No. 12 Softball Heads Out On The Road For Final Pac-10 Tune-Ups

March 20, 2002

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SEATTLE -

Last Week:
3/14 vs. Utah& W, 4-0
3/14 vs. No. 10 Fresno State& W, 5-4
3/15 vs. No. 18 La.-Lafayette& W, 3-2
3/15 vs. Texas Tech& W, 10-3
3/16 vs. No. 22 Florida St. L, 2-3

This Week:
3/24 at Santa Clara (DH) 12 p.m.

Next Week:
3/26 at No. 19 Pacific (DH) 12 p.m.
3/29 UCLA* 2 p.m.
3/30 UCLA* 2 p.m.

The Final Tune-Up: The No. 12 Washington softball team (25-8) travels to Northern California for a pair of non-conference doubleheaders at Santa Clara (March 24) and Pacific (March 26) in its final tune-up prior to the start of the Pac-10 season.

The Huskies return home for their Pac-10 opener with top-ranked UCLA on March 29 and 30.

Kia Quarters: For the second straight year, the Huskies advanced to the Kia Klassic tournament quarterfinals before being eliminated, this time by No. 22 Florida State (3-2).

The UW had advanced out of pool play with a perfect record, knocking off Utah (4-0), before edging No. 10 Fresno State and No. 18 Louisiana-Lafayette in a pair of one-run thrillers. Washington then beat Texas Tech 10-3 in the first bracket play game, before falling to the Seminoles.

With the quarterfinal loss, the Huskies tied for fifth overall in the 16-school field for the third time in the past four years.

Coach Coaches Her 1,000th, Finally!: Although it took one game longer than originally anticipated, UW head coach Teresa Wilson coached her 1,000th career game versus Texas Tech on March 15 - a 10-3 Husky win. Wilson, whose head coaching career also includes stints at Oregon and Minnesota, now boasts an all-time record of 668-333.

Huskies A Steal: With the Pac-10 season still nine days away, the 2002 Washington softball team continues to wreak havoc on the base paths, stealing 69 bases already this season. The Huskies stole 15 bases at the Kia Klassic last weekend, including seven versus Utah to tie a school record for most stolen bases in a game.

Four UW players have already reached double-digits, including sophomore Amanda Oleson (Agoura Hills, Calif.), who has a team-best 15. Junior Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.) and sophomore Rita Roach (Norwalk, Calif.) both have 13 each, while senior Becky Simpson (Tumwater, Wash.) rounds out the group with 11 stolen bases.

The team's 69 stolen bases are just six away from the Huskies' season total from a year ago of 75. Washington has reached the century mark in stolen bases five times, including a school record 194 in 1997.

The Streak Continues: Dating back to a 2-1 win over Oregon State on May 4, 2001, UW junior Jaime Clark has reached base via a hit, walk or hit by pitch at least once in each of her last 43 games. During that span, Clark has at least one hit in 35 games, while getting on base via a walk or hit by pitch in eight others.

The team's starting shortstop also reached base in her final 10 plate appearances at the Kia Klassic.

OWENing Up: With no career starts entering this season, UW sophomore outfielder Megan Owen (Spokane, Wash.) has made her way into the Husky starting line-up eight times so far in 2002, including a streak of four straight at last weekend's Kia Klassic.

Owen made good on her starting time at the Kia, hitting .385 with five hits, two runs scored and the game-winning RBI in the team's win over 10th-ranked Fresno State.

A True Utility Player: After playing four different defensive positions as a freshman, Husky utility player Amanda Oleson (Agoura Hills, Calif.) added another position to her resume last week, playing second base for two innings in the team's loss to Florida State.

A year ago, Oleson began the season by splitting time between first base and right field. She then filled in at third base for eight games and at shortstop for seven games, before returning to first base for the rest of her freshman campaign.

Hitting A Hot Streak: Washington's two leading hitters, sophomore Rita Roach and junior Jaime Clark, can both extend their current hitting streaks into double-digits in the team's first doubleheader versus Santa Clara Sunday. Roach has at least one hit in each of her last nine games, while Clark has an eight-game hitting streak.

Should either reach double-digits, they would join senior Becky Simpson (Tumwater, Wash.), who had a 12-game hitting streak to open the season.

Runners Are DOA: You would think that by now, opposing teams would know not to test the arm of UW centerfielder Rita Roach, especially when it comes to plays at the plate. Roach threw out her fourth runner of the year at home plate versus Texas Tech last Friday, as Red Raider Kristi Robles tried to score from second on a two-out single up the middle.

So far this season, the Huskies have thrown out 10 runners trying to score on a non-force out at the plate.

Scouting the Santa Clara Broncos (13-18): The UW will look to advance their all-time record versus Santa Clara to a perfect 8-0 record when the two schools face for the first time since 2000 in doubleheader action on Sunday.

Under head coach Marcy Crouch, six of the Broncos' losses have come against top 25 teams, including a pair versus both No. 2 Stanford and No. 10 Fresno State. Senior Sydney Wiginton leads Santa Clara in batting with a .316 mark in 13 games, while lead-off hitter Coresta Salas is second with a .298 batting average.

In the circle, three Broncos have seen starting time, led by Deanna Rodriguez (6-8, 2.47 ERA) and Kelley Johnson (5-3, 2.05 ERA).

Scouting the Pacific Tigers (20-9): Washington will travel to 19th-ranked Pacific on Tuesday, March 26, for its final warm-up prior to the start of the Pac-10 season.

The Tigers, under head coach Brian Kolze, are currently owners of a nine-game winning streak entering their three-game series with Sacramento State this weekend. Offensively, Pacific's Barbara Moody is hitting .385 with a team-high 26 runs and 18 doubles, while pitcher Cindy Ball has a team-high 24 RBI to go along with five home runs. Two other Tiger regulars, Nicole Inouye and Brandy Thurman, are also hitting above the .300 mark.

Ball is 12-6 overall in the circle, boasting a 0.81 ERA with 139 strikeouts, 14 complete games and five solo shutouts. Jennifer Daore (4-2, 2.53 ERA) and Ashlie Platten (4-1, 2.58 ERA) have both made seven starts each in 2002.

Washington is 5-0 all-time versus Pacific, including a 3-0 win in the schools' last meeting in 1999.

Coaching Connections: Former UW standout Heather Tarr is currently in her fourth year as an assistant at Pacific ... Tarr is one of five former Washington softball players coaching at the division I level ... the others are Heather Meyer (CSU Northridge), Becky Newbry (UCSB), Sara Pickering (Stanford) and Jen Cline (Nebraska) ... the Huskies already have or are scheduled to face four of the five this season.

On The Horizon: The Huskies return home for their Pac-10 season opener versus No. 1 UCLA, March 29-30. The two games with the Bruins will be followed by the UW's final non-conference games of the regular season versus Portland State on April 2.

Follow The Huskies: After a one-game postponement, all Husky home games, beginning next week versus UCLA, will feature live stats. Turn to Washington's official website, www.gohuskies.com for more details in the coming days.

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.

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.

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.

Dinning With The Dawgs: Outback Steakhouse and the Husky softball team will play host to Dinner with the Dawgs on Sunday, April 21, at 3 p.m. in the Dempsey Indoor, immediately following the 1 p.m. Oregon State game. The festivities will include a meal catered by Outback Steakhouse, silent and live auctions that day and a 2002 Husky Softball poster.

Tickets to the event are $15.00 per person (children five and under free) and will be on sale at any Husky home softball game leading up to the event. Those interested may also download a flier from Washington's official website - 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 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 464-172 record, accruing an incredible .730 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 668-333 (.667) also includes stints at Oregon and Minnesota.

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