No. 1 Huskies Kick Off Home Tournament Thursday Night
March 10, 2010
HUSKY SOFTBALL CLASSIC
Husky Softball Stadium, Seattle, Wash.
Live Stats and Radio Links
Thursday, March 11
No. 1 Washington (17-1) vs. Miami of Ohio (5-7), 5 p.m.
Radio: KIXI 880 AM
Friday, March 12
Portland State (6-11) vs. Miami OH, 3:30 p.m.
#1 Washington vs. Miami OH, 6 p.m.
Radio: KKNW 1150 AM or KIXI 880 AM (depends on UW Women's Basketball)
Saturday, March 13
Miami OH vs. Portland State, 10:30 a.m.
Miami OH vs. Seattle U (1-13), 1 p.m.
#1 Washington vs. Portland State, 3:30 p.m.
#1 Washington vs. Seattle, 6 p.m.
Sunday, March 14
Portland State vs. Seattle, 10:30 a.m.
#1 Washington vs. Seattle, 1 p.m.
Radio: KKNW 1150 AM
All Times Pacific
All games available via Gametracker, www.GoHuskies.com
After spending its first four weeks on the road, the No. 1 Washington softball team stays home this week to host the fifth annual Husky Softball Classic at Husky Softball Stadium, featuring Miami of Ohio, Portland State and Seattle U. This week will be an historic one for the Husky program as Thursday's home opener will also mark the first-ever night game in Husky Softball Stadium history. After winning the 2009 National Championship, the Huskies were lucky enough to receive donations to install permanent light stands and Thursday's 5 p.m. game against Miami of Ohio will show off those lights for the first time. The Huskies will play two more night games over the weekend, including Friday at 6 p.m. against Miami and Saturday at 6 p.m. against Seattle U. UW also faces Portland State at 3:30 on Friday and wraps up the weekend on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Seattle.
TOURNAMENT AT A GLANCE
This week marks the fifth annual Husky Softball Classic. Last year, UW went 3-0 in the tournament before their final game against Boise State was cancelled due to rain. The Huskies defeated Seattle U, 8-0, and Portland State twice, by scores of 11-1 and 8-2, both in five innings, the latter of which was stopped short due to rain.
RADIO BROADCAST UPDATE
Three of this weekend's games will be broadcast live on the radio, with KKNW 1150 AM and KIXI 880 AM working together to bring fans the call from Mike Brown and John Cowley. Due to the Husky women's basketball team playing in the Pac-10 Tournament this weekend, the schedule will be adjusted slightly, with Thursday's game moving to KIXI 880. Friday's game will air on either KKNW 1150 or KIXI 880, depending on whether the women's basketball team continues to win. Should they advance to the second round, the softball game will move over to KIXI. Should the team not advance to Friday's play, the softball game will air as scheduled on KKNW. Stay tuned to GoHuskies.com for more information.
Live stats will be available for all of the tournament games, even those not involving the Huskies, on GoHuskies.com which will also carry a webcast for the five Husky games.
BECOME A HUSKY FAN ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER
Fans can follow the Husky softball team and receive updates throughout the season on the UW Softball Twitter page by logging on to www.twitter.com/UWSoftball. Head coach Heather Tarr and National Player of the Year Danielle Lawrie have their own Twitter accounts as well and fans can follow them at www.twitter.com/CoachTarr and www.twitter.com/daniellelawrie5.
The Huskies won the Bank of Hawaii Invitational in Honolulu with a 5-0 record, capturing the tournament title for the second time in three years. The Huskies won two games via run rule but also had some close contests, including a 1-0 eight-inning win over Hawaii in pool play in their first extra-innings contest of the season. In that game, Danielle Lawrie fired her seventh shutout of the season and struck out 15 batters, including seven of the last eight to help the Huskies squeak out the victory and the top seed for the playoffs. She went on to be named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, going 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 22 innings and she continued to contribute with her bat, hitting one home run and driving in a team-high eight runs. The Huskies had five different players hit home runs over the weekend, including two by freshman Shawna Wright and one each from Morgan Stuart, Niki Williams and Jerrin Fa'asua, the latter of which was her first career home run. The Huskies took two games from Seattle U, 12-0 and 11-2, and also beat East Carolina, 6-0. After the 1-0 pool play win, they knocked off Hawaii for the second time in the championship game, 8-4, behind two RBI from Lawrie and three hits from Kimi Pohlman.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS
The Huskies still hold the No. 1 spot in both national polls for the fifth straight week, and regained their unanimous status in both polls. The Huskies received all 30 first-place votes to be named the unanimous No. 1 for the fourth time this season by NFCA and they received all 25 first-place votes to earn their second unanimous No. 1 by ESPN.com/USA Today.
The Huskies started the season ranked No. 1 for the first time in school history, earning the top spot unanimously in the NFCA/USA Today poll while earning 17 of 20 first-place votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. UW finished last season atop both polls after winning the Women's College World Series and they return six starters from that squad including National Player of the Year Danielle Lawrie. Arizona is No. 2 in both polls and six of the eight Pac-10 teams are in the nation's top 13 (Washington, Arizona, Arizona State, California, Stanford, UCLA).
LAWRIE NEARING ANOTHER MILESTONE
With 31 strikeouts last weekend, Danielle Lawrie put herself just two Ks shy of her 1,500th career strikeout. Assuming she reaches the mark on Thursday against Miami, Lawrie would become just the eighth pitcher in NCAA Division I history with that many strikeouts and just the fourth in Pac-10 history. The next three players ahead of Lawrie in NCAA history are also the three Pac-10 pitchers ahead of her as she chases the conference's all-time record. She is currently 142 behind Cal's Michelle Granger for third, 172 behind Arizona State's Katie Burkhart and 270 behind all-time leader Alicia Hollowell of Arizona, who is fifth in NCAA history with 1,768 Ks.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
Miami (OH) Redhawks
2009: 33-424 (NCAA Regionals)
Series vs. UW: First Meeting
About Miami (OH): The Redhawks come into the weekend with a 5-7 record but they have hopes for another solid season after advancing to the NCAA Tournament last year and winning their first-ever postseason game. Miami returns 13 letterwinners from the 2009 team that was 33-24 overall, 13-9 in the Mid-American Conference and won the MAC Tournament Championship. Leading the way is last year's MAC Tournament MVP, sophomore pitcher Jessica Simpson, who is coming off a season where she was 24-12 with a 2.17 ERA. The 24 wins was the second-most in school history. The RedHawks also boast a deep and versatile offense led by senior shortstop Sarah Billstrom, who hit .331 in 2009 and has hit the team's only two home runs this year. Junior Kathryn Russette leads this year's team so far with a .333 average and five RBI.
Series History: This week marks the first-ever meeting between the Huskies and Miami.
Series vs. UW: Washington leads 3-0
About Seattle: The Redhawks are struggling to start the 2010 season, just their second in Division I. They have played some tough competition, including last week's Bank of Hawaii Invitational. Katie Petersen leads the Redhawk offense with a .292 average while Katie Antich is tops on the squad with 11 hits and eight runs scored. Sarah Hernandez, meanwhile, has blasted two of the team's eight home runs. Kelsey Reynolds has seen most of the work in the circle, going 1-4 with 17 strikeouts in 29 innings.
Series History: UW won two games over their inter-city rivals more than 2,000 miles away from Seattle, defeating the Redhawks twice via the run rule in last week's Bank of Hawaii Invitational. The Huskies won the first match-up, 12-0, in five innings and the second, 11-2, also in five innings. Freshman Baily Harris earned the win in both games, including her first career shutout in the first game when she allowed just one hit in five innigs. The Huskies won the first-ever meeting between the two teams last year in the Husky Softball Classic, earning an 8-0 victory in six innings. Danielle Lawrie allowed just two hits and struck out 13 while the Huskies pounded out 12 hits.
Portland State Vikings
Series vs. UW: Washington leads 34-1
About Portland State: The Vikings are looking to snap a three-game losing streak and get back to .500 after facing a tough schedule to start the season, including games against UCLA and Cal (twice). PSU is coming off their second Pacfic Coast Softball Conference title in four years and an NCAA Tournament berth last year but lost five first team all-conference players to graduation, including co-PCSC Player of the Year Jackie Heide. Portland State does return junior RHP Nichole Latham, last season's PCSC Pitcher of the Year, and senior RHP Tori Rogers, a second team All-PCSC honoree a year ago. Brandi Scoggins leads the offense with a .358 average and was named PCSC Player of the Week this week after .667 (12-for-18) with three doubles and five RBI in the Eller Media Stadium Tournament in Las Vegas.
Series History: The Huskies have dominated the series between the Northwest rivals, but the Vikings have closed the gap slightly over the years. After UW won the first 32 games in the series, PSU got its first win against UW in the 2008 Husky Softball Classic when they earned a 4-2 victory. UW took back control of the series last year in the tourney with wins of 11-1 and 8-2.
WRIGHT HITS AT THE RIGHT TIME
Freshman Shawna Wright has shown a knack for getting her hits when it means the most. The rookie, who hit a game-winning, pinch-hit home run for her first career hit, has more RBI (16) than hits (12) and nine of those 12 hits have driven in runs. In fact, the more runners are on base, the better Wright gets. She is hitting just .133 with the bases empty, .286 with runners on base and runners in scoring position and .333 with the bases loaded. Her 16 RBI rank third on the team behind Danielle Lawrie (27) and Niki Williams (19).
LEFT OF CENTER
Danielle Lawrie's first eight home runs this season went to straight away centerfield, a sign of her true power. Last weekend the string was broken as she launched her ninth home run of the season, this time to left field.