Huskies Head to Bay Area to face Stanford and Cal
April 23, 2008
SEATTLE - No. 22/21 (NFCA/USA Softball) Washington hits the road for three Pac-10 games against two ranked opponents this weekend. Washington startts with a 6:00 p.m. game on Friday at Stanford, before heading to California for two games. The UW and Cal will play at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Only Friday's game against Stanford will feature Gametracker. That game will also be broadcast live on CSTV. Due to facility limitations at California's field, no Gametracker or radio will be available.
Washington (25-16-1, 4-7 Pac-10) remained No. 22 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll for the second straight week, while moving down one spot to No. 21 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. The Huskies have now been ranked in every NFCA poll (187 straight) since its inception at the start of the 1995 season.
The Huskies are No. 26 in the April 23 edition of the NFCA RPI. Fourteen of the Huskies 2008 opponents are ranked in the Top 50, including six in the Top 10 and nine in the Top 25. So far, the UW has gone 8-11 against teams in the Top 50. According to the RPI, the Huskies have the nation's 11th-toughest schedule.
When the Huskies play at Stanford (41-8, 6-6 Pac-10) it will mark the third time the two teams have played this year. The Huskies picked up a 4-1 win in Seattle on April 5, before Stanford claimed a 3-1 win the following day. Washington holds a 34-17 lead in the all-time series.
With a 5-1 win over Cal last Saturday, the Cardinal secured its 40th win of the season, clinching the program's tenth 40-win season under head coach John Rittman, who was a UW assistant from 1993-96. It is just the second time that they have picked up win No. 40 before the month of May, with the 2001 WCWS team also accomplishing the feat. Sophomore catcher Rosey Neill has been a terror at the plate, as she leads the Pac-10 with 17 home runs and also ranks in the top-10 of four other major offensive categories. She is hitting .380 with 47 RBI and has an impressive slugging percentage of .818.
In the series with Cal, the Golden Bears have a slight 31-26 lead but the UW has won two straight, including a 2-1 win in Seattle on April 4.
California (36-18, 4-8 Pac-10) is hitting .286 as a team, with a pair of freshman leading the way offensively. Sanoe Kekahuna is hitting .340 with 14 doubles, seven home runs and 43 RBI, while Valerie Arioto is batting .333 with 14 doubles. Cal lost two of three games last weekend with Bay Area rival Stanford. After not being ranked in the NFCA Top 25 poll for the first eight weeks, the Golden Bears have been ranked between No. 21 and No. 24 in four straight polls.
For the UW offensively, freshman Jace Williams continues to rank among the conference leaders in batting average (3rd/.397) and on-base percentage (8th/.470), while sophomore Bailey Stenson is sixth in the Pac-10 with 54 hits and junior Marnie Koziol is fourth with 21 stolen bases.