No. 9 Softball Looks To Extend Win Streak At Florida

Feb. 13, 2002

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Last Week:
2/8 vs. Florida Atlantic# W, 2-1 (10)
2/8 at #15 Florida State# W, 6-4
2/9 vs. Louisville# W, 7-0
2/10 vs. #22 South Carolina# W, 8-1
2/10 vs. Fla. Atlantic (@FSU) W, 3-1

This Week:
2/14 at Florida (DH) 4 pm
2/15 vs. Tenn.-Chattanooga 12 pm
2/15 vs. Hofstra 5 pm
2/16 vs. Florida 1:30 pm
2/16 Playoffs 4/6:30 pm
2/17 Consolation/Championship Game 10 a.m./12:30 pm

Starting in Style: The Washington softball team is off to its best start in program history, earning five wins last weekend to move to 10-0 in 2002. The Huskies have defeated three ranked opponents in the perfect run, including No. 15 Florida State and No. 22 South Carolina last weekend.

Two Husky squads had started their seasons with wins in their first nine games, including the 1996 team, which finished perfect at the Arizona State tournament before falling to second-ranked Arizona, and the 2000 squad, which also defeated three ranked teams.

Streaking Away: The Huskies have had double-digit win streaks eight times before in the program's 10-year history. The first time the UW won 10 games in a row was in 1994, which started a streak of five straight seasons in which the Huskies had at least one double-digit win streak.

The 2000 squad set the standard in terms of win streaks, claiming 23 straight victories from February 18 to March 21.

Tia Packs Some POW: Washington softball pitcher Tia Bollinger (Santa Ana, Calif.) has been named Pac-10 Pitcher-Of-The-Week for her performances at last weekend's Seminole Challenge tournament, the conference office announced Monday.

Bollinger led the Huskies to a pair of wins over ranked teams, No. 15 Florida State and No. 22 South Carolina, going 2-0 with a 1.31 ERA in 16 innings pitched. The sophomore struck out 22 batters, holding opponents to a .179 batting average and allowing just one extra-base hit. She also no-hit the Gamecocks through 4.1 innings after matching her career high for strikeouts with nine in six innings against Florida Atlantic.

For the season, Bollinger is 5-0 overall with a 0.93 earned-run average in 30 innings pitched. The award is the second career weekly honor for Bollinger and Washington's 45th award all-time.

A Plethora Of Pitching: After having only two pitchers earn wins a year ago, the Huskies are deep in the circle this season with sophomore Tia Bollinger and freshmen Leslie Scott (Edmond, Okla.) and Ashley Boek (Redding, Calif.). Bollinger leads the way with a 5-0 record in 30 innings pitched, while Scott is 3-0 and Boek is 2-0. Scott has yet to give up a run, earned or unearned, in 2002, and has allowed just two walks in 14 innings of work. Boek, meanwhile, boasts a 0.58 ERA in 24 innings, logging a complete game versus Florida Atlantic and a no-hitter two weeks ago versus San Jose State.

Simply Simpson: For the second consecutive week, Washington's lone senior, Becky Simpson (Tumwater, Wash.), has led the team in batting, recording a .412 average (7-for-17) with seven runs scored in the team's five games. Simpson owns a current 10-game hitting streak, scoring at least one run in all but one game - five of which were game-winning runs.

For the season, the team's starting leftfielder leads the Huskies in batting average with a .563 mark (18-for-32), runs scored with 14, and multi-hit games with six.

Huskies On The Airwaves: The Washington softball team will have eight games broadcast live on KKNW 1150-AM in 2002. Mike Brown will handle play-by-play duties for the fifth-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 begins April 5, as all three of the Huskies' games in Arizona will be broadcast from both the University of Arizona (April 5) and Arizona State (April 6-7). Three more UW road games also will be broadcast at Stanford (April 26) and California (April 27-28), while the Huskies two-game series with Oregon State (April 20-21) in Seattle are also on-tap.

Each game's broadcast will begin and end with a 15-minute pre- and post-game show, featuring interviews with UW players and coaches.

Wilson Nears 1,000: In her 16th season as a head coach, UW's Teresa Wilson will be just 15 games away from coaching her 1,000th career game, following this weekend's doubleheader and tournament at Florida. Wilson, whose head coaching career also includes stints at Oregon and Minnesota, is currently on pace to coach her 1,000th game at the Kia Klassic versus Louisiana-Lafayette (March 15), but will ultimately depend on the team's performance at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, Feb. 22-24. The Huskies are scheduled to play three pool play games in Columbus, followed by bracket play the last two days of the tournament.

Florida - Take Two: The Huskies continue their 10-day road trip to Florida this week with seven more games in the Sunshine State. The UW will face the University of Florida in a non-conference doubleheader Thursday, followed by the four-team University Centre Invitational also at the Florida Softball Field, February 15-17.

Washington has a very good chance to extend its unbeaten streak if history holds, as the Huskies are a perfect 7-0 all-time versus their three opponents, all of whom advanced to the NCAA regionals in 2001.

Scouting the Florida Gators (2-3): The only other team besides the Huskies to have played a game prior to this week, Florida enters Thursday's doubleheader with a 2-3 record, defeating both North Carolina and South Florida.

Under head coach Karen Johns, the Gators return six starters from last year's team, which went 37-28 and finished fifth overall in the Southeastern Conference. Junior third baseman Jennifer Mossadeghi was the Gators' second-leading hitter in 2001, hitting .317 with a team-best 34 runs scored. The Gator pitching staff includes three freshmen and lone returnee, sophomore Amanda Moore.

The UW holds a 4-0 all-time record versus Florida with the two sides last meeting in 2000 - a 6-1 Husky win at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.

Scouting the Tennessee-Chattanooga Mocs (2-0): Under first-year head coach Frank Reed, Tennessee-Chattanooga opened its season Tuesday with a pair of wins over Tusculum College.

The Lady Mocs finished their 2001 campaign with a 49-17 record and are led by senior pitcher Beth Alexander, who finished her junior campaign with a 24-7 record and 222 strikeouts. Offensively, second baseman Dana Reed is the only returnee to have hit above the .300 mark in 2001, adding 40 runs scored and 11 doubles.

Washington won both meetings in 2001, defeating the Lady Mocs, 7-1 and 3-0, in a doubleheader played in Chattanooga.

Scouting the Hofstra Pride (0-0): The Huskies also faced the Hofstra Pride a year ago, when the two schools met for the first time at the Holiday Inn Invitational in Tampa, Fla., which resulted in an 8-4 UW victory.

Six starters return for the Pride, including sophomore pitcher Shannon Luther, who went 18-14 overall in 2001 with a 1.89 ERA. Hofstra's top three returning position players include junior first baseman Amanda Hallway (.339 avg., 36 RBI), senior second baseman Christine Moran (.244 avg.) and sophomore catcher Meaghan Almon (.231 avg., 16 RBI).

Hofstra, under coach Bill Edwards, opens its 2002 campaign this weekend.

Friend Or Foe: UW sophomore first baseman Callie Bergan (Issaquah, Wash.), who has yet to see action this season due to shoulder surgery, will get a chance to see her former summer ball teammates, Tenn.-Chattanooga's Ashleigh Herman and Awbrey Winckler. All three hail from the state of Washington.

Celebrating 10 Years Of Husky Softball: The 2002 season marks the start of the 10th year of Husky Softball. The program, which played its inaugural season in 1993, celebrated its 10-year anniversary with an alumnae game on September 29, 2001.

Some of the biggest names in Washington softball history returned to Seattle for the game, which ended in a 1-1 tie. Over 25 alumnae and 14 of the program's 15 All-Americans took part in the festivities.

In The Top 10 Again: The University of Washington softball team, which finished last season at the No. 13 spot, has been ranked ninth in the 2002 USA Today/NFCA Preseason Coaches' Poll released January 23 by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).

The Huskies' No. 9 national ranking marks the seventh straight year in which the UW has started the season in the top 10. A year ago, the team maintained a top 15 ranking throughout the entire season, extending the Huskies' streak of appearances in the national top 25 to 96 consecutive poll datings entering 2002. Washington has been in the top 25 every year since late in 1993, its inaugural season.

The UW will face 12 of the top 25 teams at least once during the regular season. Three other future Husky opponents also received votes in the poll.

Arizona, the 2001 national champions, tops the list with 20 of the 27 first-place votes, while fellow Pac-10 member UCLA is ranked second with seven first-place votes. Seven of the eight Pac-10 schools which sponsor softball are ranked in the top 25, including Stanford (No. 3), California (No. 5), Arizona State (No. 8) and Oregon State (No. 18).

Pac-10 Power: For the second consecutive year, the University of Washington softball team has been picked to finish fourth in the Pac-10 in a poll of conference coaches announced January 15.

The Huskies received 28 points overall to place behind Arizona (46), UCLA (46) and Stanford (37). Arizona and UCLA, who both advanced to the NCAA final in 2001, tied with 46 points, splitting the eight first-place votes for the second straight year. Behind Washington was California (21), Oregon State (21), Arizona State (18) and Oregon (7).

Over the past three seasons, the Huskies have been picked by the conference coaches to finish second (2000), third (1999) and fourth (2001). Washington won the Pac-10 title for the second time in school history in 2000, while it ended up in third place in both 1999 and 2001.

Young And The Restless: With 10 freshmen on its 19-player roster a year ago, the Huskies remain a young squad in 2002. This year's team includes six freshmen, nine sophomores, three juniors and just one senior - outfielder Becky Simpson.

The last time the UW had just one senior on its roster was in 1999, when three-time All-American Becky Newbry helped lead the Huskies to the NCAA title game.

Far And Wide: The 2002 schedule will take the Huskies to six different states beginning with California, Florida, Georgia and Utah in just the first month of the season. The UW will later take trips to Arizona and finally Oregon for Pac-10 play with the University of Oregon and Oregon State.

Coming Home: After playing their first 22 games away from Husky Stadium in 2001, Washington's road home will be slightly longer in 2002. The Huskies are scheduled to play at least their first 27 games away from home, before returning to Seattle to face non-conference foe Simon Fraser on Saturday, March 9. The pair of games against the Clan are the earliest home games in program history, with the previous coming last season versus Texas on March 10.

First Pitch Luncheon: Washington will play host to its third annual 'First Pitch' luncheon, Wednesday, March 6, in the Don James Center at Husky Stadium. The luncheon, which honors the UW softball and baseball teams, is slated to begin at 11:30 a.m. For more information, call (206) 543-2210.

The Girls Of Summer: During the summer of 2001, three Huskies were among 33 elite players from across the nation who were chosen to represent the United States on one of two national teams - the USA Red and Blue.

The three Washington players, sophomore Tia Bollinger, junior Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.) and class of 2001 graduate Kim DePaul (Tomball, Texas), played for the USA Blue squad, which competed in three tournaments from June to August.

The USA Blue team opened the summer with a 3-4 record in the USA Softball Shootout, which pitted the two national teams against one another for the first six contests, followed by a game versus the Women's Pro Softball League All-Stars in Los Angeles.

USA Blue then headed north for the Canada Cup in Surrey, B.C., where the team finished fifth overall with an 8-3 record after winning its pool.

In its final competition of the summer, USA Blue compiled a perfect 9-0 record en route to the gold medal at the Pan American Games qualifier in Maracay, Venenzuela. Clark joined former Arizona All-American Lauren Bauer on the all-tournament team after leading the field with a .483 batting average, including 19 of the team's 63 RBI.

Attendance Figures Well for Huskies: In statistics released by the NCAA, the University of Washington ranked fifth nationally in home attendance average last season with 671 fans per game. Fresno State was first with an average of 2,134, while Arizona ranked second with 1,660 fans per game.

In 2000, the UW ranked second nationally in average home attendance with a 1,497 mark and was one of just three schools in division I, II and III, to average over 1,000 fans per game.

Other Husky Items: UW junior Jaime Clark is just six home runs away from breaking Jennifer Cline's school record of 43 ... Washington's game with Oregon State on April 20, has been moved to a 1 p.m. start to accommodate a live broadcast by Fox Sports Net ... a full television schedule will be announced at a later date.

Head Coach Teresa Wilson: Teresa Wilson wasted no time in building a perennial contender for the NCAA Championship at the University of Washington. In nine years, Wilson has led the Huskies to five trips to the College World Series, including appearances in the championship game in 1996 and 1999. UW has earned eight 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 449-164 record, accruing an incredible .733 winning percentage. All totaled, Wilson's players have earned 22 All-America certificates, 64 mentions on all-Pac-10 squads, and 48 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 15-year career coaching record of 653-325 (.668) also includes stints at Oregon and Minnesota.

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