Softball Makes Home Debut Saturday
Feb. 16, 2005
UP NEXT: The No. 11/12 (ESPN.com/USA Today) Washington softball team (5-3) makes its home debut this Saturday when it hosts Willamette for a double header at noon. The Huskies have a 54-0 record all-time at home against non-conference opponents.
FISKE OUT 4-6 WEEKS: Senior third baseman Kathy Fiske suffered a broken left hand on Feb. 5 vs. Tennessee after being hit by a pitch. She broke the fifth metacarpal bone in two places and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Fiske leads the team with a .450 average and 10 RBIs.
SCOUTING WILLAMETTE: Willamette opens its season at UW Saturday. The Bearcats, a NCAA DIII institution, are members of the Northwest Conference. Willamette had a 17-23 record last season and a 13-16 mark in the NWC to finish tied for fifth. The Huskies and Bearcats have met four times with Washington winning all four games. The teams have not met since 1994.
WASHINGTON IN THE POLLS: The Huskies are ranked 11th in the ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25 poll released Feb. 15. Washington is ranked 12th in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 poll released on Feb. 16. The Huskies have been ranked in the NFCA poll for each of the last 142 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 125 poll datings, a streak that began with the preseason poll in 1996.
UW SCORES 17 RUNS: Washington scored 17 runs vs. Illinois (Feb. 13), tying its most runs since 1996 when UW defeated St. Mary's 19-0 (Mar. 15). Washington also scored 17 runs in a 21-17 loss vs. Arizona on May 10, 2003. The school record for runs scored is 28 in the 1993 28-0 victory over Stanford (April 23).
FIRST INNING RALLIES: Washington is out scoring its opponents 57-19 overall and 26-1 in the first inning. UW has scored six or more runs in three of its five wins.
BOEK CRACKS TOP FIVE: With five appearances and four wins at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las, Vegas, Feb. 11-13, senior Ashley Boek cracked into the UW career top five list. Boek now ranks fifth with 70 wins and 126 appearances, surpassing current pitching coach Eve Gaw's 69 wins and 125 appearances.
BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: The Huskies have pounded 24 extra-base hits this season and have given up just seven. Washington has hit 13 doubles and 11 home runs compared to its opponent's two doubles, triple and four home runs.
RIVERA CHASES HOME RUN RECORD: Senior Kristen Rivera has hit four home runs this season to bring her career total to 62. She ranks second on the UW all-time career list, trailing Jaime Clark who hit 73 home runs from 2000-03.
FANNING THE COMPETITION: Freshman Caitlin Noble has struck out 44 batters in 25.1 innings, averaging 1.74 K's per frame. Noble has struck out at least eight batters in each appearance this season and has struck out at least 11 batters three other times.
BACK-TO-BACK: Sarah Hyatt and Jacki Hansen hit back-to-back home runs in the 11-0 victory over IPFW on Feb. 4. The home run marked the first collegiate extra-base hit for Hansen. Kristen Rivera and Kathy Fiske hit back-to-back home runs in the 17-7 win over Illinois on Feb. 11.
BERGAN HITS GRAND SLAM: Senior Callie Bergan hit her first career grand slam vs. Jacksonville in the season-opener in Honolulu on Feb. 3. The hit marked the first home run of her career and only her second-ever extra-base hit. Her five RBI's also marked a career game-high. She had just eight in her first three years at Washington.
HUSKIES WIN HAWAII PARADISE CLASSIC: Washington opened the 2005 season with a 3-1 record at the Hawaii Paradise Classic to earn the tournament title. The Huskies tied with Hawaii and Oregon in the team standings but won the tournament title with the tie breaker (least runs scored against: seven). UW defeated Jacksonville (12-0), IPFW (11-0) and No. 13 Oregon (6-0), before falling to host UH (7-6). Senior Kristen Rivera earned MVP honors as she hit .667 (6-for-9) with seven RBIs, six runs scored and two home runs. She was the Offensive MVP of the same tournament in 2003. Three other UW players earned all-tournament honors, including pitcher Ashley Boek, third baseman Kathy Fiske and outfielder Jacki Hansen. Washington out hit its opponents .340 to .233 and out scored its opponents 35-7.
CHALLENGING SCHEDULE: Washington's schedule includes 11 teams currently ranked in the USA Today/ NFCA Top 25 poll and three other teams who have received votes. Washington has already faced No. 13 Oregon (W, 6-0), No. 14 Tennessee (L, 2-1) and No. 22 Illinois (W, 17-7). Washington will also take on six ranked teams during the Pac-10 season, including No. 1 California, No. 2 Arizona, No. 3 UCLA, No. 4 Stanford, No. 15 Oregon and No. 20 Oregon State. The Huskies are also slated to face Northwestern, Arizona State and Cal State Fullerton- each received votes in the lastest poll. Washington is 2-1 against ranked teams this season.
COLLEGIATE PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST: The Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, and USA Softball announced its initial watch list for the fourth annual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award. Two Huskies were named on the list, including sophomore second baseman Dominique Lastrapes and senior catcher Kristen Rivera. Both players earned All-America honors last season. 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.
UW PICKED SIXTH: Washington was selected to finish sixth in the league by the Conference softball coaches. Head Coach Heather Tarr, who enters her first season at the helm of the UW program, returns seven starters for the 2005 campaign, including All-American catcher and 2004 Pac-10 Player of the Year Kristen Rivera and All-American second baseman Dominique Lastrapes. Tarr, a former player at Washington, aims to guide the Huskies to their 12th postseason appearance and eighth Women's College World Series. California was picked to win the Pac-10 Conference after receiving 44 points, including three first place votes. Arizona, the 2004 Pac-10 Champion, was picked to finish second with 43 points, while 2004 National Champion UCLA was tabbed third with 42 points.
ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The 17-player Washington roster includes 10 returning letterwinners and seven returning starters. The 2005 team is comprised of five seniors, four juniors, three sophomores and five freshmen. Eight players hail from Washington, eight from California and one from Oregon.
HEAD COACH Heather Tarr: Heather Tarr, a former Washington softball player, embarks on her first season as its head coach after a six-year stint at Pacific as an assistant coach and most recently as the associate head coach. At Pacific, the Tigers posted a 232-124 (.652) overall record and 90-44 (.672) mark in the Big West Conference. In 2001, she and Pacific head coach Brian Kolze were named the 2001 NFCA West Region Coaching Staff of the Year after guiding the Tigers to within one win of the Women's College World Series and a No. 18 final national ranking. Tarr joined Pacific prior to the 1999 season after an outstanding career as a Husky. As a four-year letterwinner, Tarr helped lead UW to a second place finish at the Women's College World Series in 1996 and a third place finish in 1997. She has a 5-3 career record at Washington.
RIVERA DRAFTED BY THE NPF'S TEXAS THUNDER: Washington senior Kristen Rivera has been drafted by the Texas Thunder in the first round of the 2005 Senior College Player Selections. Rivera was one of 21 athletes selected by six National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) teams over four rounds. Due to NCAA regulations, an active college senior-athlete may not sign with her respective franchise until their 2005 college season is finished. Senior selection rights expire July 15, 2005. The NPF consists of six team including the Akron Racers, Arizona Heat, Chicago Bandits, New England Riptide, NY/NJ Juggernaut and Texas Thunder. The California Sunbirds will remain a part of the league but is suspending play for 2005 while working this year to restructure with plans to field a team again in 2006 along with additional teams in other potential markets. Last year, the Texas Thunder won the inaugural NPF regular season with a 41-17 record.
HUSKIES ON THE AIRWAVES: KKNW AM-1150, through rights-holder Pioneer Radio & Sports, will carry 10 Husky softball games, plus any postseason play during the 2005 season. Longtime baseball play-by-play man Mike Brown returns for his eighth season behind the microphone, while John Cowley will deliver color commentary for his fifth season with the Dawgs. All games will air live on KKNW, and are also available over the internet at ww.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):
2006 SIGNEES: The Washington softball team has received National Letters of Intent from five high school seniors and one junior college transfer who will join the Huskies for the 2006 season. The six players that signed letters did so during the early signing period, which runs Nov. 10-17. The late signing period begins April 13, 2005. The newcomers include infielder/pitcher Brooke Woodward (Vancouver, Wash), pitcher Danielle Lawrie (Langley, British Columbia), catcher Ashlyn Watson (Garden Grove, Calif.), utility Alicia Matthews (Olympia, Wash), outfielder Marnie Koziol (Renton, Wash.) and infielder Destri Keo (Woodinville, Wash).
TWO FORMER UW PLAYERS TO COMPETE AT SEATTLE SPORTS SUMMIT: After a three-day tryout camp in Chula Vista, CA, former Washington players Jaime Clark and Jenny Topping have been selected by USA Softball to the 18-member roster to compete at the 2005 Pacific Rim Sports Summit in Seattle in June. Clark, a 2003 graduate from Washington, had a spectacular collegiate career that included two appearances in the Women's College World Series (2000, 2003) and three Pac-10 all-conference awards. She finished her career with three school records, including career home runs (73), career runs scored (223) and career runs batted in (243). She was an alternate on the 2004 USA Women's Softball Team that won the Olympic gold medal in Athens last summer. Topping played one season at UW (2000) and earned All-America honors before transferring to Cal State Fullerton. During her freshman campaign, Topping led the nation in home runs (24), RBIs (90) and slugging percentage (.960). She was the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year and set Washington records for walks (56) and on-base percentage (.565). Topping was a member of the 2004 Olympic team.