Road Swing Continues In Oregon For No. 4 Huskies
April 15, 2009
The Week Ahead
All Times Pacific
All games available via Gametracker, www.GoHuskies.com
Friday, April 17
No. 4 Washington at Oregon, 4:00 p.m.
Howe Field, Eugene, Ore.
Saturday, April 18
No. 4 Washington at Oregon State, 1:00 p.m.
OSU Softball Complex, Corvallis, Ore.
Sunday, April 19
No. 4 Washington at Oregon State, Noon
OSU Softball Complex, Corvallis, Ore.
The No. 4 Washington softball team will look to bounce back after a pair of losses at UCLA last weekend when they make the short trip down I-5 to face their Northwest rivals, Oregon and Oregon State. The Huskies will face Oregon just once on the trip on Friday at 4 p.m. while they will play two against Oregon State, the first on Saturday at 1 p.m. and the second on Sunday at Noon.
UW will look to snap not only a two-game losing streak overall but a four-game road losing streak, which includes four consecutive shutouts. The Huskies have not scored a run in 34 consecutive innings on the road after being shutout in back-to-back games at Stanford by Missy Penna on March 28 and 29 and again last weekend by UCLA's Megan Langenfield. The stretch includes two 11-inning shutouts.
FOLLOW THE ACTION LIVE
All games this weekend can be followed live on Gametracker via the Washington athletic site, www.GoHuskies.com. Additionally, an online chat and blog will take place on GoHuskies.com.
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 were held to one hit in a combined 16 innings against UCLA's Megan Langenfield, who one-hit UW in a 2-0, 11-inning win on Friday then no-hit the Huskies in a 10-0 five-inning win on Saturday to clinch the season series. Langenfield, who was coming off a performance against Arizona where she held the nation's leading offense hitless in 5.2 innings, outdueled Danielle Lawrie on Saturday as the Husky ace allowed just five hits and struck out nine but was the hard-luck loser in an 11-inning game for the second time this season.
In the weekend finale, freshman Jenna Clifton got her first Pac-10 start and the second of her career to give Lawrie a rest and while she held the Bruins scoreless in three of the five innings, UCLA made the most of their opportunities, hitting a three-run home run in the second inning and breaking out for six runs in the fifth, including another three-run home run to invoke the mercy rule, the first time UW has been run-ruled all season.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
Oregon (13-23, 2-7 2009; 35-29, 5-16 2008)
Series vs. UW: Huskies lead 41-14
About Oregon: The Ducks have struggled this season after advancing to the NCAA Regionals last year, winning just 13 of their first 36 games. Oregon has been led by their speedy trio of Sari-Jane Jenkins, Neena Bryant and Cortney Kivett, who have a combined 43 stolen bases this season and are all hitting over .300. Jenkins, an All Pac-10 outfielder who is the Ducks' all-time leader in steals, leads the team with a .347 average while Bryant is third in the conference with 23 steals and her .345 average is second on the team. She has also contrinbuted five home runs while Monique Fuiava leads the team with eight blasts. In the circle, Sam Skillingstad leads the staff with a 10-8 record and 2.04 ERA.
Series History: The Huskies hold a commanding lead in the series and have won five of the last six against the Ducks including winning the season series last year, 2-1. The Ducks won the last game between the two teams, however, a 3-0 decision at Howe Field to conclude last year's Pac-10 season. Oregon has not defeated UW in consecutive games since winning four in a row in the series in 2003 and '04.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
Oregon State (20-19, 3-6 2009; 28-31, 6-15 2008)
Series vs. UW: Huskies lead 40-16
About Oregon State: The Beavers went above the .500 mark with their win over Oregon last weekend to clinch the season series over the Ducks. Oregon State boasts five players who are hitting over .300 this season, led by sophomore Audrey Roderfeld who carries a .349 average and also leads the team with nine home runs and 29 RBI. Freshman Paige Hall has carried most of the load in the circle, going 11-7 with a 2.70 ERA while Kelly Dyer leads the team with 92 strikeouts in 132.0 innings.
Series History: The Huskies have struggled recently against the Beavers despite leading the series comfortably. Oregon State has won two-of-three from the Huskies in four consecutive seasons UW has not won two games in Corvallis in the same season since 2003 when they swept the Beavers by scores of 3-1 and 7-0.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS
UW dropped one spot in both polls this week to No. 4 after dropping a pair of games to UCLA, who jumped up to No. 3 in both polls. UW is still No. 2, however, in the all-important RPI rankings, which take 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.
Danielle Lawrie's 100th career start was a heartbreaker as she pitched 10+ impressive innings for the second time this season only to end up on the losing end. She struck out nine and allowed just five hits - three through 10 innings - before UCLA mounted a rally and won the game in the bottom of the 11th. Lawrie has thrown 10+ innings this season three times, including a 3-0 win over Fresno State in which she allowed just two hits and struck out 18. Her 181.0 innings pitched this season, however, are still more than 100 shy of the single-season record of 287 set by Tia Bollinger in 2001.
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 two runs last weekend, Lawrie is second in the country with a 0.62 ERA, a number which leads the Pac-10. She is also fifth nationally in strikeouts with 276 and second in shutouts, with her 13 shutouts just three shy of UW's single-season record. Her 10.7 Ks per seven innings ranks fourth.
Lawrie struck out nine batters last week to give her 276 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 1,120, which is just 80 shy of joining the 1,200 K club, which only 23 other pitchers in NCAA history have joined.
While her career-long 16-game hitting streak was snapped last weekend, Ashley Charters continues to be one of the top hitters in not just the conference but the country. She ranks fourth in the Pac-10 and 19th nationally with a .440 average. Charters also ranks 12th nationally in runs per game at 1.11 and 22nd in stolen bases with 0.63 per game.
Charters has feasted on Pac-10 pitching, batting .448 in conference games. She is threatening to break UW's long-standing single-season average record of .472, set by Angie Marzetta in 1993.
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