No. 1 Huskies Look To Stay Unbeaten In San Diego
Feb. 18, 2010
CAMPBELL CARTIER CLASSIC - San Diego, Calif.
Friday, Feb. 19
#1 Washington (5-0) vs. Utah State (4-1), 9 a.m.
#1 Washington vs. UC Santa Barbara (4-3), 11:30 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 20
#1 Washington vs. Western Kentucky (1-2), 3 p.m.
#1 Washington vs. #RV San Diego State (5-1), 5:15 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 21
#1 Washington vs. Penn State (3-2), 10:15 a.m.
All Times Pacific
All games available via Gametracker, www.GoHuskies.com
The unanimously No. 1-ranked Washington softball team, coming off a 5-0 opening weekend at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., returns to action this week when it plays another five games in the Campbell Cartier Classic in San Diego. The Huskies will face host and 2009 NCAA Tournament team San Diego State along with four other teams in their second tournament of the season. Play kicks off early Friday morning as UW plays Utah State at 9 a.m. followed by a battle with UC Santa Barbara at 11:30. The Huskies will play another doubleheader Saturday against Western Kentucky at 3 p.m. and the Aztecs at 5:15 p.m. before capping the weekend against Penn State on Sunday at 10:15 a.m.
TOURNAMENT AT A GLANCE
This marks the third time overall and the second straight year the Huskies have played in the Campbell Cartier Classic, which is in its 20th year. UW went 4-0 in last year's tournament, winning their games by a combined score of 38-4. The Huskies play three teams this year that they also faced in last year's tournament, including Utah State (W, 16-3), UC Santa Barbara (W, 3-0) and San Diego State (W, 5-0).
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. Head coach Heather Tarr and National Player of the Year Danielle Lawrie have their own Twitter accounts as well and fans can follow them at www.twitter.com/CoachTarr and www.twitter.com/daniellelawrie5.
The Huskies started their national title defense with a bang, going 5-0 and winning their games by a combined score of 32-8. Danielle Lawrie picked up where she left off, going 3-0 with three complete-game shutouts and striking out 45 batters in 21.0 innings. The offense was in high gear as well as UW belted 10 home runs in five games, four of which came off the bat of Lawrie. Jenn Salling, playing in her first full season with the Huskies, belted two home runs, including one in her first at-bat of the season and another - a grand slam - in the weekend finale. Salling led the team over the weekend with a .500 average (6-for-12) while Lawrie led the team with four home runs and nine RBI. UW's freshmen also impressed over the weekend, with Baily Harris going 2-0 with a 3.50 ERA, Hooch Fagaly belting a home run and batting .455 (5-for-11) and Shawna Wright hitting two home runs, including a pinch-hit, two-run shot to provide the winning runs in UW's 4-3 win over Ohio.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS
The Huskies perfect start gave them the unanimous No. 1 ranking in both polls after the first week. UW earned the top spot in the preseason rankings, but was the unanimous choice in just one of the two polls. With a dominating opening weekend, the Huskies convinced the three ESPN.com/USA Softball voters that didn't previously put them in the top spot that they indeed look to be the cream of the crop in 2010 thus far.
The Huskies started the season ranked No. 1 for the first time in school history, earning the top spot unanimously in the NFCA/USA Today poll while earning 17 of 20 first-place votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. UW finished last season atop both polls after winning the Women's College World Series and they return six starters from that squad including National Player of the Year Danielle Lawrie. Arizona is No. 2 in both polls and six of the eight Pac-10 teams are in the nation's top 13 (Washington, Arizona, Arizona State, California, Stanford, UCLA).
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
Utah State Aggies
Series vs. UW: Washington leads, 8-0
About Utah State: The Aggies got off to a strong start over the opening weekend, going 4-1 at the Red Desert Classic and showing promise of a much better season after a 10-37 campaign in 2009. The 4-1 start is Utah State's best in the 21st century Junior Joreigh Landers led the team over the weekend at the plate, going 7-for-15 with a team high nine RBI. The Aggies used five different pitchers over the weekend, with Mandy Harmon going 2-0 and striking out a team-best 13 batters.
Series History: The Huskies are a perfect 8-0 against the Aggies, including a 16-3 victory last year in San Diego. The Huskies pounded out 15 hits in the game with then-freshman Kimi Pohlman connecting on a grand slam for her first career home run. Felecia Harris earned the victory in the circle. UW also defeated the Aggies in 1996, '98, 2001, '02, '03 and twice in '08.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos
Series vs. UW: Washington leads 4-0
About UC Santa Barbara: The Gauchos got off to a hot start at 4-1 in the Red Desert Classic before dropping a pair of games to No. 4/7 UCLA this week. Kelsey Anderson leads the Gauchos with a .375 average and has driven in four runs while Kelly McDonald leads the team with six RBI. MeLinda Matsumoto has earned two of UCSB's four wins in the circle, striking out 11 batters in 19.2 innings. The Gauchos are looking to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007.
Series History: The Huskies have not lost to the Gauchos in four tries, winning their last meeting last year at the Campbell Cartier Classic, 3-0. Danielle Lawrie fired a two-hitter and struck out 12 and also added an RBI double while Ashlyn Watson belted a home run for the Huskies. UW also defeated UCSB in 1997, 2002 and 2005.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Series vs. UW: Washington leads, 1-0
About Western Kentucky: WKU went 1-2 in a rain shortened South Alabama Tournament over the opening weekend. The Toppers were led by senior Lindsay Antone who finished the tournament with a .500 average after recording five hits, one RBI and scoring a run. WKU is coming off a strong 2009 season in which they placed third in the conference. They return senior Kelsey McCauley who was named to the Preseason All-Sun Belt Confence team after finishing the 2009 season with a .270 batting average after finishing fourth on the team in hits with 49 and fifth in RBI with 21.
Series History: UW won the only meeting between the two teams back in 2006 when they earned a 7-0 shutout victory in the LSU Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge, La. A freshman back then, Danielle Lawrie held the Toppers to just three hits and struck out 10. Dena Tyson, Lauren Greer and Alicia Blake all had RBIs for the Dawgs that day.
#RV San Diego State Aztecs
Series vs. UW: Washington leads 13-1
About San Diego State: The Aztecs are looking to build off a strong 2009 season in which they advanced to the NCAA Tournament. They are off to a good start, winning their first five games in last week's Kajikawa Classic before dropping the finale. Junior Samantha Beasley was nearly untouchable in the circle, going 4-0 with a 0.31 ERA in four appearances, striking out 32 batters in 22.1 innings. At the plate, redshirt senior Monica Alnes batted a team-best .350 with seven hits, two doubles and four walks.
Series History: The Huskies won the first 12 meetings between the two teams before SDSU broke the string with a 9-5 win in 2008. The Huskies bounced back last year to earn a victory on the Aztecs' home field, 5-0, with Danielle Lawrie striking out nine to become UW's all-time strikeout leader. Ashlyn Watson gave UW all the runs they would need with a two-run double.
Penn State Nittany Lions
Series vs. UW: Washington leads 3-1
About Penn State: The Lions went 3-2 over the opening weekend, hitting .324 as a team. Danee Collett led the way with a .471 average (8-for-17) and a team-high tying seven RBI while Kailyn Johnson also drove in seven runs and belted two home runs. Jackie Hill led PSU in the circle, going 2-1 with a 4.57 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 15 innings.
The Huskies lead the series 3-1, having won each of the last three games since a 4-3 loss in the first meeting in 2002. UW won 6-4 in 2005 and 14-4 in 2007 before perhaps the wildest game in UW history last year in the Judi Garman Classic, in which the Huskies prevailed, 14-13. UW scored eight runs the final two innings to overcome a seven-run deficit and win the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. UW trailed by scores of 7-1, 11-4 and 13-6 before the amazing comeback. Ashley Charters tied a school record by scoring five runs and Niki Williams went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, three runs and five RBI. Jenna Clifton earned her first career victory, throwing the final 5.2 innings.
QUITE AN OPENING STATEMENT
Danielle Lawrie made quite the statement over the opening weekend that she's not ready to relinquish her title of College Softball Player of the Year. All Lawrie did was going 3-0 with a save and 21.0 shutout innings, striking out 45 batters while walking just one in four appearances. To top things off, one of her wins was a perfect game, the first seven-inning perfect game of her career and just the second in Husky history. Lawrie also was a menace at the plate, belting a team-leading four home runs - including a grand slam - and driving in nine runs. The only game she didn't pitch in, Lawrie hit two home runs and drove in a career-high six runs, all of which ended in her being named the National Player of the Week by both USA Softball and the NFCA for the second time in her career and also earning Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors for the 11th time.
With three wins last weekend, Danielle Lawrie is just one win shy of reaching the 100-mark, which would also tie UW's career wins record. Jennifer Spediacci currently holds the record, having won 100 games between 1997-2000.
Lawrie has already tied one UW career record this season, starting three games last weekend to reach 127 in her career, equaling the mark set by Ashley Boek from 2002-05. Lawrie now owns five of the 10 career pitching records at UW and would make it six with two wins this weekend.
CHASING DOWN THE LEGENDS
Danielle Lawrie ended the 2009 season as a big name in college softball but by the time the 2010 season comes to a close, she might be known as one of the best ever. She's doing her part to make the case via her numbers, as she's already jumped into the all-time NCAA top-10 in career strikeouts after just one weekend. Lawrie went into the season ranked 13th all time, but with 45 strikeouts in four appearances, Lawrie jumped four players to move into ninth all time. With 1,410 career Ks, Lawrie needs just 31 to move into eighth, which would also move her up to fourth all-time in Pac-10 history as UCLA's Anjelica Selden currently owns that spot. The next spot is a little further out of reach at the moment, as Cal legend Michelle Granger sits seventh in NCAA history and third in Pac-10 history with 1,640. Should Lawrie match her single-season total of 521 from last season, should would move up as high as fourth all-time, which would also place her No. 1 in Pac-10 history.
Danielle Lawrie's 2010 season couldn't have started any better as the reigning National Player of the Year fired her first career seven-inning perfect game. Lawrie had a six-inning perfect game back in 2006 when she shutout Utah Valley State. The only other seven-inning perfect game in UW history came in 1998, when Jamie Graves faced the minimum and did not allow a baserunner against Pac-10 foe Arizona State. Nancy Wagner recorded UW's first perfect game in 1994, a five-inning masterpiece against Simon Fraser.
Lawrie threw just 64 pitches in the opening day perfecto, 50 of which were strikes. She struck out 16 of the 21 batters she faced and for good measure, added a home run at the plate to help her own cause. For her career, Lawrie has now thrown five no-hitters, the most solo no-hitters in school history. Eve Gaw and Jennifer Spediacci were each a part of six no-hitters, but each had four solo and two combined. Among Lawrie's no-hitters were one each against powerhouses UCLA and Arizona last year, making Lawrie the only pitcher in NCAA history to hold both schools hitless.
The Huskies' two Canadian superstars, Olympians Danielle Lawrie and Jenn Salling, appeared to be motivated over the weekend by their country hosting the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The British Columbia natives combined to go 4-for-6 with three runs and three RBI in the season opener on the eve of the Opening Ceremonies, both hitting home runs in the game. On Sunday, the day Canada won it's first-ever winter gold medal on home soil, the pair combined for some fireworks of their own as the duo hit back-to-back home runs, the front end of which was a grand slam by Salling. For the weekend, the two combined to go 12-for-27 (.444) with six home runs and 15 RBI.
With its win in last week's opening game against Auburn, UW has now won four consecutive season openers.The Huskies have opened each of its 18 seasons with a multiple-team tournament, accruing a 69-17-1 record. UW has gone undefeated in six of those tournaments (1996, 2000, '02, '03, '09, '10), including a 5-0 mark in this year's Kajikawa Classic. UW is now 14-4 in season openers all-time after defeating Auburn, 5-0.
TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW
The Huskies started the 2009 season in record fashion en route to their first national championship, winning their first 18 games of the season to smash the previous best start of 10-0 by the 2002 team. The Huskies could challenge that mark this season as they do not face a ranked team until the 12th game of the year when they face No. 12 Oklahoma in the Cathedral City Classic. Should they get past that obstacle, they don't face another top-20 team until the 26th game of the season.
BIG SHOES TO FILL
While no one expects Kimi Pohlman to duplicate Ashley Charters' 2009 season, which was one of the greatest in Husky history, the sophomore should fill in nicely in the leadoff spot vacated by the three-time All-American. Pohlman had an oustanding freshman campaign, earning Second Team All-Region and All-Pac-10 honors, finishing second on the Husky squad with a .360 average, which included a .361 mark in conference games. Pohlman came up big for UW in the postseason as well, batting .350, including a .375 mark in the World Series to earn All-Tournament honors.
Pohlman is off to a strong start already in 2010, batting .421 over the first five games (8-for-19) with a team-high eight hits along with four runs and two doubles. The sophomore started slowly in the opener, going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts, but she broke out over the final four games, batting .500 (8-for-16) including a 3-for-4 effort against Nevada.
A FRESH START
Last year, 2007 All-American Jenn Salling had the tough task of joining the Huskies midway through the season in Pac-10 play after sitting out nearly a full year from competition. While she started slowly, going 0-for-12 in her first four games, the shortstop gradually got her timing back and by the time the Huskies needed her most in the NCAA postseason, she was back displaying the skills that made her a First Team All-American as a freshman.Salling went into the postseason with a .146 average (7x48) but went on a tear at the NCAA Regionals in Amherst, Mass., leading the team with a .571 average (8x14). She hit .415 overall in postseason to raise her overall average to .270.
Salling already appears to be back in All-American form, leading the Dawgs with a .500 average over the opening weekend, going 6-for-12 with six runs, seven RBI and five walks. Even more important, however, is that Salling appears to have her power and speed back, two things she lacked last year as she worked her way back into playing shape. In 89 at bats last season, Salling failed to hit a home run but she already hit two over the opening weekend - including one in her first at bat of the season and a grand slam in the finale. She also went a perfect 3-for-3 on steal attempts after stealing just two bases in 30 games last year. Salling was also solid in the field, not making an error in 15 chances.
ROOKIES IMPRESS IN DEBUT
The Huskies lost seven players from last year's National Championship winning team - including four starters - but a talented crop of six freshmen looks to be stepping right in and picking up the slack. UW's offense has already received a big boost from Chino, Calif., native Hooch Fagaly, who showed some pop in her bat in belting a home run in just her third career at bat and adding a three-run double in a win over Nevada. She went on to hit .455 for the weekend (5-for-11) with four RBI and she also walked three times, a sign that teams are already being careful with her.
There also appears to be some much-needed help for Danielle Lawrie as Baily Harris looked solid in the circle in her first weekend, going 2-0 with a 3.50 ERA. Behind the plate, Shawna Wright was solid in working with Lawrie, also picking off one runner and throwing out another attempting to steal. Her big moment of the weekend came when she belted a pinch-hit, two-run game-winning home run against Ohio, her first career home run. She went on to add another blast later that night in an 8-0 win over Nevada.
TARR APPROACHING MILESTONE
Washington head coach Heather Tarr is just two wins away from reaching a milestone in her career as she currently owns 198 wins as UW's leader. The former All-Pac-10 third baseman for the Huskies, Tarr led the Huskies to 51 wins last year - her first 50 win season - and the program's first national championship. She has a career record of 198-103-1, good for a .656 winning percentage.