#12 Softball Looks To Defend Kia Klassic Tournament Title This Weekend

March 14, 2001

SEATTLE - This Week: At the Kia Klassic, Fullerton, Calif.
3/15 vs. Hawai'i^ 9 a.m.
vs. Texas^ 5 p.m.
3/16 vs. New Mexico St.^ 9 a.m.
3/16-18 Playoffs^ TBD
3/20 vs. Northwestern (@ Full.) 3 p.m.
at CSU Fullerton 5 p.m.
3/21 at CSU Northridge (DH) 1:30 p.m.

Last Week:
3/10 def. Texas, 11-0 (5)
3/11 def. Texas, 10-5

Back On The Road: After a short trip home last weekend (March 10-11), the 12th-ranked Washington softball team heads back out on the road for its final road trip prior to the start of the Pac-10 regular season.

The Huskies look to defend their 2000 Kia Klassic tournament title at Cal State Fullerton, March 14-18. The UW will then play two single games versus Northwestern and CSU Fullerton on March 20, before finishing the spring break trip with a doubleheader at CSU Northridge on March 21.

Sweeping the `Horns: Washington outscored visiting Texas 21-5 to sweep a two-game series at Husky Softball Stadium, March 10-11. The Huskies won the opener Saturday with a 11-0 rout in five innings, and then posted a come-from-behind victory over the Longhorns Sunday, 10-5. Freshman Amanda Oleson (Agoura Hills, Calif.) hit .800 (4-for-5) over the two-game span, tallying both game-winning RBI. In the circle, freshman pitcher Tia Bollinger (Santa Ana, Calif.) earned both victories, including a three-hit, complete-game shutout in the first game.

Wilcox To Redshirt: The Huskies will be down to two pitchers for the rest of the 2001, because junior Bridget Wilcox (Olympia, Wash.) will redshirt this season due to a rib cage injury. Wilcox (0-1) appeared in three games in 2001, pitching 6.2 innings and recording a 6.30 earned-run average.

The right-hander had entered the season with most experience of the young Husky pitching corps, appearing in 29 games and 51.1 innings in her first two seasons at the UW.

On A Roll: With its 21-run, 20-hit outburst in the series versus Texas, Washington has now scored in double-digits in four games this season and has reached double-digits in team hits eight times, including three times in the last six games. Conversely, the Huskies have allowed opponents to reach double-figures in runs (LSU) and hits (South Florida) just once.

Over-The-Fence Club: The Huskies added another member to its 'over-the-fence' club this weekend when freshman Tia Bollinger hit her first career home run Saturday to right-center field. Senior Christie Rosenblad (Fillmore, Calif.) also added her sixth of the season with a three-run shot to left field in the team's 11-0 victory.

So far this season, the Huskies have 23 home runs with nine different players tallying at least one home run. Rosenblad and sophomore Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.) are tied for the team lead with six apiece.

The Fourth and the Fifth Are For Us: The 2001 Huskies have had alarming success in the both the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, the UW has outscored opponents 25-7, while in the fifth, the team has outscored the opposition, 23-2. Below is a breakdown of Washington's inning-by-inning scoring this season.

Tia's Terrific: UW freshman pitcher Tia Bollinger (Santa Ana, Calif.) is picking up right where former All-American pitchers Jamie Graves and Jennifer Spediacci left off. Bollinger, at 15-2 overall, has all but two of the team's wins so far this season in the circle, and leads the Pac-10 Conference in wins and appearances (20).

The right-hander also has combined with teammate Shannon Walsh (Covina, Calif.) to throw a pair of one-hitters versus both Texas Tech and Maryland, while recording solo one-hitters versus Tennessee-Chattanooga and Southern Mississippi.

Bollinger carried a no hitter through five innings against Hofstra, before being relieved by Bridget Wilcox in the top of the sixth, and no-hit Southern Mississippi through 4.1 innings.

Streaking Away: So far this season, three Husky players have had hitting streaks of 10 games or more. Freshmen utility player Amanda Oleson had the team's longest streak of 15 games (February 11 -March 3), while classmate Rita Roach (Norwalk, Calif.) also had a 11-game hitting streak from February 17 to March 2.

After going 0-for-2 at the plate in the season-opener with Louisiana State, UW outfielder Kelly Hauxhurst (Westminster, Calif.) 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 Sunday versus over Texas. For the season the senior co-captain has reached base at least once in 20 of 22 games.

Catcher, Catcher: For the third straight weekend, those familiar with Husky softball over the past four seasons may see a very unfamiliar sight behind the plate. Senior co-captain Kim DePaul (Tomball, Texas), who started all 224 games at third base since arriving at the UW in 1998, took over the team's starting catching job two weeks ago after sophomore Amy Hanson (Mt. Vernon, Wash.) fractured her ring finger on her catching hand against Kansas (Feb. 25). DePaul caught all five games at the Red Desert Classic in Utah and both games versus Texas, while not allowing a passed ball.

Hanson's status, meanwhile, is still unknown for this week and either freshmen Amanda Oleson or Shawna Norris (Littleton, Colo.) would take DePaul's spot at third base.

The Kia - Just The Facts: For ninth straight season, the Huskies heads to Fullerton, Calif., for Kia Klassic, March 14-18. The tournament annually attracts some of the top teams in college softball, and this season, 10 of the 16 teams are receiving votes in the national poll.

The UW will play three pool games against Hawai'i, Texas and New Mexico State, followed by bracket play beginning Friday at 5 p.m. The Huskies, who are in pool A, are paired up with pool D for the first bracket games. Pool D includes reigning national champion Oklahoma, Fresno State, Notre Dame and Utah State. All teams will play a minimum of five games and a maximum of seven over the five-day period.

The UW won last year's Kia with a perfect 7-0 record, grabbing a 6-1 win over rival Arizona in the tournament final.

Scouting the Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine (19-8): Washington and Hawai'i meet for the first time since 1999, when the Huskies defeated the Rainbows 3-0, in the NCAA regional final to advance to the UW's fourth straight College World Series.

Last season, Hawai'i, under head coach Bob Coolen, finished 25-24 and failed to advance to the NCAA tournament. In 2001, the Rainbows are already 19-8 overall with a notable win over South Florida (2-1) and three losses to Cal State Fullerton.

Senior Tyree Woodruff is first among her team's starters in batting average with a .333 mark, while five different UH players bring double-digit RBI totals. Four pitchers have seen starting time for the Rainbows, with freshman Felicity Witt (10-4, 1.07 ERA) leading the way.

Scouting the Texas Longhorns (12-12): The Huskies will look to make it eight in a row against the Longhorns with a win in game two of pool play. The two schools have faced seven times before, including three times in 2000 and two last weekend. Under head coach Connie Clark, Texas is 12-12 overall with nine losses being to teams ranked in the top 25.

Leading the way for Texas is sophomore All-American Lindsay Gardner, who boasts a .375 batting average to go along with 19 runs scored. Sophomore Marlo Hanks (.340 avg.) and senior Trisha Tatro (17 RBI) are also offensive threats. In the circle, two Texas pitchers have seen starting time, including senior Charla Moore (5-7) and freshman Natalie King (7-5).

Scouting the New Mexico State Aggies (11-23): Washington and New Mexico State will play for the second time this season, when the two schools tangle in the final game of pool play. The Huskies are 5-0 all-time versus the Aggies, including a 11-3 victory at the Fiesta Bowl Invitational.

Under second-year coach Lea Ann Jarvis, New Mexico State is led by Heather Nobbe (.330 avg.) and senior Lizette Olivares (.311 avg.). Four pitchers have seed starting time, including Amber Mosher (5-7) and Judy Blok (5-5), earned the win in the team's upset of seventh-ranked Fresno State (5-4) last weekend.

Scouting the Northwestern Wildcats (6-7): The Huskies will look avenge their 4-1 loss to Northwestern last year, when the two schools play a single game at Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday, March 20. The Wildcats' upset victory in 2000 ended Washington's school record 23-game win streak from mid-February to mid-March.

This year, Northwestern, under coach Sharon Drysdale, is 6-7 with a pair of games at Long Beach State still to play prior to next week. Sophomore Brett Nakabayashi is first on the team in batting average with a .333 mark, and pitcher Brie Brown (6-6) has started all but one of her team's 13 games.

Scouting the Cal State Fullerton Titans (20-6): UW and Cal State Fullerton collide in the second of Washington's two single games, March 20, at 5 p.m. The Huskies hold a 10-3 all-time advantage over the Titans, including a 9-0 win in 2000.

Under head coach Michelle Gromacki, Fullerton is currently 20-6 with three losses to top-ranked UCLA. Catcher/designated hitter Jenny Topping is leading the Titans in batting with a .421 average and 29 RBI, while Yasim Mossadeghi has eight home runs and a .333 average. Pitchers Christy Robitaille, Gina Oaks and Jodie Cox have all seen starting time in the circle.

Scouting the Cal State Northridge Matadors (13-7): In the team's first non-conference doubleheader of the season, Washington will try to make it four in a row against Cal State Northridge next Wednesday, March 21, in Northridge, Calif. The Huskies won a pair of games in 2000 at the Northridge's own tournament to end a four-game losing skid to the Matadors. This season, CSU Northridge is 13-7 overall with a key sweep of Oregon State (2-1, 1-0). Veronica Lopez (.298) and Sandra Milchiker (.296) are both hitting over .290 for the Matadors and four pitchers have seen starting time, led by Sarah Farnworth who is 8-4 overall.

Close Connection: The Huskies will get a chance to see many familiar faces in California over the eight-day trip ... UW senior Kim DePaul and Texas freshman Sarah Wieszczak both attended Tomball High School in Tomball, Texas ... Cal State Fullerton sophomore and former UW All-American Jenny Topping will face her former teammates for the first time after transferring last fall ... Husky Tia Bollinger and Fullerton's Monica Lucatero both are alumnae of Mater Dei High School ... UW assistant Drew Christmon was an assistant coach at Cal State Northridge for two years, while completing his degree in kinesiology.

Pickering Update (March 14): Former Washington standout Sara Pickering (1994-97), who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease last March, has had a relapse. Pickering, now an assistant softball coach at Stanford under former UW assistant John Rittman, is scheduled to undergo a Stem Cell Transplant in mid-March.

In support of Pickering, the Washington softball team will give supporters a chance to send their well wishes on the weekend of April 6-8 (Arizona, Arizona St.) as well as April 27, when the Huskies play host to the Cardinal at 2 p.m., at Husky Stadium.

On The Tube: Washington's May 5, game with Pac-10 foe Oregon has been scheduled to air live on FOX Sports Net at 2 p.m. (PT). The Huskies' game with the Ducks is one of three Pac-10 games set for FOX with the other two being the April 7, game between Arizona and UCLA and the April 14, game with Stanford and California.

Huskies On the Air Waves: The Washington softball team will have eight games broadcast live on KSRB 1150-AM in 2001. Mike Brown will handle play-by-play duties for the fourth- straight season, while John Cowley will provide color commentary.

UW is one of the few softball programs in the nation with regular-season games broadcast by a local radio station. This year's schedule began March 10, with the first of a pair of games versus non-conference foe Texas, and includes four other Husky home games as well as two road games from Corvallis, Ore. Each game's broadcast will begin and end with a 15-minute pre- and post-game show, featuring interviews with UW players and coaches. To listen to live audio broadcasts on the web, go to www.1150ksrb.com.

Pac-10 Power: The University of Washington softball team, which has made five consecutive trips to the College World Series, has been picked to finish fourth in the Pac-10 in a poll of conference coaches released January 16.

The Huskies, who finished their 2000 season with a number five national ranking, received 27 points overall to place behind Arizona (46), UCLA (46) and Arizona State (34). Arizona and UCLA both tied for first place with 46 points and four of the eight first-place votes. Behind Washington was Stanford (25), California (20), Oregon State (17) and Oregon (9).

Dear Diary: Wonder what goes on behind the scenes and in the minds of Husky softball players and coaches? You will have two opportunities for the second year in a row 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, while one Husky player per week will write about the team's fortunes on and off the field on the school's official site, www. gohuskies.com.

Head Coach Teresa Wilson: Teresa Wilson wasted no time in building a perennial contender for the NCAA Championship at the University of Washington. In eight years, Wilson has led the Huskies to five straight trips to the College World Series, including appearances in the championship game in 1996 and 1999. UW has earned seven straight berths in the NCAA tournament, a No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA poll, and two Pac-10 titles.

As the only head coach in Husky history, Wilson has led the Huskies to a 416-148 record, accruing an incredible .738 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 620-309 (.667) also includes stints at Oregon and Minnesota, and ranks her 21st among the most winningest active coaches in division I softball.

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