Softball Hits Road For Oregon/Oregon State Series

April 28, 2004

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THIS WEEK: The seventh-ranked Washington softball team (32-11, 6-4 Pac-10) travels to Oregon this weekend for Pac-10 match-ups against the Beavers and Ducks. The Huskies will play at Oregon State on Friday and 2 p.m. before taking on Oregon on Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. Washington is coming off a three game slide against California and Stanford last week and is in fourth place of the Pac-10.

ALL-TIME SERIES: Washington leads Oregon and Oregon State 65-18 in the all-time series. UW holds the 35-8 advantage over OSU including a pair of 5-3 wins in Seattle two weeks ago. UW leads Oregon 20-10 in the all-time series but lost a 2-1 match-up in Seattle on April 16.

SCOUTING OREGON STATE: Oregon State (38-17) is in seventh place of the Pac-10 with a 3-9 record, despite leading the conference in doubles (64) and walks (168). Vanessa Iapala leads the squad with a .369 clip (56-for-160), .600 slugging percentage and 13 doubles. Lisa Allen leads the team with nine home runs, while Iapala and Kelly Peterson have each hit eight. The Beavers have nearly doubled the RBI output of their opponents, 199 to 100, and are out hitting their opponents, .273 to .200. Monica Hoffman headlines the pitching staff with an 18-10 record and five shutouts. Hoffman averages 1.20 strikeouts per inning and holds opponents to a .166 average. Also seeing time in the circle are Brianne McGowan (9-3) and Ta'Tyana McElroy (11-4). McGowan has a team-low 1.22 ERA, while McElory has a 2.45 earned run average.

SCOUTING OREGON: Oregon (34-12) is tied with Stanford for second place of the Pac-10 with an 8-4 mark. The Ducks went 2-1 last weekend, including an extra-inning victory over No. 1 Arizona. It marked just the second loss of the season for the Wildcats who lost to the Huskies in March. Oregon boasts the second-best ERA in Pac-10 games with a 1.73 ERA and leads the conference in sacrifice bunts (63). Ani Nyhus is Oregon's workhorse on the mound with a 19-8 record, including eight shutouts. Anissa Meashintubby is 10-8 and her 1.58 ERA ties with Nyhus for the team-low. Ashley Richards and Jenn Poore lead with team in batting average as Richards hits at a .324 clip (46-for-142) and Poore maintains a .324 average (45-for-139). Richards tops the squad with eight home runs, while Poore has added seven and Kayleen Hudson has hit six.

COMEBACK DAWGS: Washington has fallen behind in nine Pac-10 games this season, coming back to win six of those. UW came back from 1-0 and 3-0 deficits vs. Arizona State, 1-0 and 5-1 deficits vs. UCLA and a pair of 2-0 deficits against Oregon State.

OLESON SHOWS VERSATILITY: Senior Amanda Oleson became the first Husky to ever play all nine positions at Washington. Oleson, who is Washington's starting shortstop this season, set the record when she started the April 22 nightcap against Portland State behind the plate. Former Husky, Becky Newbry, played all positions but catcher during her tenure from 1996-99.

BOEK FANS THE COMPETITION: With 23 strikeouts last week Ashley Boek entered the school's top 5 season list with 209 strikeouts. Jennifer Spediacci set the record with 316 strikeouts in 2000. Boek's 543 career strikeouts rank third on the Husky all-time charts.

NON-CONFERENCE HOME STREAK CONTINUES: With a pair of wins over Portland State (5-1 and 10-1) the Huskies maintain their unbeaten streak at home vs. non-conference opponents. Washington is 54-0 all-time at home vs. teams outside of the Pac-10 Conference.

FULL HOUSE: Washington's game against UCLA on April 10 was sold out with 1,416 fans. The Huskies have pulled 7,942 fans through its gates over 10 home dates for an average of 794 fans per game. Last season, Washington averaged 727 fans per game, which ranked fourth-best nationwide.

FAST PAC-10 START: UW's 6-1 league start marks its best start since the 2000 season when it was 9-1 and its second-best conference start ever. The Huskies are currently in fourth place in the conference behind Arizona (9-1) and Stanford and Oregon (8-4).

FREE RIDE: Kristen Rivera has drawn 37 walks this season- nearly double that of any other Husky. Her 37 free trips lead the Pac-10 and places her third on Washington's career chart with 95 walks. Last season had walked just 10 times through the first 38 games of the season and 29 times all season.

BOLLINGER REWRITES RECORD BOOKS: Senior pitcher Tia Bollinger has pitched more innings during her career than any other Husky. She is also on the verge of breaking numerous other school pitching records by the end of the season. Bollinger needs just one more appearances (167/168 Jamie Graves), two more starts (122/124 Jennifer Spediacci) and five wins (95/100 Spediacci) to top the Husky career charts. Bollinger already holds career school records for saves and season records for saves (7), games started (39), wins (36) and innings pitched (287.0).

RIVERA SETS UW POWER RECORDS: Kristen Rivera tops the Husky season charts with a 1.000 slugging percentage and .596 on-base percentage this season. Her .445 batting average ranks second all-time behind Angie Marzetta who hit .472 clip during the 1993.

BOEK NAMED PAC-10 PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Ashley Boek was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week on April 12 for leading Washington to a pair of victories over No. 2 UCLA. On April 9, Boek threw all seven innings, scattering four hits, striking out six and allowing just one earned run. Boek entered Saturday's game in relief in the fifth inning with two runners on base and no outs. Although two runners did cross the plate, Boek kept the game in reach. After a fifth inning rally by Washington, Boek struck out five of the next six Bruins to earn her second win of the weekend over UCLA. Boek gave up just one extra-base hit against UCLA in 38 at-bats and held the Bruins to a .105 average. For the weekend, she boasted a 0.70 ERA, allowing just one run over 10 innings with 11 strikeouts.

RIVERA NAMED TOP 25 FINALIST FOR COLLEGIATE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Two-time All-America Kristen Rivera is one of 25 finalists for the 2004 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award. The award, which is considered the Heisman Trophy in women's collegiate softball and is the only national player of the year award, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country. Last season, Rivera was a top 10 finalist. Senior pitcher Tia Bollinger, a two-time All-American, was among the initial top 40 watch list at the beginning of this season.

GRAND SLAMS SINK OPPONENTS: Three UW players have hit grand slams this season, including two by Sarah Hyatt. Hyatt had the hits in wins over Texas (Feb. 27) and Portland State (Apr. 22). Kristen Rivera hit a grand slam against Arizona State (Apr. 3) and Kathy Fiske hit one against Arizona State (Apr. 4). The grand slams marked the third for Fiske, second for Hyatt and first for Rivera. The UW record for career grand slams is four, set by Jenny Topping in 2000. That season, the Huskies combined for six grand slams- the most of any UW team in school history.

MINOR NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Aimee Minor was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Mar. 23 after leading Washington to the Kia Klassic Championship. Minor had a .533 (8-for-15) batting average and seven RBIs in five games. She boasted a 1.133 slugging percentage, including a double, triple and two home runs. Against Texas A&M on March 18, Minor had two hits and helped the Huskies get off to a fast start as she singled and scored a run in the first inning. The run proved to be all the Huskies would need, as they beat the Aggies 5-0. Minor saved her best game of the weekend for the championship game against No. 1 Arizona. Minor led Washington to a 7-6 upset of the top-ranked Wildcats as she was 3-for-3, including a double and two home runs. She knocked in six of the Huskies seven runs, as Washington ended Arizona's 34-game win streak.

HITTING IT DEEP: With a three-run shot against Arizona State on March 13, Kristen Rivera collected her 50th career home run. Her career total now stands at 56, which ranks second on the UW career-chart. She trails three-time All-American Jaime Clark by 17 home runs. Clark holds the UW record with 73 home runs from 2000-03. Rivera leads the conference with 17 home runs this season, including a solo home run against San Diego State in her first at-bat of the year. Rivera has hit two home runs in the same game twice this season, including three-run and two-run shots against Army on Feb. 27 and a grand slam and solo shot against Arizona State (Apr. 3). The grand slam marked the first of Rivera's collegiate career. Last season, Rivera set the UW season record with 25 home runs, which tied for the national lead.

TWO OUT RALLY: Freshman Robyn Wike has driven in 11 runs this season and eight of those have been with two outs. Wike hit in the game-winner against Northwestern in extra-innings on Mar. 26 with two outs. Sophomore Dena Tyson and Sarah Hyatt leads the team with nine two out RBIs each.

IN THE CLUTCH: Sophomore Dena Tyson had the game-winning hit in three games at the Kia Klassic, Mar. 18-21. She has driven in eight game-winners this season- double of any other Husky. Sarah Hyatt has hit in four game-winners and Kristen Rivera and Sarah Hyatt have hit three.BOEK BLANKS THE COMPETITION: With eight shutouts this season, junior ace Ashley Boek has already surpassed her season total from last year. Boek has blanked her opponents eight times in 32 appearances and leads the team with a 21-7 record, 1.66 ERA and 209 strikeouts in 189.2 innings.

THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE: Senior Rita Roach leads the team with 10 sacrifice hits. Last season, Roach tied the Husky single-season record with 15 sacrifices.

HYATT HITS 'EM IN: Sophomore Sarah Hyatt ranks second on the team with 41 RBIs and has had eight multi-RBI games this season. Hyatt logged seven RBIs against Texas on Feb. 13 and five against Santa Clara on Mar. 12.

STREAKING START: Freshman Dominique Lastrapes made her collegiate debut with an 11 game hitting streak. She has notched a base hit in 33 of 43 games this season and has picked up 16 multi-hit games, including four games in which she recorded three hits.

HYATT HIGHLIGHTS WIN OVER TEXAS: Sophomore Sarah Hyatt stole the show in the 14-4 mercy-rule victory over 10th-ranked Texas on Feb. 14. Hyatt hit two home runs in the game, including a game-ending grand slam. She picked up seven RBIs to fall one short of the school record. Hyatt is just the eighth player to hit a grand slam at Washington.

HUSKIES OPEN STRONG: Washington had a 10-1 record after the first two weeks of the season to tie for the second-best start in the program's history. Last season, UW set the school record with a 19-0-1 start and the 2002 squad posted a 10-1 start to the season.

MERCY-MERCY ME: The Huskies have invoked the mercy-rule six times this season. UW forced game-ending scores against San Diego State (8-0 in five innings), Texas (14-4 in six), Syracuse (11-1 in five), Dayton (10-2 in five), Santa Clara (11-0 in five) and Wisconsin (11-0 in five).

HUSKIES WIN KIA KLASSIC: Washington won the Kia Klassic in Fullerton, Calif., Mar. 18-21, defeating top-ranked and previously unbeaten Arizona 7-6 in the championship game. The Huskies swept through pool play, defeating No. 13 Pacific, Texas A&M and Princeton to receive a first round bye in the championship bracket. UW defeated seventh-ranked Oklahoma 1-0 in eight innings in the second round and advanced to the championship game when Florida State forfeited. In the championship, Aimee Minor went 3-for-3, including a double and a pair of two-run home runs with six RBIs to lift Washington to victory and hand Arizona its first loss of the season. Ashley Boek finished the tournament 4-0 with a save and a 0.68 ERA. She struck out 33 batters in 31 innings and held her opponents to a .183 batting average. Dena Tyson also had a solid weekend for the Huskies, driving in three game-winning runs.

NIST RECAP: The Huskies finished second at the National Invitational Softball Tournament in Sunnyvale, Calif., March 12-14, falling to third-ranked California 5-4 in the championship game. Washington defeated Iowa in the tournament opener before posting three consecutive shutouts against Santa Clara (11-0), Wisconsin (11-0) and No. 20 Arizona State (5-0). Junior hurler Ashley Boek pitched all five games for the Huskies, striking out 37 batters in 30 innings and allowing just four earned runs for a 0.93 ERA. Kristen Rivera led UW with a .545 (6-for-11) average, while driving in 10 runs. Sarah Hyatt tallied seven hits over the weekend with 11 RBIs and a .417 average. Dominique Lastrapes hit .462 with six hits and seven runs scored. She drove in three runs in the loss to Cal.

HUSKIES TOP CANADIAN NATIONAL TEAM: Washington defeated the Canadian National Team 7-6 in eight innings on March 4 in an exhibition game. The Huskies collected 14 hits in the opener and overcame a three-run deficit to hand Team Canada its first loss of the season. The Huskies scored the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth on two hits. With Rita Roach starting the inning on second base, Team Canada intentionally walked Kristen Rivera. Callie Bergan followed with a single to the short stop and senior Amanda Oleson delivered the game-winner with a single into centerfield. Game two of the double header was halted due to darkness after two innings with the score knotted at 3-3.

NFCA LEADOFF CLASSIC RECAP: The Huskies went 2-3 at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga., Feb. 27-29. UW opened the tournament with wins over Texas and Army, before dropping three straight games to No. 11 Florida State, No. 12 LSU and Central Michigan. Kristen Rivera led the Huskies with a .364 average (4-for-11), including three home runs and eight runs batted in. Tia Bollinger tied her career-best strikeout performance against Central Michigan fanning 12. LSU and Florida State advanced to the tournament finals with LSU claiming the 4-3 victory.

CAMPBELL/CARTIER CLASSIC RECAP: Washington went 1-1 at the Campbell/Cartier Classic Feb. 20-22, dropping a 1-0 game to Long Beach State and defeating San Diego State 7-0. The Huskies had three games rained out on Saturday and Sunday, including match-ups against Fresno State, Auburn and Hawaii. Kristen Rivera led the Huskies with an .800 average (4-for-5) and a 1.400 slugging percentage. She notched five RBIs against SDSU, including a three-run home run. Tia Bollinger threw a one-hitter against the Aztecs, not allowing a base runner until the seventh inning.

FIESTA BOWL RECAP: Washington went 6-0 at the Fiesta Bowl Classic Feb 13-15, out scoring its opponents 50-11. The Huskies defeated Syracuse 11-1, No. 10 Texas 14-4, Texas Tech 6-0, No. 18 Texas A&M 4-2, Dayton 10-2 and Massachusetts 5-2. UW had seven players hit .400 or better, led by freshman Dominique Lastrapes with a .565 average. Highlights of the weekend included a two home run, seven RBI night for Sarah Hyatt vs. Texas, Kristen Rivera's 4-for-4 performance vs. UMass and Lastrapes's extension of her hitting streak to 11 games.

NATIONAL RANKING: The Huskies are ranked seventh in the latest USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 poll release on Apr. 28. The Huskies have been ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 poll in each of the last 137 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 69 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 120 poll datings, a streak that began with the preseason poll in 1996. Washington is ranked No. 8 in the Apr. 27 ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate top 25 poll.

HEAD COACHES: Former Washington assistant coaches Scott Centala and Steve Dailey take over the reigns as co-head coaches for the 2004 season. Centala enters his eighth season on the UW coaching staff and has helped develop Washington's program into one of the nation's elite teams. Since joining the program in the 1997 as a defensive specialist, the Huskies boast a 380-129-1 record with an incredible .746 winning percentage. All totaled, Husky players have earned 20 All-America certificates, 45 selections to All-Pac-10 squads and 31 All-Conference academic honors during Centala's tenure. Dailey begins his second season with the Huskies as the offensive coach. Last season, Dailey helped cultivate Washington's offense into one of the most powerful line-ups in the country. The Huskies pounded 75 home runs, including 25 by Kristen Rivera to set the UW record and tie for the national lead. Washington out scored its opponents by nearly double (313-161) and invoked the mercy-rule 11 times, including three times at the regional tournament to set a Washington postseason record. Dailey also helped the Huskies become more selective at the plate, increasing their number of walks and decreasing their number of strikeouts.

NFCA NAMES ALL-TIME TOP 50 TEAMS: The National Fastpitch Coaches' Association released its all-time top 50 poll with Washington ranking No. 3. The poll was complied using weekly rankings from the 1995 season to the 2003 final poll. Joining the Huskies in the top 10 are five other Pac-10 teams, including No. 1 Arizona, No. 2 UCLA, No. 7 California, No. 8 Arizona State and No. 10 Stanford.

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 2004 season. Longtime baseball play-by-play man Mike Brown returns for his seventh season behind the microphone, while John Cowley will deliver color commentary for his fourth 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. Broadcasts begin 15 minutes prior to first pitch; schedule is subject to change.

USA SOFTBALL REPRESENTATIVES: Junior catcher Kristen Rivera is one of 14 players named to the 2004 Women's National Elite team by USA Softball. The team was chosen from the USA player pool and will represent the U.S. in the 2004 Canada Cup, U.S. Champions Cup and other events to be scheduled. Former Husky standout and three-time All-American Jaime Clark was one of three alternates to join the 15-member USA National Team roster that will compete at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The 15-player Washington roster includes 10 returning letterwinners and nine returning starters. The 2004 team is comprised of four seniors, four juniors, four sophomores and three freshmen. Ten players hail from California, four from Washington and one from Oregon.

2003 SEASON RECAP: Washington sprinted out to its best start in the program's history and was the last undefeated team in the country with a 19-0-1 mark last year. The Huskies peaked in May, splitting their final Pac-10 games against top-ranked Arizona in Tucson to earn the No. 1 seed at the regional tournament in Lincoln, Neb. Washington powered its way through its regional competition, sweeping the field 4-0 and out scoring its opponents 35-1, including three mercy-rule victories, to advance to its sixth Women's College World Series. The Huskies opened the series with a 3-1 win over Oklahoma before dropping a pair of one-run heartbreakers to Arizona and UCLA to finish the season tied for fifth place. Kristen Rivera was a first team All-America selection and Tia Bollinger was named to the second team.

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