No. 6 Softball Heads To Arizona To Play In Pepsi Classic This Weekend

Feb. 13, 2003

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THIS WEEKEND:
The No. 6 Washington softball team (6-0) heads to Tucson, Arizona to compete in the Arizona Pepsi Classic. Last week, the Huskies won the Chevron Paradise Classic in Honolulu by defeating Santa Clara, 3-2 and 7-5, Oklahoma State, 5-4 and 3-2, Louisville, 6-4 and host Hawaii, 3-2. This week the Huskies open tournament play against Arkansas and Florida International on Friday, Feb. 14. UW then takes on Minnesota and Northwestern on Saturday, Feb. 15 before going head-to-head with No. 2 Arizona on Sunday, Feb. 16.

Friday, February 14: Washington vs. Arkansas, Hillenbrand Stadium, 9 a.m.
Friday, February 14: Washington vs. Florida International, Hillenbrand Stadium, 11 a.m.
Saturday, February 15: Washington vs. Minnesota, Hillenbrand Stadium, 9 a.m.
Saturday, February 15: Washington vs. Northwestern, Hillenbrand Stadium, 11 a.m.
Sunday, February 16: Washington at Arizona, Hillenbrand Stadium, 1 p.m.

SERIES HISTORY:
Washington has faced three of its Pepsi Classic opponents and holds a 44-18 (.710) series advantage. UW is tied all-time with Michigan, 4-4, and leads Minnesota, 3-0, and Arizona, 37-14. The Huskies will be making their first appearances against Arkansas and Florida International.

COACH WILSON:
In 11 seasons as the head coach at UW, Teresa Wilson has led the Dawgs to two Pac-10 championships, nine NCAA Regionals and two second place finishes at the College World Series. Her career overall record stands at 491-182 (.730). Before becoming the Husky head coach in 1993, Wilson served as the head coach at Minnesota for two seasons (1990-1991) and at Oregon for four seasons (1986-89). She is 152-97 (.610) in conference games. All totaled, Wilson has coached 24 All-Americans, 69 all-conference selections and 50 academic all-conference honorees. A 1983 All-American pitcher for Minnesota, she is joined by assistants Scott Centala and Steve Dailey.

PROBABLE STARTERS:
Probable starters at each position, with current stats and notes: Pos. Player, Year Avg.-HR-RBI Notes
C/DP - Amy Hanson, Jr. .125-0-0
Kristen Rivera, So. .476-3-9 2002 All-American; Most Outstanding Player last week
1B - Sarah Hyatt, Fr. .250-0-2
2B - Amanda Oleson, Jr. .200-0-1
SS - Jaime Clark, Sr. .095-1-3 Three-time All-American; hit two-run home run last week
3B - Kathy Fiske, So. .350-1-3 All-tournament selection last week
OF - Courtney Jeffries, Jr. .167-0-0
OF - Aimee Minor, Fr. .333-1-1 Hit first career home run last week
OF - Megan Owen, Jr. .167-0-0
OF - Rita Roach, Jr. .429-0-1 All-tournament team selection last week
OF - Dena Tyson, Fr. .143-2-1 Hit a home run in first career at-bat last week

Last Week:
Washington opened the 2003 season with a perfect 6-0 record to win the Hawaii Chevron Paradise Classic in Honolulu. After rain halted play on Feb. 6, the Huskies notched a pair of extra-inning wins against Santa Clara, 3-2 and Oklahoma State, 5-4 on Feb. 7. UW followed up with victories against Louisville, 7-4 and host Hawaii, 3-2, to earn the No. 1 seed for Sunday's single elimination bracket. The Huskies defeated Santa Clara in the first round, 7-5 and topped Oklahoma State, 3-2 for the tournament championship. Sophomore Kristen Rivera was named Most Outstanding Player for her .476 performance at the plate, while sophomore Ashley Boek received Most Outstanding Pitcher honors after picking up three wins and a save in Washington's six games. Also named to the all-tournament team were sophomore third baseman Kathy Fiske and junior centerfielder Rita Roach who hit .429 and .350, respectively.

SCOUTING ARKANSAS:
The Lady Razorbacks (5-4) are coming off a 2-2 mark in the Triple Crown Tournament in St. Augustine, Fla. Arkansas started the tourney with a two game skid that included losses to Evansville, 2-0, and Jacksonville, 3-2 (8), but rebounded with wins against UMKC, 1-0 (8), and Central Florida, 6-2. The Lady Razorbacks are led by Heather Schlichtm (3-1) on the mound. Schlichtm has a team-low 1.93 earned run average and has struck out 31 batters in 29 innings. Stephanie Hunter sits atop the Arkansas hitting charts with a .357 (10-for-28) average, including three doubles.

SCOUTING Florida International:
Florida International (4-7) has taken a beating from ranked opponents to start the 2003 season. Four of FIU's losses have come at the hands of top 25 teams, including No. 16 Ohio State, two against No. 17 Georgia and one against No. 22 Alabama. Amanda Nealer (4-1) is FIU's ace, striking out 31 batters in 28.2 innings and allowing only five earned runs for a 1.57 ERA. Cynthia Turek leads the FIU offense with a .323 (10-for-31) average and a team-high, nine RBIs.

SCOUTING Minnesota:
Minnesota (6-0) swept through the Metrodome Classic last weekend, out scoring its opponents, 33-1. Hurlers Piper Marten and Angie Recknor each recorded three wins, allowing no runs in 25.2 innings of work. Recknor also leads the offense with a .725 (6-for-8) clip, with two doubles and a home run. Valerie Alston is hitting .400 (6-for-15) with a team-high seven RBIs.

SCOUTING Northwestern:
The Wildcats posted a 3-2 record at the Louisville Slugger Invitational in Tampa, Fla., last week, defeating Auburn, 6-1, Sam Houston State, 9-1, and Florida Atlantic, 5-3. Northwestern's pitching staff has a 2.84 ERA and has struck out 39 batters in 32 innings. Brett Nakabayashi leads the offense with a .444 (8-for-18) average, while Robyn Pettiner is hitting .375 (3-for-8), including two home runs against Florida Atlantic.

SCOUTING ARIZONA:
No. 2 Arizona (10-1) has dominated its competition this season, tossing seven shutouts. The Wildcats' only loss came at the hands of No. 12 Texas, 2-1 at the Fiesta Bowl last weekend. Lovie Jung hit five home runs during the tourney and has a team-high .471 (15-for-34) average. Pitcher Alicia Howell (5-1) leads the Wildcats on the mound with a 0.17 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 42 innings. She tossed a no-hitter against Wisconsin.

Washington In The Polls:
The Washington softball team enters the 2003 season with a No. 6 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll as announced Jan. 29, by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. The Huskies have been ranked in the top-25 in each of the last 112 poll datings. Washington's streak began with the team's No. 15 preseason ranking in 1994 and also includes smaller streaks of 66 straight top-6 rankings (2/28/96 - preseason 2001 poll) and 68 consecutive poll datings in the top 10 (preseason 1996 - 2/28/01). Overall, the Huskies have remained in the top 15 in each of the last 95 poll datings, a streak that began with the preseason poll in 1996.

ROSTER BREAKDOWN:
The 17-player Washington roster includes 13 returning letterwinners and eight returning starters. The 2003 edition of Husky softball includes six juniors and six sophomores, but just two seniors and three freshmen. Nine players hail from California, six from Washington and one from Oklahoma and Oregon.

Challenging Schedule:
The Huskies are scheduled to play 13 teams ranked in the USA Today/ NFCA preseason poll. Six of those opponents are Pac-10 members, including No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Arizona, No. 3 California, No. 13 Arizona State, No. 14 Stanford and No. 23 Oregon State. The other eight ranked opponents the Huskies will play during their eight-week preseason schedule. Washington is slated to play No. 4 Michigan, No. 10 California State Fullerton, No. 12 Texas, No. 16 Ohio State, No. 20 South Carolina, No. 21 Pacific and No. 25 Massachusetts.

SEASON DEBUTS:
Washington has opened each of its 11 seasons with a multiple-team tournament, accruing a 43-12 (.782) record. The Huskies have gone undefeated in four of those tournaments (1996, 2000, 2002, 2003). Last season, Washington had its best start in school history with a 10-0 mark to win the Northridge/UCLA Early Bird Classic and the Florida State Seminole Challenge.

Player Notes (in alphabetical order):

Callie Bergan, Sophomore 1B: Returns for her sophomore campaign after receiving a medical redshirt last season... expected to get some playing time at first base ... as a freshman, appeared in nine games, starting three ... co-recipient of the team's Allison Mick Most Inspirational Player award.

Ashley Boek, Sophomore P: Returns for second season after starting on the mound as a freshman ... notched a 19-3 record and team-low 1.19 earned run average ... tossed a no-hitter in just her second career start ... finished fourth in conference with a 1.43 ERA and 6-1 record ... only losses of the season came to teams ranked in the top 20 ... collected wins over five top 25 teams.

Tia Bollinger, Junior, P: Led the Huskies in wins (20), strikeouts (172), complete games (seven) and innings pitched (184) last season ... set a UW and Pac-10 single-season record with seven saves ...posted nine wins over teams ranked in the top 25 ...recorded her first career save in upset win over No. 1 UCLA ...did not allow an earned run in three straight Pac-10 games ...a 2001 third team All-America selection.

Jaime Clark, Senior, SS: Earned first team All-America honors as a junior after leading the nation with 75 RBIs ...led team in nearly every offensive category ...batted a career-high .431 with 59 runs scored, 84 hits, 14 doubles and 19 home runs ... broke the school career record for home runs (56) ... one of 10 finalists for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year... USA Softball National Team Camp Invitee ... Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sports Star of the Year finalist.

Kathy Fiske, Sophomore, 3B: Appeared in 63 games at third base as a freshman ... third on the team with seven home runs and 33 RBIs ... nine doubles and 13 runs scored ... led the Huskies with six sacrifice bunts ... five game-winning RBIs ... six games with two hits.

Amy Hanson, Junior, C: Will share catching duties with Kristen Rivera ... appeared in seven games last season, starting six behind the plate, before having season-ending shoulder injury ... had surgery on her right shoulder in late February ... hit .176 (3-for-17) with two runs scored, a double and a pair of RBIs.

Sarah Hyatt, Freshman, 1B: Contender for the starting position at first base ...earned four letters at Sedro-Woolley High School ... two-time team captain ... named team Offensive Most Valuable player all four years and Skagit Valley Player of the Year as a junior ... led team to two league championships and two runner-up finishes ... played for the Washington Ladyhawks summer team under Husky alums Eve Gaw and Shelley Brown

Courtney Jeffries, Junior, OF: Expected to see action in right field ...last season, appeared in 56 games, starting 15 in right field and 31 at designated player ... led the team in hit by pitches with nine, tying for fifth-most in school history ... first hit of the season was a three-run home run and the game-winning RBI against CS Northridge.

Aimee Minor, Freshman, OF: Leading contender for the starting position in right field ...earned four letters in softball at Hemet High School ... four-time All-League selection ... three-time League Most Valuable Player ... led team to four league titles ... named Hemet School District Outstanding Athlete as a freshman ... Lion's Club Award recipient as a sophomore and junior ... earned Lion's Club Athlete of the Year honors as a senior.

Amanda Oleson, Junior, 2B: Will make the move from first base to second base this season ...last year, started 63 games ... has started in five different defensive positions since arriving at Washington ... played in right field, at shortstop and at first as a freshman ... stole 18 bases last season, one of four Huskies in double-digits ... 10 game-winning runs and two game-winning RBIs during sophomore campaign ... 17 multi-hit games, six multi-RBI efforts.

Megan Owen, Junior, OF: One of three players vying for the starting position in right field ... led the contingent last season with 30 starts in right, including the last nine games of the season ... also started three times in centerfield, while coming in as a pinch runner and pinch hitter in 14 other games.

Kristen Rivera, Sophomore, C: Was the only freshman to earn first team All-Pac-10 honors last season ... second team All-American ...USA Softball National Team Camp Invitee ... named to the USA Elite team but declined the position due to injury ... hit .346 with 35 runs scored, 63 hits, 13 doubles, 16 home runs and 61 RBIs ... led the team in multi-RBI games with 21, while taking second behind Clark in multi-hit games with 17.

Rita Roach, Junior, OF: Two-year starter in center field ... second team All-Pac-10 selection ... second on the team in batting average at .350 ... 40 runs scored, 62 hits, nine extra-base hits ... had a team low 23 strikeouts ... ranked second on the team with 22 stolen bases and fourth overall in the Pac-10

Leslie Scott, Sophomore, P: Appeared in 32 games in her freshman season, starting seven times ... 7-5 overall with a 2.15 earned run average ... gave up just 10 walks in 81.1 innings pitched ... led the Pac-10 in games pitched in relief with 25 and games finished with 18.

Traci Tawney, Senior, OF: Dependable defensive player who will see some time in left field ... started in six games in right field and two at first base last season... appeared in 39 games overall ... also used as a pinch runner

Dena Tyson, Freshman, OF: Will compete for time in left field ... earned four letters in softball at Corona High School ... All-America selection as a senior ... four-time All-League honoree and three-time All-CIF pick ... helped lead Batbusters summer team to the 2002 18-under Gold National Title.

Jessica Wilkinson, Sophomore, C: Redshirting this season ... had only career at-bat in the team's 6-0 victory over San Diego State on February 3, at the Early Bird Classic last year.

Leslie Scott, Sophomore, P: Appeared in 32 games in her freshman season, starting seven times ... 7-5 overall with a 2.15 earned run average ... gave up just 10 walks in 81.1 innings pitched ... led the Pac-10 in games pitched in relief with 25 and games finished with 18.

Traci Tawney, Senior, OF: Dependable defensive player who will see some time in left field ... started in six games in right field and two at first base last season... appeared in 39 games overall ... also used as a pinch runner

Dena Tyson, Freshman, OF: Will compete for time in left field ... earned four letters in softball at Corona High School ... All-America selection as a senior ... four-time All-League honoree and three-time All-CIF pick ... helped lead Batbusters summer team to the 2002 18-under Gold National Title.

Jessica Wilkinson, Sophomore, C: Redshirting this season ... had only career at-bat in the team's 6-0 victory over San Diego State on February 3, at the Early Bird Classic last year.

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