No. 1 Huskies Look To Extend Win Streak In Final Tournament
March 16, 2010
JUDI GARMAN CLASSIC
Titan Softball Complex - Fullerton, Calif.
Live Stats and Radio Links
Thursday, March 18
#1 Washington (22-1) vs. New Mexico (9-12), 8:15 p.m.
Friday, March 19
#1 Washington vs. DePaul (11-8), 1:30 p.m.
#1 Washington vs. #23 Louisiana Lafayette (15-7), 3:45 p.m.
Radio: KKNW 1150 AM
Saturday, March 20
#1 Washington vs. Utah (10-10), 1:30 p.m.
Radio: KKNW 1150 AM
Sunday, March 21
#1 Washington vs. Purdue (8-11), 1:30 p.m.
Radio: KKNW 1150 AM
All Times Pacific
All games available via Gametracker, www.GoHuskies.com
After a perfect 5-0 weekend in the Husky Softball Classic in their 2010 home debut, the No. 1 Washington softball team hits the road again to complete tournament play at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif. The Huskies head into the tournament with a 22-1 record, slightly better than their 20-2 mark heading into the same tournament last year. UW is riding a 17-game winning streak, the fourth longest in school history, and should they win all five games this weekend they would sit one shy of the longest streak in school history. The Huskies will play three teams that advanced to the 2009 NCAA Tournament, including No. 23 Louisiana Lafayette, a College World Series participant as recently as 2008. UW will play one game Thursday night against New Mexico before a doubleheader Friday against DePaul and ULL. The Huskies complete play with single games on Saturday and Sunday against Utah and Purdue, respectively.
TOURNAMENT AT A GLANCE
The Huskies have played in the prestigious Judi Garman Classic in each of the 18 years of the program. Last year, UW went 4-1 in the tournament, defeating a trio of ranked teams in Michigan, Florida State and Fresno State along with Penn State before dropping the finale to host CS Fullerton. All-time the Huskies are 66-24 in the tournament named after the long-time Titans head coach. UW has gone undefeated five times in the tourney, including 1998 (5-0), 2000 (7-0), 2002 (5-0), 2003 (3-0) and 2004 (5-0). The Huskies were named winners of the tournament in 2000 and '04. The 2000 team - also ranked No. 1 at the time - won the tournament to improve their record to 31-1 and extend their school-record winning streak to 22 games (which would end two games later), a streak UW will try to inch closer to this week.
The Huskies' flagship station, KKNW-1150 AM, will air four of this weekend's games live, with Mike Brown and John Cowley calling the action. Friday, Saturday and Sunday's games will all air live on the Seattle station. Go to GoHuskies.com for a link to all the action.
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 made their 2010 home debut, revealing their brand new lights - not to mention an attractive purple outfield wall with a fresh National Championship banner - at the Husky Softball Classic. Danielle Lawrie was lights out in the first night game in Husky Softball Stadium history, firing her second perfect game of the year in a 3-0 victory over Miami (OH). UW went 5-0 over the weekend, with freshman Baily Harris going 3-0 and Lawrie going 2-0, with her second victory nearly perfect as well. She took another perfect game into the seventh inning but after returing 41 batters in a row dating back to the Hawaii Invitational, Portland State managed two hits in the seventh inning to break the string. Lawrie did maintain the shutout to improve her record to 14-0 and lowered her ERA to 0.99. She did not walk a batter in her two starts to give her 160 strikeouts and just seven walks all year. Kimi Pohlman led the Huskies at the plate, batting .533 (8-for-15) with six runs and three stolen bases. She had a career day on Sunday, going 4-for-4 with three runs and two stolen bases. Niki Williams also had a big weekend, batting .467 with a home run and five RBI while Jenn Salling and Shawna Wright each drove in six runs, with Salling belting a pair of long balls.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS
The Huskies still hold the No. 1 spot in both national polls for the sixth straight week and are the unanimous choice in the NFCA poll for the fifth time this year and the third week in a row. UW came one vote shy of the unanimous sport in the ESPN.com/USA Today poll, with No. 2 Arizona receiving the other vote.
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). Oregon has also entered the polls for the first time this week, coming in at No. 25 in the ESPN.com poll.
The Huskies' current 17-game winning streak is the fourth longest in school history, trailing the 19-game win streaks of last year's national championship winning team as well as the 1996 team which finished second in the nation. The longest winning streak in school history is held by the 2000 team, which won 23 in a row early in the season, getting off to a 32-1 start, the best in school history. Below is a look at the longest winning streaks in Husky softball history.
Year, Streak (Dates)
2000, 23 games (2/18-3/21)
1996, 19 games (4/13-5/11)
2009, 19 games (2/6-3/6)
2010, 17 games (2/19-current)
1995, 16 games (4/4-4/28)
1996, 15 games (2/25-3/19)
MORE MILESTONES FOR LAWRIE
With 27 strikeouts last weekend, Danielle Lawrie passed the 1,500-career strikeout mark to become just the eighth pitcher in NCAA Division I history and just the fourth in Pac-10 history to reach the mark. The next three players ahead of Lawrie in NCAA history are also the three Pac-10 pitchers ahead of her as she chases the conference's all-time record. She is currently 115 behind Cal's Michelle Granger for third, 145 behind Arizona State's Katie Burkhart and 243 behind all-time leader Alicia Hollowell of Arizona, who is fifth in NCAA history with 1,768 Ks. The senior also recorded two shutouts last week to give her an even 50 in her career.
Danielle Lawrie has made some big debuts in 2010, throwing her perfect games this year in the season opener and the home opener to become the first pitcher in school history - and just the third in Pac-10 history - with more than one perfect game in a season. Lawrie opened the season with her first career seven-inning perfect game, striking out 16 of the 21 batters she faced in a 5-0 win over Auburn. Last week in the Huskies' home opener, she struck out 14 in throwing a perfect game against Miami (OH). She needed just 62 pitches last week and 64 pitches against Auburn to end the 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. For her career, Lawrie has now thrown six no-hitters, the most solo no-hitters in school history. Eve Gaw and Jennifer Spediacci were each a part of six no-hitters as well, 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.
Just 10 pitchers in conference history (including Lawrie) have had more than one perfect game in their career and she is now tied for third all-time with three perfect games and is tied for eighth with six no-hitters. The Pac-10 record for career perfect games is five by Cal's Michelle Granger, who also is well in the lead in career no-no's with 25. Marcy Crouch of Stanford had three perfect games in 1999 as did Arizona's Alicia Hollowell in 2005.
As head coach Heather Tarr predicted, the Huskies have been hitting home runs at a high rate this year, belting 33 in 23 games after hitting 51 in 63 games last year. UW had just 21 home runs through 23 games last season and it took until their 39th game of the season on April 17 to reach the amount they have this year already. The Huskies have hit at least one home run in 19 of 23 games and have eight multi-home run games after just 14 all last year. In fact, in six of their eight multi-HR games they've hit at least three long balls, something they did just twice last year.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
New Mexico Lobos
Series vs. UW: Washington leads, 4-1
About New Mexico: The Lobos are coming off a victory over Bradley which snapped an eight-game losing streak against some tough teams like No. 3 Missouri and Baylor. Senior Katie Gilmore leads the team with a .426 average (26-for-61) with 18 runs and 13 RBI and is 9-for-10 on the basepaths. The Lobos have hit 11 home runs, with eight different players going yard and three different players hitting two long balls. NMU has a balanced pitching staff, with three players throwing at least 30 innings. Kaela DeBroeck leads the team with four victories 27 strikeouts.
Series History: The Huskies have won four of the five meetings between the teams, including a sweep of a three-game series last year in Seattle. The Lobos won the first-ever meeting between the teams, 3-2 in 2001, before UW took its first win in the series, 3-2, in 2008. Last year UW won by scores of 14-3, 3-2 and 9-2 at Husky Softball Stadium to give the Huskies a 27-3 record heading into Pac-10 play.
#RV DePaul Blue Demons
Series vs. UW: Washington leads, 10-2
About DePaul: The Blue Demons have faced a tough schedule this year, facing seven ranked teams and compiling an 11-8 record to receive votes in both polls. An NCAA Regional participant a year ago, the Blue Demons came one game away from the Super Regionals before they were knocked out by eventual World Series participant Missouri. DePaul will look to get back into the postseason with help from returning All-American and Big East Pitcher of the Year Becca Heteniak, who is a force at the plate and in the circle. She owns six wins this year and a 1.90 ERA to go along with two home runs and nine RBI at the plate. Junior Alex Morocco leads the team with a .395 average.
Series History: The Huskies hold a 10-2 lead in the series but DePaul won the last meeting between the two teams, a 2-1 decision in 2008. The teams have met twice in the Women's College World Series, with UW winning both times, including a 3-2 victory in 2000 and a 3-1 win in 2007 when Danielle Lawrie fired a no-hitter in the opener to give UW a six-game winning streak over the Blue Demons. UW won the first four in the series before DePaul got its first victory over UW in 1999.
#23/RV Louisiana Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns
Series vs. UW: Series tied, 5-5
About Louisiana Lafayette: The Ragin' Cajuns are looking to get back to the promised land after an appearance in the 2008 Women's College World Series. They were knocked out in the NCAA Regionals last year by Baylor but return six All-Sun Belt Conference selections, including Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year, Donna Bourgeois, who was named to this year's USA Softball Player of the Year watch list. She owns a 7-5 record with a 1.67 ERA while Vallie Gaspard has paced the offense with a .410 average. The Cajuns have a powerful lineup, with Christi Orgeron already belting 11 home runs and driving in 34 runs in 22 games while Gabriele Bridges has seven home runs and 15 RBI.
Series History: The Huskies and Ragin' Cajuns are all knotted up in the all-time series, with each side winning five games. The Huskies have won five of the last six, including three in a row, since ULL won the first four games in the series, two of which came in NCAA Regional play back in 1995. Most recently, the Huskies won a 4-2 decision in 2006 in the same Judi Garman Classic tournament they'll face off in this week.
Series vs. UW: Washington leads, 13-1
About Utah: The Utes are an even .500 with five of their 10 losses coming at the hands of ranked teams. They have a tough weekend in Fullerton as well, facing three top-10 teams including the No. 1 Huskies. Ashley Smuda has been solid in the circle, going 10-4 with a 3.04 ERA while Brooke Olson leads the team with a .377 average and Tia Palauni paces the power game with four home runs and 16 RBI.
Series History: The Huskies have dominated the series between the teams, winning 13 of 14 games, including 13 in a row since Utah won the first meeting in 1993. The teams most recently faced each other in 2008, with UW coming away with a 7-3 win in the Judi Garman Classic. One of UW's wins came in the 2000 NCAA Regional final game, a 9-0 win by the then-No. 1 Huskies in Seattle.
Series vs. UW: Washington leads, 2-0
About Purdue: The Boilermakers made their second-straight NCAA Regional appearance in 2009 after posting its best conference mark since 1997 (12-8). Purdue advanced to the Regional Championship game against Arizona and the Boilermakers return eight returning players from that squad, including three All-Big Ten selections. One of those All Big-Ten selections, Liane Horiuchi, leads the team with a .347 average, 20 runs and 16 stolen bases while another, Suzie Rzegocki, has a team high five wins and a 3.24 ERA.
Series History: The Huskies and Purdue have only faced each other twice in their histories, with UW winning both contests. The teams haven't played since 2003 when UW came away with an 11-0 win in the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton. UW also won the first meeting between the teams in 1996, 9-4.
STARTING TO CLICK
Niki Williams came to Washington as a heralded recruit out of California and while it took her a little while to get things going, now that she has she appears to be headed for quite a career. Williams made a name for herself at last year's Women's College World Series, belting three home runs and setting Series records for RBI in a game (7) and series (10) while leading the Huskies to the national championship. But it wasn't always that easy.
Williams went into the World Series batting a solid .291 but had hit just two home runs in 51 games. In the 29 games since the World Series started, Williams has hit 10 home runs and driven in 34 runs, batting .410 (34-for-83). She didn't get off to the greatest start this season, going 0-for-7 over the first couple games, but since then Williams has hit safely in 18 of 21 games, including a career-best 12-game hitting streak, during which she hit .541 (20-for-37). With seven home runs so far this season, she has easily surpassed her total from her freshman year in which she hit five in 57 games. She was recently named the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week after hitting .588 with four home runs and 11 RBI in the Cathedral City Classic and currently leads the team with a .441 average. She's also second in runs (19), home runs (7) and RBI (24).
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 is filling in nicely in the leadoff spot vacated by the three-time All-American. Pohlman had an outstanding 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 got off to a slow start to this season but has come on strong lately, hitting safely in 10 of the last 11 games after not collecting a hit in four-straight games, batting .515 (17-33) with 11 runs scored in that stretch. She batted .444 in the Bank of Hawaii Invitational to earn a spot on the all-tournament team, then hit .533 (8-for-15) with six runs and three stolen bases in the Husky Softball Classic to bump her season average to .377. Her four triples already rank tied for ninth on the single-season charts and she is a perfect 9-for-9 on the base paths. She continues to be nearly impossible to gun down in her career, going 29-for-30 after starting her freshman year a perfect 20-for-20. In fact, some might argue she still hasn't been thrown out as the one time she was called out last year in the Women's College World Series, replays showed she sneaked her hand onto the base before being tagged.
WRIGHT HITS AT THE RIGHT TIME
Freshman Shawna Wright has shown a knack for getting her hits when it means the most. The rookie, who hit a game-winning, pinch-hit home run for her first career hit, has more RBI (22) than hits (17) and 13 of those 17 hits have driven in runs. In fact, the more runners are on base, the better Wright gets. She is hitting just .200 with the bases empty, .289 with runners on base and .333 with the bases loaded. She is also batting .500 (3-for-6) with a runner on third and less than two outs. With another six RBI in last week's Husky Softball Classic, Wright now has 22, which ranks third on the team behind Danielle Lawrie (31) and Niki Williams (24).
STENSON ON FIRE
After starting her senior season off a little slowly, going just 1-for-13 over the first 11 games, Bailey Stenson has come on strong of late, hitting safely in seven of the last 11 games to raise her average to .308. Things started to turn around for Stenson in the Bank of Hawaii Invitational when she had a pair of multi-hit games - including one in which she had two hits in one inning - and batted .400 with three runs and three RBI. Stenson continued her hot hitting last week, going 5-for-13 with three runs, an RBI and two stolen bases. She now ranks fifth on the team in average and is third in stolen bases with five in six attempts. Since her 1-for-13 stretch, Stenson is hitting .423 to raise her average from .077 to .308.
HARRIS GETTING BETTER EVERY WEEK
Last year, the Huskies had to rely on Danielle Lawrie to throw most of the innings throughout the course of the season but it appears they now have a solid No. 2 in freshman Baily Harris to help take some innings away from the senior. Harris has been getting stronger every week, winning six consecutive starts to give her an 8-1 record and a rapidly-declining ERA of 2.42. After a tough outing against Oklahoma State put her ERA at a season high 4.20, Harris has seen it drop in each appearance, starting with a six-inning, four-hit performance against UC Davis. She then threw her first career shutout in a five-inning victory over Seattle U before having a stellar weekend in the Husky Softball Classic. She went 3-0 with three seven-inning complete games (the first of her career), allowing just five hits and one walk in a 5-1 win over Seattle. Harris is not a strikeout pitcher, as evidenced by her 14 Ks in 52.0 innings, but she lets her stellar defense to the work, getting 52 ground outs and 84 fly outs in her 52.0 innings. The Huskies are second in the Pac-10 with a .977 fielding percentage.