Huskies Head To Norman For NCAA Regional
May 14, 2001
For the second time in its nine-year history, the 12th-ranked Washington softball team is headed to Norman, Okla., for NCAA regional action.
The Huskies, who also traveled to Norman in 1997, are seeded second in their region and will face fifth-seeded Seton Hall, at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 17.
The UW, which is making its eighth-straight trip to the NCAAs, earned an at-large bid to the 48-team tournament and is seeded 12th overall.
2001 NCAA SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT:
First Time For Everything:
The UW owns winning records over the other two schools in region No. 5 - Oklahoma and Massachusetts - but has not faced either team since 1999 and 1998, respectively.
Hitting The Road:
UW NCAA Regional Quick Facts:
- The UW owns a current 17-game NCAA regional win streak dating back to a 3-1 loss in 1995.
- This is Washington's eighth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament in the nine-year history of the program. The team has won five consecutive regional titles (1996-2000) to advance to the College World Series.
- The UW is 20-4 all-time in NCAA regional action, including a 6-4 mark on the road.
The Pac-10 Packs Them In:
On The Air Waves:
UW is one of the few softball programs in the nation with its games broadcast by a local radio station. Listen to live audio broadcasts on the web at www.1150ksrb.com.
Give Me A Three:
The third place is Washington's eighth straight, top-four finish in conference play after beginning with a seventh place in 1993. Arizona claimed the 2001 Pac-10 title with a 19-2 mark, while the Huskies had been picked to finish fourth behind Arizona, UCLA and Arizona State in the preseason conference coaches poll.
Earlier this season, the UW reached another milestone, claiming the program's 400th victory with an 11-3 win over New Mexico State in the team's second game of the year.
Washington freshman pitcher Tia Bollinger (Santa Ana, Calif.) was named Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year and was joined by sophomore All-American Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.) on the all-conference first team.
Senior Kelly Hauxhurst (Westminster, Calif.) was the team's lone selection on the second team, moving up after being an honorable mention selection a year ago.
UW senior third baseman Kim DePaul (Tomball,Texas), who garnered her fourth Pac-10 honor in as many seasons, was joined by first-time Pac-10 honorees senior Christie Rosenblad (Fillmore, Calif.) and freshman Amanda Oleson (Agoura Hills, Calif.) on the conference honorable mention squad.
Scouting The Field:
Five of the 30 teams the Huskies have yet to face are in the Region 5 tournament. Of the six teams in the region 5 tournament, three (Seton Hall, North Carolina and Lehigh) are making their first-ever NCAA appearances. The other three teams, meanwhile, have each advanced at least once to the NCAA College World Series, with Oklahoma claiming the national title over UCLA a year ago.
The Seton Hall Pirates (29-14, 13-7 BIG EAST):
Under head coach Ray Vander May, Seton Hall boasts four players with batting averages above .300. Senior outfielder Marlena Kotynski carries a team-best .371 batting average, while freshman Mary Carroll Smith is first on the team in runs scored (35), home runs (8) and RBI (28). In the circle, senior Misty Beaver (15-6, 1.19 ERA) and sophomore Christina Shanko (12-8, 1.85 ERA) have seen the majority of the starting time.
So far in 2001, the Pirates have recorded three wins over NCAA tournament teams, including Illinois-Chicago (5-0), Connecticut (3-0) and Notre Dame (2-1).
The Oklahoma Sooners (45-7, 14-2 Big 12):
Under head coach Patti Gasso, the Sooners return four All-Americans, including first-team selections Ashli Barrett and Lisa Carey. Carey and sophomore utility player Kelli Braitsch are both hitting above .400 in 2001, while Barrett boasts a team-best 14 home runs and 57 RBI. Pitcher Jennifer Stewart is the ace of the Sooner staff, going 32-3 overall with a 1.28 ERA in 230 innings of work. Freshman Adrianne Ratcliff (12-3, 2.49 ERA) has been the team's other main starting pitcher.
Washington owns a 3-2 all-time record against Oklahoma, winning each of the last two meetings in 1999 and 1998 after dropping a pair in 1997.
The North Carolina Tar Heels (37-17-1, 6-2 ACC):
So far in 2001, Tar Heel catcher Natalie Anter leads her team in batting with a .338 mark, including 50 hits, 14 doubles and 29 RBI. Junior Kelly Ramsey (5 HR, 24 RBI) and senior Michelle Semmes (.309, 31 RBI) are also offensive threats for coach Donna Papa's team. In the circle, senior Radara McHugh (23-10, 0.93 ERA) and sophomore Michael Parrott (14-7, 2.00 ERA) have combined to throw all 55 games.
The Massachusetts Minutewomen (43-11, 21-0 Atlantic 10):
Under head coach Elaine Sortino, UMass has been lead offensively by junior Cherra Wheeler, who is hitting .338 with 13 doubles and six home runs. Five other Minutewomen are batting above .300, while pitcher Jennifer Hadley (19-6, 1.48) leads the team in wins, strikeouts (130) and innings pitcheed (165.0).
Washington is a perfect 4-0 all-time versus UMass with the most recent meeting being a 1-0 Husky win in the first game of the 1998 College World Series.
The Lehigh Mountain Hawks (38-13, 18-2 Patriot):
Under head coach Fran Troyan, Lehigh boasts a .318 team batting average with Jenny Bender leading the way with a .401 mark and 34 RBI. Stephanie Digneo is hitting .394 with 38 runs scored and 14 doubles so far in 2001. Five Mountain Hawks have seen pitching time this season, with Bender, a left-hander, and Stephanie Howell combining for 29 of the team's 38 wins.
Kelly's Killin' Them:
A team co-captain, Hauxhurst moved into the national rankings two weeks ago for batting average, jumping up three spots last week into a tie for 43rd. The team's starting leftfielder leads the team in batting average with a .384 mark, 83 points higher than her previous career mark of .301. She is also first on the team in hits (64) with two double-digit hit streaks in 2001. Overall, Hauxhurst has reached base in 53 of 58 games, tallying at least one hit in 46 games.
Clark and senior Christie Rosenbald have both hit two home runs in a game this season. Clark did so in the team's victory over Portland State April 24, while Rosenblad hit two each in back-to-back games against Texas Tech and South Carolina. Interestingly, all three times a UW player has hit more than one home run in a game, they have come in consecutive at-bats.
UW senior Kim DePaul hit her third career grand slam, the Huskies' first of the year, in a 5-1 victory over California on April 28, while Clark crushed her first career grand slam to lift the team past Arizona State last weekend.
After going 0-for-2 at the plate in the season-opener with Louisiana State, UW outfielder Kelly Hauxhurst 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 Texas (March 11), and then had a 10-game hit streak going prior to the season-ending doubleheader with Arizona.
Doing the Defensive Shuffle:
Keeping Tabs On Tia:
See where Bollinger ranks among the Huskies top pitchers of all-time on page 26.
Head Coach Teresa Wilson:
As the only head coach in Husky history, Wilson has led the Huskies to a 436-162 record, accruing an incredible .729 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 640-323 (.665) also includes stints at Oregon and Minnesota, and ranks her 21st among the winningest active coaches in division I softball.
Other 2001 Season Notes
Rosenblad Hits Four Home Runs...In A Row:
The senior's streak began in her second at bat against Texas Tech - a solo shot to left field in the fourth inning. Rosenblad then followed it up with what would turn out to be the game-winning home run in the sixth inning, a two-run, two-out shot which broke a 1-1 tie.
In the team's next game versus 18th-ranked South Carolina, Rosenblad slapped a pair of solo home runs in both the second and fourth innings, with the latter being the game-winner in Washington's 5-1 victory. The streak finally came to a halt in the fifth inning on a long foul-out to left field.
Although there is no category for Rosenblad's accomplishment in the NCAA record book, the second baseman did post a career high for home runs in a season, and became just the third player in team history to hit two home runs in a game twice.
Clark Does The Double:
Clark led the Huskies to a 4-0 mark, including wins over third-ranked Stanford and fourth-ranked California. In that span, the Huskies' starting shortstop hit .615 (8-for-13) with two home runs, three doubles, four runs scored and seven RBI for a .643 on-base percentage and a 1.308 slugging percentage. In addition to her offense, she also showed her defensive prowess by going perfect in the field in 13 chances.
Clark, who also received both honors last year, became the first player in Washington softball history to earn the national player-of-the-week award twice.
The Huskies won their pool with a 2-1 record and advanced to the gold bracket as the No. 4 seed. After dropping a 2-3 decision to South Carolina, the UW defeated Kansas 8-0 to advance to the consolation championship versus Michigan, which was cut short due to rain and lightning. Because Washington was the higher of the two seeds, the Huskies were crowned the gold consolation champions.
The Freshmen 10:
Meet Assistant Coach Drew Christmon:
Attendance Figures Well for Huskies:
The Huskies' average home attendance in 2000 was also by 781 from 1999 (the most of any NCAA sponsored softball school). The UW was ranked third in overall attendance, despite having only 15 home dates.
Hanson returned to the Husky line-up for the Kia Klassic, but did not bat until the team's opening week of Pac-10 play in early April. Freshman Amanda Oleson, meanwhile, took over DePaul's duties at third base.
Owen originally came 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 came on the heels of the announcement that junior Bridget Wilcox (Olympia, Wash.), one of the team's three pitchers entering 2001, would redshirt the season due to a rib cage injury.
The previous longest game, in terms of number of innings, came in 1999, when the Huskies also fell 5-4 in 12 innings to Southwest Louisiana at the Kia Klassic in Fullerton, Calif.
In the program's nine-year history, the Huskies have played 10 games of 10 innings or more, which includes another one this season, a 7-4 win in 10 innings over Georgia at the Fiesta Bowl Invitational.
Wearing the Red-White-Blue:
DePaul, Hauxhurst and Clark will have the opportunity to attend the camp at the ARCO Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., from which USA Softball will select two, 16-player teams, which will first compete in the USA Softball Shootout - a four-city West Coast tour.
Wilson Named To Coaches Pool:
Wilson, who has directed the Huskies to five straight College World Series appearances, will travel to the USA Softball Women's National Team Camp, May 30-June 3 in Chula Vista, Calif. As a member of the coaches pool, she will be eligible for selection to such important coaching assignments as the 2001 U.S. Cup, the 2002 ISF Women's World Championship, the 2003 Pan American Games and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.