Huskies Head South to Face Arizona, ASU

April 9, 2008

SEATTLE - No. 23/23 (NFCA/USA Softball) Washington travels to the state of Arizona to take on a pair of Top 10 teams in Arizona and Arizona State. The Huskies play at No. 9/7 Arizona on Friday at 7:00 p.m., before heading north to Tempe to face No. 1/2 Arizona State on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and on Sunday at 12:00 p.m.

Washington (24-12-1, 3-3 Pac-10) went 2-2 in Pac-10 action last week, losing at UCLA, 7-6, on Wednesday and dropping a close 3-1 decision to No. 7/7 Stanford on Sunday in Seattle. The Huskies picked up wins at home on Friday over No. 23/21 California, 2-1, and on Saturday over Stanford, 4-1.

The Huskies moved up two spots this week in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll to No. 23, while moving up one spot in the Softball poll to No. 23. It is the first time all season that the Huskies have held the same position in both polls, and also marks the 190th-straight time that the UW has been ranked in the NFCA poll dating back to the start of the 1994 season.

You can follow the Huskies this weekend by catching all three games live on the radio or through Friday's game will be on KIXI 880AM, while Saturday's game will either be on KIXI or KKNW 1150AM depending on if the Seattle T-Birds hockey team go to a game six in their playoff series. If the T-Birds do go to six games, then the game will be on KIXI. If not, the game will be on the regularly scheduled KKNW. Sunday's game will be broadcast on KKNW.

Freshman Jace Williams continues to pace the Huskies offensively, as she ranks third in the Pac-10 in hitting (.408), eighth in slugging percentage (.641) and ninth in on-base percentage (.470). Sophomore Bailey Stenson is tied for sixth in hits with 49, while junior Marnie Koziol is tied for third in stolen bases with 20.

In the circle, freshman Aleah Macon (13-5) is sixth in the conference in strikeouts with 164 and seventh in ERA at 1.66. Senior Caitlin Noble (11-7) is ninth in the Pac-10 with 121 strikeouts and needs 28 more to pass Tia Bollinger (753 Ks/2001-04) for fourth place in the Huskies career record book.

Arizona (27-10, 4-2 Pac-10) went 2-1 last weekend on the road in Pac-10 play, defeating Oregon State, 6-0, and splitting with Oregon. Arizona defeated the Ducks 5-1 on Saturday before falling 3-2 on Sunday. The Wildcats hold a 52-17 advantage in the series against the UW, including winning four the five games the two teams played last season.

The Wildcats are led offensively by a pair of freshman outfielders in Lauren Schutzler and Brittany Lastrapes, who is the younger sister of ex-Husky All-American Dominique Lastrapes. Schutzler leads the team with a .383 average, while Lastrapes is hitting .379 and has scored a team-best 37 runs. In the circle, senior RHP Taryne Mowatt, who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the World Series last season, is 16-7 with a 1.67 ERA and 239 strikeouts. RHP Lindsey Sisk has gone 10-3 with a 1.62 ERA and 66 strikeouts in her freshman season.

Arizona State (41-2, 5-0 Pac-10) has been ranked No. 1 in the NFCA poll since March 4 and is riding a 10-game winning streak. The Sun Devils feature a pair of All-Americans in junior OF Kaitlin Cochran, who led nation in batting average last year, and senior LHP Katie Burkhart, who is 22-2 this season and leads the Pac-10 in ERA (0.62) and strikeouts (276).

Cochran leads the Pac-10 in four major offensive categories, including batting average (.456), runs (55), slugging percentage (.903) and on-base percentage (.639). The Sun Devils are hitting a conference-best .342 as a team, and have two players hitting over .400 in Cochran and senior OF Jackie Vasquez (.447).

Washington owns a dominant 42-14 lead in the all-time series with the Sun Devils, but ASU has won four of the past five after the Huskies had won 12 in a row.

Following this weekend, Washington returns back to Seattle to host UCLA next Friday (Mar. 18) at 3:00 p.m. The two squads will also meet up on Saturday at 2:00 pm.

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