Softball Hosts Arizona Schools In Pac-10 Home Opener
April 2, 2009
Friday, April 3
No. 3 Washington vs. No. 9/14 Arizona, 1:00 p.m.
Husky Softball Stadium
Live on KKNW-1150 AM
Tickets still available
Saturday, April 4
No. 3 Washington vs. No. 4/8 Arizona State, 3:00 p.m.
Husky Softball Stadium
SOLD OUT (standing room available on day-of-game)
Sunday, April 5
No. 3 Washington vs. No. 4/8 Arizona State, 12:00 p.m.
Husky Softball Stadium
Tickets still available
All games available via Gametracker
After dropping consecutive games over the weekend for the first time all season, the No. 3 Washington softball team will look to bounce back against the Arizona schools in their Pac-10 home opener this weekend. The Huskies face another two ranked teams in No. 9/14 Arizona and No. 4/8 Arizona State, the latter of which are the defending national champions.
Friday's game at 1 p.m. marks the return of long-time Washington coach Teresa Wilson who is now an assistant coach with Arizona. Saturday the Huskies square off against the Sun Devils at 3 p.m. and Sunday the teams will meet again at Noon in a match-up between one of the best pitchers - Washington's Danielle Lawrie - and one of the best hitters - Arizona State's Kaitlin Cochran - in the country.
FOLLOW THE ACTION LIVE
KKNW-1150 AM will broadcast Friday's game against Arizona while Saturday and Sunday's game can be followed via live webcast on www.GoHuskies.com. All games this weekend will also be available via Gametracker on www.gohuskies.com. The live in-game chat will not be available.
BECOME A HUSKY FAN ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER
Fans can follow the Husky softball team and receive updates throughout 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. Search for 'Washington Husky Softball' on Facebook to find the official fan page.
The Huskies opened Pac-10 play with a big victory over No. 12/16 California, run-ruling the Golden Bears, 9-1, in five innings. The Huskies broke open a 1-1 game with seven runs in the fourth - all with two outs - to breeze to a win in their Pac-10 opener. The Huskies appeared to have used up all their offensive fire power in that game, however, as they were shutout in back-to-back games by Stanford All-American Missy Penna, who held the Huskies without a run over 18 innings in two games.
In a match-up of the Pac-10s top two pitches and two of the best in the nation, Penna outduled Danielle Lawrie in both games, despite Lawrie's gaudy numbers. The junior allowed just four hits and struck out 16 on Saturday, no-hitting the Cardinal's high-powered offense for 8.1 innings. But the Huskies stranded 11 runners in the game and Stanford took advantage of two hits, a walk and a hit batter to push across a run in the 11th and steal a 1-0 win. On Sunday, Lawrie was again dominant, allowing just two hits and striking out eight, but the Cardinal again seized their opportunities, parlaying a two-run home run into a 2-0 victory. The Huskies out-hit Stanford 6-2 and 6-4 in the two games but stranded 19 total runners.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
No. 9/14 Arizona (31-7, 3-0 2009; 41-19, 13-8 2008)
Series vs. UW: Arizona leads 55-17
About Arizona: The Wildcats got off to a perfect start in Pac-10 play last weekend, going 3-0 against the Oregon schools and have won 13 of their last 15. Arizona boasts the nation's highest-scoring offense, putting up more than nine runs a game. The Wildcats have hit an incredible 88 home runs this season nearly as many as the entire SEC conference combined, which has 91 home runs. They are on pace to break the Pac-10 and NCAA records for home runs which was set in 2001 by the Wildcats. Stacie Chambers owns a nation-leading 22 home runs and 71 RBI. Brittany Lastrapes, younger sister of former Husky All-American Dominique Lastrapes, leads Arizona with a .485 average. In the circle, three Arizona pitchers have shared the duties, with Jennifer Martinez leading the way with a 2.37 ERA and 7-1 record.
Series History: The Huskies have had a tough go of it against Arizona in recent years, dropping six in a row and 15 of the last 16 meetings between the two teams. Arizona swept the season series last year and won four of five against the Huskies in '07, including two in the semifinals of the Women's College World Series en route to their most recent national championship. UW's last win over Arizona came in Tucson on May 11, 2007 when Danielle Lawrie allowed just one run and five hits. That win snapped a nine-game losing streak dating back to the 2004 season.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
No. 4/8 Arizona State (31-5, 3-0 2009; 66-5, 18-3 2008)
Series vs. UW: Washington leads 43-16
About Arizona State: The defending national champion Sun Devils have missed their All-American pitcher Katie Burkhart who graduated but they retained one of the best hitters in the nation in Kaitlin Cochran, who is back to her usual ways. The Pac-10's active leader and ASU's all-time leader with 64 home runs, Cochran is second in the conference with a .475 average and third with 15 home runs. She was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week last week after going a perfect 5-for-5 with three home runs and eight RBI in three wins over the Oregon schools. Hillary Bach has picked up the slack in Burkhart's absence, going 17-1 with a 2.37 ERA.
Series History: The Huskies have dominated the series but the Sun Devils have come on of late, winning three of the last four and six of eight since UW won 12 in a row between 2002-05. ASU took two of three last season but UW was able to grab one win over the eventual national champs, a 3-0 decision in Tempe.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS
UW dropped one spot to No. 3 in both polls this week after falling twice to Stanford, who leap-frogged UW into the No. 2 spot in both polls. UW is No. 2 this week in the first RPI ranking, which takes strength of schedule into account. The Huskies only trail No.1 Florida - whom they beat - in the RPI.
The Huskies spent two weeks at the top spot in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 earlier this season after going 5-0 in the Cathedral City Classic, including a 1-0 win over current No.1 Florida. That performance 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.
After playing 13 games against ranked teams in the pre-season, the road only gets more difficult for UW as they embark on a difficult Pac-10 schedule. Six of the eight Pac-10 teams are ranked with five currently in the NFCA top-10.
UW has proven they can beat the best so far, knocking off current No. 1 Florida along with No. 4/5 Alabama, No. 6 Georgia, No. 9/10 Michigan, No. 12/14 California, No. 13 Tennessee and No. 15/17 Ohio State, along with Fresno State and Florida State, which have been in the top 25 for most of the season.
Of UW's five setbacks this season, four have come against top-five teams, with two coming last weekend against No. 2 Stanford and one each coming in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to No. 4 Alabama and No. 6 Georgia.
The Huskies' two All-Americans, senior Ashley Charters and junior Danielle Lawrie, were named this week as Top-25 Finalists for the 2009 USA Softball Collegiate National Player of the Year Award.
Charters, a two-time All-American, leads the Huskies this season in nearly every offensive statistical category. She carries a team-leading .444 average to go along with 48 hits, 37 runs, three triples. 23 stolen bases and 19 walks, all of which are tops on the team. She also ranks second on the squad with five home runs and 19 RBI despite mostly batting from the leadoff position. She broke UW's all-time stolen base record earlier this season and also tied a school and Pac-10 record by scoring five runs in a game against Penn State in mid-March.
Lawrie, meanwhile, leads the nation with a 0.42 ERA and is second in the country with 242 strikeouts. She owns a 19-3 record and has allowed just nine earned runs in 151.2 innings pitched, walking just 32 batters compared to her 242 Ks. She has 12 shutouts this season and 13 double-digit strikeout performances, including an 18-strikeout, 11-inning shutout of No. 22 Fresno State. She has also shut out the likes of No. 1 Florida, No. 5 Alabama, No. 6 Georgia and No. 10 Michigan.
Danielle Lawrie has established herself as arguably the top pitcher in the nation this season and she has the stats to back it up. Despite giving up four runs last weekend - as many as she gave up over the first 20 games of the season - Lawrie leads the country with a 0.42 ERA. She is also second in strikeouts with 242 and fourth in Ks per seven innings (11.2) and wins (19).
NO STOPPING HERAshley Charters has been on quite a roll lately, collecting three more multi-hit games over the weekend to extend her hitting streak to a career-high tying 13 games. She also has a streak of six consecutive multi-hit games going, batting .609 in that stretch (14x23).
With six more hits last weekend, Charters now has 267 in her career which moved her past two players into sixth all-time at UW. That mark also ranks second among active Pac-10 players just behind Arizona State's Kaitlin Cochran.
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