Top-Ranked Huskies Head To The Desert
May 3, 2000
IN THE POLLS (Apr. 26)
HUSKY QUICK FACTS
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: After a much-welcomed 10-game homestand following 47 on the road, the No. 1 Huskies (52-5, 12-2) will travel to the Grand Canyon State this weekend to take on No. 2 Arizona (47-7, 10-4) on Friday and No. 4 Arizona State (39-13, 7-8) on Saturday and Sunday. The first two games will begin at 6 p.m., with Sunday's start time at 1 p.m.
LISTEN TO THE DAWGS ON THE RADIO: Most of the remaining regular-season games will be broadcast live on KKOL AM-1300, with Mike Brown providing the commentary. Brown will be broadcasting live from the Grand Canyon State when UW plays at Arizona on May 5 and at ASU on May 6 and 7, and when Oregon State plays in Seattle on May 13. The pregame show begins 30 minutes prior to game time for every game except the May 5 contest against Arizona.
QUICKEST TO 50 WINS: This year's Husky team set yet another program record on Sunday for quickest to 50 wins in a season. At 50-5, the 2000 squad achieved the milestone in 55 games, topping the 1996 team's pace of 57 games. Washington pushes its streak of 50-win seasons to six, with 59 wins the high mark set in 1996.
PAC-10 STANDINGS: The Huskies hold a two-game lead in the Pac-10 race over Arizona and UCLA, who are tied for second. 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.
POLLING THE HUSKIES: Washington is the No. 1 team in the nation for the ninth 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 five of the polls, including this week. 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 62 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.
LAST OUTINGS: Washington outscored No. 9 Cal and No. 11 Stanford, 12-1, in picking up three wins, but despite the scoring discrepancy, all three games were close. UW jumped out of the gates early against Cal with a two-run homer by Jaime Clark. The Bears pushed a run across in the top of the fourth, but the Huskies answered with another run of their own at the bottom of the inning for the final 3-1 score. Jamie Graves struck out five in the win. Then Stanford and UW managed just one hit apiece until the Huskies exploded in the sixth inning to score eight runs for the 8-0 win. Erin Helgeland and Rosie Leutzinger both doubled in runners, and Jennifer Spediacci's three-run shot ended the game early. Spediacci (27-2) whiffed seven. Two Cardinal errors on Sunday brought in pinch runner Jessica Bork, who entered the game at second base after a Jenny Topping double, for the only run of that outing. Graves (22-3) struck out eight in her second win of the weekend. Against Portland State, the Huskies used four home runs, including a grand slam, to outscore the Vikings 17-2 in the doubleheader. Christie Rosenblad, Jenny Topping and Jaime Clark each sent balls over the fence in the opener, and Helgeland slammed PSU in the second game. The scores were 7-0 and 10-2 in six frames.
USA TODAY/NFCA POLL (Apr. 26)
ABOUT ARIZONA: The No. 2 Wildcats (47-7, 10-4) rebounded from losing three straight games (two to UW, one to ASU), exacting revenge on ASU and sweeping Oregon. Their Oregon State game last weekend was rained out, and they stand tied with UCLA for second in the league standings. UA put together a 34-game winning streak early in the year, bookended by losses to the Huskies. Nicole Giordano leads the No. 1-hitting team in the country with a .445 average. The team is at .338. Jennie Finch and Lindsey Collins are in double-digit homers, with 14 and 12, respectively. Finch leads from the circle as well, with a 0.70 ERA in 149.0 innings. Becky Lemke's 262 strikeouts is second in the Pac-10. Head coach Mike Candrea is 794-166 in his 15th season at Arizona.
ABOUT THE SERIES: Arizona leads the series, 32-11, but the Huskies have won all four games this season and defeated UA in the CWS last year (3-0) to advance to the semifinals. Seventeen of the contests have been decided by two or fewer runs, including 11 by one run each.
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE: The No. 4 Sun Devils (39-13, 7-8) have fought to maintain the fourth spot in the Pac-10 standings, despite losing two of three last weekend. ASU has handed both Arizona and UCLA losses. The team is batting .299, led by Nichole Thompson's .367 (39 runs), Kara Brun's .350 (7 homers, 56 hits) and Erica Beach's .348 (7 homers, 42 RBI). Kirsten Voak has a 0.91 ERA with a Pac-10-leading 267 strikeouts in 224.0 innings. Beach has a 1.73 ERA in 121.2 innings. Head coach Linda Wells is 382-284 in her 11th season with the Sun Devils.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Huskies lead the all-time series, 26-6, including a 2-0 win this year in Seattle. UW won three of the four league outings last year before downing the Sun Devils in the first game of the College World Series, 4-1.
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.
STINGY WITH RUNS AT HUSKY SOFTBALL STADIUM: Washington's pitching staff is one of the best in the nation anywhere, but they are even tougher at home. The Dawgs did not allow a run to cross their own home plate in 42 consecutive innings, from a 12-1 win over Tennessee in the NCAA regional tournament last season to UCLA's run in the fourth inning last weekend. Visitors have gone scoreless in 85 of the past 91 innings in the rowdy confines of Husky Softball Stadium.
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. 30.
NCAA RECORDS WATCH
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 17, the league holds the top four positions, and three more are in the top 12. Right behind the No. 1 Huskies are Arizona, UCLA and ASU, and Cal is ninth. Stanford (11th), OSU (12th) and Oregon (17th) 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 has posted an amazing 259-36-2 (.875) mark against foes outside the conference. 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 161), 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 0.52) 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 70 home runs in 57 games, on pace to knock about 84 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 20, and freshman Jaime Clark has 18, her first coming on her second collegiate pitch. She also homered in her first-ever at-bat at Husky Softball Stadium.
"OVER THE FENCE CLUB": UW's "Over the Fence Club" has a membership of 12 this season, and eight Huskies have hit at least two. The Huskies have pounded a school-record 70 dingers this season, and Jenny Topping's 20 also breaks the individual season mark.
MORE ON HOME RUNS: Washington has hit home runs in all but 17 games this season, and 130 of its 335 runs have come off four-baggers. Eight Huskies have hit two or more homers this season-Jenny Topping (20), Jaime Clark (18), Erin Helgeland (8), Kim DePaul (6), Jennifer Spediacci (6), Melissa Downs (3), Christie Rosenblad (3), and Rosie Leutzinger (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? Erin Helgeland is the latest to be sponsored by Denny's, belting a bases-loaded homer against Portland State on May 2. Jenny Topping has served up four this year and Kim DePaul two, doing what only three other Huskies had ever done before this season. 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 18 games and have five or more in all but nine outings. In contrast, UW has given up more than five hits just 13 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 0.62, which ranks second in the nation. Graves and Spediacci also should own virtually every season and career record at UW by the end of their year.
THE GOODS ON GRAVES: Graves is 23-3, with nine wins over ranked opponents. She sports a team-best 0.52 ERA, with 152 strikeouts and 28 walks in 162.2 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, was named to the NFCA Leadoff Classic all-tournament team, and earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors on May 1.
"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-and she now holds the season mark...twice. With nine strikeouts against Portland State on May 2, Spediacci matched last year's total of 250. She is 28-2, defeating 22 ranked teams, with a 0.56 ERA and 41 walks in 188.2 innings. Spediacci has 10 or more strikeouts against nine ranked foes: 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 43 walks in 53 games this year, and 50 in 62 games in her career, she would break the NCAA career record for walks, which is 199. UW hitting coach Jen Cline, coincidentally, is third on that list with 175. Topping also has 20 home runs, which breaks the Husky season mark. Her RBI total of 77 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 152 of their 313 RBI-almost half-coming with two outs. Jenny Topping leads in that category with 32, with Jaime Clark adding 22, Kim DePaul 21 and Jennifer Spediacci 18.
HAUXHURST RECORDS 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 .317 with 44 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 a third strike, if the catcher 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 Shannon Walsh.
BIG INNINGS: UW has put together some high-scoring innings. The Dawgs scored eight runs in the sixth inning against No. 11 Stanford and got seven in the sixth frame versus Southwest Texas State and Utah. The Huskies pushed six across in the first frame vs. South Florida and Portland State and scored five against several teams: 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).
INNING BY INNING
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 27-3 in shutouts this year and has won all 12 of its run-rule games...Eleven Huskies have multiple-hit games, led by Jenny Topping's 19, and 18 by Rosie Leutzinger and 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.).
SPEDIACCI, HAUXHURST EARN PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS: Senior Jennifer Spediacci was named NFCA Player of the Week Apr. 21 for her performance against No. 2 Arizona and No. 4 Arizona State, 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.
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 SWEEP PAC-10 HONORS, ROUND TWO: Jamie Graves and Jennifer Spediacci swept 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.
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.
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.
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. Spediacci posted a 0.29 ERA, earning three complete-game wins and two shutouts over three ranked opponents: No. 8 Fresno State, allowing just one hit and striking out 10 in the championship game, No. 17 Illinois-Chicago (6-0), and No. 23 Nebraska (10-2), with 12 strikeouts. In 24.0 innings of work, she struck out 36, allowed just one earned run and held opposing batters to a .108 average. She also picked up a save against Florida, striking out four and allowing no hits in three innings. Topping earned the honor for the first time in her career, while it was Spediacci's sixth such honor.
CLARK EARNS NATIONAL HONORS: Freshman Jaime Clark earned 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 collecting 10 RBI with one walk and no strikeouts.
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.
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.
UW SOFTBALL ON THE AIRWAYS
time listed indicates pregame show
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 (205-57) 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.
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.
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.
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).