Softball Set To Play Four Pac-10 Road Games This Week

May 5, 2004

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THIS WEEK: The sixth-ranked Washington softball (34-12, 8-5 Pac-10) team heads to California for four conference games this week. The week opens with a game at UCLA on Wednesday, May 5 at 2 p.m. Washington will then fly north to the Bay Area to face Stanford on May 7 at 7 p.m. and California on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. UW is coming off a 2-1 weekend a victory over Oregon State (4-2) and a split against Oregon (1-0 win, 10-2 loss). The Huskies are currently in third place of the Pac-10 and trail Arizona (11-2) and Stanford (10-5).

SCOUTING UCLA: UCLA swept the Oregon schools last week to improve to 34-7 overall and 7-6 in the Pac-10. The Bruins are led by a trio of players hitting .300 or better, including Stephanie Ramos (.380), Caitlin Benyi (.354) and Jodie Legaspi (.352). Benyi tops the squad with 15 home runs, while Ramos has hit 11. UCLA is out its opponents by more than double (308-152) and relays on the long ball as it holds the 59-8 edge in home runs. Keira Goerl (20-5) and Lisa Dodd (13-2) share starting pitching duties and each have notched nine shutouts. Dodd boasts a team-low 0.74 ERA and .144 opponent batting average, while Goerl has a stingy 1.18 ERA and .159 opponent batting average.

SCOUTING STANFORD: Stanford (40-13) upset top-ranked Arizona last week and sits just behind the Wildcats in the Pac-10 standings with a 10-5 record. The Cardinal are led by Jackie Rinehart (.378) and Jessica Allister (.344) at the plate. Allister is hitting .409 in conference games and has driven in a team-best nine RBIs in Pac-10 games. Stanford is out scoring its opponents nearly double (199-100) and has a lot of speed, demonstrated by a 12-1 advantage in triples and 54-21 edge in stolen bases. Dana Sorenson (25-7) is the Cardinal ace with 10 shutouts and 262 strikeouts in 211.2 innings. Laura Severson (13-6) has thrown five shutouts.

SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: California (40-11, 7-8 Pac-10) is led by Vicky Galindo and Kaleo Eldredge with .364 and .359 averages, respectively. Each has scored a team-best 42 runs and hit five home runs. Haley Woods leads the squad with 13 home runs, while Chelsea Spencer has belted seven home runs. Four of Spencers home runs have been in Pac-10 action and she leads the Golden Bears with eight RBIs in conference games. Kristina Thorson headlines the California pitching staff with a 0.93 ERA and has shutout seven opponents en route to a 19-3 record. Kelly Anderson (21-8) boasts a 1.32 ERA and has tallied eight shutouts this season.

THE LONG BALL: Washington has belted 38 home runs this season, 10 of which have been the game-winning hit. Seven Huskies have hit at least one home run, led by Kristen Rivera with 17 and Sarah Hyatt with 11.

BOEK IN THE BOOKS: With 20 strikeouts last week, Ashley Boek has propelled herself into the No. 4 spot on the school's all-time season strikeouts list with 229 K's. Boek trails Jennifer Spediacci who ranks third with 250 strikeouts set in the 1999 season. Her 563 career strikeouts rank third on the UW list.

ON THE VERGE: Aimee Minor needs just one more sacrifice to enter the UW top 10 season chart (9) ... she is also one triple away from the career top 10 list ... Kathy Fiske needs just one more RBI to rank 10th on the UW career chart (100) ... Amanda Oleson needs five runs and seven at-bats to rank 10th on the career charts.

COMEBACK DAWGS: Washington has fallen behind in 11 Pac-10 games this season, coming back to win seven of those. UW came back from 1-0 and 3-0 deficits vs. Arizona State, 1-0 and 5-1 deficits vs. UCLA and a pair of 2-0 deficits and a 1-0 deficit to Oregon State.

OLESON SHOWS VERSATILITY: Senior Amanda Oleson became the first Husky to ever play all nine positions at Washington. Oleson, who is Washington's starting shortstop this season, set the record when she started the April 22 nightcap against Portland State behind the plate. Former Husky, Becky Newbry, played all positions but catcher during her tenure from 1996-99.

BOEK FANS THE COMPETITION: With 23 strikeouts last week Ashley Boek entered the school's top 5 season list with 209 strikeouts. Jennifer Spediacci set the record with 316 strikeouts in 2000. Boek's 543 career strikeouts rank third on the Husky all-time charts.

NON-CONFERENCE HOME STREAK CONTINUES: With a pair of wins over Portland State (5-1 and 10-1) the Huskies maintain their unbeaten streak at home vs. non-conference opponents. Washington is 54-0 all-time at home vs. teams outside of the Pac-10 Conference.

BOLLINGER REWRITES RECORD BOOKS: Senior pitcher Tia Bollinger has pitched more innings during her career than any other Husky. She is also on the verge of breaking numerous other school pitching records by the end of the season. Bollinger needs just one more starts (122/124 Jennifer Spediacci) and five wins (95/100 Spediacci) to top the Husky career charts. Bollinger already holds career school records for saves and season records for saves (7), games started (39), wins (36) and innings pitched (287.0).

FULL HOUSE: Washington's game against UCLA on April 10 was sold out with 1,416 fans. The Huskies have pulled 7,942 fans through its gates over 10 home dates for an average of 794 fans per game. Last season, Washington averaged 727 fans per game, which ranked fourth-best nationwide.

FAST PAC-10 START: UW's 6-1 league start marks its best start since the 2000 season when it was 9-1 and its second-best conference start ever. The Huskies are currently in third place in the conference with a 8-5 record and trail Arizona (11-2) and Stanford (10-5).

FREE RIDE: Kristen Rivera has drawn 38 walks this season- nearly double that of any other Husky. Her 38 free trips lead the Pac-10 and places her third on Washington's career chart with 96 walks. Last season she walked just 29 times all season.

RIVERA SETS UW POWER RECORD: Kristen Rivera tops the Husky season charts with .571 on-base percentage and her .933 slugging percentage ranks No. 2 all-time behind Jenny Topping (.960).

BOEK NAMED PAC-10 PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Ashley Boek was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week on April 12 for leading Washington to a pair of victories over No. 2 UCLA. On April 9, Boek threw all seven innings, scattering four hits, striking out six and allowing just one earned run. Boek entered Saturday's game in relief in the fifth inning with two runners on base and no outs. Although two runners did cross the plate, Boek kept the game in reach. After a fifth inning rally by Washington, Boek struck out five of the next six Bruins to earn her second win of the weekend over UCLA. Boek gave up just one extra-base hit against UCLA in 38 at-bats and held the Bruins to a .105 average. For the weekend, she boasted a 0.70 ERA, allowing just one run over 10 innings with 11 strikeouts.

RIVERA NAMED TOP 10 FINALIST FOR COLLEGIATE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Two-time All-America Kristen Rivera is one of 10 finalists for the 2004 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award. The award, which is considered the Heisman Trophy in women's collegiate softball and is the only national player of the year award, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country. Last season, Rivera was a top 10 finalist. Senior pitcher Tia Bollinger, a two-time All-American, was among the initial top 40 watch list at the beginning of this season.

GRAND SLAMS SINK OPPONENTS: Three UW players have hit grand slams this season, including two by Sarah Hyatt. Hyatt had the hits in wins over Texas (Feb. 27) and Portland State (Apr. 22). Kristen Rivera hit a grand slam against Arizona State (Apr. 3) and Kathy Fiske hit one against Arizona State (Apr. 4). The grand slams marked the third of Fiske's career, second of Hyatt's and first of Rivera's. The UW record for career grand slams is four, set by Jenny Topping in 2000. That season, the Huskies combined for six grand slams- the most of any UW team in school history.

MINOR NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Aimee Minor was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Mar. 23 after leading Washington to the Kia Klassic Championship. Minor had a .533 (8-for-15) batting average and seven RBIs in five games. She boasted a 1.133 slugging percentage, including a double, triple and two home runs. Against Texas A&M on March 18, Minor had two hits and helped the Huskies get off to a fast start as she singled and scored a run in the first inning. The run proved to be all the Huskies would need, as they beat the Aggies 5-0. Minor saved her best game of the weekend for the championship game against No. 1 Arizona. Minor led Washington to a 7-6 upset of the top-ranked Wildcats as she was 3-for-3, including a double and two home runs. She knocked in six of the Huskies seven runs, as Washington ended Arizona's 34-game win streak.

HITTING IT DEEP: With a three-run shot against Arizona State on March 13, Kristen Rivera collected her 50th career home run. Her career total now stands at 58, which ranks second on the UW career-chart. She trails three-time All-American Jaime Clark by 15 home runs. Clark holds the UW record with 73 home runs from 2000-03. Rivera leads the conference with 17 home runs this season, including a solo home run against San Diego State in her first at-bat of the year. Rivera has hit two home runs in the same game twice this season, including three-run and two-run shots against Army on Feb. 27 and a grand slam and solo shot against Arizona State (Apr. 3). The grand slam marked the first of Rivera's collegiate career. Last season, Rivera set the UW season record with 25 home runs, which tied for the national lead.

TWO OUT RALLY: Freshman Robyn Wike has driven in 11 runs this season and eight of those have been with two outs. Wike hit in the game-winner against Northwestern in extra-innings on Mar. 26 with two outs. Sophomore Dena Tyson and Sarah Hyatt leads the team with nine two out RBIs each.

IN THE CLUTCH: Sophomore Dena Tyson had the game-winning hit in three games at the Kia Klassic, Mar. 18-21. She has driven in eight game-winners this season to lead the team. Sarah Hyatt is second on the team with six game-winners.BOEK BLANKS THE COMPETITION: Ashley Boek tossed her ninth shutout of the season in the extra-inning victory over Oregon on May 2. Her nine shutouts lead the team and surpasses her season shutout total of seven from last season. Boek has blanked her opponents nine times in 34 appearances and leads the team with a 23-7 record, 1.61 ERA and 229 strikeouts in 204.2 innings.

THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE: Senior Rita Roach leads the team with 10 sacrifice hits. Last season, Roach tied the Husky single-season record with 15 sacrifices. Aimee Minor ranks second on the squad with eight sacrifices, including three last weekend against the Oregon schools.

HYATT HITS 'EM IN: Sophomore Sarah Hyatt ranks second on the team with 42 RBIs and has had eight multi-RBI games this season. Hyatt logged seven RBIs against Texas on Feb. 13 and five against Santa Clara on Mar. 12.

STREAKING START: Freshman Dominique Lastrapes made her collegiate debut with an 11 game hitting streak. She has notched a base hit in 34 of 46 games this season and has picked up 17 multi-hit games, including four games in which she recorded three hits.

HYATT HIGHLIGHTS WIN OVER TEXAS: Sophomore Sarah Hyatt stole the show in the 14-4 mercy-rule victory over 10th-ranked Texas on Feb. 14. Hyatt hit two home runs in the game, including a game-ending grand slam. She picked up seven RBIs to fall one short of the school record. Hyatt is just the eighth player to hit a grand slam at Washington.

HUSKIES OPEN STRONG: Washington had a 10-1 record after the first two weeks of the season to tie for the second-best start in the program's history. Last season, UW set the school record with a 19-0-1 start and the 2002 squad posted a 10-1 start to the season.

MERCY-MERCY ME: The Huskies have invoked the mercy-rule six times this season. UW forced game-ending scores against San Diego State (8-0 in five innings), Texas (14-4 in six), Syracuse (11-1 in five), Dayton (10-2 in five), Santa Clara (11-0 in five) and Wisconsin (11-0 in five).

HUSKIES WIN KIA KLASSIC: Washington won the Kia Klassic in Fullerton, Calif., Mar. 18-21, defeating top-ranked and previously unbeaten Arizona 7-6 in the championship game. The Huskies swept through pool play, defeating No. 13 Pacific, Texas A&M and Princeton to receive a first round bye in the championship bracket. UW defeated seventh-ranked Oklahoma 1-0 in eight innings in the second round and advanced to the championship game when Florida State forfeited. In the championship, Aimee Minor went 3-for-3, including a double and a pair of two-run home runs with six RBIs to lift Washington to victory and hand Arizona its first loss of the season. Ashley Boek finished the tournament 4-0 with a save and a 0.68 ERA. She struck out 33 batters in 31 innings and held her opponents to a .183 batting average. Dena Tyson also had a solid weekend for the Huskies, driving in three game-winning runs.

NIST RECAP: The Huskies finished second at the National Invitational Softball Tournament in Sunnyvale, Calif., March 12-14, falling to third-ranked California 5-4 in the championship game. Washington defeated Iowa in the tournament opener before posting three consecutive shutouts against Santa Clara (11-0), Wisconsin (11-0) and No. 20 Arizona State (5-0). Junior hurler Ashley Boek pitched all five games for the Huskies, striking out 37 batters in 30 innings and allowing just four earned runs for a 0.93 ERA. Kristen Rivera led UW with a .545 (6-for-11) average, while driving in 10 runs. Sarah Hyatt tallied seven hits over the weekend with 11 RBIs and a .417 average. Dominique Lastrapes hit .462 with six hits and seven runs scored. She drove in three runs in the loss to Cal.

HUSKIES TOP CANADIAN NATIONAL TEAM: Washington defeated the Canadian National Team 7-6 in eight innings on March 4 in an exhibition game. The Huskies collected 14 hits in the opener and overcame a three-run deficit to hand Team Canada its first loss of the season. The Huskies scored the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth on two hits. With Rita Roach starting the inning on second base, Team Canada intentionally walked Kristen Rivera. Callie Bergan followed with a single to the short stop and senior Amanda Oleson delivered the game-winner with a single into centerfield. Game two of the double header was halted due to darkness after two innings with the score knotted at 3-3.

NFCA LEADOFF CLASSIC RECAP: The Huskies went 2-3 at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga., Feb. 27-29. UW opened the tournament with wins over Texas and Army, before dropping three straight games to No. 11 Florida State, No. 12 LSU and Central Michigan. Kristen Rivera led the Huskies with a .364 average (4-for-11), including three home runs and eight runs batted in. Tia Bollinger tied her career-best strikeout performance against Central Michigan fanning 12. LSU and Florida State advanced to the tournament finals with LSU claiming the 4-3 victory.

CAMPBELL/CARTIER CLASSIC RECAP: Washington went 1-1 at the Campbell/Cartier Classic Feb. 20-22, dropping a 1-0 game to Long Beach State and defeating San Diego State 7-0. The Huskies had three games rained out on Saturday and Sunday, including match-ups against Fresno State, Auburn and Hawaii. Kristen Rivera led the Huskies with an .800 average (4-for-5) and a 1.400 slugging percentage. She notched five RBIs against SDSU, including a three-run home run. Tia Bollinger threw a one-hitter against the Aztecs, not allowing a base runner until the seventh inning.

FIESTA BOWL RECAP: Washington went 6-0 at the Fiesta Bowl Classic Feb 13-15, out scoring its opponents 50-11. The Huskies defeated Syracuse 11-1, No. 10 Texas 14-4, Texas Tech 6-0, No. 18 Texas A&M 4-2, Dayton 10-2 and Massachusetts 5-2. UW had seven players hit .400 or better, led by freshman Dominique Lastrapes with a .565 average. Highlights of the weekend included a two home run, seven RBI night for Sarah Hyatt vs. Texas, Kristen Rivera's 4-for-4 performance vs. UMass and Lastrapes's extension of her hitting streak to 11 games.

NATIONAL RANKING: The Huskies are ranked sixth in the latest USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 poll release on May 5. The Huskies have been ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 poll in each of the last 138 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 69 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 121 poll datings, a streak that began with the preseason poll in 1996. Washington is ranked No. 8 in the May 4 ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate top 25 poll.HEAD COACHES: Former Washington assistant coaches Scott Centala and Steve Dailey take over the reigns as co-head coaches for the 2004 season. Centala enters his eighth season on the UW coaching staff and has helped develop Washington's program into one of the nation's elite teams. Since joining the program in the 1997 as a defensive specialist, the Huskies boast a 382-130-1 record with an incredible .746 winning percentage. All totaled, Husky players have earned 20 All-America certificates, 45 selections to All-Pac-10 squads and 31 All-Conference academic honors during Centala's tenure. Dailey begins his second season with the Huskies as the offensive coach. Last season, Dailey helped cultivate Washington's offense into one of the most powerful line-ups in the country. The Huskies pounded 75 home runs, including 25 by Kristen Rivera to set the UW record and tie for the national lead. Washington out scored its opponents by nearly double (313-161) and invoked the mercy-rule 11 times, including three times at the regional tournament to set a Washington postseason record. Dailey also helped the Huskies become more selective at the plate, increasing their number of walks and decreasing their number of strikeouts.

NFCA NAMES ALL-TIME TOP 50 TEAMS: The National Fastpitch Coaches' Association released its all-time top 50 poll with Washington ranking No. 3. The poll was complied using weekly rankings from the 1995 season to the 2003 final poll. Joining the Huskies in the top 10 are five other Pac-10 teams, including No. 1 Arizona, No. 2 UCLA, No. 7 California, No. 8 Arizona State and No. 10 Stanford.

HUSKIES ON THE AIRWAVES: KKNW AM-1150, through rights-holder Pioneer Radio & Sports, will carry eight Husky softball games, plus any postseason play during the 2004 season. Longtime baseball play-by-play man Mike Brown returns for his seventh season behind the microphone, while John Cowley will deliver color commentary for his fourth season with the Dawgs. All games will air live on KKNW, and are also available over the internet at www.gohuskies.com or www.newschannel1150.com. Broadcasts begin 15 minutes prior to first pitch; schedule is subject to change.

USA SOFTBALL REPRESENTATIVES: Junior catcher Kristen Rivera is one of 14 players named to the 2004 Women's National Elite team by USA Softball. The team was chosen from the USA player pool and will represent the U.S. in the 2004 Canada Cup, U.S. Champions Cup and other events to be scheduled. Former Husky standout and three-time All-American Jaime Clark was one of three alternates to join the 15-member USA National Team roster that will compete at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The 15-player Washington roster includes 10 returning letterwinners and nine returning starters. The 2004 team is comprised of four seniors, four juniors, four sophomores and three freshmen. Ten players hail from California, four from Washington and one from Oregon.

2003 SEASON RECAP: Washington sprinted out to its best start in the program's history and was the last undefeated team in the country with a 19-0-1 mark last year. The Huskies peaked in May, splitting their final Pac-10 games against top-ranked Arizona in Tucson to earn the No. 1 seed at the regional tournament in Lincoln, Neb. Washington powered its way through its regional competition, sweeping the field 4-0 and out scoring its opponents 35-1, including three mercy-rule victories, to advance to its sixth Women's College World Series. The Huskies opened the series with a 3-1 win over Oklahoma before dropping a pair of one-run heartbreakers to Arizona and UCLA to finish the season tied for fifth place. Kristen Rivera was a first team All-America selection and Tia Bollinger was named to the second team.

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