Softball Returns To California

March 15, 2006

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UP NEXT: The No. 14/15 (ESPN.com/NFCA) Washington softball team (19-6) kicks off a seven-day road trip to California at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif., March 16-19. Washington will play Texas (26-2), Michigan (11-5) and Louisiana-Lafayette (19-0) in pool play and will then be seeded into Saturday and Sunday's championship bracket. The Huskies open play vs. Texas on Thursday at 4 p.m., before taking on Michigan and ULL at 11:15 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. on Friday.

LAST TIME OUT: The Huskies went 4-0 at the Fresno State Bulldog Classic in Fresno, Calif. last week. UW tallied wins over San Diego (15-4), #21 DePaul (8-0), Ball State (6-4) and UCF (8-0). Sophomore Caitlin Noble posted a pair of shutouts, including a one-hitter vs. UCF. She had 18 strikeouts in 10 innings. The Huskies hit .444 as a team (44-for-99), including 19 extra-base hits (nine doubles, a triple and nine home runs). Ashley Charters hit .615 (8-for-16) with five RBIs and six runs scored. Dominique Lastrapes, who earned All-Tournament honors, hit .583 (7-for-12) with seven RBIs and five runs scored.

NO. 4/4 SCOUTING TEXAS (26-2)
Series vs. UW:
The Huskies lead the series 10-1
Last Meeting: Washington defeated Texas twice during the 2004 season, including a 6-2 decision on Feb. 27 and a 14-4 decision on Feb. 13.
Notes: The Longhorns are coming off a 2-1, nine-inning loss to Texas State last week. The team has two players hitting above .400, including Desiree Williams (.425) and Shannon Thomas (.406). Williams leads the team with nine home runs and 28 RBIs, while Thomas leads the squad with six triples and 13 stolen bases. The Longhorn pitching staff is led by three-time USA Softball Player of the Year Cat Osterman (15-0) and Meagan Denny. Osterman boasts a 0.15 earned run average with 11 shutouts and 225 strikeouts in 95.2 innings. She holds opponents to a .073 batting average. Denny has a 0.54 ERA and has struck out 128 batters in 90 innings. All totaled, Texas is out scoring its opponents 138-18 and out hitting them .299 to .110.

SCOUTING NO. 9/9 MICHIGAN (11-5)
Series vs. UW:
The series is tied, 6-6.
Last Meeting: Michigan won two out of three Super Regional games last season in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines one the first game 4-1, before UW forced the tie-breaker with a 3-2 victory. Michigan won the third game 11-2.
Notes: Michigan, the defending national champion, is led by Alessandra Giampaolo with a .429 clip (21-for-49) and Becky Marx with a .382 average (18-for-47). Marx leads the team with five home runs and 17 RBIs. Jennie Ritter (6-1) headlines the three-member pitching staff with a 0.68 earned run average and 88 strikeouts in 51.2 innings. Ritter holds her opponents to a .119 batting average.

SCOUTING NO. 11/10 LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE (19-0)
Series vs. UW:
The Huskies lead the series, 7-4.
Last Meeting: Washington defeated ULL 3-2 on March 15, 2002.
Notes: The Ragin' Cajuns are out scoring their opponents 195-13 and hold the 43-3 advantage in home runs. Two players boast averages above .500, including Danyele Gomes (.533) and Holly Tankersley (.525). Gomes leads the team with 11 home runs and 25 RBIs, while Tankersley has driven in 22 runs. ULL's pitching staff combines for a 0.69 earned run average. Ashley Kirchberg (9-0) has a 0.52 ERA, including seven shutouts, while Lewallen has a 0.84 ERA with five shutouts.

'PITCHER' PERFECT: Freshman Danielle Lawrie threw a six-inning perfect game Feb. 26 vs. Utah Valley State, becoming just the third Husky to accomplish the feat. She notched a strikeout and two ground outs in the first inning before striking out the next 14 batters faced, sitting the Wolverines down in order in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings. Lawrie opened the sixth frame with two strikeouts before a foul-out to the catcher ended the inning. The perfect game marked the first since Jamie Graves did it vs. Arizona State in a 3-0 victory on May 9, 1998. Nancy Wagner had Washington's first-ever perfect game on April 26, 1994 vs. Simon Fraser. The Huskies won that game 11-0 in five innings.

LEFTIES LEAD HUSKIES OFFENSE: Left-handed hitters Ashley Charters, Dominique Lastrapes and Marnie Koziol headline the UW offense with .500, .429 and .422 averages, respectively. Charters has the third-highest average and fourth-highest on-base percentage (.540) in the conference and ranks second in the league with 40 hits. Lastrapes ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with 26 runs, sixth with 33 hits and is tied for seventh with 23 RBIs.

TYSON DOUBLE THE PLEASURE: Junior Dena Tyson has made quiet a return to the Huskies' lineup after missing the 2005 season with a shoulder injury. Ten of Tyson's 20 hits this season have been doubles, which leads the Pac-10. She also leads the team with 15 walks, which ranks sixth in the league.

FANNING THE COMPETITION: Freshman Danielle Lawrie has struck out 15 batters twice this season. She fanned 15 in seven innings vs. Mississippi Valley State on Feb. 18 and 15 in six innings vs. Utah Valley State on Feb. 26, falling one strikeout shy of the UW record. Lawrie has posted double-figure strikeouts six times this season, which ties for fifth in the conference. Last season, Caitlin Noble set the strikeout record with 16 vs. Willamette in six innings.

LAWRIE AMONG PAC-10 LEADERS: Danielle Lawrie is tied for the league lead with 13 starts this season. She ranks second in the Pac-10 with 35 strikeouts looking, fifth in strikeouts (119) and is tied for sixth with 11 wins. Opponents are hitting just .182 against the freshman, god for 10th in the conference.

NOBLE THROWS ONE-HITTER: Sophomore Caitlin Noble narrowly missed out on her second career no-hitter Mar. 12 when she gave up one run vs. UCF in a five-inning mercy-rule victory at the Fresno State Bulldog Classic. Noble held the Golden Knights hitless until through 4.1 innings before Cici Alvarez high a high chopper over Noble's head. Noble tossed a no-hitter last season vs. Kansas, becoming just the third UW freshman to do so.

KOZIOL OFF TO STREAKING START: Freshman Marnie Koziol opened her collegiate career with a 14-game hitting streak, marking the second-longest streak in the Pac-10 this season (17, Anna Beardman, Stanford). Koziol hit safely in the first 14 games in which she appeared. The streak ended March 3 when Koziol went 0-for-3 vs. Bowling Green.

FAST START FOR FRESHMEN: Washington's freshman class made quite a splash in the opening weekend with all five rookies making at least two starts at the UNLV Alexis Resort Kickoff in Las Vegas, Feb. 10-12 ... Marnie Koziol led the Huskies with a .700 average (7-for-10) ... Ashlyn Watson hit two home runs ... Alicia Matthews hit at a .357 clip, including a two-RBI double ... Danielle Lawrie went 3-0 from the circle, striking out 31 batters in 19 innings.

WASHINGTON IN THE POLLS: The Huskies rose two spots in the most recent USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 poll to No. 15. The Huskies have been ranked in the poll for each of the last 160 datings. Washington's streak began with the team's No. 15 preseason ranking in 1994 and also included smaller streaks of 66 straight top-six rankings (2/28/96 - preseason 2001 poll) and 69 consecutive poll datings in the top-10 (preseason 1996 - 2/28/01). Washington climbed one spot in the ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25 poll to No. 14.

TWO HUSKIES NAMED TO POTY WATCH LIST: Washington junior Dominique Lastrapes and freshman Danielle Lawrie are among 50 Division I players named to the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year watch list. Lastrapes is named to the list for the second consecutive year, while Lawrie is the only freshman on the list. The award, given out by the Amateur Softball Association, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country, and is considered one of the most prestigious honors in women's collegiate softball. Past winners of the award include UCLA's Stacey Nuveman, Florida State's Jessica Van der Linden and two-time winner Texas pitcher Cat Osterman.

Aimee Minor DRAFTED INTO THE NPF SENIOR DRAFT: Aimee Minor has been drafted by the Connecticut Brakettes in the second round of the 2006 Senior College Player Selections. Minor is one of 30 athletes selected by seven 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 2006 college season is finished. Senior selection rights expire August 31, 2006.

COMPASS INVITATIONAL RECAP: The Huskies went 3-3 at the Compass Invitational in Waco, Texas, Mar. 3-5, going 1-1 against each of the three tournament teams (Bowling Green, Mississippi State and Baylor). UW's Ashley Charters, Dena Tyson and Dominique Lastrapes were named to the all-tournament team. Charter's led the team with a .474 average (9-for-19) with two triples and was 6-for-6 in stolen bases. Tyson led the team with five RBIs and hit .333 (6-for-18) with two home runs, while Lastrapes also hit .333 (7-for-21).

HUSKY FEVER CLASSIC RECAP: The Huskies swept the field at the Husky Fever Classic, notching two wins over both Utah Valley State and Santa Clara. Three of the victories were via the mercy-rule including an 8-0, six-inning decision over UVSC on Feb. 25 and an 8-0, six-inning perfect game by Danielle Lawrie over UVSC on Feb. 26. The Huskies defeated Santa Clara 4-3 on Feb. 25 and 14-3 in five innings on Feb. 26. Dena Tyson led UW with a .667 average (6-for-9), including four doubles and four RBIs. Dominique Lastrapes hit .583 (7-for-12) with eight runs and six RBIs, while Ashley Charters hit .500 (7-for-14) with four RBIs. Lawrie finished the weekend with a 2-0 mark and had 26 strikeouts in 13 innings.

LSU TIGER CLASSIC RECAP: Washington went 4-2 at the LSU Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge, La., defeating Eastern Michigan (9-0), Western Kentucky (7-0) and Mississippi Valley State (3-0), before falling to LSU (2-0) to round out pool play. Washington defeated Western Michigan, 1-0, in the tournament semifinal and lost to LSU in the championship, 4-0. Three Huskies were named to the all-tournament team, including Ashley Charters, Sarah Hyatt and Danielle Lawrie. Charters led the team with a .471 average, eight hits and four runs. Hyatt hit .429 (6-for-14) with two doubles and five RBIs. Lawrie went 2-1 from the circle with a pair of shutouts and 27 strikeouts in 23.2 innings.

UNLV ALEXIS RESORT KICKOFF RECAP: Washington battled back from a season-opening loss to Kentucky (6-1) Feb. 9 to win its next four games to capture the UNLV Alexis Resort Kickoff Classic title. The Huskies defeated then-No. 12/13 Oklahoma, 12-4, in five innings and topped Illinois-Chicago, 5-1, Long Beach State, 5-2, and host UNLV, 3-1. Washington and Oklahoma both finished the tournament with 4-1 records but UW earned the tourney title after defeating Oklahoma head-to-head. The Huskies are now 11-3 all-time in season openers and 54-15 in season-opening multiple-team tournaments.

HUSKIES ON THE AIRWAVES: KKNW AM-1150, through rights-holder Pioneer Radio & Sports, will carry 10 Husky softball games during the regular season and will carry all postseason games. Longtime baseball play-by-play man Mike Brown returns for his ninth season behind the microphone, while John Cowley delivers color commentary for his sixth 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.

UW PICKED SIXTH: Washington was selected to finish sixth in the league by the Pac-10 Conference softball coaches. Head Coach Heather Tarr, who begins her second season at the helm of the UW program, returns seven starters for the 2006 campaign, including five All-Pac-10 players. The Huskies finished sixth in the conference last season with a 10-11 record after four teams tied for first place with 13-8 records. UCLA (49 points) was picked to finish first, followed by Arizona (41), Stanford (37), California (27), Oregon State (26), UW (23), Arizona State (12) and Oregon (9).

ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The 16-player Washington roster includes nine returning letterwinners and seven returning starters. The 2006 team is comprised of two seniors, six juniors, four sophomores and five freshmen. Seven players hail from Washington, seven from California, one from Oregon and one from British Columbia.

HEAD COACH Heather Tarr: Heather Tarr, a former Washington player, embarks on her second season at the helm of the Husky Softball team. In her first year, Tarr led Washington to the Super Regional where the Huskies fell one game short of advancing to the program's eighth Women's College World Series. Seven Huskies earned All-Pac-10 honors, including Kristen Rivera, who was the Co-Pac-10 Player of the Year. Three Washington players earned All-Pacific Region honors and three were named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team. The Huskies tallied 13 wins over top-25 opponents, including No. 1 Michigan, No. 3 California and No. 4 Stanford. Tarr has a 54-28 career record at Washington.

2005 RECAP: Washington took top-ranked and eventual national champion Michigan to a third-and-deciding game at the Super Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich., and lost an 11-2 game to just miss out on the program's eighth Women's College World Series. Michigan won the opening game 4-1 but Washington forced a tie-breaker with a 3-2 victory the next day. The Huskies finished the year with a 35-22 record and 10-11 mark in the Pac-10. Kristen Rivera earned her fourth All-America award and was the Co-Pac-10 Player of the Year. Three Huskies received All-Pac-10 honors and three were named to the All-Pacific Region teams (Rivera- 1st, Sarah Hyatt & Dominique Lastrapes- 2nd).

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