No. 23 UW Opens Pac-10 Play By Hosting Oregon, OSU

March 26, 2008

SEATTLE - The No. 23/25 (NFCA/USA Softball) Washington Huskies open Pac-10 Conference play this week when they host the Oregon schools. First up is a 1:00 p.m. contest against Oregon on Friday. The UW will then host Oregon State on Saturday and Sunday. The Huskies and the Beavers will play at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, and then at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Last week, the UW went 2-3 at the prestigious Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif. All three of the Huskies losses came to teams ranked in the Top 25.

Despite their 2-3 record last week, the Huskies have now won 17 of their past 22 after a 4-4-1 start. Washington entered the Judi Garman Classic riding a nine-game winning streak, but had it snapped in their first game against No. 25 San Diego State. It was their longest winning streak since winning nine in a row during the 2004 season (Feb. 7-Feb. 15).

Washington has won the past five against Oregon, including sweeping all three games last season, and leads the all-time series 38-12. The Huskies won 7-2 on Apr. 13 at Oregon, and then won by scores of 6-4 (Apr. 28) and 8-0 (Apr. 29) in Seattle.

The Ducks are riding an 11-game winning streak, including a pair of wins on Tuesday (Mar. 25) against UC Davis. They have played seven games against ranked opponents and are 1-6 in those games. Oregon is missing the services of sophomore first team All-American Jenn Salling, who is competing on the Canadian National Team in the Olympics with Husky pitcher Danielle Lawrie. Salling finished second in the nation last season in batting average (.481).

The Huskies hold a 39-14 advantage in the series against OSU, despite the Beavers winning two of the three games last season. The UW won 3-1 on Apr. 14 in Corvallis and then lost the next day, 5-4, also in Corvallis. On Apr. 27 in Seattle, OSU blanked the Huskies 2-0.

Oregon State had won nine in a row before losing to Portland State, 3-1, on Tuesday (Mar. 25). The Beavers have just one senior on their roster in utility player Cambria Miranda, who is a two-time All-American. Miranda is hitting .318 and leads the Beavers with eight doubles and six home runs. Sophomore 1B/OF Dani Chisholm leads Oregon State with a .400 batting average and has six doubles and 20 RBI, as well as a team-best 12 SB.

After making its way back up the polls to No. 18, the Huskies dropped five spots this week in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 Poll (Mar. 25) to No. 23. The Huskies have now been ranked in the poll for each of the last 188 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). Also, Washington dropped six spots in the Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll (Mar. 25) to No. 25.

Washington is hitting .318 on the season and has six players that are hitting over .300, led Jace Williams with a .425 average and Bailey Stenson with a .398 average. Also, Alicia Blake is hitting .360, Marnie Koziol is hitting .356, Amanda Fleischman is batting .324 and Morgan Stuart is hitting .309.

Caitlin Noble's 116 strikeouts this season give her 721 for her career, which ranks No. 5 all-time in school history. She needs 33 more to pass Tia Bollinger (753 Ks/2001-04) for fourth place and 174 more to pass Jennifer Spediacci (894 Ks/1997-00) for the top spot.

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