Softball Opens Regional Tournament Thursday In Provo, Utah
May 16, 2006
UP NEXT: The Washington softball team (32-23) earned a No. 1 seed in the 2006 NCAA Regional Tournament in Provo, Utah. The Huskies, who are seeded 14th overall among the 64-team field, will open postseason play against Southern Utah (34-30) on Thursday at 6 p.m. (PT). Joining UW and Southern Utah at the double-elimination regional are host Brigham Young (42-20) and Kansas (34-24). Southern Utah and Kansas were among 29 schools to receive automatic bids into the tournament after winning the Mid-Continent and Big 12 Conference Championships. BYU, like Washington, was among 35 schools to earn at-large berths. Washington has faced all three of its regional foes during its 14-year history and has a 7-2 all-time record against those teams. Washington is 3-0 vs. Southern Utah, including an 8-2 victory in its last meeting in 2001, while it is 4-0 against Kansas, including a 4-0 no-hit shutout last season at the Palm Springs Classic. BYU holds the 2-0 all-time advantage against the Huskies, including a 6-4 win in 2001 and 7-6 win in 2000. All of Washington's games will air live on KKNW 1150 AM and will also be available over the internet at www.gohuskies.com or www.newschannel1150.com. Broadcasts will begin 15 minutes prior to first pitch.
UW IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: The Huskies are making their 13th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Washington has a 50-22 record in those games (36-8 Regionals/ 1-2 Super Regional/13-12 WCWS) and has advanced to the Women's College World Series seven times. UW was national runner-up in 1996 and 1999. The Huskies, who last played at the Series in 2004, have five players with WCWS experience, including seniors Aimee Minor and Sarah Hyatt and juniors Dominique Lastrapes, Jacki Hansen and Dena Tyson.
CONSECUTIVE NCAA APPEARANCES: Washington's 13-straight regional appearances ties with Oklahoma for the fourth-longest active string in NCAA softball. Here's a look at the top eight streaks. No. 1. Fresno State (25, 1982-present), No. 2. California* (21, 1986-present), No. 3. Arizona* (20, 1987-present), No. 4-t. Washington* (13, 1994-present), No. 4-t.Oklahoma (13, 1994-present), No. 6-t. Massachusetts (12, 1995-present), No. 6-t. Michigan* (12, 1995-present), No. 6-t. Nebraska (12, 1995-present).
* indicates 2006 No. 1 seed
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
NO. 2 SEED KANSAS (34-24, 8-10 Big 12)
Series vs. UW: The Huskies lead the all-time series, 4-0
Last Meeting: Caitlin Noble threw a no-hitter against Kansas last season at the Palm Springs Classic en route to the 4-0 victory.
Notes: Kansas enters the tournament as the No. 2 seed after winning its first-ever Big 12 Tournament title to pick up the conference's automatic berth. The Jayhawks were seeded sixth in the tournament and are the lowest seed to ever advance to the Big 12 championship game. Kansas is making its 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and second in a row. The Jayhawks are led by Big 12 Player of the Year Serena Settlemier who leads the team both at the plate and in the circle. She boasts a team-high .348 batting average with 22 home runs, 61 RBIs and a .823 slugging percentage. From the circle, Settlemier has a 17-6 record with a 1.20 earned run average, four shutouts and 141 strikeouts in 145.1 innings. Also headlining the Kansas offense are Jessica Moppin and Destiny Frankenstein. Moppin ranks second on the team with a .306 average and 26 runs scored and is third with 10 doubles and 21 RBIs. Frankenstein has a .299 average, including 10 home runs and 25 RBIs. The Jayhawks also rely on Kassie Humphreys on the rubber. Humphrey's has a 17-16 record and team-low 1.18 ERA. She has tallied nine shutouts and has struck out 242 batters in 213.2 innings. Kansas is out hitting its opponents .237-.186 and is out scoring the opposition 216-108. The Jayhawks have belted 49 home runs this season and have surrendered just 12. The pitching staff has also combined for 19 shutouts.
NO. 3 SEED BRIGHAM YOUNG (42-20, 15-5 Mountain West)
Series vs. UW: The Cougars lead the all-time series, 2-0.
Last Meeting: BYU defeated Washington, 6-4, in 2002 at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah.
Notes: Brigham Young enters the tournament as the No. 3 seed as an at-large selection and will host the Regional Tournament for the first time in its six-year history. The Cougars are making their second appearance in the NCAA Tournament and second in a row. The team is led by Ianeta Le'i with a .423 batting average, 20 home runs and 82 RBIs. She also leads the team with 83 hits, 43 runs scored and has an .816 slugging percentage. Jodi Norton ranks second on the team with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs, while Andrea Ramirez and Emi Snow have each hit seven home runs for the Cougars. Summer Tobias leads the three-member pitching staff with a 25-11 record and 2.53 earned run average. She has tossed eight shutouts and has three saves this season.
NO. 4 SEED SOUTHERN UTAH (34-20, 21-3 Mid-Continent)
Series vs. UW: The Huskies lead the all-time series, 3-0.
Last Meeting: Washington handed Southern Utah an 8-2 loss in 2001 at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah.
Notes: Southern Utah enters the tournament as a No. 4 seed after winning the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament Championship to pick up an automatic berth. The team has won four conference titles in a row but hadn't won the league tourney until this season to advance to its first NCAA Tournament. The Thunderbirds are led by Mid-Continent Player of the Year Marci Pratt who boasts a .407 batting average, including five doubles, eight triples and eight home runs with a .930 slugging percentage. Three other players are hitting above .350, including Kortney Hall (.385), Tiffany Burt (.378) and Amy Sauer (.356). Sauer also headlines the four-member pitching staff with a 13-1 record and 1.52 earned run average. The Thunderbirds are out hitting their opponents .330-.222 and are out scoring opponents 169-76.
NOBLE NAMED TO ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT TEAM: Sophomore Caitlin Noble was named to the ESPN The Magazine All-District XIII first team, becoming the 13th Husky in UW history to receive the honor. Noble maintains a 3.38 grade-point average in History and is now on the national ballot for Academic All-America honors.
NOBLE/LAWRIE COMBINE FOR STRIKEOUT RECORD: Sophomore Caitlin Noble (205) and freshman Danielle Lawrie (348) have combined for 553 strikeouts this season to set a UW single-season record. The previous record of 517 strikeouts was set in 2000.
LAWRIE SETS TWO UW GAME STRIKEOUT RECORDS: Freshman Danielle Lawrie set two UW strikeout records within three days in April. She set the school record for most strikeouts in a game of any length when she fanned 19 UCLA Bruins on April 19 in 12 innings and set the school record for most strikeouts in a regulation game when she struck out 19 Arizona State Sun Devils in seven innings. The previous record for most strikeouts in a game of any length was 18 set by Jennifer Spediacci vs. Oregon State on May 13, 1999 in nine innings. The mark was equaled last season by Ashley Boek who fanned 18 vs. Creighton on May 20 in 11 innings. The previous record for most strikeouts in a regulation game was 16 set by current UW sophomore Caitlin Noble last season on Feb. 19 vs. Willamette in six innings.
LAWRIE SETS SEASON STRIKEOUT RECORD: Washington freshman Danielle Lawrie has struck out 348 batters this season, setting a Husky season record. The previous record of 316 strikeouts was set in 1999 by All-American Jennifer Spediacci. Lawrie and Spediacci are the only UW pitchers in program history to amass 300 strikeouts in a season.
UW FALLS ON WRONG SIDE OF ONE-RUN GAMES: Ten of Washington's 16 conference losses were by one run. Only three of their conference losses were by more than two runs.
CHASING CHARTERS: Sophomore Ashley Charters ranks second in the Pac-10 with 27 stolen bases this season. She has swiped 60 bases in her career (67 attempts), which ranks seventh on the UW all-time chart. Overall, the Huskies rank second in the conference with 68 stolen bases this season.
DYNAMITE DOMINIQUE: Junior All-American Dominique Lastrapes continues to be one of Washington's most consistent players. She ranks second on the team in average (.353), runs (36), hits (61), doubles (10), RBIs (24) and steals (13).
HIT-HIT-HOORAY: Sophomore Ashley Charters leads the Pac-10 with five triples and ranks second with 71 hits. She also ranks sixth in the conference with a .380 average.
PLAY THE BEST TO BE THE BEST: The Huskies have played 28 games against top-25 teams this season and have a 9-19 record. Washington has tallied six wins over top-10 opponents, including No. 1 UCLA, No. 5 Stanford, No. 5 Oregon State, No. 8 Arizona State, No. 9 Michigan and No. 10 Louisiana-Lafayette. The Huskies are 6-15 against top-10 teams and 3-7 against top-5 teams.
MINOR DOUBLES INTO TOP-10 LIST: Senior Aimee Minor hit her 34th career double vs. UCLA on April 26 to take over the No. 10 spot on the UW single-season doubles list. She is three doubles away from tying Kathy Fiske (2002-05) for ninth (37) on the all-time list.
HYATT CLIMBS HOME RUN LIST: Senior Sarah Hyatt hit her 42nd career home run against UCLA on April 26 to move within one home run of the No. 3 spot on the Washington all-time list (43, Jennifer Cline, 1993-96).
FASTEST TO 200: Freshman pitcher Danielle Lawrie struck out 24 batters in two appearances against Stanford, April 1-2 to become the fastest pitcher in UW history to amass 200 strikeouts. Lawrie picked up her 200th strikeout in 134.2 innings. Sophomore Caitlin Noble had set the record last season, needing 138.1 innings to pick up 200 strikeouts. Two-time All-American Jennifer Spediacci, the only Husky to tally 200 strikeouts in three different seasons, ranks third on that list with 200 strikeouts in 148 innings in 2000.
MINOR CLIMBS HOME RUN CHART: Senior Aimee Minor hit her third home run of the season and 28th of her career on April 26 vs. UCLA. She is now in sole possession of the No. 6 spot on the UW all-time list. Minor is six home runs away from the No. 5 spot, held by Kathy Fiske (34, 2002-05).
TRIPLE-DOUBLE: Freshman Alicia Matthews belted three consecutive doubles vs. Stanford on April 2, tying the school record for most doubles in a single game. Matthews is in good company as she shares the record with All-Americans Jenny Topping and Michelle Church. Topping hit three doubles vs. South Florida on Feb. 18, 2000, while Church hit three doubles vs. Stanford on April 30, 1993.
HYATT HITS THEM IN: Senior Sarah Hyatt leads the team with 38 RBIs and has moved into the No. 8 spot on the UW all-time list with 150 career RBIs. Hyatt is one RBI away from tying Kim DePaul for the No. 7 spot (151, 1998-01) and 12 away from the No. 6 spot held by All-American Becky Newbry (160, 1996-99). Hyatt's 38 RBIs this season rank fifth in the Pac-10.
GRAND SLAMS: Four Washington players have hit grand slams this season, including senior Aimee Minor and freshmen Ashlyn Watson, Alicia Matthews and Brooke Woodward. Minor belted her third career grand slam vs. UCF on March 12. Watson hit a grand slam vs. Utah Valley State on Feb. 25 and Matthews hit a grand slam vs. Nevada on Mar. 22. Woodward hit a game-winning grand slam vs. Oregon on May 6. Washington players have hit 29 grand slams in the program's 14 years. Kathy Fiske (2002-05) holds the school record with five career grand slams, followed by Jenny Topping with four (2000) and Kim DePaul (1998-2001) and Minor with three apiece.
'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 .380, .353 and .339 averages, respectively. Charters has the sixth-highest average in the conference.
TYSON DOUBLES THE PLEASURE: Junior Dena Tyson has made quiet a return to the Huskies' lineup after missing the 2005 season with a shoulder injury. Twelve of Tyson's 36 hits this season have been doubles, which ranks fourth in the Pac-10. She is also ranks second on the team with 24 walks, behind Sarah Hyatt (25).
NOBLE THROWS ONE-HITTER: Sophomore Caitlin Noble narrowly missed out on her second career no-hitter Mar. 12 when she gave up one hit 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 hit a high chopper over Noble's head. Noble tossed a no-hitter last season vs. Kansas on Feb. 26, 2005, becoming just the third UW freshman to do so.
WASHINGTON IN THE POLLS: The Huskies dipped one spot to No. 17 in the most recent USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 poll (May 10). The Huskies have been ranked in the poll for each of the last 165 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 also dropped one spot in the ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25 poll (May 9) to No. 17.
LAWRIE NAMED PAC-10 PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Washington freshman Danielle Lawrie was named the Pac-10 Softball Pitcher of the Week for Mar. 28-Apr. 3. Lawrie went 1-1 over the weekend with a tough 1-0 loss to Stanford on Saturday, despite allowing no earned runs. She struck out 12 batters in the complete game loss, allowing only three hits. In a six-inning, 8-0 run rule victory over the Cardinal on Sunday, Lawrie struck out 12 and allowed six hits, four of which were bunts. Stanford had not suffered a run-rule loss since May 1, 2005, and had not lost by more than three runs all season. She amassed a perfect 0.00 ERA and struck out 10 batters looking over the weekend.
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.
BULLDOG CLASSIC RECAP: The Huskies went 4-0 at the Fresno State Bulldog Classic in Fresno, Calif. Mar. 10-12. UW tallied wins over San Diego (15-4), No. 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.
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 No. 12 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.
THREE HUSKIES RECEIVE USA SOFTBALL INVITES: Washington senior Aimee Minor and former Washington All-Americans Jaime Clark and Jenny Topping are among a list of athletes handpicked by USA Softball to attend the upcoming selection camps for the 2006 USA Softball Women's National Team and 2006 World University Games Team. Minor is among a list of 27 women invited to the World University Team selection camp, which runs June 9-11 at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. Clark and Topping are among a list of 30 athletes chosen to tryout for the USA Softball Women's National Team, June 13-17 at the Olympic Training Center.
LAWRIE NAMED TO CANADA SENIOR WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM: Washington freshman Danielle Lawrie has been named to the 17-member Canadian Senior Women's Team. The team will participate in the Ontario Pro Tour, the Canada Cup, the US Cup and will culminate with the 2006 International Softball Federation World Championships to be held Aug. 27-Sept. 5 in Beijing, China, a qualifier for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
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. Broadcasts are set for the following dates: March 10-12 (Fresno State Bulldog Classic), April 14-15 (UCLA) and April 28-30 (ASU/Arizona).
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 67-45 career record at Washington.