Softball Announces 2001 Schedule

Dec. 5, 2000

SEATTLE - Five tournaments in five different states highlight the 2001 University of Washington softball team's 55-game schedule released Tuesday.

The Huskies, under the tutelage of ninth-year head coach Teresa Wilson, will face 14 teams ranked in last year's final USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) top 25 poll.

'If you look at the RPI from last season, Washington was ranked near the top for the second straight year in strength of schedule,' Wilson said. 'We are such a young team this season that our schedule will definitely challenge us, but we're not going to change things. We have had success with a tough schedule before, plus it gives us a great opportunity to see teams from other regions.'

The UW opens its 13-date home schedule with a pair of games versus the University of Texas, March 10-11, at Husky Softball Stadium. The pair of games against the Longhorns mark the earliest home games in program history with the previous coming in 1996 versus California on March 19. In 2000, Washington played its first 47 games on the road, before finally returning home April 14 against Arizona State.

Washington opens its 2001 season with Louisiana State University at the Fiesta Bowl Invitational in Phoenix, Ariz., February 9-11. The Huskies then play five more games in Arizona before heading down to the five-team Holiday Inn Invitational hosted by the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla., Feb. 16-18.

After a quick trip for a double-header against Tennessee-Chattanooga (Feb. 21), the UW looks to defend its 2000 tournament titles at both the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga. (Feb. 23-25) and the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah, (March 2-4).

Two games at home versus Texas precede the Huskies seven-day trip to California for the Kia Invitational (March 15-18) in Fullerton, Calif., and four non-conference match-ups versus Northwestern (at Fullerton, March 20), Cal State Fullerton (March 20) and Cal State Northridge (March 21).

The Pac-10 Conference will once again be loaded with the nation's best, as all eight teams advanced to the NCAA tournament and finished the 2000 season ranked among the nation's top 25. The Huskies kick-off their conference schedule at California on March 30, and finish it with a doubleheader under the lights at Arizona on May 12.

'The Pac-10 will once again be a war,' Wilson said. 'Arizona is going to be in the same situation as we are with their seniors being their key performers, and UCLA will have (2000 Olympian) Stacey Nuveman back as well as a great incoming class.

'Stanford is now predominately upperclassmen and even though Oregon State lost (All-American) Tarrah Beyster, they have replaced her with Monica Hoffman. Arizona State also has Jenny Voss and a number of other key returnees. You can really go right down the list, and I expect that for a third straight year, all eight Pac-10 teams will advance to the NCAAs.'

The Huskies finished with a program-best 62-9 record, while claiming the Pac-10 title and the school's fifth straight trip to the College World Series in 2000.

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