Huskies Host No. 1 ASU, No. 10 Arizona This Weekend
April 30, 2008
SEATTLE - No. 21/23 (USA Softball/NFCA) Washington hosts the Arizona schools this weekend, starting with a 1:00 p.m. game on Friday against No. 1/2 Arizona State. The Huskies then take on No. 10/12 Arizona at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, and at noon on Sunday.
All three games this weekend will feature GameTracker as well as audio and video through GoHuskies.com. In addition, both games on Friday and Sunday will be broadcast on KKNW-1150AM with Mike Brown and John Cowley calling the action.
The Huskies (26-18-1, 5-9 Pac-10) went 1-2 last weekend in the Bay Area, losing to Stanford before splitting with California. Washington sits in fifth place in the conference as they head into the final two weeks of Pac-10 play, and they are seeking their 15th-straight NCAA tournament bid.
Washington has a 43-15 lead in the series against Arizona State, even though ASU has won five of the past seven. The two teams split a pair of games earlier this season, with ASU winning 7-2 and the Huskies picking up a 3-0 win.
The Sun Devils (52-3, 14-1 Pac-10) have won eight straight since the UW knocked them off back on April 13. Senior catcher Kristen Miller was named Pac-10 Player of the Week after going 6-for-12 (.500) last weekend and helping ASU sweep the Oregon schools.
Reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year Kaitlin Cochran is leading the team and the Pac-10 in batting (.446), slugging (.842), on-base percentage (.614), runs (69) and doubles (16). Jackie Vasquez is second in the conference with a .428 average and the Sun Devils are hitting a conference-best .340 and have 84 home runs. All-America pitcher Katie Burkhart, who was the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year in '07, is 29-3 with a 0.78 ERA and her 369 strikeouts leads the Pac-10 is the biggest reason the ASU pitching staff has a Pac-10-best 500 K's.
In the series with Arizona, the Wildcats have a 53-17 lead and have won four in a row over the Huskies. Earlier this season, the Wildcats picked up a 5-4 win in eight innings down in Tucson.
Even though the two-time defending national champion Wildcats (31-15, 8-7 Pac-10) are not at the same level they have been the past two seasons, they are still one of the nation's best teams and have a potent offensive lineup. Freshman Brittany Lastrapes, the younger sister of ex-Husky Dominique Lastrapes, leads the team with a .368 average while the Wildcats are hitting .308 as a team and have 74 home runs, second only to ASU in the Pac-10. Four UA players have belted at least 12 home runs, and seven UA players are hitting over the .300 mark.
Senior RHP Taryne Mowatt (19-11) has the highest ERA of her career at 2.06, but is third in the Pac-10 in strikeouts (294) and first in batters struck out looking (79). Freshman RHP Lindsey Sisk is 10-3 with a 1.63 ERA and has struck out 68 on the year.
The Huskies are No. 27 in the April 29 edition of the NFCA RPI, down one spot from last week. 15 of the Huskies 2008 opponents are ranked in the Top 50, including six in the Top 10 and ten in the Top 25. So far, the UW has gone 10-12 against teams in the Top 50. According to the RPI, the Huskies have the nation's 10th-toughest schedule.
Washington dropped four spots to No. 24 in the NCAA RPI that was released on April 30. The NCAA RPI and NFCA RPI use the same basic formula, but the NCAA does employ a system of bonus and penalty points that are not released to the public. The Huskies have played 14 teams that are ranked in the Top 50, and have an 11-12 record.
Freshman Jace Williams continues to pace the Huskies in batting (.375), slugging percentage (.570) and on-base percentage (.444), while fellow frosh Aleah Macon (15-11) leads the team with a 1.86 earned run average and 216 strikeouts. Williams is seventh in the Pac-10 in batting average, while Macon is sixth in strikeouts and ninth in both ERA and opponent batting average (.204).
Sophomore Dru Hester, who had made only four starts before the Bay Area trip a week ago, started all three games at third base last weekend and responded by going 3-for-9 (.333). She had two hits in the Huskies 6-5 win over Cal on Saturday, and then had one of the Huskies two hits on Sunday against the Golden Bears.