Huskies Head To Norman For NCAA Regional
May 14, 2001
For the second time in its nine-year history, the 12th-rankedWashington softball team is headed to Norman, Okla.,for NCAA regional action.
The Huskies, who also traveled to Norman in 1997, are seededsecond 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:
At Norman, OK - May 17-20 - Region 5
(All times local)
Game 1 - #1 Oklahoma vs. #6 Lehigh - 12 p.m.
Game 2 - #2 UW vs. #5 Seton Hall - 2:30 p.m.
Game 3 - #3 N. Carolina vs. #4 UMass - 5 p.m.
Game 4 - Loser G1 vs. Loser G2 - 7:30 p.m.
May 18-20 - TBA
Thurs. 1, 2, 3, 4
Fri. 5, 6, 7
Sat. 8, 9, 10
Sun. 11 and 12 (If Necessary)
First Time For Everything:
In 2001, Washington has not faced any of its five potential regional opponents. The Huskies have never played three of the teams - Seton Hall, North Carolina and Lehigh - in the nine-year history of the program.
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:
For the first time in four years, Washington will have to travel to NCAA regional action after playing host each of the last three seasons in Seattle. The last time the UW traveled for regionals was in 1997, when the Huskies went a perfect 3-0 in Norman, Okla., en route to its second world series appearance. The team has also been sent to Northridge, Calif. and Lafayette, La., for regional action in 1993 and 1994, and owns a 6-4 all-time record in NCAA regional road games.
Entering the team's game Thursday versus Seton Hall, Washington will bring a 17-game regional win streak to Oklahoma. The Huskies have not lost an NCAA regional game since falling to Southwest Louisiana 3-1 in 1995, and were a perfect 14-0 at Husky Softball Stadium.
UW NCAA Regional Quick Facts:
- This is the first time since 1997 that Washington has had to travel for NCAA regional action. - The last time the Huskies traveled for NCAA regionals, the team also went to Norman, Okla.
- 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:
The Pac-10 Conference once again is well represented in the NCAA regionals, as seven of its eight squads earned bids to the 48-team tournament. Arizona, which claimed the tournament's top seed, UCLA and Stanford each earned one of the eight No. 1 seeds. Other Pac-10 schools making the tournament include California (second seed in region 8), Arizona State (two seed in region 3) and Oregon State (three seed in region 4).
On The Air Waves:
KSRB-1150 AM, which carried eight regular season Husky home softball games, is planning to air all of the team's NCAA regional games live from Norman, Okla. 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 its games broadcast by a local radio station. Listen to live audio broadcasts on the web at www.1150ksrb.com.
Give Me A Three:
Despite dropping its final two conference games to Arizona, Washington finished in a tie for third place with Stanford in the Pac-10 Conference standings with an 11-10 overall record.
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.
Entering this week's regional, the Huskies are just two games away from playing the program's 600th game. In their nine-year history, the Huskies have compiled a record of 436-162, winning nearly 73 percent of their games.
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.
Six members of the 2001 Washington softball team received recognition from the Pacific-10 Conference, including two first-team all-conference honorees, Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen announced Monday afternoon.
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:
Proving once again that it has one of the toughest schedules in the country, Washington has played 18 of this year's 48 NCAA tournament teams, logging 35 of its 58 games against regional participants.
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):
The Huskies and Pirates will face each other for the first time Thursday, in Seton Hall's first-ever NCAA tournament game. Seton Hall earned its spot in the 48-team field by receiving an at-large berth after finishing second in the BIG EAST Conference Tournament to Connecticut last weekend.
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):
Returning all nine of its starters from a year ago, the defending national champion Oklahoma Sooners earned their way into the NCAA tournament by claiming an automatic bid as the winner of the Big 12 Tournament.
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):
North Carolina is one of the three teams in region 5 to be making its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance. The Tar Heels earned their way into the regionals by defeating Florida State in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Tournament last weekend.
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):
Ranked 23rd nationally, UMass is making its seventh-consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament after also claiming its seventh-straight Atlantic-10 title with a perfect 21-0 conference record. Since beginning the season with a 7-9 record, the Minutewomen have won 36 of their last 38 games.
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):
Lehigh, the No. 6 seed, is also making its first appearance in the NCAA tournament after defeating Long Island, 4-3, in extra innings to win the Patriot League championship.
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:
Washington outfielder Kelly Hauxhurst has been out to prove from day one that her senior year will be her best, leading the Huskies in several offensive categories through most of the season.
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.
After belting a school-record 84 home runs in 2000, the Washington softball team has hit 43 so far this season, second-most in program history. Ten different players have tallied at least one home run with sophomore Jaime Clark leading the charge with 13.
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.
So far this season, three Husky players have had hitting streaks of 10 games or more. Freshman 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 an 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 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:
With 58 games completed in its 2001 campaign, just two Washington players, seniors Kelly Hauxhurst and Christie Rosenblad, have started in the same defensive position in all 58 games. Freshman Amanda Oleson has shown off her versatility by starting at four different positions.
Keeping Tabs On Tia:
After setting three UW true-freshman pitching records (see page 23), Tia Bollinger has already started to make her mark in the overall season record book. Bollinger is just one win behind former standout Jennifer Spediacci in season victories and recently set a school record for innings pitched in a season with 261, entering this week's regionals.
See where Bollinger ranks among the Huskies top pitchers of all-time on page 26.
Head Coach Teresa Wilson:
Teresa Wilson wasted no time in building a perennial contender for the NCAA Championship at the University of Washington. In the 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. In that same time span, 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 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:
For a player who hit just five home runs in her first three seasons as a Husky, senior Christie Rosenblad surprised everyone with four home runs in four consecutive at bats in two games on February 10.
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:
On the heels of her impressive performances in the team's four games April 24-28, UW sophomore Jaime Clark was named the national and Pac-10 Player of the Week.
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.
For the sixth-straight season, Washington finished in the top five at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga.
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:
This year's UW roster includes 10 freshmen, marking the most freshmen on a Husky roster since the 1993 inaugural season. The 2001 team also includes three seniors, three juniors and three sophomores.
After playing their first 47 games away from Husky Softball Stadium in 2000, Washington's road home was much shorter this year. The Huskies played non-conference foe Texas in the first of two games on March 10. The pair of games against the Longhorns mark the earliest home games in program history with the previous coming in 1996 versus Stanford on March 27.
Meet Assistant Coach Drew Christmon:
Drew Christmon, an assistant at the University of Kansas in 2000, was named an assistant softball coach at Washington. A native of Oklahoma City, Okla., he serves as the team's hitting coach in addition to assisting UW head coach Teresa Wilson in all administrative aspects of the program.
Attendance Figures Well for Huskies:
In statistics released by the NCAA, the University of Washington ranked second nationally in home attendance average last season with 1,497 fans per game. Fresno State was first with an average of 2,360, while Arizona ranked third with 1,330 fans per game. Fresno State, Washington and Arizona were the only schools in division I, II or III, to average over 1,000 fans per game.
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.
Those familiar with Husky softball over the past four seasons saw a very unfamiliar sight behind the plate earlier this year. Senior co-captain Kim DePaul, who had previously started all 224 career games at third base, took over the team's starting catching job for seven games after sophomore Amy Hanson (Mt. Vernon, Wash.) fractured the ring finger on her catching hand in the team's 8-0 win against Kansas, Feb. 25.
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.
Washington freshman Megan Owen (Spokane, Wash.) took the meaning of the words 'utility player' to the fullest, when she logged her first career appearance at pitcher against Texas (March 15).
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.
Washington's 14-inning, four-hour game at UCLA on April 13, was the longest game in the program's history by two innings.
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.
Washington's 21 team hits against Portland State (April 24) fell just two short of tying the school record of 23, which the Huskies set against Stanford on March 22, 1993. So far in 2001, the UW has reached double-digit hit totals in 17 games, while its opponents have done so just seven times.
Wearing the Red-White-Blue:
Washington softball players Kim DePaul (Tomball, Texas), Kelly Hauxhurst and Jaime Clark, are among 51 softball players invited to attend the USA Softball Women's National Team Camp, May 30 - June 3, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) announced April 11.
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:
University of Washington head softball coach Teresa Wilson is one of 12 coaches to be named to the USA Softball Women's National Team Coaches Pool, the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) announced April 10.
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.