Softball Heads To Florida To Play In The Speedline Invitational

March 4, 2003

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THIS WEEKEND: The No. 4-ranked Washington softball team (17-0-1) makes its second cross-country trek in two weeks to compete in the Speedline Invitational in Plant City, Fla. The Huskies will open play on Thursday, March 6 with a pair of games against No. 18 Massachusetts and Hofstra. UW will take on Northwestern and Ball State on Friday and North Carolina on Saturday before rounding out the tournament with bracket play. Washington is coming off a 5-0 performance at the Worth Invitational in Fullerton, Calif. last week, in which the Huskies were the unofficial winners with victories over Portland State, No. 20 Ohio State, Northwestern, Pacific and Purdue. With a 17-0-1 record, UW is off to its best start in its 11-year history and is the only remaining undefeated team in the 25 polls.

Thursday, March 6: Washington vs. No. 18 Massachusetts, 4 p.m.
Thursday, March 6: Washington vs. Hofstra, 6 p.m.
Friday, March 7: Washington vs. Northwestern, 2 p.m.
Friday, March 7: Washington vs. Ball State, 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 8: Washington vs. North Carolina, 2 p.m.
Saturday, March 8: Bracket Play
Sunday, March 9: Bracket Play

SERIES HISTORY: Washington has faced three of its five scheduled opponents and holds a 14-1 (.933) advantage in the all-time series over Massachusetts (6-0), Hofstra (2-0) and Northwestern (6-1). The Huskies will make their first appearances against Ball State and North Carolina this weekend.

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 overall UW record stands at 502-182-1 (.734) and she is 706-343-1 (.673) all-time. 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). All totaled, Wilson has coached 24 All-Americans, 69 all-conference selections and 50 academic all-conference honorees. A 1983 All-American pitcher for Missouri, she is joined by assistants Scott Centala and Steve Dailey.

SCOUTING MASSACHUSETTS: No. 18 Massachusetts (5-3) was idle last week after winning the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga. Seven of UMass' eight games have been against ranked opponents, with victories coming against Texas Tech, No. 10 Arizona State, No. 17 Oregon State, then-No. 20 Pacific and No. 15 Florida State.

Massachusetts is getting outhit by its opponents, .221-.236, but has won games on its defense that boasts a .982 fielding percentage. The team has four players hitting above .300, led by Aisha Franke (.364), Brandi Cross (.348), Hilary Puglia (.320) and Kaila Holtz (.318). Cross leads all hitters with six RBIs and has two home runs. Emily Robustelli has also belted a pair of home runs for the Minutewomen.

UMass' pitching staff combines for a 2.09 ERA, headlined by Holtz and Kelli Arnold. Holtz, 2002 Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year, has a team-low 1.87 earned run average and has fanned 17 batters in 30 innings. Arnold was named NFCA Player of the Week on Feb. 24, and maintains a 2.03 ERA. She has struck out nine batters in 20 innings and has limited her opponents to a .225 batting average.

SCOUTING HOFSTRA: Hofstra (5-6) is coming off of a 3-1 performance last weekend, including wins over Indiana 11-2, Radford 4-2 and Seton Hall 3-1. The team's only loss was a 6-2 setback to No. 22 South Florida.

HU is getting outhit by its opponents, .203 to .214, and is led by Amanda Halloway with a .360 (9-for-25) clip and six RBIs. Alexis Alcantara and Sara DeAngelis headline a pitching staff that averages 2.24 earned runs per game. Alcantara (2-0) has struck out 17 batters in 19.1 innings, while DeAngelis (2-2) has fanned nine in 27.2 innings of work.

SCOUTING NORTHWESTERN: Northwestern (8-5) posted a 3-2 record last weekend at the Worth Invitational, including back-to-back upsets over No. 19 Oregon State 4-3 and No. 6 California 4-3. Two of the Wildcat's losses have come at the hands of Washington, including a 9-0 romp last week and a 2-1 decision in Tucson on Feb. 15.

NU is hitting .268, while its pitching staff holds its opponents to a .223 batting average. Brett Nakabayshi and Carrie Leto lead the Wildcats at the plate, each hitting in the upper .300s. Nakabayshi leads the way with a .386 (17-for-44) average, while Leto is hitting .375 (15-for-40) with a team-high seven RBIs.

Courtney Foster headlines a pitching staff that maintains a 2.13 earned run average. Foster (4-3) has struck out 51 batters in 43.1 innings of work and has limited her opponents to a .192 batting average. Brie Brown and Lauren Schwendima have also posted two victories for the Wildcats.

SCOUTING BALL STATE: The Ball State Cardinals have played just two games this season, losing both to Virginia Tech 6-5 and Indiana State 4-1 on Feb. 23.

Kris Burdine leads the Ball State offense with a .625 (5-for-8) average, including a double and triple. Four players have a .333 (2-for-6) clip, including Jodi Willis, Janice Campbell, Kerrie Campbell and Britni Clark.

The Cardinal pitching staff has a 4.31 earned run average and is led by Nicki Hollem with a 1.75 ERA. Courtney Winger leads the team in strikeouts with five Ks in four innings.

SCOUTING NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina (9-9) had a rough time last weekend, dropping four of five games. The Tar Heels lost to No. 5 Texas, lost two to Florida and split with No. 19 Michigan, 3-1 and 0-1.

North Carolina is outhitting its opponents .252-.185 and is led by Tiffany Tolleson with a .429 (24-for-56) average. Jaclyn Holden leads the team with 15 RBIs and is batting .360 (18-for-50), including seven doubles, a triple and three home runs.

Crystal Cox (5-4) and Alison Yin (4-1) carry most of the pitching duties for a staff that averages 1.97 earned runs per game. Cox has struck out 66 batters in 52.2 innings and has held her opponents to a .118 average. Yin has fanned 19 in 38.1 innings and maintains a .220 opponent batting average.

LAST WEEKEND: Washington won all five of its games at the Worth Invitational in Fullerton, Calif, to claim the unofficial championship. The Huskies defeated Portland State 3-0, No. 20 Ohio State 2-1, Northwestern 9-0, Pacific 9-1 and Purdue 11-0 (5). The Northwestern victory marked head coach Tersea Wilson's 500th win at UW.

Kristen Rivera led the team with a .571 (8-for-14) average, including a double, four home runs and 12 RBIs. She belted three home runs in three at-bats versus Purdue to set a new Washington record. Jaime Clark also notched two homers in the victory as Washington tied the school record for most home runs in a game with five.

Tia Bollinger led the Husky pitching staff with three wins, including a shutout of Northwestern. She struck out 14 batters in 16 innings and gave up just 10 hits and one earned run over the weekend.

HUSKIES REMAIN UNDEFEATED: Washington is the only remaining undefeated team in the top 25 polls after a 5-0 record last weekend. The Huskies (17-0-1) are off to their best start in the program's 11-year history.

MILESTONES: Head coach Teresa Wilson has notched two milestone victories over the last two weeks, including 700 career wins and 500 Washington victories. On Feb. 22, Wilson tallied her 700th career victory with a 5-2 win over No. 15 Michigan, 5-3. On March 1, Wilson recorded her 500th win at the helm of the UW softball team. She now has a 706-343-1 all-time record, which ranks 16th on the active coaches' list for most victories.

IN THE POLLS: The Washington softball team improved one spot in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate top 25 poll to No. 4 on March 4. The Huskies are also ranked fourth in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll as of Feb. 26.

The Huskies have been ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 poll in each of the last 114 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 97 poll datings, a streak that began with the preseason poll in 1996.

RIVERA NAMED USA SOFTBALL COLLEGIATE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: After a record-setting performance at the Worth Invitational last week, sophomore Kristen Rivera was selected as the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week and Pac-10 Player of the Week on March 4.

Rivera led the No. 4-ranked Huskies to five wins at the Worth Invitational and the unofficial tournament title as Washington improved to 17-0-1 and remains the only undefeated team in the top 25. Rivera hit .571 (8-for-14) over the five game stretch with a double, four home runs and 12 RBIs. Against Purdue, she hit three home runs in three at-bats to set a Washington record and tallied five RBIs.

She also went 2-for-3 against both Pacific and Northwestern with two runs scored and six RBIs combined. Rivera drew two walks over the course of the tournament without a strikeout. Behind the plate, she was flawless with a perfect fielding percentage and threw out the only base runner that attempted to steal.

PAC-10 HONORS: Tia Bollinger was selected as the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week on March 4 after a 3-0 mark at the Worth Invitational, Feb. 28-March 2. She gave up just 10 hits total, shutout Northwestern and allowed no earned runs in four innings of work against Purdue. Bollinger rung up 14 batters in 16 innings for a team-low 0.44 ERA and allowed only one run in three appearances. She limited No. 20 Ohio State to three hits and Purdue to only two.

CHEVRON PARADISE CLASSIC CHAMPIONS: Washington opened the 2003 season with a perfect 6-0 record to win the Hawaii Chevron Paradise Classic in Honolulu, Feb. 6-9. 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.

HAWAII ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Sophomore Kristen Rivera was named Most Outstanding Player of the Hawaii Chevron Paradise Classic for her .476 performance at the plate, while sophomore Ashley Boek received Most Outstanding Pitcher honors after picking up three wins and a save. Also named to the all-tournament team were sophomore third baseman Kathy Fiske and junior centerfielder Rita Roach who hit .429 and .350, respectively.

ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The 16-player Washington roster includes 13 returning letterwinners and eight returning starters. The 2003 team includes six juniors, five sophomores, two seniors and three freshmen. Nine players hail from California, six from Washington and one from Oregon.

CHALLENGING SCHEDULE: The Huskies are scheduled to play 14 teams ranked in the USA Today/ NFCA poll. Seven of those opponents are Pac-10 members, including No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Arizona, No. 6 California, No. 10 Arizona State, No. 11 Stanford, No. 17 Oregon State and No. 23 Oregon. The other seven ranked opponents the Huskies are slated to play are No. 5 Texas, No. 7 Cal State Fullerton, No. 16 South Carolina, No. 18 Massachusetts, No. 19 Michigan, No. 20 Ohio State, and No. 24 Minnesota

HUSKIES ON THE AIRWAVES: KKNW AM-1150, through rights-holder Pioneer Radio & Sports, will carry eight Husky softball games, plus any postseason play during the 2003 season. Longtime baseball play-by-play man Mike Brown returns for his sixth season behind the microphone, while John Cowley will deliver color commentary for his third season with the Dawgs.

All games will air live on KKNW, and are also available over the internet at www.gohuskies.com or www.newschannel1150.com.

Here is the complete UW softball radio broadcast schedule (broadcasts begin 15 minutes prior to first pitch; schedule is subject to change):

Friday, April 4: Washington vs. Arizona, 2 p.m.
Saturday, April 5: Washington vs. Arizona State, 2 p.m.
Sunday, April 6: Washington vs. Arizona State, 1 p.m.
Friday, April 18: Washington at UCLA, 2 p.m.
Saturday, April 19: Washington at UCLA, 2 p.m.
Friday, April 25: Washington vs. Stanford, 2 p.m.
Saturday, April 26: Washington vs. California, 2 p.m.
Sunday, April 27: Washington vs. California, 2 p.m.

PLAYER NOTES (in alphabetical order):

Callie Bergan, Sophomore 1B: Returns for her sophomore campaign after receiving a medical redshirt last season... notched her first career hit and RBI against Florida International on Feb. 15 ... scored a run against Purdue on March 2 ... 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: Named the Hawaii Chevron Paradise Classic Most Outstanding Player, posting three wins and a save ...is 7-0 this season with a save ... has struck out 55 batters in 52.1 innings pitched ...defeated No. 15 Michigan at the NFCA Leadoff Classic ...notched two wins at the Worth Invitational with a 0.50 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 14 innings.

Tia Bollinger, Junior, P: Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week (3/4) ...leads the team with a 9-0 mark and 1.18 ERA ... has fanned 55 batters in 65.1 innings pitched ...tallied a save in the 5-3 victory over No. 15 Michigan ...struck out 11 in the 3-2 victory over Oklahoma State, while walking none ...defeated No. 16 South Carolina and Temple at the NFCA Leadoff Classic ...gave up just one run in three games at the Worth Invitational ...tossed a shutout over Northwestern on March 1.

Jaime Clark, Senior, SS: Has started all 18 games at short stop ... hit .400 at the Arizona Pepsi Classic, including a double, home run and five RBIs ...is 10-for-10 in stolen base attempts, including three against Northwestern ... ranks third on the team with 15 RBIs ... went 1-for-4 with two RBIs in UW's 3-2 win over Oklahoma State ... was 1-for-2 with two runs scored and a RBI in the 8-0 win over FIU ...hit a home run and a triple in the 4-3 victory over Temple ...went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI against Pacific ...hit 3-for-3 with two home runs in the 11-0 romp of Purdue, while driving in four RBIs ...has hit five home runs this season.

Kathy Fiske, Sophomore, 3B: Has started all 18 games at third base ...ranks second on the team with a .393 average (22-for-56), including six doubles and four home runs ...has driven in 17 RBIs ...earned all-tournament honors at the Hawaii Chevron Paradise Classic ...went 3-for-4 against Louisville ...hit 2-for-3 with two RBIs in victories over Santa Clara and Arkansas ...notched three RBIs in 5-5 tie with Minnesota ...hit .600 (6-for-10) at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, earning all-tournament honors ...was 2-for-3 with two RBIs in 2-1 win over No. 16 South Carolina ...went 3-for-4 with three runs scored in 5-3 victory over No. 15 Michigan ...hit 2-for-4 in 9-1 win over Pacific with four RBIs.

Amy Hanson, Junior, C: Has thrown out all four potential base stealers this season ... leads team with three sacrifice hits ...went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored in Washington's 12-3 win over Arkansas.

Sarah Hyatt, Freshman, 1B: Has started all 18 games at first base ... is third on the team with a .333 (16-for-48) batting average, including a .667 (8-for-12) performance at the Arizona Pepsi Classic ... hit her first career home run in the win over Arkansas ...went 2-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored against Arkansas ...recorded three hits in 8-0 romp of Florida International ...went 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI in the 5-3 win over No. 15 Michigan ...homered in the 2-1 victory over No. 20 Ohio State.

Courtney Jeffries, Junior, OF: Has played in eight games, starting five in left field and one as the designated player ...leads all outfielders with eight putouts ...went 1-for-3 in the 5-4 win over Oklahoma State on Feb. 7 ...also hit 1-for-3 in the 8-0 victory over Florida International ... singled as a pinch hitter in the Portland State game.

Aimee Minor, Freshman, OF: Has started 10 games in right field ...the first player to notch a double, triple and home run this season ...went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the 8-0 victory over FIU ... hit a home run versus Northwestern ... leads the team with five hit by pitches.

Amanda Oleson, Junior, 2B: Has started all 18 games at second base ...leads team with eight walks and is third with 13 runs scored ...is 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts ...went 3-for-4 with a RBI in the 3-0 win over Portland State.

Megan Owen, Junior, OF: Has started 12 games in the outfield ...scored both runs in UW's 2-1 win over Northwestern ... also went 2-for-2 against the Wildcats ...was 1-for-1 versus No. 16 South Carolina ... hit 1-for-3 with a RBI in the 5-3 victory over No. 15 Michigan.

Kristen Rivera, Sophomore, C: Has started all 18 games as either catcher or designated player ...leads team with a .500 (28-for-56) batting average and 10 home runs ...also leads the team with 27 RBIs and a 1.071 slugging percentage ...named USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week for her .571 (8-for-14) performance at the Worth Invitational ...named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament at the Hawaii Chevron Paradise Classic ...hit 2-for-4 with two RBIs in the win over Louisville ...was 3-for-4 with three RBIs against Santa Clara ... posted three hits and a RBI in Washington's 3-2 win over Oklahoma State ... went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in 12-3 victory over Arkansas ...also named to the NFCA Leadoff Classic all-tournament team, hitting 6-for-8 (.625) ...went 3-for-3 with a home run against Temple ...hit 2-for-3 against Northwestern and Pacific with three RBIs and a run scored in each ... was 3-for-3 with three home runs against Purdue to set a school record ...notched five RBIs against Purdue.

Rita Roach, Junior, OF: Named to the Hawaii Chevron Paradise Classic all-tournament team after hitting .429 (9-for-21) ... hit 4-for-4 in win over Santa Clara ...was 1-for-1 in 2-1 victory over No. 20 Ohio State ...missed two weeks due to injury.

Traci Tawney, Senior, OF: Has appeared in13 games as a pinch runner and outfielder ...is 1-for-2 at the plate with three runs scored and a stolen base.

Dena Tyson, Freshman, OF: Has started 14 games in left field ...blasted a home run in her first collegiate at-bat ... hit a double against Arkansas ...went 5-for12 (.471) at the Worth Invitational, including two doubles, a home run and three RBIs ...was 2-for-3 against Northwestern ...hit 1-for-2 against Pacific and Purdue ...has five RBIs on the season.

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, 2002, at the Early Bird Classic.

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