Softball Opens Pac-10 Season Friday

March 30, 2006

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UP NEXT: The No. 14/14 ( Washington softball team (25-8) opens the Pac-10 season this week with a game against No. 8/7 California on Friday (1 p.m.) and vs. No. 5/5 Stanford on Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.). Saturday's game will be broadcast live by FSN with Matt Morrison calling the action and Angie Mentink providing color commentary.

LAST TIME OUT: The Huskies went 3-0 last week to complete their 10-day California road trip. Washington took a pair of games from Pacific, winning 2-0 in eight innings and 4-0 on Tuesday, before defeating Nevada 10-2 on Wednesday.

NO. 8/7 CALIFORNIA (31-3)
Series vs. UW: The Golden Bears lead the series 27-23.
2005 Series: California took two of three games vs. Washington last season, defeating the Huskies 4-3 in Berkeley and 1-0 in Seattle. Washington won the final game 1-0 in Seattle.
Notes: The Golden Bears took a pair of games from UC Davis Wednesday and won the Pirate Invitational last week with a 5-1 record. Lindsay James headlines the offense with a .421 average, while Alex Sutton and Haley Woods are hitting at .419 and .408 clips, respectively. Woods leads the team with 13 doubles, 12 home runs and 42 RBIs. Kristina Thorson and Lauren Frankiewicz share pitching duties and have combined for 12 shutouts. Thorson boasts a 20-2 record, 0.66 earned run average and has fanned 214 batters in 137.1 innings. Frankiewicz has a 10-1 record, 1.96 ERA and has struck out 89 batters in 85.2 innings. California is out hitting its opponents .327 to .163 and out scoring them 202-51.

Series vs. UW: The Huskies lead the series 30-14.
2006 Series: Stanford won the 2006 series with Washington with a 6-3 win in Palo Alto and a 4-3 win in Seattle. UW won the final game of the series 6-4 at Husky Softball Stadium.
Notes: Stanford went 4-0 last week with wins over Illinois, Princeton and a pair over UC Davis. Jackie Rinehart and Catalina Morris leads the Cardinal offense with .430 and .400 averages, respectively. Maddy Coon provides the power, leading the team with nine home runs, 31 RBIs and a .726 slugging percentage. Missy Penna has handled the majority of the pitching duties for the Cardinal and has a 15-2 record, 1.31 earned run average and has struck out 115 batters in 106.2 innings. Becky McCullough has a 7-2 record in the circle with a 1.07 ERA and has struck out 44 batters in 58.2 innings.

HUSKIES ON THE TUBE: Three Washington softball games have been picked up by FSN, including April 1 vs. Stanford, April 14 vs. UCLA and April 22 vs. Oregon State. All three games will take place at Husky Softball Stadium. The April 1 and 22 games will broadcast live regionally, while the April 14 match-up vs. UCLA will air nationally on a tape-delayed basis.

HUSKIES ON THE AIRWAVES: KKNW AM-1150, through rights-holder Pioneer Radio & Sports, will carry 10 Husky softball games during the regular season and will carry all postseason games. Longtime baseball play-by-play man Mike Brown returns for his ninth season behind the microphone, while John Cowley delivers color commentary for his sixth season with the Dawgs. All games will air live on KKNW, and are also available over the internet at or Broadcasts are set for the following dates: March 10-12 (Fresno State Bulldog Classic), April 14-15 (UCLA) and April 28-30 (ASU/Arizona).

HYATT HITS THEM IN: Senior Sarah Hyatt leads the team with 30 RBIs and has moved into the No. 8 spot on the UW all-time list with 142 career RBIs. Hyatt is nine RBIs away from tying Kim DePaul for the No. 7 spot (151, 1998-01) and 18 away from the No. 6 spot held by All-American Becky Newbry (160, 1996-99).

HYATT HOMERS: Senior Sarah Hyatt leads the team with six home runs this season to being her career total to 40 home runs, which ranks fourth on the Huskies' all-time chart. Hyatt is three home runs away from tying All-American Jennifer Cline for the No. 3 spot (43, 1993-96). It's unlikely she can catch up to the top two spots, held by All-Americans Kristen Rivera (79, 2002-05) and Jaime Clark (73, 2000-03).

GRAND OLE TIME: Three Washington players have hit grand slams this season, including senior Aimee Minor and freshmen Ashlyn Watson and Alicia Matthews. Minor belted her third career grand slam vs. UCF on March 12. Watson hit a grand slam vs. Utah Valley State on Feb. 25 and Matthews hit a grand slam vs. Nevada on Mar. 22. Washington players have hit 28 grand slams in the program's 14 years. Kathy Fiske (2002-05) holds the school record with five career grand slams, followed by Jenny Topping with four (2000) and Kim DePaul (1998-2001) and Minor with three apiece.

'PITCHER' PERFECT: Freshman Danielle Lawrie threw a six-inning perfect game Feb. 26 vs. Utah Valley State, becoming just the third Husky to accomplish the feat. She notched a strikeout and two ground outs in the first inning before striking out the next 14 batters faced, sitting the Wolverines down in order in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings. Lawrie opened the sixth frame with two strikeouts before a foul out to the catcher ended the inning. The perfect game marked the first since Jamie Graves did it vs. Arizona State in a 3-0 victory on May 9, 1998. Nancy Wagner had Washington's first-ever perfect game on April 26, 1994 vs. Simon Fraser. The Huskies won that game 11-0 in five innings.

LEFTIES LEAD HUSKIES OFFENSE: Left-handed hitters Ashley Charters, Dominique Lastrapes and Marnie Koziol headline the UW offense with .459, .408 and .389 averages, respectively. Charters has the third-highest average and sixth-highest on-base percentage (.504) in the conference and is tied for the league lead with ASU's Kaitlin Cochran with 50 hits. Lastrapes ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with 30 runs, fifth with 40 hits and 10th with a .477 on-base percentage.

TYSON DOUBLES THE PLEASURE: Junior Dena Tyson has made quiet a return to the Huskies' lineup after missing the 2005 season with a shoulder injury. Ten of Tyson's 24 hits this season have been doubles, which rank second in the Pac-10. She also leads the team with 17 walks, which ties for sixth in the league.

FANNING THE COMPETITION: Freshman Danielle Lawrie has struck out 15 batters three times this season. She fanned 15 in seven innings vs. Mississippi Valley State on Feb. 18, 15 in six innings vs. Utah Valley State on Feb. 26 and 15 in nine innings vs. Pacific (Mar. 21), falling one strikeout shy of the UW record. Lawrie has posted double-figure strikeouts nine times this season, which ranks sixth in the conference. Last season, Caitlin Noble set the strikeout record with 16 vs. Willamette in six innings.

LAWRIE AMONG PAC-10 LEADERS: Danielle Lawrie is tied for second in the league lead with 17 starts this season. She is also second in strikeouts looking (52), fifth in strikeouts (181) and is tied for fifth with 14 wins. Opponents are hitting just .178 against the freshman, good for 10th in the conference.

NOBLE THROWS ONE-HITTER: Sophomore Caitlin Noble narrowly missed out on her second career no-hitter Mar. 12 when she gave up one run vs. UCF in a five-inning mercy-rule victory at the Fresno State Bulldog Classic. Noble held the Golden Knights hitless until through 4.1 innings before Cici Alvarez hit a high chopper over Noble's head. Noble tossed a no-hitter last season vs. Kansas on Feb. 26, 2005, becoming just the third UW freshman to do so.

KOZIOL OFF TO STREAKING START: Freshman Marnie Koziol opened her collegiate career with a 14-game hitting streak, marking the third-longest streak in the Pac-10 this season (17, Anna Beardman, Stanford/ 15, Caitlin Lowe, Arizona). Koziol hit safely in the first 14 games in which she appeared. The streak ended March 3 when Koziol went 0-for-3 vs. Bowling Green. Koziol has hit safely in 27 of 32 games this season.

FAST START FOR FRESHMEN: Washington's freshman class made quite a splash in the opening weekend with all five rookies making at least two starts at the UNLV Alexis Resort Kickoff in Las Vegas, Feb. 10-12 ... Marnie Koziol led the Huskies with a .700 average (7-for-10) ... Ashlyn Watson hit two home runs ... Alicia Matthews hit at a .357 clip, including a two-RBI double ... Danielle Lawrie went 3-0 from the circle, striking out 31 batters in 19 innings ... Brooke Woodward also made three starts at third base.

WASHINGTON IN THE POLLS: The Huskies held onto their No. 14 ranking in the most recent USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 poll (Mar. 29). The Huskies have been ranked in the poll for each of the last 161 datings. Washington's streak began with the team's No. 15 preseason ranking in 1994 and also included smaller streaks of 66 straight top-six rankings (2/28/96 - preseason 2001 poll) and 69 consecutive poll datings in the top-10 (preseason 1996 - 2/28/01). Washington dipped one spot in the Softball top 25 poll to No. 14.

TWO HUSKIES NAMED TO POTY WATCH LIST: Washington junior Dominique Lastrapes and freshman Danielle Lawrie are among 50 Division I players named to the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year watch list. Lastrapes is named to the list for the second consecutive year, while Lawrie is the only freshman on the list. The award, given out by the Amateur Softball Association, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country, and is considered one of the most prestigious honors in women's collegiate softball. Past winners of the award include UCLA's Stacey Nuveman, Florida State's Jessica Van der Linden and two-time winner Texas pitcher Cat Osterman.

Aimee Minor DRAFTED INTO THE NPF SENIOR DRAFT: Aimee Minor has been drafted by the Connecticut Brakettes in the second round of the 2006 Senior College Player Selections. Minor is one of 30 athletes selected by seven National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) teams over four rounds. Due to NCAA regulations, an active college senior athlete may not sign with her respective franchise until their 2006 college season is finished. Senior selection rights expire August 31, 2006.

BULLDOG CLASSIC RECAP: The Huskies went 4-0 at the Fresno State Bulldog Classic in Fresno, Calif. Mar. 10-12. UW tallied wins over San Diego (15-4), #21 DePaul (8-0), Ball State (6-4) and UCF (8-0). Sophomore Caitlin Noble posted a pair of shutouts, including a one-hitter vs. UCF. She had 18 strikeouts in 10 innings. The Huskies hit .444 as a team (44-for-99), including 19 extra-base hits (nine doubles, a triple and nine home runs). Ashley Charters hit .615 (8-for-16) with five RBIs and six runs scored. Dominique Lastrapes, who earned All-Tournament honors, hit .583 (7-for-12) with seven RBIs and five runs scored.

COMPASS INVITATIONAL RECAP: The Huskies went 3-3 at the Compass Invitational in Waco, Texas, Mar. 3-5, going 1-1 against each of the three tournament teams (Bowling Green, Mississippi State and Baylor). UW's Ashley Charters, Dena Tyson and Dominique Lastrapes were named to the all-tournament team. Charter's led the team with a .474 average (9-for-19) with two triples and was 6-for-6 in stolen bases. Tyson led the team with five RBIs and hit .333 (6-for-18) with two home runs, while Lastrapes also hit .333 (7-for-21).

HUSKY FEVER CLASSIC RECAP: The Huskies swept the field at the Husky Fever Classic, notching two wins over both Utah Valley State and Santa Clara. Three of the victories were via the mercy-rule including an 8-0, six-inning decision over UVSC on Feb. 25 and an 8-0, six-inning perfect game by Danielle Lawrie over UVSC on Feb. 26. The Huskies defeated Santa Clara 4-3 on Feb. 25 and 14-3 in five innings on Feb. 26. Dena Tyson led UW with a .667 average (6-for-9), including four doubles and four RBIs. Dominique Lastrapes hit .583 (7-for-12) with eight runs and six RBIs, while Ashley Charters hit .500 (7-for-14) with four RBIs. Lawrie finished the weekend with a 2-0 mark and had 26 strikeouts in 13 innings.

LSU TIGER CLASSIC RECAP: Washington went 4-2 at the LSU Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge, La., defeating Eastern Michigan (9-0), Western Kentucky (7-0) and Mississippi Valley State (3-0), before falling to LSU (2-0) to round out pool play. Washington defeated Western Michigan, 1-0, in the tournament semifinal and lost to LSU in the championship, 4-0. Three Huskies were named to the all-tournament team, including Ashley Charters, Sarah Hyatt and Danielle Lawrie. Charters led the team with a .471 average, eight hits and four runs. Hyatt hit .429 (6-for-14) with two doubles and five RBIs. Lawrie went 2-1 from the circle with a pair of shutouts and 27 strikeouts in 23.2 innings.

UNLV ALEXIS RESORT KICKOFF RECAP: Washington battled back from a season-opening loss to Kentucky (6-1) Feb. 9 to win its next four games to capture the UNLV Alexis Resort Kickoff Classic title. The Huskies defeated then-No. 12/13 Oklahoma, 12-4, in five innings and topped Illinois-Chicago, 5-1, Long Beach State, 5-2, and host UNLV, 3-1. Washington and Oklahoma both finished the tournament with 4-1 records but UW earned the tourney title after defeating Oklahoma head-to-head. The Huskies are now 11-3 all-time in season openers and 54-15 in season-opening multiple-team tournaments.

UW PICKED SIXTH: Washington was selected to finish sixth in the league by the Pac-10 Conference softball coaches. Head Coach Heather Tarr, who begins her second season at the helm of the UW program, returns seven starters for the 2006 campaign, including five All-Pac-10 players. The Huskies finished sixth in the conference last season with a 10-11 record after four teams tied for first place with 13-8 records. UCLA (49 points) was picked to finish first, followed by Arizona (41), Stanford (37), California (27), Oregon State (26), UW (23), Arizona State (12) and Oregon (9).

ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The 16-player Washington roster includes nine returning letterwinners and seven returning starters. The 2006 team is comprised of two seniors, six juniors, four sophomores and five freshmen. Seven players hail from Washington, seven from California, one from Oregon and one from British Columbia.

HEAD COACH Heather Tarr: Heather Tarr, a former Washington player, embarks on her second season at the helm of the Husky Softball team. In her first year, Tarr led Washington to the Super Regional where the Huskies fell one game short of advancing to the program's eighth Women's College World Series. Seven Huskies earned All-Pac-10 honors, including Kristen Rivera, who was the Co-Pac-10 Player of the Year. Three Washington players earned All-Pacific Region honors and three were named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team. The Huskies tallied 13 wins over top-25 opponents, including No. 1 Michigan, No. 3 California and No. 4 Stanford. Tarr has a 60-30 career record at Washington.

2005 RECAP: Washington took top-ranked and eventual national champion Michigan to a third-and-deciding game at the Super Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich., and lost an 11-2 game to just miss out on the program's eighth Women's College World Series. Michigan won the opening game 4-1 but Washington forced a tie-breaker with a 3-2 victory the next day. The Huskies finished the year with a 35-22 record and 10-11 mark in the Pac-10. Kristen Rivera earned her fourth All-America award and was the Co-Pac-10 Player of the Year. Three Huskies received All-Pac-10 honors and three were named to the All-Pacific Region teams (Rivera- 1st, Sarah Hyatt & Dominique Lastrapes- 2nd).

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