No. 5 Softball To Play In Eighth-Straight NFCA Leadoff Classic

Feb. 18, 2003

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THIS WEEKEND: The No. 5 Washington softball team (9-0-1) travels to Columbus, Ga., to compete in the NFCA Leadoff Classic, Feb. 21-23. The tournament will feature 24 of the nation's top collegiate softball teams, including six 2002 College World Series teams and 19 2002 NCAA postseason participants. The Huskies open play against their first ranked opponents of the season versus No. 16 South Carolina and No. 15 Michigan on Feb. 21. UW will also play Temple on Feb. 22 to complete pool play before bracket play begins Saturday night through Sunday.

SERIES HISTORY: Washington has faced two of it s three NFCA Leadoff Classic opponents, accruing an 8-8 overall record (.500). UW is 4-4 all-time against both Michigan and South Carolina. The Huskies played both Michigan and South Carolina last season, dropping a 6-5 contest against the Wolverines and defeating the Gamecocks, 8-1. The Huskies will be making their first appearance against Temple.

COACH WILSON: In 11 seasons as the head coach at UW, Teresa Wilson has led the Dawgs to two Pac-10 championships, nine NCAA Regionals and two second place finishes at the College World Series. Her overall UW record stands at 494-182-1 (.730) and she is 698-343-1 (.670) all-time. Before becoming the Husky head coach in 1993, Wilson served as the head coach at Minnesota for two seasons (1990-1991) and at Oregon for four seasons (1986-89). She is 152-97 (.610) in conference games. All totaled, Wilson has coached 24 All-Americans, 69 all-conference selections and 50 academic all-conference honorees. A 1983 All-American pitcher for Minnesota, she is joined by assistants Scott Centala and Steve Dailey.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Probable starters at each position with notes:

C/DP - Amy Hanson, Jr. Threw out all three potential base stealers last week

Kristen Rivera, So. Leads team in hits (15), RBIs (13) and slugging percentage (.912)

1B - Sarah Hyatt, Fr. Leads team in batting average (.485) ; hit first HR last weekend

2B - Amanda Oleson, Jr. Notched two RBIs in the UW win over Arkansas

SS - Jaime Clark, Sr. Went 4-for-10 last weekend with five RBIs; 6-for-6 in SB

3B - Kathy Fiske, So. Five RBIs last weekend, including three vs. Minnesota

OF - Courtney Jeffries, Jr. Led outfield with seven putouts last weekend

OF - Aimee Minor, Fr. Hit two doubles & a triple with four RBIs last weekend

OF - Megan Owen, Jr. Scored both runs in the 2-1 win over Northwestern

OF - Rita Roach, Jr. Hawaii all-tournament; sat out last week with injury

OF - Dena Tyson, Fr. Hit a home run in first career at-bat in Hawaii

SCOUTING SOUTH CAROLINA: The No. 16 Gamecocks (7-4) jumped four slots in the NFCA poll this week, despite a 2-3 showing at the UNLV Softball Classic, Feb. 14-16. South Carolina had a stacked schedule, playing four ranked teams, including three in the top 10. The Gamecocks defeated host UNLV, 6-0, and No. 18 Oregon State, 4-3, but lost to No. 1 UCLA, 12-0, No. 3 Nebraska, 9-1, and No. 7 CS Fullerton, 6-1.

South Carolina is led by Amber Curtis at the plate with a .400 (12-for-30) batting average and Ashley Smith with a .296 (8-for-27) clip. Melanie Hanks (4-1) and Stacey Johnson (3-1) have each recorded 31 innings on the mound for SC. Johnson has a team-low 1.13 ERA with 31 strikeouts, while Hanks has a 2.94 earned run average with 21 K's.

SCOUTING MICHIGAN: No. 15 Michigan (2-3) dropped 11 places in the NFCA poll this week after losing games to Cal State Northridge, 3-2, San Diego State, 2-1, and No. 25 Oregon, 8-7. The Wolverines notched a pair of victories over No. 22 Fresno State, 9-4, and Loyola Marymount to finish the Campbell/Cartier Classic in fifth place.

Michigan is paced by Melinda Moulden and Jennifer Olds on offense, each posting averages over .300. Moulden leads the way with a .353 (6-for-17) average, including a double, home run and three RBIs. Olds is hitting .333 (4-for-12) with a pair of home runs.

Jennie Ritter (1-0) and Marissa Young (1-0) notched wins for Michigan last week, combining for 27 strikeouts in 22.2 innings of work. Hurler Nicole Motycka recorded all three losses last week, despite a team-low 2.28 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 15.1 innings.

SCOUTING TEMPLE:Temple's (1-1) opening weekend was cut short by rain at the Triangle Tournament in Raleigh, NC. The Owls squeezed in two games on Friday, defeating Radford 5-2 and losing in eight innings to Michigan State, 5-3, before the tourney was cancelled on Saturday after field conditions worsened throughout the night.

Temple was led by Alexis Gary with a 3-for-7 performance at the plate, including four RBIs. The Owls also received a good showing from freshman pitcher Vickey Grasham who tallied the win over Radford. Grasham pitched six innings, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out seven. She also blasted her first collegiate home run in the effort.

LAST WEEKEND: Washington went 3-0-1 in the Arizona Pepsi Classic in Tucson last weekend after suffering through rain and lightning in the tournament opener. The Huskies defeated Arkansas, 12-3, and held the 5-1 lead over Florida International before the game was postponed due to rain on Friday, Feb. 14. UW came back on Saturday, defeating FIU, 8-0, and downing Northwestern, 2-1. Washington closed out the tournament with a 5-5 tie against Minnesota. The game was called after the ninth inning so the teams could make their scheduled flights home.

NFCA LEADOFF CLASSIC BREAKDOWN: The tournament consists of six, four-team pools. Following pool play, the top team from each pool, along with two at-large teams, advance to the gold championship bracket. The remaining four second place teams along with four at-large teams will be placed in the silver championship bracket and the remaining eight teams will be assigned to the bronze championship bracket. All brackets will be single elimination/consolation. Each team will play a minimum of five games (three pool, two bracket) regardless of pool or bracket assignments.

Pool 1Alabama (17)California (4)Illinois StateNotre Dame (23)

Pool 2Cal State Fullerton (7)LSU (9)Oklahoma (10)Villanova

Pool 3Arizona State (14)DePaul (8)LibertyOhio State (21)

Pool 4Florida State (11)Massachusetts (25)Oregon State (18)Pacific (20)

Pool 5Nebraska (3)North CarolinaSouthern MississippiStanford (12)

Pool 6Michigan (15)South Carolina (16)TempleWashington (5)

NFCA LEADOFF CLASSIC HISTORY: Washington prepares to compete in its eighth NFCA Leadoff Classic. The Dawgs are 30-9 all-time in the tournament, winning it twice (1996, 2000).

WASHINGTON IN THE POLLS: The No. 5 Washington softball team improved one spot in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll this week.

The Huskies have been ranked in the top-25 in each of the last 113 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 96 poll datings, a streak that began with the preseason poll in 1996.

WEATHER WOES: The Huskies opened the season with a rain out in Hawaii on Feb. 6. The Dawgs hoped for better weather last weekend in Tucson, Arizona but tallied four rain delays and a lightning delay in the first day of competition.

HUSKIES REMAIN UNDEFEATED: Only three teams in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll remain undefeated this season, including No. 5 Washington (9-0-1), No. 6 Texas (14-0) and No. 8 DePaul (5-0).

CHEVRON PARADISE CLASSIC CHAMPIONS: Washington opened the 2003 season with a perfect 6-0 record to win the Hawaii Chevron Paradise Classic in Honolulu, Feb. 6-9. After rain halted play on Feb. 6, the Huskies notched a pair of extra-inning wins against Santa Clara, 3-2 and Oklahoma State, 5-4 on Feb. 7. UW followed up with victories against Louisville, 7-4 and host Hawaii, 3-2, to earn the No. 1 seed for Sunday's single elimination bracket. The Huskies defeated Santa Clara in the first round, 7-5, and topped Oklahoma State, 3-2, for the tournament championship.

ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Sophomore Kristen Rivera was named Most Outstanding Player of the Hawaii Chevron Paradise Classic for her .476 performance at the plate, while sophomore Ashley Boek received Most Outstanding Pitcher honors after picking up three wins and a save. Also named to the all-tournament team were sophomore third baseman Kathy Fiske and junior centerfielder Rita Roach who hit .429 and .350, respectively.

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 SCHEUDLE: The Huskies are scheduled to play 14 teams ranked in the USA Today/ NFCA poll. Seven of those opponents are Pac-10 members, including No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Arizona, No. 4 California, No. 12 Stanford, No. 14 Arizona State, No. 21 Oregon State and No. 25 Oregon. The other eight ranked opponents the Huskies are slated to play are No. 6 Texas, No. 7 Cal State Fullerton, No. 15 Michigan, No. 16 South Carolina, No. 20 Pacific , No. 21 Ohio State and No. 25 Massachusetts.

PLAYER NOTES (in alphabetical order):

Callie Bergan, Sophomore 1B: Returns for her sophomore campaign after receiving a medical redshirt last season... notched her first career hit and RBI against Florida International on Feb. 15 ... 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 ... is 4-0 this season with a save and a 2.52 ERA ... has struck out 32 batters in 33.1 innings pitched ... notched a 19-3 record and team-low 1.19 earned run average last season ... 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 last season came to teams ranked in the top 20 ... collected wins over five top 25 teams.

Tia Bollinger, Junior, P: Leads the team with a 4-0 mark and 1.26 ERA ... is 4-0 with 30 strikeouts in 33.1 innings ...struck out 11 in 3-2 victory over Oklahoma State, while walking none ... 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: Has started all 10 UW games at short stop ... hit .400 at the Arizona Pepsi Classic, including a double, home run and five RBIs 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts, including three against Northwestern ... ranks second on the team with eight RBIs ... went 1-for-4 with two RBIs in UW's 3-2 win over Oklahoma State ... was 1-for-2 with two runs scored and a RBI in 8-0 win over FIU ...last season, 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) ... earned first team All-America honors after leading the nation with 75 RBIs 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: Has started all 10 games at third base ...ranks third on the team with a .375 average (12-for-32), including three doubles and two home runs ...has driven in eight RBIs, including three against Minnesota ...earned all-tournament honors at the Hawaii Chevron Paradise Classic ...went 3-for-4 against Louisville ...hit 2-for-3 with two RBIs in victories over Santa Clara and Arkansas ...notched three RBIs in 5-5 tie with Minnesota ...last season, 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: Shares catching and designated player duties with Kristen Rivera ...has thrown out all three potential base stealers this season ... leads team with two sacrifice hits ...went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored in Washington's 12-3 win over Arkansas ... last season, appeared in seven games, 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: Has started all 10 games at first base ... leads team with a .485 (11-for-24) batting average, including a .667 (8-for-12) performance at the Arizona Pepsi Classic ... hit her first career home run in the win over Arkansas ...went 2-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored against Arkansas ...recorded three hits in 8-0 romp of Florida International ...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: Has played in six games, starting five in left field ...leads all outfielders with eight putouts ... 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 last season was a three-run home run and the game-winning RBI against CS Northridge.

Aimee Minor, Freshman, OF: Has started seven games in right field hitting .348 (8-for-23) with two doubles, a triple and home run ...went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the 8-0 victory over FIU ...earned four letters 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: Has started all 10 games at second base ...leads team in with five walks and is second with eight runs scored 1-for-1 in stolen base attempts and has made just one error at second ...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: Has started six games in the outfield ...scored both runs in UW's 2-1 win over Northwestern ... also went 2-for-2 against the Wildcats ...led the team 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: Has started all 10 games as either catcher or designated player hitting .441 (15-for-34) with a team-high five home runs ...also leads the team with 13 RBIs and a .912 slugging percentage ...named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament at the Hawaii Chevron Paradise Classic ...hit 2-for-4 with two RBIs in the win over Louisville ...was 3-for-4 with three RBIs against Santa Clara ... posted three hits and a RBI in Washington's 3-2 win over Oklahoma State ... went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in 12-3 victory over Arkansas ...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: Named to the Hawaii Chevron Paradise Classic all-tournament team after hitting .429 (9-for-21) ... hit 4-for-4 in win over Santa Clara ...second team All-Pac-10 selection last year ... 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: Notched her first win of the season over Louisville on Feb. 8 ...scattered six hits and four runs over 4.1 innings of work ...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: Has appeared in nine games as a pinch runner and outfielder 1-for-2 at the plate with two runs scored and a stolen base ... 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: Has started seven games in left field ...blasted a home run in her first collegiate at-bat ...has notched two RBIs and has scored three runs ... earned four letters at Corona High School ... All-America selection as a senior ... four-time All-League honoree and three-time All-CIF pick ... helped lead the 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, 2002, at the Early Bird Classic.

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