No. 6 Softball Heads To Oregon For Final Pac-10 Road Trip

May 1, 2002

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Last Week:
4/24 at No. 1 UCLA* L, 3-5
4/26 at No. 7 Stanford* W, 1-0
4/27 at No. 6 California* W, 6-3
4/28 at No. 6 California* L, 2-3

This Week:
5/3 at No. 16 Oregon State* 2 p.m.
5/4 at Oregon* 2 p.m.
5/5 at Oregon* 1 p.m.

Next Week:
5/10 Arizona State* 2 p.m.
5/11 Arizona* (DH) 1 p.m.

Last Road Trip: The sixth-ranked Washington softball team heads out on its final regular season and Pac-10 road trip of 2002, traveling to No. 16 Oregon State and Oregon for three games.

The Huskies start with a single game in Corvallis, Ore., on Friday, before heading to Eugene for a two-game series Saturday and Sunday.

The UW, which has played four conference games each of the last two weeks, will round out conference play with three games versus Arizona State and Arizona at Husky Stadium next weekend.

Climbing The Charts: With seven wins over its last nine games, the Washington softball team has continued to move up the national rankings.

This week, the Huskies are ranked sixth, after spending one week at the No. 8 spot. On April 17, the UW found itself in the ninth slot following two weeks at No. 10.

The team's No. 6 national ranking ties as the highest this season (Feb. 20), when the UW opened the year with a perfect 10-0 record. Washington was ranked fourth in the 2001 preseason poll, its highest previous ranking since spending 12 weeks at No. 1 in 2000.

Overall, the Huskies have remained in the top 15 in each of the last 92 poll datings, a streak that began with the preseason poll in 1996.

Save Us, Please: With Tia Bollinger's (Santa Ana, Calif.) team-best fourth save of the season versus California (April 27), the Washington pitching staff has now tied the school record for most saves in a season with eight. The Huskies matched the mark set by the 1997 squad, which also had eight saves, including a school-record six by then freshman Jamie Graves.

Along with Bollinger's four saves in 2002, freshman pitchers Ashley Boek (Redding, Calif.) and Leslie Scott (Edmond, Okla.) also both have two each to their credit.

A year ago, the Husky pitching staff had just one save by Shannon Walsh on February 21, at Tennessee-Chattanooga.

Going Yard: With two last week, the Washington softball team has now belted 45 home runs this season, tying its mark from a year ago. The 45 home runs are the second most in program history behind the team's 84 in 2000 and also ranks second so far in the Pac-10 behind Arizona (79).

In 2002, eight different Huskies have hit at least one home run, led by junior Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.), who has 15, and freshman Kristen Rivera (Perris, Calif.), who took over the team lead with her 16th in the team's 6-3 win at California.

Oops, She Did It Again: You would think that by now, opposing teams would know not to test the arm of UW centerfielder Rita Roach (Norwalk, Calif.), especially when it comes to plays at the plate. Roach threw out her fifth runner of the year at home plate versus Stanford last Friday, as Cardinal Sarah Beeson tried to score from second on a two-out single up the middle with the score knotted at 0-0 in the bottom of the sixth.

So far this season, the Huskies have thrown out 11 runners trying to score on a non-force out at the plate.

Rivera Still Rocks: Part of the Huskies' resurgence in the Pac-10 has been the hot and timely hitting of freshman catcher Kristen Rivera. While she cooled off a little, Rivera still led the team last week in batting average with a .455 mark, including two runs scored, three doubles, a home run and four RBI. Below are a few notes on Rivera recent surge on offense:

- Over The Last Nine Games: Hitting .400 (10-for-25) with seven runs scored, three doubles, six home runs and 17 RBI for a 1.240 slugging percentage ... six, multi-RBI games ... six of 10 hits are home runs ... at least one hit in seven of nine games ... hit home runs in four consecutive games from April 13-20 ... belted five home runs in four games from April 13-20 ... three home runs in consecutive plate appearances versus then third-ranked Stanford in a two-game span (April 13, 15) ... game-winning RBI in four consecutive games (April 15-21) ... Huskies are 7-2 over that span after starting the Pac-10 season 1-4.

- Other Notes: 13 of Rivera's 16 home runs have come over the last 24 games ... her 16 home runs are the third-most in school history and the second most by a true freshman.

At The Top Of Their Game: In the fourth set of NCAA rankings through April 29, Washington continues to appear prominently in several categories.

As a team, the Huskies rank 30th in both team batting average (.290) and winning percentage (.722), while they are 28th in earned-run average (1.39) and 21st in scoring (5.15 runs/game).

Individually, Jaime Clark ranks second in the nation in RBI with 61, is tied for seventh in most home runs with 15 and has the 22nd-best batting average (.421). Kristen Rivera has also shot up in the rankings with her hot hitting. The freshman is currently tied for fourth in the home run category with 16 and ranks third behind Clark in RBI (58).

Sophomore pitcher Tia Bollinger rounds out the group with the 45th-best ERA (1.11) and the 18th-most saves with four.

Ranking Among The Best: In the third set of regional rankings released by the NCAA Division I Softball Committee on April 25, the Huskies are ranked fifth in the Pacific Region. Six of the seven other Pac-10 teams appear in the rankings, while Washington has also played the two other schools - Brigham Young and San Diego State.

The bi-weekly rankings are used as a part of the championship tournament selection process and consist of six regions with a maximum of 10 teams apiece.

Dawg Bites: Jaime Clark has reached base at least once in 52 of 54 games ... Clark has at least one hit in 44 of 54 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 ... all three UW pitchers have appeared in a game seven times ... the Husky pitching staff had its season-best streak of 37 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run stopped versus UCLA ... Tia Bollinger currently leads the conference in ERA in Pac-10 games with a 0.64 mark ... Kristen Rivera is tops in Pac-10 games in both RBI (19) and home runs (7), while Jaime Clark is first in doubles with five.

Scouting the Oregon State Beavers (37-18, 6-9 Pac-10): After beginning the Pac-10 season with a 4-0 record, the Beavers have come back to reality, winning just two of their last 11 conference games. Washington beat Oregon State twice in Seattle (April 20-21), avenging an earlier loss to the Beavers (2-0) at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in late February.

Currently, OSU boasts three players with batting averages above the .300 mark, including team leader junior Brynnen Guthrie, who is hitting .337 with a team-best 24 RBI. Clare Burnum (.335, 16 2B) and Michelle Chariton (.320) are also threats on offense.

Three Beaver pitchers share the starting duties under head coach Kirk Walker. Sophomore Monica Hoffman (12-7, 1.06 ERA) and transfer Kristen Hunter (12-6, 2.05 ERA) both are 12-game winners, while senior Crystal Draper (13-5, 1.60 ERA) is tops on the team in strikeouts (177) and innings pitched (139.2).

Washington is 31-6 all-time versus the Beavers, splitting the schools' two-game series in Corvallis a year ago.

Scouting the Oregon Ducks (18-18, 0-9 Pac-10): With a split versus Hawai'i on Tuesday, Oregon has won five of its last nine games, after dropping 12 straight. The Ducks picked up its first Pac-10 win in over a year last weekend, upsetting Arizona State 4-2 last Saturday.

Under interim head coach Brent Rincon, the Ducks are led offensively by a pair of juniors in Alyssa Laux and Andrea Vidlund. Laux is hitting a team-best .349 with 21 runs scored, while Vidlund boasts a .328 batting average with eight home runs and 27 RBI.

Like the UW, Oregon has a trio of pitchers, all of whom have seen their fair time in the circle. Sophomore Anissa Meashintubby leads the way with a 9-5 record, 2.49 ERA and 85 strikeouts. Freshman Lindsey Kontra (6-11, 2.93 ERA) and senior Connie McMurren (8-9, 3.26 ERA) round out the group.

The Huskies carry a seven-game win streak versus the Ducks into this weekend's series. The UW has outscored Oregon 49-4 over that span.

On The Horizon: The Huskies play host to their final regular season games of the season when No. 2 Arizona and No. 4 Arizona State come to Seattle. The UW starts with the Sun Devils on Friday, followed by a doubleheader Saturday against the Wildcats.

Standing Room Only: Washington's regular season-ending doubleheader with No. 2 Arizona, on May 11, beginning at 1 p.m., has been sold-out. Standing room only tickets are still available. For more information, please call the Washington Ticket Office at (206) 543-2200.

Looking Into The Future: In 11 days the Washington softball team will find out its fate in this year's NCAA tournament. The field of 48 teams will be announced on a selection show at 6 p.m. (PDT) on Sunday, May 12. Those interested may view the selection show on ESPNEWS, which is on DirecTV channel 207 and Dish Network channel 142. ESPNEWS cannot be accessed via C Band or KU Band satellite.

Huskies On The Airwaves: KKNW-1150 AM, which carried eight regular season Husky softball games, is planning to air all of the team's postseason (NCAA Regional and College World Series) games 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. Each game will include 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 478-179 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 682-340 (.667) also includes stints at Oregon and Minnesota.

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