No. 12 Softball Looks To Get Back On Track At The Red Desert Classic

Feb. 27, 2002

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SEATTLE - Last Week:
2/22 vs. Penn State% L, 3-4
2/22 vs. No. 13 Fresno St.% L, 0-2
2/23 vs. Boston University% W, 8-0 (6)
2/23 vs. Wisconsin% W, 2-0
2/24 vs. No. 11 Oregon St.% L, 0-3

This Week:
3/1 vs. Brigham Young^ 11 a.m.
3/1 vs. UNLV^ 1 p.m.
3/2 vs. Utah State^ 11 a.m.
3/2 vs. Utah^ 1 p.m.
3/3 vs. UC Santa Barbara^ 11 a.m.

The Journey Continues: The 12th-ranked Washington softball team heads out on the road for the final time before playing its first home games, March 9 versus Simon Fraser. The Huskies will take part in the Red Desert Classic, hosted by the University of Utah, for the third straight season in St. George, Utah.

Clark Nears Home Run Record: With 23 home runs as a freshman in 2000, it comes as no surprise that UW All-American Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.) is already nearing the Husky school record for career home runs.

Clark entered her third season at Washington with 37 career home runs, trailing only former standout Jen Cline, who hit 43 over her four-year career from 1993-96. In 2002, Clark has already hit a team-best five, including two in the team's win over Boston University last Saturday, giving her 42 overall entering the UW's five-game tournament in St. George, Utah, this weekend.

Jaime Joins The Club: With her walk-off grand slam versus Boston University, Husky junior Jaime Clark became just the fourth player in program history to hit more than one grand slam in their career. Clark, who had a grand slam last year in a 7-1 win over Arizona State, became the second Husky this season to accomplish the feat. Freshman Kathy Fiske's (Temecula, Calif.) two career home runs in 2002 have both been grand slams.

Clark and Fiske trail former UW players Jenny Topping (4) and Kim DePaul (3) in the grand slam category.

Loading Up On RBI: With junior Jaime Clark's career-best six RBI versus Boston, four Washington players have now tallied four or more RBI in a game six times this season. Clark, who added a five-RBI performance versus Hofstra (2/15), is joined by freshman Kathy Fiske who recorded five RBI in the team's 9-1 win over Tennessee-Chattanooga and four RBI in a victory at Cal State Northridge (2/2).

Freshman Kristen Rivera (4 RBI vs. Louisville) and sophomore Amanda Oleson (4 RBI vs. Long Beach St.) round out the four-some.

We'll Take An Extra Base Or Two: Just 22 games into its 2002 campaign, the Washington softball team has already combined for 49 extra-base hits, including 26 doubles, nine triples and 14 home runs.

Nine players have accounted for the 26 doubles, led by junior Jaime Clark, who has six to her credit. Six players also have hit triples this season, including senior Becky Simpson (Tumwater, Wash.), who has four to already tie her for sixth-most in the program's season record books. Clark, meanwhile, passed freshman Kristen Rivera (Perris, Calif.) for the team home run lead, recording five so far in 2002.

On the flip side, the Husky pitching staff has not surrendered an extra base hit in 12 of the team's 22 games, including a current four-game streak entering this weekend.

A Pair of Frosh Aces: UW freshmen Leslie Scott (Edmond, Okla.) and Ashley Boek (Redding, Calif.) are well on their way to adding to the Husky pitching legacy. In 15 starts this season, Scott and Boek are a combined 11-3 and each sport an ERA lower than 0.75.

Last weekend, the freshmen picked up both the Huskies' wins, as Scott earned her first complete game with a one-hitter against Boston, while Boek had a no-hitter through five innings in a victory versus Wisconsin.

Not On My Watch: So far this season, the Washington defense has proved stingy six times when it comes to plays at the plate. The Huskies have thrown out six runners trying to score on a non-force out, including two times in a win over Tennessee-Chattanooga.

Last weekend, the combo of UW centerfielder Rita Roach (Norwalk, Calif.) and catcher Kristen Rivera joined to end the game with Wisconsin as Roach threw out Badger Laura Gillette, who was trying to score from second base on a single.

Roach and Rivera also hooked up in a game with Tennessee-Chattanooga, as Roach threw out Lady Moc Jolene Martin, who was also trying to score from second on a single. A play later, Husky shortstop Jaime Clark threw out another Chattanooga base runner to end the inning.

Clark and Rivera have combined two other times, while Rivera threw to third baseman Kathy Fiske for an out at the plate in the team's win against San Diego State.

Stealing Amanda: After stealing just eight bases in her entire freshman campaign, UW first baseman Amanda Oleson (Agoura Hills, Calif.) has already stolen a team-best 11 bases in 2002. Oleson began the season with a career-high three stolen bases against Louisiana-Monroe and later added a pair versus Louisville. The junior has one stolen base in six other games, while she has been caught stealing on just one occasion versus Tennessee-Chattanooga.

A year ago, senior Kim DePaul and Becky Simpson tied for the team lead in stolen bases with 13 apiece.

Wilson Nears 1,000: In her 16th season as a head coach, UW's Teresa Wilson enters this weekend's tournament, just 10 games away from coaching her 1,000th career game. Wilson, whose head coaching career also includes stints at Oregon and Minnesota, is currently on pace to coach her 1,000th game at the Kia Klassic versus Louisiana-Lafayette (March 15).

Fast Facts - Red Desert Classic: The Huskies make their third straight trip to the Red Desert Classic, hosted by the University of Utah in St. George, Utah ... the UW won the overall title in 2000 with a perfect 4-0 record, while finishing with a 4-1 mark a year ago ... this year's tournament field involves 10 teams, including two other Pac-10 schools in Oregon and Stanford ... each team will play five games with no pool play or playoffs, except BYU and Southern Utah, who will not play on Sunday.

Scouting the BYU Cougars (7-8): Washington, which owns a 1-1 all-time record versus BYU, will look to avenge last year's 7-6 loss to the Cougars at the Red Desert Classic.

This season, the Cougars are once again led by first-team All-American Oli Keohohou, who led the nation in hitting a year ago, and is first on the team with a .471 batting average so far this season. Keohohou, who has a 1.029 slugging percentage, is joined offensively by junior Brooke Cadiente (.364, 5 HR) and Elizabeth Boydston (.244 avg., 4 HR).

In the circle, four Cougar pitchers have seen starting time, including sophomore Ariel Capra (3-1, 2.67 ERA) and junior Cynthia Fallowfield (4-3, 22 SO).

Under head coach Mary Kay Amicone, BYU has notable victories this season over a pair of top 25 teams in Oregon State (4-1) and Nebraska (9-7).

Scouting the UNLV Rebels (9-9): The Huskies and Rebels face for the first time since 1999, when UNLV defeated the UW 5-3 at the Kia Klassic in Fullerton, Calif.

Under head coach Shan McDonald, the Rebels are an even 9-9 in 2002, including four-straight losses last weekend to DePaul and Pacific. Senior pitcher/outfielder Geney Orris ranks first on the team in hitting with a .308 average, 11 runs scored and three home runs. Third baseman Pauline Glenn has also been an offensive force with 12 runs scored, three home runs and a team-best 11 RBI.

Four Rebels' pitchers have seen starting time, led by Jackie Kerrigan (2-4), who has a team-best 2.06 earned-run average in 37.1 innings pitched.

Scouting the Utah State Aggies (1-10): Utah State is off to a rough start so far in 2002, bringing a 1-10 record into this weekend's tournament. The Aggies lone win of the season was an 11-10 victory over Northwestern, while five of their losses have been to ranked foes, including Pac-10 members Arizona State (4-13), UCLA (0-9) and Stanford (3-7).

Under first-year head coach Debbie Bilbao, senior catcher Breanne Smith is hitting .370 with six runs scored, three doubles and five RBI, while senior shortstop Heather Curtis boasts a .290 average with four runs scored. In the circle, pitchers Lindsay Janssen (1-5), Kristin Hommel (0-4) and Xochitl Ramirez (0-1) have all seen starting time for a team that has been outscored 85-25 this season.

The Huskies own a perfect 3-0 all-time record versus the Aggies, including a close 1-0 win at the Kia Klassic in 2001.

Scouting the Utah Utes (7-19): Like their in-state neighbor, the Utah Utes have struggled so far this season, dropping 12 their last 15 games and posting a 1-4 record at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.

Under head coach Mona Stevens, senior Molly McLean is the only Utah player to average over the .300 mark, adding eight runs scored, six doubles and 10 RBI. Sophomore Masie Ota (.294, 6 R) and sophomore Melissa Stahnke (.293, 4 HR, 14 RBI) also have been offensive leaders for the Utes. Sophomore Heather Bowlin (4-7, 2.46 ERA) and junior Jennifer Pursell (3-10, 2.94 ERA) have split most of the pitching time this season.

The Huskies own an 8-1 advantage over the Utes, including an 8-0 win in five innings at last year's Red Desert Classic.

Scouting the UCSB Gauchos (9-12): The Huskies and Gauchos will meet for the first time in the final game of the Red Desert Classic this weekend. UCSB, under first-year coach Kristy Schroeder, enters the tournament with a 9-12 record, including wins over BYU (4-2) and Illinois-Chicago (7-3).

Four Gaucho players are hitting above the .300 mark, including senior Julia Tamai (.355), junior Ashley Groefsema (.347), freshman Megan Patton (.333) and sophomore Leslie Simien (.323). Pitcher Loren Thornburg has seen the majority of the starting time, bringing a 5-6 record, 2.56 ERA and 76 strikeouts into this weekend.

Friend Or Foe: UW sophomore pitcher Tia Bollinger (Santa Ana, Calif.) will face former summer ball teammate BYU's Oli Keohohou ... Utah's Mona Stevens and UW's Teresa Wilson helped coach the 1999 U.S. junior national team, which included current Husky junior Jaime Clark, to a silver medal at the world championships in Taiwan ... Utah assistant coach Rob Wagner (Washington, 1995) is married to former UW standout pitcher Nancy Jackson Wagner (1993-94) ... three-time Husky All-American Becky Newbry is in her first year as an assistant coach at UC Santa Barbara ... Newbry is one of five former Washington softball players coaching at the division I level ... Heather Meyer (CSU Northridge), Heather Tarr (Pacific), Sara Pickering (Satanford) and Jen Cline (Nebraska) are the other four.

Huskies On The Airwaves: The Washington softball team will have eight games broadcast live on KKNW 1150-AM in 2002. Mike Brown will handle play-by-play duties for the fifth-straight season, while John Cowley will provide color commentary.

UW is one of the few softball programs in the nation with regular-season games broadcast by a local radio station. This year's schedule begins April 5, as all three of the Huskies' games in Arizona will be broadcast from both the University of Arizona (April 5) and Arizona State (April 6-7). Three more UW road games also will be broadcast at Stanford (April 26) and California (April 27-28), while the Huskies two-game series with Oregon State (April 20-21) in Seattle are also on-tap.

Each game's broadcast will begin and end with a 15-minute pre- and post-game show, featuring interviews with UW players and coaches.

Celebrating 10 Years Of Husky Softball: The 2002 season marks the start of the 10th year of Husky Softball. The program, which played its inaugural season in 1993, celebrated its 10-year anniversary with an alumnae game on September 29, 2001.

Some of the biggest names in Washington softball history returned to Seattle for the game, which ended in a 1-1 tie. Over 25 alumnae and 14 of the program's 15 All-Americans took part in the festivities.

Pac-10 Power: For the second consecutive year, the University of Washington softball team has been picked to finish fourth in the Pac-10 in a poll of conference coaches announced January 15.

The Huskies received 28 points overall to place behind Arizona (46), UCLA (46) and Stanford (37). Arizona and UCLA, who both advanced to the NCAA final in 2001, tied with 46 points, splitting the eight first-place votes for the second straight year. Behind Washington was California (21), Oregon State (21), Arizona State (18) and Oregon (7).

Over the past three seasons, the Huskies have been picked by the conference coaches to finish second (2000), third (1999) and fourth (2001). Washington won the Pac-10 title for the second time in school history in 2000, while it ended up in third place in both 1999 and 2001.

Young And The Restless: With 10 freshmen on its 19-player roster a year ago, the Huskies remain a young squad in 2002. This year's team includes six freshmen, nine sophomores, three juniors and just one senior - outfielder Becky Simpson.

The last time the UW had just one senior on its roster was in 1999, when three-time All-American Becky Newbry helped lead the Huskies to the NCAA title game.

Far And Wide: The 2002 schedule will take the Huskies to six different states beginning with California, Florida, Georgia and Utah in just the first month of the season. The UW will later take trips to Arizona and finally Oregon for Pac-10 play with the University of Oregon and Oregon State.

Coming Home: After playing their first 22 games away from Husky Stadium in 2001, Washington's road home will be slightly longer in 2002. The Huskies are scheduled to play at least their first 27 games away from home, before returning to Seattle to face non-conference foe Simon Fraser on Saturday, March 9. The pair of games against the Clan are the earliest home games in program history, with the previous coming last season versus Texas on March 10.

First Pitch Luncheon: Washington will play host to its third annual 'First Pitch' luncheon, Wednesday, March 6, in the Don James Center at Husky Stadium. The luncheon, which honors the UW softball and baseball teams, is slated to begin at noon.

Special guests include former UW standouts Angie (Marzetta) Arlati and Mike Blowers. For more information, call (206) 543-2210. Reservations are due by March 1.

Head Coach Teresa Wilson: Teresa Wilson wasted no time in building a perennial contender for the NCAA Championship at the University of Washington. In nine years, Wilson has led the Huskies to five trips to the College World Series, including appearances in the championship game in 1996 and 1999. UW has earned eight straight berths in the NCAA tournament, a No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA poll, and two Pac-10 titles.

As the only head coach in Husky history, Wilson has led the Huskies to a 455-170 record, accruing an incredible .728 winning percentage. All totaled, Wilson's players have earned 22 All-America certificates, 64 mentions on all-Pac-10 squads, and 48 all-conference academic honors.

A fierce competitor, Wilson, a native of Pickering, Mo., was an All-American pitcher at the University of Missouri from 1980-83. Her 15-year career coaching record of 659-331 (.666) also includes stints at Oregon and Minnesota.

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