No. 10 Softball Kicks Off Six-Game Home Stand With Pair Of Ranked Foes

April 10, 2002

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SEATTLE -

Last Week:
4/2 Portland St. (DH) W, 6-2, 9-1(5)
4/5 at No 2 Arizona* (KKNW) L, 0-1
4/6 at No. 8 Ariz. St.* (KKNW) L, 2-3
4/7 at No 8 Ariz. St.* (KKNW) L, 1-6

This Week:
4/12 No. 8 California* 2 p.m.
4/13 No. 3 Stanford* 2 p.m.
4/14 No. 8 Stanford* (FSNW) 1 p.m.

Next Week:
4/19 Oregon* 2 p.m.
4/20 Oregon St.* (FOX/KKNW) 1 p.m.
4/21 Oregon State* (KKNW) 1 p.m.

Getting Back In The Win Column: The 10th-ranked Washington softball team will look to get back into the win column this weekend when it plays host to Pac-10 foes, No. 3 Stanford and No. 8 California.

The Huskies are coming off a 0-3 road trip to Arizona, but are 4-1 so far in 2002 at home.

On The Tube: The Washington-Stanford game this Sunday, April 14, will be televised by FOX Sports Northwest on a tape-delay basis at 3:30 p.m. PDT.

Tod Pickett and former Washington All-American Angie Arlati (Marzetta) will make the call from Husky Softball Stadium.

The Oregon State game on April 20, will also be broadcast live on FOX Sports Net at 1 p.m.

Streaking To An End: With an 0-for-3 effort at the plate in the team's 6-1 loss to Arizona State, UW junior Jaime Clark's (Tustin, Calif.) two impressive offensive streaks both came to an end.

Clark began the weekend with a hit in each of the team's first two games, running her hitting streak to 18 games, the second-longest in school history.

The junior's 18-game streak is second behind former All-American Rosie Leutzinger's 21-game hitting streak from March 4 to April 8, 2000.

Clark's consecutive games on-base streak also came to an end at 53. During that span, which went from May 4, 2001 to April 7, 2002, Clark reached base via a hit, walk or hit by pitch at least once. The All-American also had at least one hit in 45 games, while getting on base via a walk or hit by pitch in eight others.

Clark For Player Of The Year: Washington junior All-American Jaime Clark has been named as one of 25 finalists for the inaugural USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) announced last Friday.

The Huskies' starting shortstop is among 13 Pac-10 players up for the award, which is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.

The list of 25 will be reduced to 10 players May 3, and three finalists will be announced May 31. The winner, who will be presented with a trophy during the ASA National Council Meeting in Reno, Nev., in November, will be announced June 7.

A replica of the award will be placed in a permanent display in the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, Okla., along with photos of the winner. An additional replica will be presented to the player's academic institution.

Clark, who recently was invited to the USA Softball team camp this May, is a two-time All-American at Washington. In 2002, the junior leads the team with a .428 batting average, including 14 home runs, 57 RBI and an .819 slugging percentage.

A full list of all the finalists can be found on the UW website at - www.gohuskies.com.

Pitcher, Pitcher, Pitcher: While depth in the pitching position was a concern a year ago, it has not been the case this year, as all three of the Husky pitchers have seen considerable time in the circle.

Each UW pitcher has appeared in at least 25 games, led by sophomore Tia Bollinger (28) and followed by freshmen Ashley Boek (26) and Leslie Scott (25). Bollinger (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Boek (Redding, Calif.) have split the starting duties evenly with 19 games apiece, while both have pitched over 100 innings each in 2002. Scott (Edmond, Okla.), meanwhile, is ranked first in the Pac-10 in number of games in relief with 19.

All three UW pitchers have appeared in a game four times and just 14 of the team's 44 games in 2002 have featured only one Husky in the circle.

At The Top Of Their Game: In the first NCAA rankings of the season, Washington appears prominently in several categories.

As a team, the Huskies are 16th in team batting average (.301), 19th in earned-run average (1.41), 13th in scoring (5.48 runs/game) and 28th in winning percentage (.727).

Individually, Jaime Clark is second in the nation in RBI with 57, tied for third in most home runs with 14 and has the 24th-best batting average (.428). Freshman Kristen Rivera (22nd - 0.93 RBI/game), sophomore Rita Roach (41st - .409 batting avg.) and senior Becky Simpson (25th - 0.11 triples per game) round out the group.

Ranking Among The Best: In the first set of regional rankings released by the NCAA Division I Softball Committee on March 28, the Huskies are among the top 10 teams in the Pacific Region. All seven other Pac-10 teams appear in the rankings, while Washington has also played the two other teams - Brigham Young and San Diego State.

For the second year, the first two regional rankings will be listed in alphabetical order and not ranked from top to bottom. The bi-weekly rankings are used as a part of the championship tournament selection process and consist of six regions with 10 teams apiece.

Scouting the California Golden Bears (37-12, 4-2 Pac-10): With four Pac-10 wins already this season, California is just two away from matching its six conference wins in each of the last two seasons. The Golden Bears took two of three from No. 3 Stanford, before sweeping Oregon last weekend for their other two victories.

Under head coach Diane Ninemire, Cal has five players hitting over the .300 mark, including catcher Courtney Scott (.375, 35 RBI) and All-American Veronica Nelson (.351, 7 HR). Nelson, who has been walked 68 times so far in 2002, has been helped in the home run department by third baseman Candace Harper, who has five home runs and a team-best 13 doubles.

In the circle, four Golden Bear pitchers have seen starting time, led by All-American Jocelyn Forest, who is 17-7 with a 1.06 ERA and a conference best 238 strikeouts in 171.2 innings. Washington has won two of the three meetings with Cal in each of the last two seasons, carrying a 20-17 advantage in the all-time series.

Scouting the Stanford Cardinal (33-5, 4-2 Pac-10): After dropping two out of three to California, Stanford has resumed its winning ways with a current five-game winning streak leading into this weekend. The Cardinal picked up a pair of wins over No. 12 Fresno State, before sweeping its games at Oregon and Oregon State.

Under head coach John Rittman, Stanford is led by a pair of All-Americans in Jessica Mendoza and Sarah Beeson. Mendoza is hitting a team-best .436 with 45 runs scored and 11 home runs, while Beeson has a team-high 34 RBI. Middle infielders Kira Ching (.343) and Robin Walker (.316) are also hitting above the .300 mark.

In the circle, Tori Nyberg (19-3, 1.26 ERA) and Maureen LeCocq (13-2, 1.74) have both made up for the loss of All-American Dana Sorensen, who is out due to injury.

The Huskies won two of three from the Cardinal a year ago, including a 3-2 victory at Husky Stadium. Washington is 25-6 all-time versus Stanford.

Close Connections: Washington's Jaime Clark, California's Eryn Manahan (red-shirt) and Stanford's Elisabeth Bendig all attended Foothill High School in Tustin, Calif. ... UW's Tia Bollinger and Stanford's Robin Walker are alumnae of Mater Dei High School ... Bollinger, Walker and Cardinal Jessica Mendoza all played for Gordon's Panthers ... Clark and Stanford pitcher Dana Sorenson were members of the same Orange County Batbusters team ... Mendoza and Washington's Nikki Holt both went to high school at Adolfo Camarillo in Camarillo, Calif. ... Stanford head coach John Rittman was an assistant under UW coach Teresa Wilson at Washington, Minnesota and Oregon ... Cardinal assistant coach Sara Pickering is a 1997 Washington grad and a two-time All-American ... UW assistant Drew Christmon held a similar position at Stanford in 1996.

On The Horizon: The Huskies continue their home stand with three more Pac-10 Conference games versus Oregon (April 19) and Oregon State (April 20-21). The UW then hits the road for seven more games with trips to both California and Oregon.

Follow The Huskies: Due to some equipment problems, the Husky home games versus UCLA and Portland State did not feature live stats. Every effort will be made to carry live stats for all the remaining Husky home games, beginning April 12 versus California. Turn to Washington's official website, www.gohuskies.com for more details.

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 continues April 20-21 with the two-game series with Oregon State in Seattle. Three more UW road games also will be broadcast at Stanford (April 26) and California (April 27-28).

Each game's broadcast will begin and end with a 15-minute pre- and post-game show, featuring interviews with UW players and coaches. Please turn to www.newschannel1150.com to listen to live audio via the web.

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.

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 471-176 record, accruing an incredible .728 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 675-337 (.667) also includes stints at Oregon and Minnesota.

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