Record Five Huskies Named First Team All-Region
May 20, 2010
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The No. 1 Washington softball team landed a school-record five players on the Louisville Slugger/Division I All-Pacific Region first team, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced on Thursday.
Senior Danielle Lawrie, junior Jenn Salling, sophomores Kimi Pohlman and Niki Williams and freshman Shawna Wright were all named to the first team. It is the third honor for Lawrie and second for Salling, while Pohlman was named to the second team last year. It marks the first All-Region honors for Williams and Wright, the latter of whom became just the third Husky freshman ever to be named First Team All-Region. She is the first since eventual USA Olympians Jaime Clark and Jenny Topping both made the squad in 2000.
UW's five overall selections equal the most in school history. The previous high for most first-team selections was three in 1996 and 2000. The Huskies hadn't even had as many as five total selections between the first and second teams since 2002.
The NFCA honors student-athletes from the 10 NFCA regions with a total of 256 players from 116 different institutions comprising this season's regional teams, including first and second teams for each region.
The all-region teams were chosen by NFCA member coaches from each region, and all the honorees will now be eligible for selection to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America first, second or third teams. In addition, conference pitchers and players of the year not selected to the regional teams were added for All-America consideration.
Lawrie, who yesterday was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year and is a top 10 finalist for the USA Softball National Player of the Year award, heads into the postseason with a 35-2 record, 0.99 ERA, 407 strikeouts and just 33 walks in 247.1 innings. She has thrown four no-hitters this year - including three perfect games - and is second in the nation with 20 shutouts, one shy of her own single-season school record. She recently became the Pac-10s all-time career strikeout leader and she was named the conference's Pitcher of the Week a record eight times this year, giving her 18 weekly honors in her career, also a record. She also leads the team in home runs (14) and RBI (55), both of which are career highs.
Salling, a Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, native, is having an outstanding season in her first full year with the Huskies. She leads the team in runs (47), walks (35) and on base percentage (.492) and is second on the team with a .364 average, nine doubles and 12 stolen bases. She has also played stellar defense at shortstop, making just five errors in 124 chances.
The sophomore Pohlman, from Sammamish, Wash., has gotten even better after a stellar freshman campaign when she was named Second Team All-Pac-10. She leads the Huskies in average (.385), hits (65), triples (4) and stolen bases (20-for-23) and ranks second in runs (45) and third in doubles (8). She really picked up her game in conference play, batting a team-high .418 with 20 runs in 21 games. She ranked second in the Pac-10 during conference play in runs, third in hits doubles and stolen bases and fourth in average, hitting safely in 17 of 21 games.
Williams also carried over the momentum from a strong rookie year, blasting 10 home runs, twice as many as she hit in 57 games last year. The Mission Viejo, Calif., native ranks second on the team in hits (52) and third in average (.349), home runs, RBI (44) and runs scored (39). She also had a strong showing against Pac-10 pitching, ranking second on the team with 16 RBI and 13 runs scored.
Wright, from Lancaster, Calif., has been one of the biggest impact freshmen at UW in recent history, blasting 11 home runs and driving in 50 runs, both of which rank second on the team. Her 11 home runs are the most for a Husky rookie since four-time All-American Kristen Rivera hit 16 in 2002. She has been equally as impressive behind the plate, throwing out 12 runners attempting to steal and picking off five, both of which lead the league.
UW had the second-most first-team honorees of any team. Second-ranked Michigan was the only team on this year's list to place all six of its nominees on the first team.
The NFCA Division I All-American teams will be announced at 4 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, June 2.
Below is the complete list of Pacific Region honorees
The Huskies begin their title defense on Friday when they host one of 16 NCAA Regionals at Husky Softball Stadium. UW entertains North Dakota State in its opener on Friday at 5 p.m. with North Carolina and Nebraska opening the weekend Friday at 2:30. All tickets for this weekend are sold out. Fans can walk up 15 minutes prior to each game and purchase standing-room only tickets for $3. Seating will also be available in Husky Stadium for free.