No. 3 Huskies Wrap Up Road Swing At Arizona Schools
April 22, 2009
Friday, April 24 - 7:00 p.m.
No. 3 Washington (34-7, 7-4) at No. 4/8 Arizona State(36-9, 6-4)
Farrington Stadium, Tempe, Ariz.
Saturday, April 25 - 7:00 p.m.
No. 3 Washington at No. 7/9 Arizona (36-9, 8-2)
Hillenbrand Stadium, Tucson, Ariz.
Live streaming video - www.arizonaathletics.com
Sunday, April 26 - Noon
No. 3 Washington at No. 7/9 Arizona
Hillenbrand Stadium, Tucson, Ariz.
Live streaming video - www.arizonaathletics.com
The No. 3 Washington softball team concludes its eight-game road swing and plays its final road Pac-10 games of the season this weekend when they travel down to the desert to play No. 4/8 Arizona State on Friday, April 24 at 7 p.m. and No. 7/9 Arizona, Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at Noon. UW will head home following the three-game series and play its final seven Pac-10 games at home. The weekend will be crucial for Pac-10 title implications as the Huskies sit in a tie for second with the UCLA with ASU just a half-game behind. Arizona, meanwhile, leads the conference by two games, with one of their two losses coming to UW.
The Huskies will look for a repeat of their three-game sweep over the Arizona schools in Seattle a month ago when Danielle Lawrie no-hit the Wildcats's No. 1-ranked offense and also shut down Arizona State twice in their first home sweep of the Arizona schoools since 2000. The Huskies have not managed a three-game sweep of the Arizona schools in Arizona since the league went to three-game series in 2000 and last took two-of-three in 2003. They did win 3-of-4 in both 1996 and '98 when doubleheaders were still in place.
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. Saturday and Sunday's games against Arizona will be broadcast live via webcast on Arizona's website, www.arizonaathletics.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 took care of business against the Oregon schools, sweeping the three-game series to move into second in the conferece. In the weekend opener, UW snapped a 38-inning scoreless drought on the road when Ashley Charters and Danielle Lawrie knocked solo home runs in the fifth inning to lead UW to a 2-0 win over Oregon in which Lawrie threw a two-hit shutout. Lawrie then pitched her second consecutive shutout, allowing just three hits and striking out 13 in a 1-0 nine-inning win over Oregon State in which Jenn Salling drove in Charters with the game-winning run. On Sunday, the Huskies broke out for seven runs on 11 hits to support another solid outing by Lawrie, picking up their third-straight win by a 7-1 margin to earn a sweep in Oregon for the first time since 2003.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
No. 4/8 Arizona State (36-9, 6-4 2009; 66-5, 18-3 2008)
Series vs. UW: Washington leads 45-16
About Arizona State: The defending national champion Sun Devils are a solid threat to repeat in 2009, returning one of the best hitters in the nation in Kaitlin Cochran. The Pac-10's active leader and ASU's all-time leader with 67 home runs, Cochran is second in the conference with a .458 average and third with 18 home runs. If it weren't for Arizona, the Sun Devils would be leading the conference in nearly every offensive category as they are second behind the Wildcats in runs per game (7.71), home runs (73) and average (.340). Hillary Bach has led the Sun Devils in the circle, going 21-3 with a 2.59 ERA.
Series History: The Huskies have dominated the series with ASU and continued that success earlier this season when they swept both games against the Sun Devils in Seattle, earning an 11-3 mercy-rule victory in the first game and a 3-2 walk-off win in the second game to clinch the season series. The Sun Devils had won three of the last four and six of eight in the series 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.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
No. 7/9 Arizona (36-9, 8-2 2009; 41-19, 13-8 2008)
Series vs. UW: Arizona leads 55-18
About Arizona: The Wildcats are leading the conference with an 8-2 record after sweeping Cal and Stanford at home last weekend. Arizona boasts the nation's highest-scoring offense, putting up nearly nine runs a game. The Wildcats have hit an incredible 105 home runs this season and are on pace to break the Pac-10 and NCAA records for home runs (125) which was set in 2001 by the Wildcats. Stacie Chambers owns a nation-leading 26 home runs and 79 RBI. Brittany Lastrapes, younger sister of former Husky All-American Dominique Lastrapes, leads Arizona with a .455 average which ranks third in the conference. In the circle, three Arizona pitchers have shared the duties, with Sarah Akamine leading the way with a 2.60 ERA and 16-4 record.
Series History: The Huskies got the best of the Wildcats in their last meeting in Seattle a couple weeks ago when Danielle Lawrie no-hit the nation's leading offense, the first time Arizona has been no-hit since 2000. The loss marked one of just two for the Wildcats in the first half of the Pac-10 schedule in 2009. The 6-0 win by the Huskies snapped a six game losing streak to the Wildcats after they 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. The Huskies will shoot for their first three-game sweep of Arizona since the conference shifted to three-game series in 2000.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS
UW moved up one spot to No. 3 in both polls this week after a brief stint at No. 4 last weekend. UW has been no lower than No. 4 since Feb. 17 when they were No. 7 in the NFCA poll. UW is still No. 2 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.
After playing 13 games against ranked teams in the pre-season, the road has only gotten more difficult for UW as they are in the midst of a difficult Pac-10 schedule. Four of the top five teams in the NFCA poll are from the Pac-10 including No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Washington, No. 4 Arizona State and No. 5 Stanford.
UW has had success against ranked teams this season, defeating six of the nine teams in the NFCA Top 10 excluding themselves. They handed No. 1 Florida one of their three losses, and have also defeated No. 4 Arizona State, No. 6 Alabama, No. 7 Arizona, No. 8 Georgia and No. 9 Michigan. Additionally, the Huksies have also defeated No. 14 Ohio State, No. 15 Cal, No. 16 Tennessee and No. 18 Florida State.
Of UW's seven setbacks this season, six have come against top-10 teams, with two coming against both No. 2 UCLA and No. 5 Stanford on their home fields and one each coming in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to No. 6 Alabama and No. 8 Georgia.
LEADERS OF THE PAC
The Huskies can currently lay claim to having the best pitcher and the best hitter, statistically speaking, in the Pac-10 Conference. After throwing two shutouts last weekend and allowing just one run in 23 innings, Danielle Lawrie leads the conference with a 0.58 ERA and 15 shutouts as well as 309 strikeouts. Her ERA ranks second nationally while her strikeout mark ranks fourth. Ashley Charters, meanwhile, took over the conference lead in batting average after going 8-for-11 last weekend to sit atop the leaderboard with a .463 average which also ranks eighth nationally. Charters has hit safely in 18 of the last 20 games and has 12 multi-hit games in her last 14.
Danielle Lawrie was nearly unhittable last weekend as Oregon managed just two hits off the junior while Oregon State mustered three in each of their two games against the All-American. Lawrie registered two shutouts over the weekend - just missing a third when she allowed a run in the seventh against OSU -to take over the NCAA lead with 15. That mark is one shy of tying UW's single-season record and her 35 career shutouts are five shy of UW's career record.
For her performance over the weekend, Lawrie was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week for the fifth time this season, which ties the Pac-10 single-season record. She is also just five shy of the all-time record for Pac-10 Player of the Week honors as Arizona's Alicia Hollowell was named POW 14 times in her career, including five times in both 2003 and '04.
Danielle Lawrie is just seven strikeouts away from owning the top three spots on the UW single-season strikeout list as she reached the 300 mark last weekend when she struck out 33 batters in 23 innings. She now has 309 strikeouts this season which ranks No. 4 on the single-season charts, just shy of Jennifer's Spediacci's 316 in 2000. Lawrie owns the top spot with 457 Ks in 2007.
With 1,153 now in her career, Lawrie ranks ninth all-time in Pac-10 history, just one shy of eighth-place Dana Sorensen and 12 shy of current Stanford pitcher Missy Penna, who passed the former Cardinal Sorensen last weekend for seventh on the list. Lawrie needs just 47 more Ks to join the exclusive 1,2000 K Club, which only 23 pitchers in NCAA history are a part of.
BACK ON TRACK
After having her career-long 16-game hitting streak snapped against UCLA two weeks ago, Ashley Charters got back on track last weekend when she went 8-for-11 against the Oregon schools, collecting at least two hits in each game to give her 12 multi-hit games in that last 14. With her eight hits over the weekend, Charters moved into a tie for fourth all-time in UW history with 282 knocks. She also inched closer to the all-time runs record with three over the weekend, giving her 195 compared to all-time leader Jaime Clark, who crossed home plate 223 times in her career.
Charters has feasted on Pac-10 pitching, batting .525 in conference games. She is threatening to break UW's long-standing single-season average record of .472, set by Angie Marzetta in 1993.
The Huskies have shown a knack for winning the tight ball games this year as they are 6-2 in extra inning games this weekend after defeating Oregon State, 1-0, in nine innings last week. That win was also UW's fifth 1-0 win of the season. They are 9-2 in one-run games on the season.
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