Softball Opens WCWS Vs. Oklahoma Thursday

May 25, 2004

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UP NEXT: The Washington softball team (40-17) won the No.8 Regional Tournament in Athens. Ga., to advance to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla., May 27-31. The Huskies, who are making their seventh World Series appearance, are seeded eighth and will open play against No. 1 seed Oklahoma (42-19-1) on May 27 at 4 p.m. (PST). Joining Washington and Oklahoma at the double-elimination tournament are No. 2 seed UCLA (41-9), No. 3 seed LSU (54-10), No. 4 seed Florida State (61-10), No. 5 seed California (50-11), No. 6 seed Michigan (54-11) and No. 7 seed Stanford (46-17). Washington's first round game will be televised live on ESPN2 and will be on KKNW 1150 AM radio.

UW IN THE COLLEGE WORLD SERIES: The Huskies are making their second straight appearance in the College World Series (1996-2000, 2003-04) and seventh overall. Washington has a 13-10 record in those games and was national runner-up in 1996 and 1999. Last season, Washington defeated Oklahoma before dropping a pair of one run games to Arizona and UCLA to tie for fifth place. The Huskies are 46-18 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.

CONSECUTIVE NCAA APPEARANCES: Washington's 11 consecutive regional appearances ties with Oklahoma for the fourth longest active string in NCAA softball. Fresno State tops the list with 23 appearances, followed by California with 19 and Arizona with 18. Massachusetts, Michigan and Nebraska have the sixth longest streak with 10 appearances.

FAMILIAR FOES: The Huskies have faced six of its potential seven College World Series opponents this season for a 4-10 record. Washington defeated Oklahoma 1-0 in eight innings and took three of four from UCLA. UW lost four games to California, three to Stanford and single games to LSU and Florida State earlier this season. Washington has not played against Michigan this year.

2004 REGIONAL RECAP: Washington entered the 2004 Regional Tournament in Athens, Ga., as the No. 1 seed and swept the field, 4-0, to earn its seventh bid to the Women's College World Series. The Huskies defeated Chattanooga (4-1), Michigan State (12-8), Georgia Tech (2-0) and Georgia (3-1) to clinch the WCWS berth. Freshman Dominique Lastrapes was named tournament MVP and Aimee Minor and Ashley Boek were named to the all-tournament team.

LASTRAPES SPARKS UW OFFENSE: Freshman leadoff hitter Dominique Lastrapes opened the regional tournament with 10 consecutive hits in 10 at-bats. She finished the tournament hitting 12-for-15 (.800) with four RBIs and six runs scored to earn Regional MVP honors. Lastrapes went 4-for-4 vs. Chattanooga, 5-for-5 vs. Michigan State, 2-for-3 vs. Georgia Tech and 1-for-3 vs. Georgia.

BOEK BREAKS SINGLE-SEASON PITCHING RECORDS: Junior pitcher Ashley Boek is making an assault on the Husky single-season record books. Last week at the regional tournament in Athens, Ga., Boek broke school records for starts (41) and complete games (32). She also ranks second on the UW season list in innings pitched (266.1) and strikeouts (276) and third in wins (29) and shutouts (11).

UNDEFEATED IN REGIONALS: Washington finished the No. 8 Regional Tournament in Athens. Ga., with an unblemished 4-0 record. It marked the seventh time in Washington's 11 postseason appearances that the Huskies have cruised through regionals unscathed. UW also swept its regional opponents in 1996 (3-0), 1997 (3-0), 1998 (3-0), 1999 (4-0), 2000 (4-0) and 2003 (4-0).

ROAD TESTED: Washington has spent 11 of the season's 15 weeks on the road. The Huskies have logged 15,946 air miles in that time, visiting five states (Arizona, California, Georgia, Oklahoma and Oregon), not including miles shuttled between airports, restaurants and hotels. In that time, UW has posted a 33-11 (.750) record, proving that life on the road isn't necessarily a disadvantage.

RIVERA NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Washington catcher Kristen Rivera was named Pac-10 Player of the Year and becomes the first Husky to ever receive conference player of the year honors. Rivera was also named to the All-Pacific-10 first team as she helped lead Washington to its 11th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. She ranks among the top five in the Pac-10 in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, home runs, total bases and walks. Her 58 career home runs rank seventh all-time in the Pac-10. Rivera is a two-time All-American and has been a top 10 finalist for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year each of the last two seasons.

SIX RECEIVE ALL-PAC-10 HONORS: Six Huskies were named to the Pacific-10 all-conference teams, led by first team selection and conference player of the year Kristen Rivera. Pitcher Ashley Boek and third baseman Kathy Fiske were named to the second team, while first baseman Sarah Hyatt, shortstop Amanda Oleson and second baseman Dominique Lastrapes were honorable mention picks.

RIVERA & LASTRAPES NAMED TO ALL-REGION TEAMS: Washington catcher Kristen Rivera and second baseman Dominique Lastrapes were named to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-Pacific-Region teams. Rivera was a first team selection for the second-straight year. She leads the team with a .390 (55-for-141) batting average, 17 home runs and 50 walks. Rivera boasts a .837 slugging percentage and .563 on-base percentage. Lastrapes was a second team selection. She leads the team with 74 hits and 41 runs scored, while ranking second with a .381 average and 10 doubles. Lastrapes leads the team with 22 multiple hit games and eight game-winning runs.

SCOUTING OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma (44-20-1, 11-7 Big 12) earned the No. 1 seed to the College World series after defeating top-ranked Arizona in the No. 1 regional semifinal and Louisiana-Lafayette in the IF-game. The Sooners, who ranked 21st in the latest USA Today/NFCA top 25 poll, placed fifth in the Big 12 regular season with an 11-7 record. OU is out scoring its opponents 295-149 and its speed has resulted in a 95-9 advantage in stolen bases. Oklahoma has two players hitting above .350, led by Heather Scaglione with a .391 (75-for-192) clip and Norelle Dickson with a .353 (76-for-215) average. Scaglione leads the team with 16 home runs, 40 walks and 49 RBIs, while Dickson leads the team with 25 stolen bases in 30 attempts. OU's four member pitching staff is headlined by Kami Keiter (21-13) with a 1.21 ERA, seven shutouts and 170 strikeouts in 237.1 innings. Nicole Denes has also been a significant contributor to the Sooner pitching rotation with a 16-6 record, 1.86 ERA and five shutouts. Washington leads Oklahoma 5-4 in the all-time series, including a 1-0, eight-inning victory over the Sooners at the Kia Klassic on Mar. 20. Dena Tyson notched the game-winning RBI-double for UW. Ashley Boek picked up the win in the circle as she scattered four hits and struck out eight.

SCOUTING UCLA: UCLA (43-9, 12-8 Pac-10) enters the tournament as the No. 2 seed after sweeping the field at the No. 2 regional in Los Angeles. The Bruins defeated Alabama 7-0 in the championship game. UCLA, who ranks fifth in the latest NFCA top 25 poll, is out hitting its opponents .295 to .154 and out scoring its opponents 240 to 64. The Bruins placed fourth overall in the Pac-10 with a 12-8 record, after beginning the conference season with an 0-4 mark. Three players are hitting above .350, including Caitlin Benyi (.395), Stephanie Ramos (.361) and Jodi Legaspi (.361). Benyi leads the team with 64 hits, 14 doubles, 22 home runs and 39 RBIs. Ramos ranks second with 60 hits and 12 home runs, while Legaspi's 33 runs batted in rank second. The Huskies defeated UCLA three out of four times this season, including all three Pac-10 games. It marked the first time in UW history that the Huskies have swept the series vs. UCLA since going to a three-game series in 2000.

SCOUTING LSU: LSU (54-10, 22-6 SEC) enters the CWS as the No. 3 seed after sweeping its opponents at the No. 3 Regional in Waco, Texas. The Tigers defeated Illinois, 4-1, in the regional championship to advance to their second World Series. LSU earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament by winning the SEC Tournament Championship with a 4-1 victory over Georgia. The team is out hitting its opponents .318 to .217 and is out scoring its opponents 375 to 112. The team is led by Lauren Castle with a .377 (75-for-199) average, followed by Leslie Klien (.362) and Stephanie Hill (.342). Klien leads the team with 19 doubles, 13 home runs and 57 RBIs, while Hills has hit 13 home runs and has driven in 54 runs. Kristen Schmidt (35-5) and Emily Turner (18-5) share pitching duties for LSU. Schmidt leads the team with a 1.21 ERA, 14 shutouts and 318 strikeouts in 277 innings. Turner boasts a 1.67 ERA and has thrown nine shutouts this season. Washington dropped a 4-2 decision to the Tigers at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga., on Feb. 28.

SCOUTING FLORIDA STATE: Florida State (61-10, 9-1 ACC) enters the tournament as the No. 4 seed after winning the No. 4 Regional in Tallahassee, Fla. The Seminoles defeated Oregon two out of three times to earn the World Series berth. FSU, who ranks third in the latest NFCA poll, is out scoring its opponents 364 to 70 and out hitting its opponents .294 to .127. Florida State was an automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament after winning the ACC tournament over Georgia Tech, 3-1. The team is led by Collegiate Player of the Year finalist Jessica van der Linden both at the plate and on the mound. She leads the team with a .389 average (74-for-190) and 53 RBIs. Van der Linden is also half of a stifling pitching staff that allowed just 70 runs in 71 games this season. She boasts a 28-7 record, 0.52 ERA, including 19 shutouts and has struck out 366 batters in 230.1 innings. Casey Hunter is the other half of FSU's pitching staff, with a 33-3 record, 0.58 ERA, 14 shutouts and 275 strikeouts in 240.2 innings. The Seminoles defeated Washington at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga., earlier this season, 6-1. The Huskies lead the all-time series against Florida State 4-3.

SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: California (50-11, 13-8 Pac-10) enters the CWS as the No. 5 seed after sweeping the field at the No. 5 Regional in Lincoln, Neb., including a pair of 2-0 wins over Nebraska in the semifinal and championship games. The Bears, who rank second in the latest NFCA top 25 poll, have won their last 12 games in a row and finished the Pac-10 season tied for second place with Stanford. The team is out scoring its opponents 278 to 88 and holds the advantage in RBIs, 237 to 74. California is led by Vicky Galindo with a .371 average and 17 doubles, while Kaleo Eldredge and Lindsay James are hitting .350. Haley Woods leads the team with 53 RBIs and 16 home runs. Kristina Thorson (27-3) and Kelly Woods (23-8) anchor the Bear pitching staff. Thorson maintains a 0.77 ERA with 11 shutouts, while Anderson has a 1.43 ERA and six shutouts. California defeated Washington four times this season and leads the all-time series 25-22.

SCOUTING MICHIGAN: Michigan (54-11, 17-3 Big Ten) earned the No. 5 seed after defeating Oregon State, 5-2, in the IF game on Monday morning. The Michigan regional struggled with wet weather as most of Saturday's competition was rained out and Sunday's championship game had to be moved to Monday. The Wolverines, who rank sixth in the latest NFCA top 25 poll, are out hitting their opponents .286 to .171 and are out scoring their opponents 271 to 83. The team has four hitters with .300 or above averages, including Tiffany Haas (.350), Jessica Merchant (.342) and Meghan Doe and Jennifer Olds with .315 clips. Haas leads the squad with 71 hits and 29 walks, while Merchant leads the team with 12 doubles, 15 home runs and 48 RBIs. The Wolverines have a pair of aces in the circle in Nicole Motycka (22-4) and Jennie Ritter (24-7). Motycka boasts a team-low 0.77 ERA with nine shutouts and 160 strikeouts in 173.1 innings pitched. Ritter has a 1.09 ERA, eight shutouts and 265 strikeouts in 204.2 innings pitched. Washington holds the 5-4 lead in the all-time series, including a 5-3 win last season.

SCOUTING STANFORD: Stanford (47-17, 13-8 Pac-10) enters the tournament as the No. 7 seed after defeating Hosftra 3-1 in the IF championship game. The Cardinal, who rank eighth in the latest NFCA top 25 poll, placed second in the Pac-10 and have won six of their last seven games. Stanford is out hitting its opponents .264 to .195 and is out scoring its opponents 216 to 117. The team has a trio of players hitting above .340, including Jackie Rinehart (.351), Lauren Lappin (.347) and Jessica Allister (.341). Rinehart leads the squad with 67 hits, while Lappin's 40 RBIs and 13 doubles rank second on the team. Allister leads the Cardinal with 10 home runs and 47 runs batted in. Dana Sorenson (28-9) is Stanford's ace in the circle. She has a 1.44 ERA with 12 shutouts and 293 strikeouts in 242.1 innings. Washington leads the all-time series 29-12 but lost three to the Cardinal earlier this season.

THE LONG BALL: Washington has belted 43 home runs this season, 11 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 12.

FISKE BREAKS INTO TOP 10 RBI LIST: With the game-winning home run against UCLA on May 5, Kathy Fiske notched her 100th career RBI to break into the school's top 10 career list. Fiske's career RBI total now sits at 105 and ranks eighth all-time. She is 42 RBIs away from the No. 7 spot held by Kim DePaul with 151 career runs batted in.

BOLLINGER REWRITES RECORD BOOKS: Senior pitcher Tia Bollinger has pitched more innings (839.1) and made more starts (124) than any other Husky in school history. Bollinger also holds career records for saves (12) and season records for saves (7), games started (39), wins (36) and innings pitched (287.0).

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.

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.

FULL HOUSE: Washington's game against UCLA on April 10 was sold out with 1,416 fans. The Huskies pulled 10,628 fans through its gates over 13 home dates for an average of 817 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 finished fifth overall with a 10-10 record.

FREE RIDE: Kristen Rivera has drawn 50 walks this season- more than double of any other Husky. Her 50 free trips are more than any other player in the Pac-10 this season and places her third on Washington's career chart with 108 walks. Last season, she walked just 29 times. Rivera needs seven more walks this season to set the Husky record. The current record of 56 walks was set by Kim DePaul and Jenny Topping in 2000.

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. 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 was 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 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, whose 17 home runs ranked second in the Pac-10, hit 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.

IN THE CLUTCH: Sophomore Dena Tyson had the game-winning hit against Georgia in the Region No. 8 Championship on May 23. She has driven in nine game-winners this season, which leads the team. Sarah Hyatt is second on the team with six game-winners.

NATIONAL RANKING: The Huskies are ranked seventh in the latest USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 poll release on May 12. The Huskies have been ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 poll in each of the last 139 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 122 poll datings, a streak that began with the preseason poll in 1996. Washington is ranked No. 8 in the May 18 Softball Collegiate top 25 poll.

THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE: Senior Rita Roach leads the team with 11 sacrifice hits. Last season, Roach tied the Husky single-season record with 15 sacrifices. Aimee Minor ranks second on the squad with nine sacrifices.

HYATT HITS 'EM IN: Sophomore Sarah Hyatt leads the team with 49 RBIs and has had 12 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 42 of 57 games this season and has picked up 22 multi-hit games, including a 5-for-5 performance against Michigan State at the regional tournament.

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.

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 388-135-1 record with an incredible .741 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.

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.

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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