No. 9 Softball Travels To California For Four Pac-10 Games

April 23, 2002


Last Week:
4/15/02 No. 3 Stanford W, 3-0
4/19/02 Oregon W, 6-0
4/20/02 No. 14 Oregon St. W, 3-1
4/21/02 No. 14 Oregon St. W, 1-0

This Week:
4/24/02 No. 2 UCLA 2:00 p.m.
4/26/02 No. 3 Stanford 7:00 p.m.
4/27/02 No. 8 California 2:00 p.m.
4/28/02 No. 9 California 1:00 p.m.

Next Week:
5/03/02 at Oregon St. 2:00 p.m.
5/04/02 at Oregon 2:00 p.m.
5/05/02 at Oregon 1:00 p.m.

The Second Time Around: The ninth-ranked Washington softball team takes its winning streak on the road for four games in California. The Huskies start with a Wednesday afternoon meeting with No. 2 UCLA, followed by three games in the Bay Area at No. 3 Stanford (Friday) and No. 8 California (Saturday, Sunday).

The UW has overcome a 1-5 start in Pac-10 play with five straight wins to enter the second round of conference games with a 6-5 record.

This is the second straight week in which the team will have to play four conference games.

Terrific Threesome: The UW pitching staff once again showcased its depth in the team's 1-0 victory over Oregon State last Sunday.

Three Husky pitchers combined for the shutout, beginning with freshman Ashley Boek (Redding, Calif.), who pitched four innings to earn the win (15-2), before giving way to classmate Leslie Scott (Edmond, Okla.). Scott was then relieved by sophomore Tia Bollinger (Santa Ana, Calif.), who earned the save with two shutout innings.

All three Husky pitchers also combined for a shutout in the team's 13-0 romp over Simon Fraser on March 11. So far this season, just 17 of the team's 50 games (34 percent) have featured one Husky pitcher, as opposed to last season when 59 percent (37 of 63) were solo efforts.

Rivera Rocks: Part of the Huskies resurgence in the Pac-10 has been the hot and timely hitting of freshman catcher Kristen Rivera (Perris, Calif.). Below is a list of some of Rivera's latest accomplishments:

- Home Run Notes: Hit home runs in four consecutive games from April 13-20, versus No. 3 Stanford, Oregon and No. 14 Oregon State ... all five of her last five hits are home runs ... belted five home runs in four games from April 13-20 ... three home runs in consecutive plate appearances versus No. 3 Stanford in a two-game span ... 12 of Rivera's 15 home runs have also come over the last 20 games ... her 15 home runs ties as the third-most in school history and the second most by a true freshman.

- Other Notes: Game-winning RBI in each of the last four games (April 15-21) ... Pac-10 Player of the Week honoree on April 16 - the second UW player so honored.

20-20 Stolen Bases: After finishing with a program low 75 stolen bases in 2001, the 2002 Huskies continue to lead the Pac-10 in stolen bases with 93 in 108 attempts. The UW added seven to its total in three games a week ago with junior Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.) and sophomore Rita Roach (Norwalk, Calif.) both breaking the 20-stolen base barrier. The last time the UW had a pair with 20 or more stolen bases was in 1999, when Becky Newbry (25) and Rosie Leutzinger (28) combined for 53 of the team's season total of 110.

Last week, Clark had four of the team's stolen bases, including a career best three in the win over Oregon. The junior's team-high 21 stolen bases are more than double her total from a year ago, finishing with nine in 2001, after stealing 14 as a freshman. Roach also has exactly doubled her previous career output with 20 on 22 attempts so far this season.

As a team, Washington has combined to steal 100 bases or more five times, including a team record 194 in 1997.

Four For Becky: For the second time this season, a Husky player had a perfect 4-for-4 performance at the plate, as senior Becky Simpson (Tumwater, Wash.) recorded four singles in the team's 3-1 win over Oregon State.

Simpson's career-best effort was matched earlier this season by sophomore Amanda Oleson (Agoura Hills, Calif.), who had four hits in the UW's loss to Florida on February 17. Oleson was just a home run short of the cycle, with two doubles, a triple and a single, for her second career 4-for-4 effort.

Shutout Queens: With no shutouts in its first six conference games, the UW pitching staff has rebounded with three in the last four games - all of which came last week. The Huskies started with a 3-0 shutout of Stanford, before blanking Oregon (6-0) and Oregon State (1-0). Freshman Ashley Boek has earned the win in all three games, but has been helped by at least one other Husky pitcher in all three.

Washington pitchers have yet to allow an earned run in the last 32 innings.

Dawg Bites: Despite being kept off the basepaths versus Arizona State two weeks ago, Jaime Clark has reached base at least once in 49 of 50 games ... Clark has at least one hit in 42 of 50 games ... Clark's career-best 18-game hitting streak and 53-game on-base streak both came to an end versus Arizona State on April 7 ... Washington's 43 home runs so far this season are the third most in Husky history and rank second in the Pac-10 behind Arizona ... all three UW pitchers have appeared in a game six times ... the team's seven saves this season ties as the second-most in school history and is just one behind the record of eight set in 1997.

Scouting the UCLA Bruins (40-6, 8-3 Pac-10): After dropping three of its first four conference games, No. 2 UCLA is back to its winning ways with six straight wins.

Under head coach Sue Enquist, the Bruins are hitting a blistering .350 as a team. All-Americans Stacey Nuveman (.542), who is two home runs short of breaking the NCAA career record, and Natasha Watley (.503) are both batting over the .500 mark. Watley adds a team-high 51 runs scored and 31 stolen bases to a squad which boasts seven players hitting above .300.

In the circle, sophomore Keira Goerl (21-4, 0.49 ERA) and Amanda Freed (17-2, 0.81 ERA) have combined to make all but one start, giving up just 28 earned runs.

The Bruins lead the all-time series between the two schools by a 27-13 margin, although the teams split their earlier meetings in Seattle.

Scouting the California Golden Bears (42-14, 8-4 Pac-10): With six wins in their last eight conference games, including a sweep of the Arizonas last weekend, California sits third in the Pac-10 with an 8-4 record.

Under head coach Diane Ninemire, Cal has four players hitting over the .300 mark, including catcher Courtney Scott (.344, 39 RBI) and All-American Veronica Nelson (.342, 9 HR). Nelson, who has been walked 78 times so far in 2002, has been helped in the home run department by third baseman Candace Harper, who has six home runs and a team-best 14 doubles.

In the circle, four Golden Bear pitchers have seen starting time, led by All-American Jocelyn Forest, who is 19-8 with a 1.04 ERA and a conference best 278 strikeouts in 195.1 innings.

Washington had just one hit - a Jaime Clark home run - in the two schools' first meeting this season. The UW has a slim 20-18 advantage in the all-time series.

Scouting the Stanford Cardinal (35-11, 4-8 Pac-10): After opening Pac-10 play with a 4-2 record, No. 3 Stanford has dropped its last six conference games.

Under head coach John Rittman, Stanford is led by a pair of All-Americans in Jessica Mendoza and Sarah Beeson. Mendoza is hitting a team-best .409 with 49 runs scored and 12 home runs, while Beeson has a team-high 37 RBI. Middle infielders Kira Ching (.318) and Robin Walker (.306) are also hitting above the .300 mark.

In the circle, Tori Nyberg (20-6, 1.58 ERA) and Maureen LeCocq (14-5, 2.15) have both made up for the loss of All-American Dana Sorensen, who is out due to injury.

The Huskies swept the two-game series in Seattle earlier this year, afer winning two of three from the Cardinal a year ago. Washington is 27-6 all-time versus Stanford.

Close Connections: Washington's Jaime Clark, California's Eryn Manahan (red-shirt) and Stanford's Elisabeth Bendig all attended Foothill High School in Tustin, Calif. ... UW's Tia Bollinger and Stanford's Robin Walker are alumnae of Mater Dei High School ... Bollinger, Walker and Cardinal Jessica Mendoza all played for Gordon's Panthers ... Clark and Stanford pitcher Dana Sorenson were members of the same Orange County Batbusters team ... Mendoza and Washington's Nikki Holt both went to high school at Adolfo Camarillo in Camarillo, Calif. ... Stanford head coach John Rittman was an assistant under UW coach Teresa Wilson at Washington, Minnesota and Oregon ... Cardinal assistant coach Sara Pickering is a 1997 Washington grad and a two-time All-American ... UW assistant Drew Christmon held a similar position at Stanford in 1996.

On The Horizon: The Huskies will travel to Oregon for their final road trip of the regular season. The UW faces Oregon State on May 3, followed by a two-game series at Oregon, May 4-5. Washington then comes back home for its final regular season games versus Arizona State and Arizona, May 10-11.

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 regular season schedule concludes this weekend with three UW road games at Stanford (April 26) and California (April 27-28).

Each game's broadcast will begin and end with a 15-minute pre- and post-game show, featuring interviews with UW players and coaches. Please turn to to listen to live audio via the web.

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.

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 476-177 record, accruing an incredible .729 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 680-338 (.668) also includes stints at Oregon and Minnesota.