a 1.000 fielding percentage while collected 10 RBI with one walk and no strikeouts.
HUSKIES SWEEP PAC-10 HONORS: Jennifer Spediacci and Jenny Topping earned Pac-10 Pitcher and Player of the Week honors for their performances at the NFCA Leadoff Classic. Topping earned the honor for the first time in her career, while it was Spediacci's sixth such honor.
ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Jenny Topping hit five homers, including two game-winners, to earn MVP honors at the NFCA Leadoff Classic. She hit .667 (10-15), with two doubles, 12 RBI and five walks for 1.800 slugging and .750 on-base percentages while playing first base, catcher and designated hitter. Jamie Graves (3-0 and 0.44 ERA with 10 strikeouts and a shutout over No. 5 Louisiana State) and Kelly Hauxhurst (eight runs, two doubles, a career-first homer and two stolen bases) also earned spots on the all-tournament team.
TOPPING EARNS NFCA HONORS: Jenny Topping was named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player of the Week after the NFCA Leadoff Classic. She won the tournament's "triple crown," leading the Classic in batting average (.667 on 10-for-15), home runs (five) and RBI (12). Topping's solo home run was the difference in UW's 1-0 win over No. 8 Fresno State in the title game. Topping follows shortstop/outfielder Jaime Clark with the honor.
HUSKIES SWEEP PAC-10 HONORS, ROUND TWO: Jamie Graves and Jennifer Spediacci Pac-10 Player and Pitcher of the Week honors for their performances at the Kia Klassic, which helped UW win the title. It was the second time this season UW has swept the awards. Graves led the Dawgs at the plate, hitting .400 (4-10) over the weekend, including her first career home run to help the Huskies down No. 12 Oregon State in the semifinals. In that game, Graves also pitched 8.1 innings and struck out a career-best 12 batters before Spediacci relieved her to earn the win. Graves also hit two doubles, one in the midst of a three-run second inning against No. 2 Arizona in the final to put the Huskies ahead for good. She maintained a 0.00 ERA in 20.1 innings, with 20 strikeouts and two shutout wins, blanking No. 7 Fresno State and Texas. Spediacci went 5-0, including four wins over top-25 teams, four complete games and two shutouts. She allowed just one earned run in 30.2 innings, a 0.23 ERA, while striking out 46 and allowing just 13 hits. Spediacci defeated No. 2 Arizona in the final, shut out No. 16 ULL and DePaul, and handed No. 14 Iowa and No. 12 Oregon State defeats. Batters hit just .123 against her. Offensively, she hit a homer and knocked in four runs.
SPEDIACCI EARNS PAC-10 PITCHER OF THE WEEK HONORS: Senior Jennifer Spediacci maintained a 0.00 ERA through 19.0 innings of play to post three wins, including shutouts over No. 11 Cal State Fullerton and No. 19 Long Beach State, to earn Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors Mar. 28. Spediacci threw two complete games and struck out 23 batters while holding opposing hitters to a .186 batting average. Spediacci also was third on the team at the plate, hitting .364 (4-11), with one triple, two RBI and two walks. The award was her third of the season and eighth of her career.
HUSKIES NO. 2 IN PAC-10 COACHES POLL: The NCAA runners-up Washington softball team earned three first-place votes from Pac-10 coaches and was picked to finish second in the powerhouse Pac-10 Conference this season behind UCLA. UW picked up 44 points, just three behind the Bruins' 47. Arizona finished third in the poll with 38 points, followed by ASU (28), Stanford (23), Oregon State (19), California (13) and Oregon (12).
RADIO SCHEDULE RELEASED: Eight Husky softball games will be aired on KKOL 1300-AM this season, with Mike Brown handling play-by-play for the third-straight season. UW is one of the few softball programs in the nation with regular-season games broadcast by a local radio station. Times listed indicate time of the pregame show, which precedes the game by 30 minutes except when noted.
UW SOFTBALL ON THE AIRWAYS
SEXTET OF SENIORS: The Dawgs will be a veteran group this year, led by six seniors who already have stamped their marks on the program. Melissa Downs, Jeanine Giordano, Jamie Graves, Erin Helgeland, Rosie Leutzinger and Jennifer Spediacci have taken the Huskies to three straight College World Series semifinals, finishing second in 1999, and have won 78 percent (199-56) of their games while wearing the Purple and Gold. The group includes three All-Americans (Graves, Leutzinger, Spediacci), five UW record holders (Giordano, Graves, Helgeland, Leutzinger, Spediacci), three WPSL draft picks (Giordano, Graves, Spediacci) and two Washington natives (Downs, Helgeland).
USA SOFTBALL TEAM TO PLAY IN HUSKY SOFTBALL STADIUM: The USA Softball women's national team will make Seattle one of its 31 stops across America in preparation for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. The squad, which won the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games, will play an exhibition game at Husky Softball Stadium on July 16 against players from the Women's Pro Softball League's Akron Racers. Stay tuned for more details.
FOUR HUSKIES CHOSEN IN WPSL DRAFTS FOR 2000 SEASON: Four current or former members of the Husky softball team were drafted by Women's Pro Softball League teams in preparation of the 2000 season, which runs June through August. Former All-American and current assistant coach Jennifer Cline went seventh in the Elite/Supplemental Draft, chosen by the Tampa Bay FireStix. Cline played for the Virginia Roadsters last season. Seniors Jamie Graves, Jennifer Spediacci and Jeanine Giordano were picked 19th, 20th and 22nd, respectively, in the Senior Draft. The Akron Racers snagged Graves and Giordano, and Spediacci will join Cline with the Tampa Bay FireStix. Former Husky Sara Pickering, who played with the Virginia Roadsters last summer, is now a member of the Akron Racers. The revamped league consists of four teams located in national training centers planned for Akron, Ohio, and Plant City, Fla. The Akron Races and the 1999 WPSL champion Tampa Bay FireStix remain as the foundation of the league. The Ohio Pride will share Firestone Stadium with the Racers, while the Florida Wahoos will join the FireStix in Plant City Stadium. The season includes 64 league games, 12 regular-season exhibitions, a best-of-three WPSL Championship Series, and two season-ending all-star exhibitions. ESPN2 has agreed to increase its WPSL television coverage from nine to 10 games for the 2000 season.
HUSKIES INK FOUR DURING EARLY SIGNING PERIOD: UW got four commitments from high school athletes during early signing period this fall.
NEWBRY LONE STARTER LOST FROM '99 SEASON: Becky Newbry is the only starter lost from last season, but the three-time All-American will be difficult to replace. Newbry saved her best season for her last, earning first-team All-America honors while hitting .436. That average ranked second in the Pac-10 and 17th in the nation. She 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). The Olympia, Wash., native became the program's first three-time All-American and broke the unofficial position record, playing at every spot in the field except pitcher in her career. All of that came after Newbry joined the team as a walk-on in 1996. Newbry recently won Seattle Post-Intelligencer's 1999 Female Seattle Sports Star of the Year award.
A LOOK BACK AT THE 1999 SEASON: After finishing third in the Pac-10 Conference, Washington turned it up a notch in the NCAA tournament, skating undefeated through its own regional and defeating three Pac-10 squads to advance to the College World Series final for the second time in four years. The Huskies clicked on all cylinders during the postseason, batting 40 points higher as a team in the playoffs than in the regular season and lowering their ERA by 36 points. UW hosted and won the No. 3 Regional by downing Colgate (8-0 in six), Tennessee (12-1 in five), Cal State Fullerton (1-0 in nine) and Hawai'i (3-0). At the World Series, the Dawgs then topped Arizona State (4-1), Arizona (3-0) and Cal (3-0) before a two-out, seventh-inning rally fell a run short against UCLA (3-2).
UW'S SITUATIONAL RECORDS