Softball Opens 2003 Season In Hawaii

Feb. 4, 2003

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A LOOK AHEAD: The Washington softball team makes its 2003 season debut this week when it travels to Honolulu, Hawaii to compete in the Chevron Paradise Classic. The five-team tournament is set-up as a round robin followed by a double-elimination bracket schedule. The Huskies open play on Thursday, Feb. 6, against Santa Clara at noon (HT). It will be the sixth game of the Bronco's season after going 2-3 last week in the Early Bird Classic in Santa Barbara, Calif. Washington then plays Oklahoma State at 4 p.m. The Huskies have two more games on tap for Friday, facing Louisville at 4 p.m. and tournament host Hawaii at the 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday's schedule will be determined by Washington's record on Thursday and Friday.

SERIES HISTORY: Washington has faced all four of its tournament opponents and holds the advantage in each all-time series. The Huskies have defeated Santa Clara in all eight meetings, including a pair of victories last season, 9-0 and 5-2. Kathy Fiske shined in game one last year, hitting a double and home run, while driving in five RBIs. Kristen Rivera capped off the second game with two home runs.

Washington is 8-2 all-time against Oklahoma State. The teams have not played since 2000 when the Huskies powered their way to the 12-1 victory. Jaime Clark hit 2-for-3 in the win, notching four RBIs, including a double and two-run home run.

Louisville and the Dawgs meet for the first time last season at the Seminole Challenge. Washington defeated the Cardinal 7-0 as Leslie Scott and Ashley Boek combined for the shutout. Rivera recorded four RBIs in the victory.

The Huskies are 3-1 against Hawaii, including their last meeting in 2001. The Dawgs defeated the Rainbow Wahine, 4-0, behind the three-hit shutout performance of Tia Bollinger. Bollinger struck out seven, including five straight in the second and third innings and retired the side in the first, second, fourth and fifth innings.

THE COACHES: Head coach Teresa Wilson is the only head coach in Husky softball history, and has guided the program to a 485-182 (.727) record. All totaled, Wilson's players have earned 24 All-America certificates, 69 selections to All-Pac-10 squads, and 50 All-Conference academic honors.

Wilson has been successful in both her playing and coaching careers. After setting numerous records as an All-American pitcher at Missouri, she earned national and conference Coach of the Year honors. Her 16-year career coaching record of 689-343 (.668) also includes stints at Oregon and Minnesota.

Wilson was named National Coach of the Year in 1989 at Oregon and has earned conference Coach of the Year honors at each stop. She has taken all three schools to postseason play, and in 1989 she became the first person to have both played and coached in the College World Series.

Santa Clara is coached by Marcy Crouch (Stanford, 1999). In her three seasons as head coach, the Broncos have gone 53-118 (.310), including 25-38 last year. She is 0-3 all-time against Washington.

Oklahoma State is coached by Margaret Rebenar (Cal Poly-Pomona, 1980). In her two years with the Cowgirls, led OSU to a 29-23 (.558) record. This will be her first match-up against Washington.

Sandy Pearshall (Oregon State, 1983) built the Louisville program from the ground up in 2000. In three years, the Cardinal have gone 103-80 (.563). Pearshall is 0-1 all-time against Washington.

Bob Coolen coaches Hawaii. Coolen has led the Rainbow Wahine to a 416-258-1 record (.617) and is 1-3 all-time against the Huskies.

SCOUTING SANTA CLARA: Of the five teams playing in the Hawaii Chevron Paradise Classic, Santa Clara is the only team not making its season debut. The Broncos opened the 2003 season on Jan. 31 in the Early Bird Classic in Santa Barbara, Calif. Santa Clara went 2-3 in the tournament, notching a 2-0 shutout over Illinois-Chicago and a 6-3 win over Long Beach State.

Rachel Sherman and Coresta Salas lead the Broncos at the plate. Sherman is hitting a team-high .375 (6-for-16) with three doubles and a RBI. Salas is hitting .357 (5-for-1) with a double and RBI. The team maintains a .250 clip.

Jaime Forman and Jennifer Ponzo, who each recorded a win last week, headline Santa Clara's pitching staff. Forman struck out 19 batters in 16.2 innings with a 2.16 earned run average, while Ponzo struck out three batters in nine innings of work for a 4.00 ERA.

SCOUTING OKLAHOMA STATE: The Cowgirls return six starters for the 2003 campaign, headlined by the pitcher-catcher duo of Lauren Bay and Ryan Realmuto. Bay set a season record for Oklahoma State last year with 314 strikeouts. Realmuto led the Cowgirls with 35 RBIs, 45 hits and was second on the team with 11 home runs.

OSU adds seven newcomers including former Husky second baseman, Steph Nicholson. Nicholson, who started 62 games for Washington, will play short stop for the Cowgirls.

SCOUTING LOUISVILLE: Louisville returns 12 letterwinners, including five seniors, two juniors and five sophomores. Five freshman round out the UL roster. The Cardinal are led by All-Conference selections Keola Calderon in right field, Jessica Rak on the mound, Nicole Sparks at second base Sara Bausher in center field.

SOUTING HAWAII: The Rainbow Wahine are led by two-time WAC Player of the Year and senior short stop Kate Judd. Judd, along with junior first baseman Stacey Porter, who set the UH single-season home run mark last year with 15, and sophomore outfielder Denise Dahlberg, were named to the 10-member preseason all-conference team.

WASHINGTON IN THE POLLS: The Washington softball team enters the 2003 season with a No. 6 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll as announced Jan. 29, by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

The Huskies have been ranked in the top-25 in each of the last 112 poll datings. Washington's streak began with the team's No. 15 preseason ranking in 1994 and also includes smaller streaks of 66 straight top-6 rankings (2/28/96 - preseason 2001 poll) and 68 consecutive poll datings in the top 10 (preseason 1996 - 2/28/01).

Overall, the Huskies have remained in the top 15 in each of the last 95 poll datings, a streak that began with the preseason poll in 1996.

ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The 17-player Washington roster includes 13 returning letterwinners and eight returning starters. The 2003 edition of Husky softball includes six juniors and six sophomores, but just two seniors and three freshmen. Nine players hail from California, six from Washington and one from Oklahoma and Oregon.

CHALLENGING SCHEDULE: The Huskies are scheduled to play 13 teams ranked in the USA Today/ NFCA preseason poll. Six of those opponents are Pac-10 members, including No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Arizona, No. 3 California, No. 13 Arizona State, No. 14 Stanford and No. 23 Oregon State. The other eight ranked opponents the Huskies will play during their eight-week preseason schedule. Washington is slated to play No. 4 Michigan, No. 10 California State Fullerton, No. 12 Texas, No. 16 Ohio State, No. 20 South Carolina, No. 21 Pacific and No. 25 Massachusetts.

SEASON DEBUTS: Washington has opened each of its 11 seasons with a multiple-team tournament, accruing a 37-12 (.755) record. The Huskies have gone undefeated in three of those tournaments (1996, 2000, 2002). Last season, Washington had its best start in school history with a 10-0 mark to win the Northridge/UCLA Early Bird Classic and the Florida State Seminole Challenge.

PLAYER NOTES (in alphabetical order):

Callie Bergan, Sophomore 1B: Returns for her sophomore campaign after receiving a medical redshirt last season... expected to get some playing time at first base ... as a freshman, appeared in nine games, starting three ... co-recipient of the team's Allison Mick Most Inspirational Player award.

Ashley Boek, Sophomore P: Returns for second season after starting on the mound as a freshman ... notched a 19-3 record and team-low 1.19 earned run average ... tossed a no-hitter in just her second career start ... finished fourth in conference with a 1.43 ERA and 6-1 record ... only losses of the season came to teams ranked in the top 20 ... collected wins over five top 25 teams.

Tia Bollinger, Junior, P: Led the Huskies in wins (20), strikeouts (172), complete games (seven) and innings pitched (184) last season ... set a UW and Pac-10 single-season record with seven saves ...posted nine wins over teams ranked in the top 25 ...recorded her first career save in upset win over No. 1 UCLA ...did not allow an earned run in three straight Pac-10 games ...a 2001 third team All-America selection.

Jaime Clark, Senior, SS: Earned first team All-America honors as a junior after leading the nation with 75 RBIs ...led team in nearly every offensive category ...batted a career-high .431 with 59 runs scored, 84 hits, 14 doubles and 19 home runs ... broke the school career record for home runs (56) ... one of 10 finalists for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year... USA Softball National Team Camp Invitee ... Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sports Star of the Year finalist.

Kathy Fiske, Sophomore, 3B: Appeared in 63 games at third base as a freshman ... third on the team with seven home runs and 33 RBIs ... nine doubles and 13 runs scored ... led the Huskies with six sacrifice bunts ... five game-winning RBIs ... six games with two hits.

Amy Hanson, Junior, C: Will share catching duties with Kristen Rivera ... appeared in seven games last season, starting six behind the plate, before having season-ending shoulder injury ... had surgery on her right shoulder in late February ... hit .176 (3-for-17) with two runs scored, a double and a pair of RBIs.

Sarah Hyatt, Freshman, 1B: Contender for the starting position at first base ...earned four letters at Sedro-Woolley High School ... two-time team captain ... named team Offensive Most Valuable player all four years and Skagit Valley Player of the Year as a junior ... led team to two league championships and two runner-up finishes ... played for the Washington Ladyhawks summer team under Husky alums Eve Gaw and Shelley Brown

Courtney Jeffries, Junior, OF: Expected to see action in right field ...last season, appeared in 56 games, starting 15 in right field and 31 at designated player ... led the team in hit by pitches with nine, tying for fifth-most in school history ... first hit of the season was a three-run home run and the game-winning RBI against CS Northridge.

Aimee Minor, Freshman, OF: Leading contender for the starting position in right field ...earned four letters in softball at Hemet High School ... four-time All-League selection ... three-time League Most Valuable Player ... led team to four league titles ... named Hemet School District Outstanding Athlete as a freshman ... Lion's Club Award recipient as a sophomore and junior ... earned Lion's Club Athlete of the Year honors as a senior.

Amanda Oleson, Junior, 2B: Will make the move from first base to second base this season ...last year, started 63 games ... has started in five different defensive positions since arriving at Washington ... played in right field, at shortstop and at first as a freshman ... stole 18 bases last season, one of four Huskies in double-digits ... 10 game-winning runs and two game-winning RBIs during sophomore campaign ... 17 multi-hit games, six multi-RBI efforts.

Megan Owen, Junior, OF: One of three players vying for the starting position in right field ... led the contingent last season with 30 starts in right, including the last nine games of the season ... also started three times in centerfield, while coming in as a pinch runner and pinch hitter in 14 other games.

Kristen Rivera, Sophomore, C: Was the only freshman to earn first team All-Pac-10 honors last season ... second team All-American ...USA Softball National Team Camp Invitee ... named to the USA Elite team but declined the position due to injury ... hit .346 with 35 runs scored, 63 hits, 13 doubles, 16 home runs and 61 RBIs ... led the team in multi-RBI games with 21, while taking second behind Clark in multi-hit games with 17.

Rita Roach, Junior, OF: Two-year starter in center field ... second team All-Pac-10 selection ... second on the team in batting average at .350 ... 40 runs scored, 62 hits, nine extra-base hits ... had a team low 23 strikeouts ... ranked second on the team with 22 stolen bases and fourth overall in the Pac-10

Leslie Scott, Sophomore, P: Appeared in 32 games in her freshman season, starting seven times ... 7-5 overall with a 2.15 earned run average ... gave up just 10 walks in 81.1 innings pitched ... led the Pac-10 in games pitched in relief with 25 and games finished with 18.

Traci Tawney, Senior, OF: Dependable defensive player who will see some time in left field ... started in six games in right field and two at first base last season... appeared in 39 games overall ... also used as a pinch runner

Dena Tyson, Freshman, OF: Will compete for time in left field ... earned four letters in softball at Corona High School ... All-America selection as a senior ... four-time All-League honoree and three-time All-CIF pick ... helped lead Batbusters summer team to the 2002 18-under Gold National Title.

Jessica Wilkinson, Sophomore, C: Redshirting this season ... had only career at-bat in the team's 6-0 victory over San Diego State on February 3, at the Early Bird Classic last year.

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