Softball Hosts Arizona & ASU In Pac-10 Opening Weekend

March 28, 2007

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UP NEXT: The No. 12/16 (NFCA/ESPN.com) Washington softball team (22-7) opens the Pac-10 Conference schedule this week when it takes on league powerhouses No. 5 Arizona and No. 7 Arizona State, Mar. 30-April 1. The Huskies will face Arizona on Friday at 1 p.m. and ASU on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. Friday's game will be broadcast live on the Dawg Channel on gohuskies.com with free live video streaming and radio through the Washington ISP Sports Network. Gametracker will also be available for all three weekend games.

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
ARIZONA (24-7, 0-0 Pac-10)
Series vs. Washington:
The Wildcats lead the all-time series 48-16 and have won the last eight meetings.
Notes: The Arizona Wildcats, the defending national champions, are have a pair of hitters with .400 or better averages including All-American Caitlin Lowe (.475) and Chelsie Mesa (.400), who rank third and seventh in the Pac-10. Kristie Fox is the Wildcats' power hitter, leading the team with nine doubles, eight home runs and 35 runs batted in. Taryne Mowatt has carried the majority of Arizona's pitching duties and boasts a 17-6 record with six shutouts and a 1.83 earned run average. She also has struck out 235 batters in 145.2 innings and holds opponents to a .164 average. The Wildcats are out-scoring opponents 179-73 this season and out-hitting the competition .310-.203.

ARIZONA STATE (34-7, 0-0 Pac-10)
Series vs. Washington:
The Huskies lead the all-time series 41-12 but ASU won last year's series 2-1.
Notes: The Arizona State Sun Devils are led by Kaitlin Cochran, who leads the league with a .530 average, .923 slugging percentage and .620 on-base percentage. Twenty-four of Cochran's conference-leading 62 hits have been for extra-bases, including 12 doubles, two triples and 10 home runs. The team has already combined for 50 home runs, which also leads the Pac-10. Katie Burkhart and Megan Elliott share pitching duties and boast 16-5 and 16-2 records, respectively. Burkhart has a 1.00 ERA and leads the conference with 249 strikeouts in 139.2 innings. Elliott has a 2.13 ERA with 115 strikeouts in 118.1 innings. The pair have combined for 11 shutouts.

HITTING STREAKS: Sophomore Marnie Koziol put together a 15-game hitting streak, marking the second-longest streak in the Pac-10 this season. Two other Huskies have boasted double-figure hitting streaks this season including Ashley Charters (11 games) and Dena Tyson (10 games).

1-2-3 STRIKES YOU'RE OUT: Sophomore Danielle Lawrie has a 13-3 record this season and averages nearly 14 strikeouts per seven innings, which tops in the Pac-10. She has struck out 20 batters twice this season, surpassing her own school record of 19 strikeouts set last season. Lawrie fanned 20 vs. No. 24 USF in seven innings on Feb. 18 and struck out 20 vs. No. 6 LSU in nine innings on March 3. She ranks third in the Pac-10 with a 0.83 earned run average, 217 strikeouts and 48 strikeouts looking. Lawrie has tallied double-figure strikeouts in 14 of 15 starts this season, which also leads the conference. She has twice been named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week this season and ranks fourth on the UW all-time list with 569 career strikeouts.

DYNAMO DENA: Senior Dena Tyson leads the Huskies eight home runs and 25 RBIs. She boats a .815 slugging percentage and .537 on-base percentage with 16 walks. Last season, Tyson has hit six home runs and drove in 23 RBIs in 57 games. Her 24 career home runs rank ninth on the UW all-time career chart and she is three home runs away from the No. 7 spot held by All-Americans Sara Pickering (27, 1994-97) and Jenny Topping (27, 1999-2000). Tyson also ranks No. 6 on the UW career walks list with 91 free passes and is one free pass away from the No. 5 spot (Sara Pickering, 92, 1994-97). She ranks third in the Pac-10 in home runs and her .415 average would tie for fifth in the league if she had a few more at-bats.

CHASING CHARTERS: Ashley Charters ranks among the league's top-10 in five categories. She ranks third in triples (2), fifth in runs scored (33), stolen bases (16) and average (.415), and sixth in on-base percentage (.513). Charters has stolen 76 career bases to rank sixth on the UW all-time list. She is five steals away from the No. 5 spot held by Becky Newbry (81/91, 1996-99).

SEEING TRIPLE: Ashley Charters hit a triple against Texas in the Judi Garman Classic consolation semifinal on March 18, marking the eighth triple of her career to tie with All-American Rosie Leutzinger for sixth on the UW all-time list. She is one tripe away tying for the No. 5 spot held by Leanne Rosser (9, 1994-97).

MANUFACTURING RUNS: Washington has manufactured many of its runs this season, with 31 sacrifice bunts, which ranks second in the league, and eight sacrifice flies. The Huskies had 20 sacrifice hits all of last season in 60 games and five sacrifice flies. Sophomore Marnie Koziol ranks third in the Pac-10 with eight sacrifice hits, while senior Jacki Hansen ranks fifth with six sacrifice hits. Sophomore Alicia Matthews leads the conference with five sacrifice flies, which ties for fifth on the UW single-season list with All-American Sara Pickering (5, 1995). Pickering holds the school record with seven sacrifice flies in 1996 and again in 1997.

WASHINGTON IN THE POLLS: The Huskies maintained its No. 12 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 poll (March 27) after defeating Utah last week. The Huskies have been ranked in the poll for each of the last 174 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 16th in the ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25 poll (March 20).

LAWRIE NAMED PAC-10 PITCHER OF THE WEEK- TWICE: Sophomore Danielle Lawrie has earned the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week award twice this season, most recently for her performance at the Husky Softball Classic, March 2-4. Lawrie, the Pac-10's leading strikeout artist, continued to overwhelm opposing batters last week, earning two wins and a save in three appearances as the Huskies captured the Husky Softball Classic title. Washington easily defeated Portland State, 15-0 on Friday, then picked up consecutive upset wins over No. 7/6 LSU on Saturday and Sunday. In Friday's opener against Portland State, Lawrie rolled through five innings, allowing just one hit and no runs while the Husky offense helped make quick work of the Vikings. Lawrie struck out 13 and hit a home run. Facing the Tigers, who were 17-1 on the season coming in, Lawrie dominated, carrying a perfect game into the ninth inning on Saturday before an attempted sacrifice bunt was popped up over the first baseman and fell for a hit. LSU scored its first run on an error that inning, but the Huskies came back with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the inning to give Lawrie the win. In her nine innings, Lawrie allowed just the one hit and unearned run, while walking zero and tying her personal and program record for strikeouts with 20. The next day, Lawrie entered the game with LSU in the fifth inning to hold UW's lead, and earned the save with three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and two walks while striking out five. For the weekend, Lawrie pitched 17 innings and two complete games, gave up three hits and no earned runs, walked five and struck out 38. Lawrie was also 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.

HUSKIES WIN JUDI GARMAN CONSOLATION TITLE: Washington bounced back from an 0-3 record in pool play at the Judi Garman Classic to sweep its three bracket games to win the Consolation Championship. The Huskies did not give up a run in the championship bracket, defeating Pacific 9-0 (six innings), No. 8 Texas 4-0 and NC State 2-0. Washington out-scored its opponents 14-0 in bracket play and out-hit its opponents 29-4. Ashley Charters finished the tournament with a .529 average (9-for-17), while Dominique Lastrapes hit at a .400 clip (8-for-20). Noble tossed a no-hitter vs. Texas and went 2-1 with 29 strikeouts in 19.1 innings.

WASHINGTON WINS HUSKY SOFTBALL CLASSIC: Washington went 3-0 at the Husky Softball Classic to win their home tournament title. The Huskies defeated Portland State 15-0 in five innings, before upending sixth-ranked LSU twice, 3-1 in nine innings and 6-3. Sophomore pitcher Danielle Lawrie was named the tournament Most Valuable Player after going 2-0 with a save over the weekend with a 0.00 earned run average. She finished the weekend with 38 strikeouts in 17 innings (2.23 k/inning). Lawrie threw a complete game shutout vs. Portland State on Friday, allowing just one hit and striking out 13 in five innings. She took a perfect game into the ninth inning on Saturday against No. 6 LSU before an attempted sacrifice bunt was popped up over the first baseman and fell in for a hit. She earned the complete game, one-hit victory with 20 strikeouts, tying her own school record, and no walks. Lawrie earned the save on Sunday vs. No. 6 LSU, pitching three innings of relief, allowing no runs on one hit and fanning five. She also went 3-for-10 from the plate (.333), driving in three runs and belting her third home run of the season. Other Huskies named to the all-tournament team were Dena Tyson, Ashley Charters and Marnie Koziol. Tyson led the team with a .500 average (4-for-8) and drove in a team-leading six runs. She finished the weekend with a home run, .875 slugging percentage and .600 on-base percentage. Charters hit .444 (4-for-9), scored seven runs and had three RBIs from her game-winning, extra-inning home runs vs. LSU Saturday. Koziol also hit .444 (4-for-9), scoring two runs and recording two sacrifices.

HUSKIES TIE FOR THIRD AT PALM SPRINGS CLASSIC: The Washington Huskies tied for third place at the 26-team Palm Springs Classic, Feb. 23-25, with a 4-1 record. Tennessee and Oklahoma shared the tourney title with 5-0 records. Senior Dena Tyson led all players with a 1.417 slugging percentage and ranked second with a .667 average (8-for-12). She also tied for the tournament lead with three home runs and 10 RBIs. Danielle Lawrie led the pitching staff and ranked third among all pitchers that threw 21 or more innings with a 1.00 earned run average and 35 strikeouts.

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.

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 three All-America nods, six All-Pacific Region honors and 12 All-Pac-10 awards. The Huskies have also collected 27 wins over top-25 opponents over the last three seasons. Tarr has a career record of 88-53 at Washington.

2006 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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