No. 2/3 Huskies Travel South For Final Tournament

March 11, 2009

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JUDI GARMAN CLASSIC - FULLERTON, Calfi.

UGA Softball Stadium • All Times Pacific

Thursday, March 12
No. 2/3 Washington vs. No. 24/25 Florida State, 11:00 a.m.

Friday, March 13
No. 2/3 Washington vs. Penn State, 3:30 p.m.
No. 2/3 Washington vs. No. 10 Michigan, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 14
No. 2/3 Washington vs. No. 21/24 Fresno State, 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 14
No. 2/3 Washington vs. Cal State Fullerton, 1 p.m.

All games available via Gametracker

THIS WEEK
The No. 2/3 Washington Husky softball team stays on the road for five games in the prestigious Judi Garman Classic where they continue their tough schedule by facing three more ranked teams. The Judi Garman Classic also serves as UW's final tournament before they head into Pac-10 play. UW will host a weekend series next weekend against New Mexico before traveling to the Bay Area to kick of conference action in three weeks.

The Huskies have played in the prestigious tournament in each of the 17 years of the program. Last year, UW went 2-3 in the Judi Garman Classic, defeating Utah and Florida State while dropping games to San Diego State, Long Beach State and DePaul. All-time the Huskies are 62-23 in the tournament named after the long-time Fullerton head coach. UW has gone undefeated five times in the tourney, including 1998 (5-0), 2000 (7-0), 2002 (5-0), 2003 (3-0) and 2004 (5-0). The Huskies were named winners of the tournament in 2000 and '04.

FOLLOW THE ACTION LIVE
All Husky games this weekend will be available via Gametracker on www.gohuskies.com. Additionally, fans can chat live and follow an in-game blog on GoHuskies.com.

Fans can also follow along for occasional updates during the season on the UW Softball Twitter page by logging on to www.twitter.com/UWSoftball. The Huskies can also be found on Facebook via the Washington Softball fan page at the following link:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Washington-Husky-Softball/46364349899

LAST WEEK
The Huskies suffered their first two losses of the season and Danielle Lawrie's streak of consecutive innings without allowing an unearned run ended at 90 but all was not lost as UW picked up three big wins in the Easton SEC/Pac-10/Big 12 Challenge in Tuscaloosa, Ala. In what was arguably the best four-team tournament of the season, the Huskies defeated then-No. 1/3 Alabama on their own field in front of a record 3,012 fans to snap the Tide's 23-game home win streak. UW also won games against No. 11/12 Georgia and No. 24 Baylor.

Lawrie earned all three of UW's victories, all via shutout, first a 1-0, eight-inning win over Baylor. After Alabama stopped UW's 19-game winning streak to start the season, Lawrie came back Saturday and threw back-to-back shutouts over Georgia (2-0) and Alabama (6-0) as the Huskies avenged their only loss. On Sunday, Georgia finally solved Lawrie and scored the first runs off the ace since Feb. 7 and handed Lawrie her first loss of the season, 2-0, in UW's final game of the weekend.

DAD'S AND DAUGHTERS WEEKEND APPROACHING
The Huskies and KJR-AM radio will team up for the UW-KJR Dads & Daughters Day at Husky Softball Stadium, Saturday, April 4 when UW plays No. 6/11 and defending national champion Arizona State at 3 p.m.

For just $6 per person, fans will receive one general admission outfield ticket, one Dads & Daughters t-shirt and the opportunity to participate in a post-game Q&A with UW coaches and student-athletes. Pre-game activities include free trading cards of the UW Freshmen to the first 500 fans and all participating daughters will be invited to join the Huskies on the field for the National Anthem at approximately 2:50 p.m.

To order your tickets, visit GoHuskies.com. Within 24 hours you will receive a confirmation email, as well as t-shirt size information. Space is limited so order early to guarantee your spot. For more information, email Amy Wilson at amywil@u.washington.edu.

FAMILIAR FACE
Husky head coach Heather Tarr will see a familiar face across the diamond in UW's first game this weekend in former UW teammate Sara Pickering, who is an assistant coach at Florida State. Previously, Pickering was an assistant at Stanford under former Washington assistant John Rittman along with current Seminole head coach Lonni Alameda. When Alameda got her first head coaching job at UNLV, she chose Pickering as her assistant and the two are now heading up the Florida State program.

Pickering is one the greatest players in Husky history and was the program's first two-time First Team All-American. She still holds the NCAA career record for doubles and also holds UW records in games played, games started, hits, doubles and sacrifice flies. She and Tarr helped lead UW to its first-ever Women's College World Series appearance as juniors in 1996 and went on to make it back-to-back appearances as seniors in 1997.

Pickering is most recently known for having overcome Hodgkin's Disease and has now been cancer free for seven years.

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
No. 24/25 Florida State (18-5 2009, 38-28 2008)
Series vs. UW: Series tied 5-5
About Florida State: The Seminoles are off to an 18-5 start after a pair of ACC victories over the last couple days. Among FSU's victories is also a win over No. 10 Michigan.

The Seminoles were an NCAA Regional team last year and return six starters from that team, including First Team All-ACC outfielder and leading hitter from a year ago Carly Wynn. Wynn is back at it this season, batting an even .400 with two home runs and 17 RBI. In the circle, junior Terese Gober has done much of the work, compiling an 11-2 record and a 1.00 ERA. The Seminoles have incredible team speed, stealing 42 bases in 23 games with 11 players stealing at least one base this season.

Series History: The Huskies won the first three games in the series and four of the first five but the Seminoles have gotten the best of the Huskies in four of the last five meetings. UW won the battle last year at the Judi Garman Classic but the Seminoles had taken four in a row from UW prior to that, including a 2-0 victory in the Women's College World Series in 2004. UW will look for its first two-game win streak against FSU since 1996 and '97.

Penn State (7-8 2009, 34-22 2008 )
Series vs. UW: Huskies lead 2-1
About Penn State: The Nittany Lions are 7-8 this season having played a tough schedule thus far, knocking off No. 13 DePaul while falling to the likes of No. 4/5 Stanford, No. 6/11 Arizona State and No. 15 North Carolina.

The Lions are led by freshman Lisa Akamine at the plate, who is hitting a steady .308 with eight RBI, good for second on the squad. Akamine has also helped out in the circle, winning three games and posting a 2.97 ERA. Jackie Hill leads the pitching staff with a 4-5 record and 1.24 ERA.

Series History: The Huskies have won the last two meetings between the teams, a 14-4 win in the 2007 Palm Springs Classic and a 6-4 win in the 2005 Judi Garman Classic. The Nittany Lions won the first meeting between the teams in 2002.

No. 10 Michigan (16-6 2009, 52-8 2008)
Series vs. UW: Series tied 7-7
About Michigan: The Wolverines come in as the No. 10 ranked team in both polls with their 16-6 record. Coming off an NCAA Super Regional appearance last season where Virginia Tech stopped Michigan short of the World Series, the Wolverines look primed for another deep postseason run.

The 2005 National Champions return two All-American pitchers in Nikki Nemitz, who has a 0.95 ERA this season and a 10-3 record, and Jordan Taylor, who has a nearly identical 1.00 ERA and 6-3 record. All Big Ten Conference catcher Dorian Shaw has supplied the power with four home runs while freshman Amanda Chidester leads the team with a .380 average.

Series History: The Huskies and Wolverines are dead even in their 14-game series thus far, with Michigan winning the last meeting between the two teams, 6-3, in the 2007 Judi Garman Classic. The teams have met four times in the postseason, including the 2005 Super Regionals, when the Big Blue took two-of-three from UW to advance to the Women's College World Series, which they went on to win for their first National Championship. UW's last win against Michigan came in the 2006 Judi Garman Classic, a 7-5 Husky victory.

No. 21/24 Fresno State (11-8 2009, 54-13 2008)
Series vs. UW: Fresno State leads 8-7About Fresno State: The Bulldogs are coming off their NCAA-record 27th consecutive postseason appearance. Fresno State returns six starters from a squad that went 54-13 last season, its best record since 1999.

2008 WAC Freshman Pitcher of the Year and All-American Morgan Melloh returns to the circle this season but has had some troubles, amassing a 2.23 ERA and a 7-6 record. Much of the issue has been run support as the Bulldogs are hitting just .218 as a team. Two-time All-WAC infielder Haley Perkins has carried the load, batting a team-high .361 with 11 runs scored.

Series History: The Huskies and Bulldogs have a long history together, with Fresno State holding a slight 8-7 advantage in the series, including taking the last meeting, an 8-3 win in the 2005 Judi Garman Classic. The teams have met twice in the postseason, splitting a pair of games in the 1998 Women's College World Series which sent the Bulldogs on to the title game and eventually their first national championship. UW's last win in the series came in Honolulu in 2002, a 5-4 victory.

Cal State Fullerton (8-12 2009, 27-28-1 2008)
Series vs. UW: Huskies lead 12-6About Cal State Fullerton: The Titans are looking to find their groove in their home tournament as they come in with an 8-12 record but five of those losses have come to Top 20 teams including Northwestern, North Carolina, UCLA, California and Stanford.

Fullerton has been led by Frances Gonzalez, who boasts a .295 average and four home runs. Torrie Anderson has also contribued a team-leading five home runs and 14 RBI, but as a team the Titans are hitting just .195. Ari Cervantes has a team-leading five wins in the cicle for CSUF with a 2.89 ERA.

Series History: The Huskies have played Fullerton more times than any other non-conference foe with the exception of Northwest rival Portland State. UW holds a 12-6 lead in the series, but have won just two of the last five after winning five in a row at one point. The teams played eight times between 1993 and '94, includnig six times in the 1994 season when the Titans knocked UW out of its first NCAA Regionals appearance. UW and CSUF also played in the 1999 postseason, with UW earning a 1-0 regional final victory to advance to the Women's College World Series. UW won the last meeting between the teams, a 5-4 nine-inning victory in the 2006 Judi Garman Classic.

HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS
UW dropped down into a tie for the No. 2 spot in this week's ESPN.com/USA Softball poll after holding the top spot the last two weeks. The Huskies are No. 3 in the NFCA/USA Today poll for the third consecutive week.

UW's stay at the top of the polls, which came after a 5-0 record in the Cathedral City Classic including a 1-0 win over current No.1 Florida, gave the Huskies their first No. 1 ranking since the 2000 season. It was also the first time the Huskies have ever been ranked No. 1 in the ESPN.com poll, which has been in existence since 2003.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST END
The No. 7/8 Georgia Bulldogs became just the second team all season- and the first in 90 consecutive innings - to score an earned run off All-American pitcher Danielle Lawrie when they plated two runs in a 2-0 victory over the Huskies in last weekend's Easton SEC/Pac-10/Big 12 Challenge. Although the NCAA only recognizes streaks of innings scored upon - earned or unearned - Lawrie's streak of 90.0 consecutive innings without an earned run is easily a school record.

Lawrie did have a streak of 64.1 consecutive scoreless innings which ended in the Husky Softball Classic. The streak ties Cat Osterman for the 16th longest in NCAA history. In the Pac-10 annals, it ranks as the seventh-longest streak behind such names as UCLA's Lisa Fernandez and Cal's Jocelyn Forest. During the streak, Lawrie went 11-0 with eight complete-game shutouts and struck out 119 batters while walking just 11. During the 90 innings, she went 14-0 with 10 shutouts and 142 strikeouts.

A K OF Ks
Lawrie reached another milestone this weekend when she became the first Husky pitcher ever to go over the 1,000 strikeout mark in her career. She struck out eight in a 6-0 win over No. 2 Alabama last weekend to become just the second active Division I pitcher with 1,000 Ks, joining Stanford senior Missy Penna.

Lawrie's 11.0 strikeouts per seven innings ratio for her career is No. 5 all time, behind such names as Cat Osterman, Monica Abbott and Angela Tincher.

ANOTHER STREAK ENDS
The Huskies' 19-game winning streak to start the season ended when No. 2 Alabama handed UW a 6-0 loss in the Easton SEC/Pac-10/Big 12 Challenge. The 19-game winning streak is tied for the second-longest in school history, trailing the 2000 team which won 23 in a row.

WATSON BREAKING OUT
Senior Ashlyn Watson has battled injuries throughout much of her career but now that she's healthy she's showing just what she's capable of. A career .219 hitter coming into 2009, Watson has been the most consistent force in the Husky lineup this season, hitting safely in 17 of the 21 games she's played in. She leads the team with a .466 average, six home runs and 18 RBI along with a .845 slugging percentage. Her average ranks fourth in the Pac-10 and her six home runs already ties her career high.

'Shlyn, as she's known to her teammates, has risen to the occasion against some of the toughest pitching in the country. She batted .438 (7x16) in the Cathedral City Classic against five teams - three of which were ranked - including a 2-for-4 effort against All-American Stacey Nelson of Florida. In last weekend's Easton SEC/Pac-10/Big 12 Challenge against three ranked teams, Watson hit safely in every game, batting .533 (8x15) with two doubles, two home runs and two RBI along with three multi-hit games. Both of her home runs came in UW's 2-0 win over No. 7/8 Georgia. Watson is currently riding her second six-game hitting streak of the season.

TROUBLE AHEAD, TROUBLE BEHIND
One of the reasons Danielle Lawrie has been so dominant this season has been her ability to rise to the occasion with runners on base. It seems that on the rare occasion runners do get on base, Lawrie gets even tougher than she already is.

Last weekend against three powerful lineups, Lawrie wiggled her way out of several jams, seemingly escaping some kind of trouble in every inning. She stranded eight Baylor runners in a 1-0, eight-inning victory to start the weekend, then stranded six runners in a 2-0 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs. Her most impressive performance came against No. 2 Alabama when she stranded 11 runners, including escaping a bases loaded, one-out jam. For the season, batters are hitting just .122 against Lawrie with runners on base.

FLEXING THEIR MUSCLES
After hitting just 29 home runs in 2008, the Huskies have the pop back in their bats this season, connecting for 21 home runs in their first 22 games. Eight different players have gone deep for the Huskies this season including four freshmen.

FILLY MAKING AN IMPACT
Freshman Felecia Harris, or 'Filly' as she's known to her teammates, has made a big impact for the Huskies thus far in her young career, both in the circle and at the plate.

Harris has proven to be an RBI machine, driving in 16 runs which ranks second in the team. She is batting .275 (11x40) overall and .400 (6x15) with runners in scoring position. She proved her clutch hitting last weekend with a two-out, bases-loaded double to score three runs against No. 2 Alabama and break open a close game.

Harris has also pitched well in the circle, compiling a 5-1 record and 2.00 ERA. She also earned some valuable experience last weekend pitching against some top-ranked teams. After Danielle Lawrie struggled for the first time all season against No. 7/8 Georgia, Harris came in and shut the door, pitching four innings of scoreless relief.

SPEAKING OF FRESHMEN...
Harris hasn't been the only freshman contributing this season. All five of UW's rookies have contributed in some way, including four of the five hitting home runs already in their careers. Both Harris and Kimi Pohlman have belted grand slams this seeason.

Pohlman has worked her way into a full-time starting position in the outfield, proving she's got the speed and power to play every day. Pohlman is third on the team with a .358 average (19x53) and second with five stolen bases while also belting two home runs. Pohlman's 10 RBI ranks fifth on the team. Her biggest impact this season was a game-winning single in the ninth inning against All-American Stacey Nelson to lead UW to a 1-0 victory over current No. 1 Florida.

Niki Williams has also been solid at the plate, batting .306 with two home runs and eight RBI, while Taylor Smith is hitting .375 in her first season, including a home run in her first collegiate at bat. Jenna Clifton has made an impact at the plate and in the circle, batting .333 (3x9) and compiling a 1.83 ERA in 7.2 innings.

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