Huskies Open 2007 Season At Cal Poly Mustang Classic
Feb. 7, 2007
THIS WEEK: The No. 11/No. 12 (NFCA/USA Softball) Washington softball team opens the 2007 season with five games at the Cal Poly Mustang Classic in San Luis Obispo, Calif., Feb. 9-11. The Huskies open tournament play on Friday, Feb. 9 with a doublehader vs. Cal Poly at 3 p.m. Washington will also play a doubleheader vs. Santa Clara on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. and Sacramento State on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 9:30 a.m. Live stats will be available for both Cal Poly games.
SEASON DEBUTS: Washington has opened each of its 14 seasons with a multiple-team tournament, accruing a 54-15 record. The Huskies have gone undefeated in four of those tournaments (1996, 2000, 2002, 2003) and are 10-4 in season openers.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
CAL POLY (27-23, 11-7 Big West in 2006)
Series vs. UW: Washington leads 2-0, including a 6-4 victory in 1997 and 9-0 win in 1995.
Notes: The Cal Poly Mustangs are picked to finish second in the Big West Conference according to a preseason poll by the league's head coaches. Cal Poly, who has posted two straight winning seasons, returns nine starters and four all-conference players for the 207 season. Seniors Lisa Modglin and Jackie Gerhrke-Jones will headline the offense after leading the team with .343 and .320 batting averages, respectively last season. Modglin, a 2006 All-Big West selection, led the Mustangs with 37 RBIs, 16 doubles and a .587 slugging percentage. Gehrke-Jones, an all-conference honorable mention pick in 2006, led the team with a .397 on-base percentage and 12 stolen bases. Junior Robyn Kontra will lead the pitching staff after earning all-conference honorable mention honors last season with a 15-11 mark and 2.57 earned run average.
SANTA CLARA (24-34, 11-16 PCSC in 2006)
Series vs. UW: Washington leads 14-0 including 14-3 and 4-3 victories last season in Seattle.
Notes: The Santa Clara Broncos are picked to finish fourth in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference in the preseason coaches' poll. The team returns nine players from the 2006 squad and will be led at the plate by senior Anglea Kabanuck and junior Ashley Blier. Kabanuck hit .284 last season with 12 doubles and 30 RBIs, while Blier hit .243 with 10 doubles and 25 RBIs. The Broncos also return three members of their pitching staff, including Sara Overmier (4-4, 4.94 ERA), Jackie Morales (5-9, 4.54 ERA) and Jerrica Castagno (4-6, 6.22 ERA).
SACRAMENTO STATE (35-20, 14-6 PCSC in 2006)
Series vs. UW: Washington leads 1-0 with a 4-3 victory in 2003.
Notes: The Sacramento State Hornets are picked to win the Pacific Coast Softball Conference after a vote by the league's head coaches. It would mark Sac State's first league title since joining the PCSC five years ago. The team returns six position players and three pitchers from a 2006 squad that finished the season with a 35-20 record and 14-6 mark in league play, marking the third consecutive 30-win season for the Hornets. The team returns three all-conference players in junior left fielder Hilary Johnson, sophomore catcher Jamie Schloredt and sophomore pitcher Cassie Cervantes. Schloredt was a first team All-PCSC selection last season after hitting .333 with 11 doubles, six home runs and 42 RBIs last season. Johnson is a two-time second team all-PCSC selection and finished 2006 season with a .353 batting average and a .413 mark against conference competition. Cervantes will headline the pitching staff after finishing third in the nation with 13.4 stirkouts per game last season. In addition, she allowed just six extra-base hits (all doubles) in 115.2 innings.
WASHINGTON IN THE POLLS: The Huskies are ranked 12th in the preseason USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 poll. The Huskies have been ranked in the poll for each of the last 167 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). Washington is ranked 12th in the preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25 poll.
HUSKIES ON THE AIRWAVES: KKNW AM-1150, through rights-holder Washington ISP Sports Network, 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 10th season behind the microphone, while John Cowley delivers color commentary for his seventh season with the Dawgs. All games will air live on KKNW, and are also available over the internet at www.gohuskies.com.
TWO HUSKIES NAMED TO POTY WATCH LIST: Washington senior Dominique Lastrapes and junior Ashley Charters 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 third consecutive year, while Charters is named to the list for the first time. The award, given out by the Amateur Softball Association, is considered one of the most prestigious honors in women's collegiate softball, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country. Past winners of the award include UCLA's Stacey Nuveman, Florida State's Jessica Van der Linden and three-time winner Texas pitcher Cat Osterman.
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 third season at the helm of the UW program, returns eight starters for the 2007 campaign, including two All-Americans. Arizona, the defending national champion, was predicted to win the conference title, receiving 47 points, followed by UCLA (45), Arizona State (35), Oregon State (32), Stanford (21), Cal (18) and UW (18), and Oregon (8).
ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The 18-player Washington roster includes 11 returning letterwinners and eight starters. The 2007 team is comprised of four seniors, three juniors, five sophomores and six freshmen. Eleven players hail from Washington, five from California, one from Oregon and one from British Columbia.
HEAD COACH Heather Tarr: Heather Tarr, a former Washington player, embarks on her third season at the helm of the Husky Softball team. She has led UW to back-to-back NCAA Super Regional appearances and has helped mold three All-Americans and a Pac-10 Player of the Year. Under her guidance, Washington has won six All-Pacific Region honors and 12 All-Pac-10 awards. The Huskies have also collected 24 wins over top-25 oppoents over the last two seasons. Tarr has a career record of 70-47 at Washington.
2005 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS: Last season, Washington swept through the Provo Regional as a No. 1 seed with tournament MVP Danielle Lawrie not allowing a run in three starts. The Huskies advanced to the Austin Super Regional where they fell to Cat Osterman's Texas Longhorns to just miss out on the WCWS berth. Junior second baseman Dominique Lastrapes and sophomore utility Ashley Charters each earned third team All-America honors and five players received All-Pac-10 honors. Washington finished the season with a 35-25 overall record and a No. 15 national ranking. The Huskies tallied 11 wins over opponents ranked in the top-25, including victories over No. 1 UCLA, No. 5 Oregon State and No. 5 Stanford.