No.1 Softball Takes On No.3 UCLA
May 8, 2000
IN THE POLLS (May 3)
HUSKY QUICK FACTS
LAST REGULAR-SEASON ROAD GAME: The Washington softball team, ranked No. 1 in the nation with records of 54-6 overall and 14-3 in the Pac-10, will travel to Los Angeles for one game against No. 3 UCLA (36-10-1, 11-6) on Wednesday before hosting No. 16 Oregon on Friday and a twinbill against No. 12 Oregon State on Saturday. The UCLA game will break a 1-1 series tie with the Bruins this season and will be UW's final regular-season road game of the year. The game begins at 2 p.m. and will be broadcast over the internet through UCLA's Web site (www.uclabruins.com). To listen, go to the site, click on the Audio/Video button on the left side of the screen, click on live radio broadcasts, choose Softball from the pull-down menu, and find the UCLA-Washington game.
LISTEN TO THE DAWGS ON THE RADIO: UW's first game against Oregon State on May 13 will be broadcast live on KKOL 1300-AM, with Mike Brown providing the commentary. The pregame show will begin at 1:30 p.m., with game time at 2 p.m. Coverage of the second game of that doubleheader is pending. Also, stay tuned for updates about KKOL's coverage of UW softball during the NCAA tournament.
PAC-10 STANDINGS: The Huskies hold a one-game lead in the Pac-10 race over Arizona, with UCLA three games back. 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 10th 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 six 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 63 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.
QUICKEST TO 50 WINS: This year's Husky team set yet another program record the quickest trip to 50 wins in a season. 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.
ABOUT UCLA: The No. 3 Bruins are 36-10-1 and 11-6 in the Pac-10, coming off a 1-2 weekend in which they defeated Arizona State before Arizona completed a three-game sweep of the Bruins Saturday and Sunday. UCLA is three games back in the conference race, with three other losses to UW, Arizona State and Stanford. The Bruins are led at the plate by freshman Natasha Watley's .413 average. Lyndsey Klein is hitting .368 with 46 runs and 47 RBI. Amanda Freed has carried the load from the circle, throwing 174.1 innings, including all but 32.2 during Pac-10 play. She sports a 1.41 ERA and 19-7 record with 14 strikeouts. Head coach Sue Enquist took over the position of head coach in 1997 following the retirement of Sharron Backus. The two served as co-head coaches from 1989-96. From that time, the Bruins are 569-113-1 (.834).
UW vs. UCLA: UCLA leads the series 23-11, and the Huskies and Bruins have split their two games this year. The two clubs also split last year's regular-season games, but the Bruins won the one that counted most--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.
ABOUT OREGON: The No. 16 Ducks are 34-24 overall, with half their losses coming during Pac-10 play. Oregon is in seventh place in the conference with a 6-12 mark. Before taking one from Cal on Sunday, Oregon had lost six straight league games. When Oregon beats a team, though, it does it twice, having posted two wins each over ASU, Cal and Stanford. Triawn Custer is hitting a team-high .348 and leads the squad in hits (57) and doubles (14). Jill Robinson's 44 runs and 44 RBI leads the Ducks. Connie McMurren's (15-16) 1.70 ERA and 140 strikeouts heads the staff, with Andrea Vidlund (16-7) checking in at 2.04. Head coach Rick Gamez is 138-119-1 in his fourth season at Oregon.
UW vs. OREGON: The Huskies lead the series 22-7, including two wins earlier this year at Howe Field in Eugene. Washington has shut out the Ducks 12 times and have won 11 of 14 in Seattle.
ABOUT OREGON STATE: The No. 12 Beavers (36-17-1) have suffered more than half their losses in league play, bringing a 6-11 mark into the weekend. OSU was swept last weekend by Cal and Stanford after taking two from Oregon earlier in the week to complete that sweep. The Beavers also have wins over Cal (two) and Arizona State. Tarrah Beyster heads the team offensively with a .437 average, 14 home runs and 41 RBI. Crystal Draper (12-6) has a 2.08 ERA in 161.1 innings, while Beyster (24-11) is at 2.61 with 166 Ks in 204.0 innings. Head coach Kirk Walker has a 167-182-1 mark in his sixth year.
UW vs. OSU: UW has a 26-3 advantage over the Beavers after winning two already this season. The first came in the semifinals of the Kia Klassic to the tune of a 5-2, 10-inning thriller. The Huskies have won all 14 games in Seattle, outscoring OSU 74-9 at home.
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. Visitors have gone scoreless in 85 of the past 91 innings in the confines of Husky Softball Stadium, including 42 consecutive innings dating from a 12-1 win over Tennessee in the NCAA regional tournament last season to UCLA's run in the fourth on Apr. 22.
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.
...ON THE VERGE: Several more records are endanger of getting broken, as noted below. Current totals are listed, followed parenthetically by the total it would take to break the school mark.
LAST OUTINGS: The Huskies went 2-1 in the Arizona heat last weekend but maintained control of the conference race. The No. 2 Wildcats used three solo home runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to come from behind to down UW, 3-2. Jenny Topping had crushed a center field homer in the first frame to drive in Jaime Clark, but the Husky offense was quiet thereafter. Jamie Graves went four innings before Jennifer Spediacci relieved her. It was the first time in five outings UA had beaten UW this year. Against No. 5 Arizona State, Clark hit two homers and drove in four runs, and Topping had another dinger to help the Dawgs to a 6-0 shutout behind Spediacci's nine strikeouts. The Huskies collected 10 hits, their first double-digit hit total of the conference season. UW scored seven runs off eight hits and nifty baserunning, and held off the pesky Sun Devils for a 7-3 win on Sunday. Washington scored three runs in the first frame off a double, two wild pitches and heads-up running by Kim DePaul, drawing the defense's attention while pinch runner Jessica Bork scampered home on a wild pitch. After ASU evened the score at 3-3 off a run in the second and two in the fourth, UW came back to score two runs each in the sixth and seventh innings, one off Rosie Leutzinger's third homer of the year. Spediacci (30-3) earned the win, facing just 11 batters in 3.1 innings after relieving Graves.
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 through May 7
LONG BALL RECORD PHENOMENON: The Huskies broke two school home run records early this season. Washington has hit 75 dingers in 60 games, on pace to knock about 85 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 22, and freshman Jaime Clark has 20, 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 75 dingers this season, and Jenny Topping's 22 also breaks the individual season mark.
MORE ON HOME RUNS: Washington has hit home runs in all but 17 games this season, and 138 of its 350 runs have come off four-baggers. Eight Huskies have hit two or more homers in 2000-Jenny Topping (22), Jaime Clark (20), Erin Helgeland (8), Kim DePaul (6), Jennifer Spediacci (6), Melissa Downs (3), Rosie Leutzinger (3) and Christie Rosenblad (3). 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 19 games and have five or more in 50 of 60 outings. In contrast, UW has given up more than five hits just 15 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 0.69, 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 career.
THE GOODS ON GRAVES: Graves is 23-3, with nine wins over ranked opponents. She sports a team-best 0.62 ERA, with 156 strikeouts and 34 walks in 170.1 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, was named to the NFCA Leadoff Classic all-tournament team, and earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors on May 1.
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 163), 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 0.62) 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).
"SPED-ING" AWAY WITH ANOTHER STRIKEOUT RECORD: Jennifer Spediacci has a way with strikeout records. The senior broke the UW career mark two-thirds of the way through her junior season, and she now holds the top two season marks. With nine strikeouts against Portland State on May 2, Spediacci matched last year's total of 250 and now has 262. She is 30-3, defeating 24 ranked teams, with a 0.62 ERA and 43 walks in 202.1 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 46 walks in 56 games this year, and 53 in 65 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 22 home runs, which breaks the Husky season mark. Her RBI total of 80 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 157 of their 326 RBI-almost half-coming with two outs. Jenny Topping leads in that category with 34, with Jaime Clark adding 22, Kim DePaul 21 and Jennifer Spediacci 20.
PAC-10 MOVING UP IN POLL: The Pac-10 is packing the top of the USA Today/NFCA poll this year. All eight squads are in the top 16, the league holds four the top five positions, and two more are in the top 10. Right behind the No. 1 Huskies are Arizona and UCLA, with ASU at fifth. Cal and Stanford are ninth and 10th, respectively, and OSU (12th) and Oregon (16th) round out the conference.
USA TODAY/NFCA POLL (May 3)
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.). The Dawgs will have logged 19,972 air miles and 283 bus miles by the end of the regular season.
CLARK'S TRIO OF THREE-RUN HOMERS: When freshman Jaime Clark knocked a three-run blast against No. 22 Oregon on Apr. 8, it was her third straight game of accomplishing such a feat. She also did so against No. 12 Oregon State and No. 4 California.
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.
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.
ROSENBLAD'S STREAK ENDS AGAINST FRESNO STATE: Junior Christie Rosenblad has made the most of her hitting opportunities this season. Rosenblad put together 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.
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.
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.
BURNING THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS: When the Huskies woke up the morning of Mar. 4 at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, they did not realize they would likely set an unofficial record for numbers of hours at a softball field by a Division I school at a major tournament. The day began with warmups at 8 a.m. for a 10 a.m. game against Florida (UW won, 6-1). After a quick trip to Subway across the street, UW waited for No. 17 Illinois-Chicago to finish a long game so the two teams could complete a lightening-delayed game from the day before. Starting at 3:05 p.m., the Huskies used nine minutes to complete the 6-0 win. In the quarterfinals, UW was to face No. 23 Nebraska at 8:30 p.m., but the game did not begin until 9:45 p.m. because of an extra-inning thriller on the field. The Huskies and Huskers duked it out for 2:42, finishing at 12:27 a.m. UW came back the next day to down No. 5 LSU, 3-0, and No. 8 Fresno State for the tournament title.
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 Jenny Topping.
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), SW 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
UW SOFTBALL ON THE AIRWAYS
Sat., Apr. 8 at Oregon, 1:30 p.m.-KKOL Sun., Apr. 9 at Oregon, 12:30 p.m.-KKOL Sat., Apr. 22 vs. UCLA, 1 p.m.*-Fox Sports Net Sat., Apr. 29 vs. Stanford, 1:30 p.m.-KKOL Sun., Apr. 30 vs. Stanford, 12:30 p.m.-KKOL Fri., May 5 at Arizona, 6 p.m.-KKOL (game may start in-progress at 6:30 p.m.) Sat., May 6 at Arizona State, 5:30 p.m.-KKOL Sun., May 7 at Arizona State, 12:30 p.m.-KKOL Fri., May 12 vs. Oregon, 2 p.m.-Fox Sports NW Sat., May 13 vs. Oregon State, 1:30 p.m.-KKOL radio times listed indicates pregame show
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... Eleven Huskies have multiple-hit games, led by Rosie Leutzinger's 20 and 19 by Jenny Topping 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), Red Desert Classic (St. George, Utah), NFCA Leadoff Classic (Columbus, Ga.) and Kia Klassic (Fullerton, Calif.).
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.
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 (207-58) 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).
Jaime Clark NFCA Player of the Week (3/1) Pac-10 Player of the Week (2/15) Jamie Graves Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week (5/1) Pac-10 Player of the Week (3/21) NFCA Leadoff Classic all-tournament Kelly HauxhurstPac-10 Player of the Week (4/18) NFCA Leadoff Classic all-tournament Jennifer Spediacci NFCA Player of the Week (4/18) Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week (4/18) Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week (3/28) Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week (3/21) Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week (3/7) Jenny ToppingPac-10 Player of the Week (3/7) NFCA Player of the Week (3/7) NFCA Leadoff Classic MVP
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).
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.
Name (Years at UW), current status
HUSKIES INK FOUR DURING EARLY SIGNING PERIOD: UW got four commitments from high school athletes during early signing period this fall. Callie Bergan, 1B/UT, Issaquah, Wash./Skyline H.S. Tia Bollinger, RH P, Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei H.S. Nicki Holt, SS/OF, Camarillo, Calif./Adolfo Camarillo H.S. Amanda Oleson, SS/OF, Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura H.S.
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.
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).
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.
UW'S SITUATIONAL RECORDS