Softball Heads To Palm Springs

Feb. 21, 2007

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THIS WEEK: The No. 15/No. 15 (NFCA/USA Softball) Washington softball team (8-1) hits the road for its third consecutive week to participate in the Palm Springs Classic in Cathedral City, Calif., hosted by Oregon State. The Huskies have five games lined up, including games on Friday, Feb. 23 vs. No. 10/11 Texas (10:30 a.m.) and Ole Miss (6 p.m.), Saturday vs. Michigan State (3 p.m.) and Penn State (8:30 p.m.) and Sunday vs. Nevada (11 a.m.). Washington boasts a seven game winning streak, the second-longest streak in the Pacific-10 Conference, and has the third-best winning percentage (.889).

HUSKIES WIN USF WILSON INVITATIONAL: Washington won the USF Wilson Invitational after winning all five of its games, Feb. 17-19. The Huskies opened the weekend with a 5-2, nine inning victory over East Tennessee State and a 8-1 romp of Hofstra. Washington also recorded victories over Florida A&M, 11-0 in five innings, host and 24th-ranked USF, 1-0, and Wichita State, 9-0 in five innings. Washington out-scored its opponents 34-3 over the weekend.

LAWRIE NAMED PAC-10 PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore Danielle Lawrie was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week Feb. 20 after she chalked up four wins at the USF Wilson Tournament which Washington won with a 5-0 record. She started three games, going the distance in each outing and picked up another win in relief while continuing to strikeout batters at a dominant rate. In the Huskies' first game vs. Eastern Tennessee State, Lawrie entered a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning and kept ETSU in check until Washington came up with three runs in the top of the ninth. Lawrie was perfect in her two innings of relief, and fanned five of the six batters she faced. Against host-school and 24th-ranked South Florida, Lawrie powered the Huskies to a 1-0 win by striking out a school-record 20 batters in seven innings. Lawrie allowed only four hits in shutting out the home team. The sophomore broke her own record for single-game strikeouts of 19, set on April 28, 2006 vs. Arizona State. Lawrie also had complete game wins over Hofstra and Wichita State over the weekend, allowing only one run to Hofstra and recording double-digit strikeouts each time in the circle. For the week, Lawrie was 4-0 with an ERA of 0.33. She struck out 51 batters in just 21.0 innings pitched, giving up 14 hits and walking seven. Lawrie averaged 17 strikeouts per seven innings.

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
TEXAS (8-2)
Series vs. Washington: Washington leads the all-time series, 10-4. The teams met in the 2006 Austin Super Regional where the Longhorns won both games, 1-0 and 9-1.
Notes: The No. 10/11 Texas Longhorns won four-straight games en route to the Texas Softball Classic title last weekend. After dropping the first game, 3-0, to San Diego State, Texas swept the next four opponents, including a 5-0 victory over SDSU. Meagan Denny was named Big-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 21 after posting a 0.40 earned run average and tallying 29 strikeouts over the weekend. Loryn Johnson hit .353 over the weekend with eight RBIs and a home run. Texas is 2-0 against the Pac-10 Conference this season, beating both UCLA and Stanford.

MISSISSIPPI (3-7)
Series vs. Washington: This will be the first meeting between Washington and Mississippi.
Notes: The Mississippi Rebels have won two of three games after starting the season 1-6. They are 0-4 this season against ranked teams. Mary Jane Callahan leads Ole Miss with a .320 average and a .520 slugging percentage. Callahan follows the offensive numbers with a 1.06 earned run average and 21 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings.

MICHIGAN STATE (3-1)
Series vs. Washington: Washington leads the all-time series 3-0, winning the last meeting, 12-8, at the 2004 Athens Regional.
Notes: The Michigan State Spartans opened their 2007 season in Tuscaloosa, Ala. last weekend by going 3-1 in the Hampton Inn Bama Bash. Kara Wiegle pounded out 10 hits in 15 at bats to lead MSU, including four triples, two home runs and nine RBIs. Four Spartans hit at least .500 for the tournament. Rachel Turney won two games from the circle as she allowed 10 earned runs in 16 innings of work.

PENN STATE (3-1)
Series vs. Washington: The series is tied 1-1 with Washington having won the last meeting, 6-4, in 2005.
Notes: The Penn State Nittany Lions began the season 3-0 at the Carolina Class last weekend, losing only to Tennessee in the final game. Danielle Kinley was named Big-10 Player of the Week after hitting .727 (8-for-11) with three doubles and six RBIs. Three different pitchers notched wins in the tournament, led by the 1.24 earned run average of Jackie Hill.

NEVADA (3-7)
Series vs. Washington: Washington leads the all-time series 2-0 with the last match-up being a 10-2 Washington win in 2006.
Notes: The Nevada Wolfpack has lost six-straight after starting the season 3-1. They are 0-2 against the Pac-10, losing to both UCLA and Arizona. Michelle Beach leads the team with a .400 batting average and .600 slugging percentage. Jordan McPherson is 3-3 with a 3.09 earned run average in 34 innings.

1-2-3 STRIKES YOU'RE OUT: Sophomore Danielle Lawrie has a 6-0 record this season and averages 15+ strikeouts per seven innings. She set the school record last weekend when she struck out 20 batters vs. USF, surpassing her own record of 19 strikeouts set last season against Arizona State. Lawrie, who leads the Pac-10 with 80 strikeouts this season, has 467 career strikeouts and is 22 strikeouts away from entering the UW career top-five list (Stephanie Burns, 499, 1993-96). She leads the Pac-10 with five double-digit strikeout performances and boasts a 0.78 earned run average, which ranks third in the league.

CHASING CHARTERS: Ashley Charters 8-for-8 stolen bases this season, which ranks second in the Pac-10. She has 75 career stolen bases and is six steals away from the No. 5 spot held by Becky Newbry (81/91, 1996-99). Charters also leads the team with 11 runs scored, which ties for fourth in the Pac-10.

SEEING TRIPLE: Ashley Charters hit her seventh career triple over the weekend to move into the No. 7 spot on the UW all-time list. She is tied with Jennifer Spediacci, Mindy Williams and Amanda Oleson. She is one triple away from the No. 6 spot held by Rosie Leutzinger (8, 1997-00).

KOZIOL LEADS PAC-10 HITTERS: Sophomore Marnie Koziol leads the Pac-10 with a .538 batting average with 14 hits in 26 at-bats. She also ranks second on the team in runs (5) and stolen bases (4-for-5). Her .556 on-base percentage ranks fourth in the Pac-10, while her five sacrifice hits rank second behind fellow Husky Jacki Hansen (6). Koziol has also proven her ability to hit under pressure as all five of her RBIs have come with two outs.

MANUFACTURING RUNS: Washington has manufactured most of its runs this season, leading the Pac-10 with 19 sacrifice bunts and six sacrifice flies, and ranks second with 24 stolen bases in 28 attempts.

IN A PINCH: Washington has used a pinch hitter 11 times this season and has picked up four hits for a .364 average. Danielle Lawrie is 1-for-1 in pinch hitting situations, while Amanda Fleischman, Dru Hester and Jacki Hansen are each 1-for-2.

LEADOFF SPARK: Washington is hitting .579 (33-for-57) to leadoff an inning. Nine Huskies are hitting .500 or better as the leadoff hitter, including Ashley Charters (.625, 10-for-16) who has hit leadoff in all nine games this season.

WASHINGTON IN THE POLLS: The Huskies are ranked 15th in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 poll (Feb. 21). The Huskies have been ranked in the poll for each of the last 169 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 15th in the ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25 poll (Feb. 20).

HUSKIES CAPTURE SHARE OF MUSTANG CLASSIC TITLE: Washington opened the season with a 3-1 record at the Cal Poly Mustang Classic last week. The Huskies split a pair of extra-inning games vs. Cal Poly, winning the opener 4-3 in eight innings, before dropping the nightcap, 7-6 in nine innings. Washington capped off the tournament with a 3-1 win over Santa Clara and a 4-0 shutout against Sacramento State to share the tourney title with Cal Poly who also finished the weekend 3-1. Sophomore Danielle Lawrie led the pitching staff with a 2-0 record with a 1.45 earned run average and 29 strikeouts in 15 innings. Junior Caitlin Noble went 1-1 from the circle, earning the shutout against Sacramento State and leading the Huskies at the plate with four RBIs. Sophomore Marnie Koziol led the UW offense with a .400 average (4-for-10) and junior Ashley Charters recorded a hit in all four games.

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 opponents over the last two seasons. Tarr has a career record of 78-48 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.

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