No. 3 Huskies Hit Road For Two-Game Series With UCLA
April 9, 2009
Friday, April 10, 1 p.m.
Easton Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif.
No. 3 Washington at No. 7/9 UCLA
Live on KKNW-1150 AM
Saturday, April 11, 1 p.m.
Easton Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif.
No. 3 Washington at No. 7/9 UCLA
Live on KKNW-1150 AM
Riding a three-game conference winning streak, the Huskies will look to stay hot this weekend when they travel down south to face UCLA in short two-game series. The No. 3 Huskies and No. 7 Bruins will face off in a pair of 1 p.m. games on Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11.
This weekend's games are the start of a eight-game road swing for the Huskies who will play their final three conference road series before staying home for the two weeks in Seattle in preparation for post-season play. The Huskies are currently tied for second in the conference in hopes of capturing their third Pac-10 title.
FOLLOW THE ACTION LIVE
KKNW-1150 AM will broadcast both games this weekend from Los Angeles with Mike Brown and John Cowley calling the action. Games this weekend will also be available via Gametracker on www.gohuskies.com where a live chat will also take place.
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.
UW responded to its first two-game losing streak of the season by picking up three big wins over the Arizona schools at home to improve to 9-0 at Husky Softball Stadium this season. The three-game sweep marked UW's first over the Arizona schools at home since 2000 and moved them into a tie for second in the conference.
The weekend couldn't have started any better as Danielle Lawrie shut down the nation's leading offense, becoming the first pitcher since 2000 to no-hit Arizona. The UW offense came out in support of Lawrie, collecting 10 hits in a 6-0 win. The Huskies then swept two games from No. 4 Arizona State with Lawrie this time standing up to the No. 2 offense in the country. UW's bats stayed hot as the Huskies racked up a season-high tying 15 hits and belted two home runs in the first game to win by the mercy rule, 11-3. On Sunday, the Huskies and Sun Devils were deadlocked in the bottom of the seventh when Ashley Charters ripped a walk-off solo home run over the bleachers in right-center to cap the perfect weekend.
The Huskies have already registered two five-inning, mercy-rule victories in their first six Pac-10 games, both of which have come against top-15 teams in Arizona State and California. The last time UW posted that many five-inning mercy rule victories in conference play was 2005, when UW won via the run-rule five times, two of which came in six innings.
HOME SWEET HOME
With their 9-0 record at Husky Softball Stadium this season, the Huskies are off to their best home start in school history. The 2005 team previously started 8-0 at home before the 2009 team surpassed that mark on Sunday.
The nine-game home winning streak is still a ways off from the longest home winning streak in school history, which is a 15-gamer held by the 1996 team. That team went 18-2 overall at home en route to its first World Series appearance.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
No. 7/9 UCLA (27-8, 2-4 2009; 51-9, 17-4 2008)
Series vs. UW: UCLA leads 41-21
About UCLA: The Bruins are coming off a tough 1-2 weekend against the Arizona schools last weekend but are still a dangerous team. UCLA is ranked No. 7 in the ESPN.com poll this week and have registered victories this season over the likes of No. 6 Northwestern and No. 4 Alabama. The Bruins have some dangerous hitters, including Katie Schroeder, who leads the team with a .398 average, nine home runs and 15 stolen bases, as well as Kaila Shull (.390, 8 HR) and All-American Amanda Kamekona (.350, 6 HR). In the circle, three pitchers have shared the duties but lately it's been Megan Langenfield who has been the most dominant. The junior, who owns a 4-0 record and 1.48 ERA, pitched 5.2 innings of hitless relief against Arizona last Sunday to lead UCLA to a 3-2 victory, which snapped a four-game conference losing streak.
Series History: The Bruins hold a decisive advantage in the series, 41-21, and have won the last three meetings between the two teams after sweeping the season series last season. The Huskies took two-of-three from the Bruins in 2007 including one at Easton Stadium.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS
UW held firm at No. 3 in both polls this week after sweeping the Arizona schools, which earned them two of the 20 first-place votes in the NFCA poll. UW is No. 2 for the second consecutive week in the RPI rankings, 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 are in the midst of a difficult Pac-10 schedule. Six of the eight Pac-10 teams are ranked with four 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 Alabama, No. 5 Arizona State, No. 7 Georgia, No. 8 Michigan, No. 10 Arizona, No. 13 Tennessee and No. 16 Ohio State, along with Cal, Fresno State and Florida State, which have all 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 against No. 2 Stanford and one each coming in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to No. 4 Alabama and No. 6 Georgia.
After leading the Huskies to wins over No. 9 Arizona and No. 4 Arizona State, Ashley Charters and Danielle Lawrie were named the Pac-10 Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, the first time the Huskies have swept the weekly awards since 2003 when Ashley Boek and Kristen Rivera pulled the double. Lawrie's highlight of the weekend was her third career no-hitter over hot-hitting Arizona while Charters' was the star in UW's 3-2 win over Arizona State with her second-career walk-off home run.
Lawrie, who earned her fourth Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honor this season and eighth of her career, became the first pitcher since 2000 to no-hit Arizona. She held the nation's leader in batting average, scoring, home runs and slugging percentage to no hits while striking out 12 and walking just one to miss a perfect game by one batter. She went on to hold down the Sun Devils offense - which came in as the nation's second-leading scoring offense - in two more victories to up her record to 22-3 this season.
Charters, meanwhile, continued her torrid pace at the plate, extending her career-best hitting streak to 16 games and her unbelievable streak of consecutive games with at least two hits to nine games. She went 7-for-11 over the weekend and scored five runs to move up to No. 2 all time in UW history. She scored all three of the Huskies' runs in their victory Sunday, including her second-career walk-off home run. It was her second POW honor in the last three weeks.
Lawrie and Charters were also named recently as Top-25 finalists for the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award.
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 five runs last weekend, Lawrie is third in the country with a 0.57 ERA, a number which leads the Pac-10. She is also third nationally in strikeouts with 267 and second in shutouts, with her 13 shutouts just three shy of UW's single-season record.
Lawrie struck out 25 batters last week to give her 267 this season, a number which already ranks No. 5 on the UW single-season charts. She owns the UW single-season record with 457 strikeouts in 2007 and also owns UW's career record with 1,111, which is just 89 shy of joining the 1,200 K club, which only 23 other pitchers in NCAA history have joined.
NO STOPPING HER
With three more multi-hit games last weekend, Ashley Charters' recent tear continued as she extended her career-high hitting streak to 16 games and her multi-hit game streak to nine games. By going 7-for-11 against the Arizona schools, the two-time All-American bumped her batting average up to .462, which ranks second in the Pac-10 and eighth nationally. Charters also added five more runs last weekend to move up to No. 2 all-time in UW history and also moved into a tie for third in the Pac-10 and sixth nationally in runs per game at 1.17.
Charters is batting a staggering .565 in Pac-10 games and .617 in her past nine games. She is threatening to break UW's long-standing single-season average record of .472, set by Angie Marzetta in 1993.
While she did not collect a hit in her first weekend with the Huskies, new addition Jenn Salling's presence was definitely felt in a Husky lineup that busted out for 20 runs in three games after getting shut out in back-to-back contests. While showing a little rust after not having played in a game since the 2008 Olympic Games, the transfer contributed in her first game by getting on base twice and scoring UW's first two runs in a 6-0 victory over Arizona. She then contributed another run and her first RBI with the Huskies in a 11-3 win over Arizona State before knocking in the game-tying run in a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Sun Devils on Sunday.
Salling, who batted third and started at shortstop last weekend, was a First Team All-American at Oregon her freshman year, batting .481 with 14 home runs en route to being named Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year. She was the only freshman who was on the Top-10 list of finalists for the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award. Salling then teamed up with current UW teammate Danielle Lawrie on the Canadian National Team, batting clean-up and playing shortstop in every game in Beijing, leading Canada into the medal round.
YES-YES TO NO-NOs
Danielle Lawrie had come close a few times earlier this season but finally sealed the deal on her first no-hitter of the season - and third of her career - last Friday against Arizona and it couldn't have come at a better time. The Wildcats came in with a nation-leading 88 home runs but were no match for Lawrie, who walked one and struck out 12 in the near-perfecto. Lawrie's last no-hitter came in the 2007 Women's College World Series when she shut down DePaul in her first-ever World Series game. She also threw a six-inning perfect game against Utah Valley State in 2006.
Lawire now has one no-hitter, three one-hitters and eight two-hitters this season.
With her first home run of the season last weekend, Alicia Blake joined a very exclusive club of Huskies who have reached 100 RBIs in their career. Just 14 Huskies have ever accomplished the feat, incluing Blake, and another Husky should join the club soon. Lauren Greer also homered last weekend and drove in three runs to give her 99 for her career. Both are chasing the all-time top-10 list as Aimee Minor controls the No. 10 spot with 109 career RBI.
RISING TO THE TOP
In just over two seasons, Danielle Lawrie is carving a name for herself in not just the UW record books, but also the Pac-10 record books as well.
With 25 more strikeouts last weekend, Lawrie's career total now stands at 1,111 which ranks 9th all-time in Pac-10 history, passing UCLA great Keira Goerl. Lawrie is already UW's career and single-single record holder and will look to challenge her own single-season record of 457 set in 2007. With 267 this season, Lawrie is more than halfway to the Pac-10 record of 522 set by Taryne Mowatt in 2007. Additionally, Lawrie's 13 shutouts this season already rank second on the UW single-season charts, just three shy of the record of 16 set by Jennifer Spediacci in 2000. Her 33 career shutouts moves her into sole possession of second all time, just seven shy of Spediacci's career record.
The Huskies overcame yet another deficit this weekend and have now come from behind to win 10 times this season. UW trailed 2-1 last Sunday before tying the game in the fifth and walking-off in the seventh on Ashley Charters' game-winning home run.
UW earned the Comeback Dawgs moniker in the Judi Garman Classic, when it won one of the craziest games in Husky history, scoring eight runs in the final two innings to defeat Penn State, 14-13. The Huskies fell behind early as Penn State jumped out to leads of 5-1 after one inning and 7-1 after two. While the Dawgs chipped away, Penn State kept extending their lead and took a 13-6 lead into the sixth. But UW scored five in the sixth and three in the seventh to win the game on Niki Williams' game-tying triple and Alicia Blake's game-winning single.
LET'S GET IT STARTED
UW is in pretty good shape if they get off to a fast start, going 23-0 this season when they score first. They have scored in the first inning in nearly half of their victories, going 13-0 when they tally a run in the initial inning.
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