UW Heads To OKC For Women's College World Series

May 31, 2010

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THIS WEEK: Washington returns to Oklahoma City for the 2010 Women's College World Series, looking to defend its 2009 WCWS championship. The Huskies swept through their regional, beating North Dakota State and North Carolina (twice), and then took two of three from Oklahoma last weekend at Husky Softball Stadium. Washington, ranked No. 1 in both polls, but seeded No. 3 in the NCAA tournament, is the highest remaining seed as both No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Michigan lost in the Super Regionals.

Washington will open play Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time vs. Georgia. Last year, the Huskies also opened vs. Georgia, and then needed to the get past the Bulldogs to get to the championships series, which the UW did, losing the first and then winning the second semi-final game vs. Georgia. The winner of the UW-Georgia game will play the winner of the game between Tennessee and Arizona on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The losers of those two games will play Saturday at 11:30 a.m. The tournament continues through either June 8 or 9 (depending on the length of the championship series). All games will air on either ESPN or ESPN2 and all UW games will be broadcast by KKNW AM-1150 radio. You can also catch the games online at ESPN3.com or listen to the radio call at www.kknw1150.com.

Check gohuskies.com for all the latest info, particularly on schedules, game times and TV arrangements.

WOMEN'S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Women's College World Series, played at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla., gets underway with Thursday, June 3 with four games: Missouri vs. Hawai'i, UCLA vs. Florida, Arizona vs. Tennessee and Washington vs. Georgia. The Huskies' half of the bracket includes Georgia, Tennessee and Arizona. Each half of the bracket essentially operates in the same format as an NCAA Regional (double elimination). The winners of the two halves of the bracket then meet in the title series, which is a best-of-three June 7-8-9. Last year, the Huskies beat Georgia and Arizona State in its first two games. Needing to beat Georgia just once in two tries, the Huskies lost the first and won the second to move into the championship series. There, the UW swept Florida by scores of 8-0 and 3-2, to win the first NCAA softball championship in Husky history.

HUSKIES vs. THE WOMEN'S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES FIELD: Washington has played three of the seven other teams in the 2010 Women's College World Series this season. In total, the Huskies went 7-1 against Hawai'i, UCLA and Arizona. Here's a rundown of the Huskies' all-time record, postseason record and, where applicable, 2010 record, against the other teams in the 2010 WCWS:

#4 Florida - Washington is 3-0 vs. Florida, with all three meetings having taken place last year. In the regular season, the Huskies beat the Gators, 1-0, in nine innings in Palm Springs, Calif. Then the two teams met in the Women's College World Series championship series, which the Huskies swept, 8-0 and 3-2.

#5 UCLA - The Bruins lead the all-time series vs. the Huskies, 44-24, and UCLA is 5-1 against the Huskies in postseason play. Washington took two of three from then-No. 5 UCLA April 1 and 3 (rain forced a doubleheader on Sunday). The Bruins scored a run in the sixth to win the first game, handing Danielle Lawrie her first loss of the year. But on Sunday, the Huskies won two in a row, 3-1 and 7-2. In the first game, the UW broke the tie with two in the sixth as Shawna Wright doubled to drive in one and Jenna Clifton was hit by a pitch with the sacks full to force in another. In the nightcap, the UW scored two in the first (on an error and a Niki Williams RBI double) and never looked back. Lawrie worked 5.1 innings before getting a rest, allowing two hits and no runs while fanning eight.

#6 Georgia - Washington leads the all-time series vs. Georgia, 7-3, and the UW is 5-2 vs. UGA during the postseason. Notably, five of those 10 all-time meetings came last year - two in a tournament in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and then three more in the Women's College World Series. In Alabama, each team notched a 2-0 victory. At the WCWS, the Huskies opened play with a 3-1 win over the Bulldogs, but then had to face them in the semifinals. Georgia won the first game, 9-8 in nine innings, to force a second game, which the UW won, 9-3, to advance to the championship series.

#9 Missouri - The Huskies are 5-1 all-time against Missouri, with the series having started in 1999. The most recent matchup was in 2008, when the Huskies blanked the Tigers, 6-0, in a tournament in Albuquerque. The UW and Mizzou have never played one another in the postseason.

#10 Arizona - Arizona is 56-22 all-time against the Huskies, including 6-1 in postseason action. This season, Washington swept a three-game series from the then-second-ranked Wildcats April 9-11 at Husky Softball Stadium, winning by scores of 2-1, 7-0 and 9-3. A Hooch Fagaly RBI single scored the first run in the opener and Kimi Pohlman doubled and scored to make it 2-0. Danielle Lawrie struck out 14 in the win. In game two, Shawna Wright and Jerrin Fa'asua belted homers and Lawrie struck out 12 in a two-hitter for the win. The Huskies completed the sweep as Lawrie fanned 13 while Williams and Wright each drove in three runs.

#15 Tennessee - The Huskies are 2-2 all-time vs. the Lady Vols, with Tennessee winning games in 1998 and 2005 and the Huskies winning in 1999 and 2009. That 1999 game was an NCAA Regional game in Seattle, the only postseason matchup between the UW and UT. Last year, the Huskies opened the season with a 2-1 win over Tennessee in a game played in St. George, Utah.

#16 Hawai'i - Washington is 9-2 all-time against Hawai'i, including a 1-0 record in postseason play. The Huskies beat Rainbow Wahine twice this season in a pair of games at the Hawai'i in Honolulu. The UW won the first game, 1-0, in eight innings. With the score tied at 0-0 heading into the eighth, Jenn Salling was placed at second base on the international tiebreaker rule. A flyout moved her to third and, after a groundout, she scored on an error. Danielle Lawrie struck out 15 in the four-hit shutout. A day later, Washington beat UH, 8-4. An RBI single from Lawrie in the first opened the scoring, but Hawai'i scored two in the second to move in front. However, the Huskies posted seven in the fourth to put the game away. Maggie Wagner scored on an error to tie it and Jenna Clifton singled to drive in the go-ahead run. A fielder's choice and an error brought home two more and the UW capped the inning with another RBI single from Lawrie and a two-run homer from Niki Williams. Lawrie went the distance for the victory.

BECOME A HUSKY FAN ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER: Fans can follow the Husky softball team and receive updates throughout the postseason 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 can also be found on Facebook via the Washington Softball fan page at www.facebook.com/UWHuskySoftball. To become a fan of Danielle Lawrie, search Facebook for Danielle Lawrie.

THREE-SEED MAGIC?: The Huskies earned the No. 3 seed for the NCAA Tournament, the same seed they earned for last year's tournament before going on to win the Women's College World Series. UW has been seeded No. 1 overall just once in their history, which came in 2000, but they went on to finish just fifth at the WCWS that year. The No. 3 seed equals the second-highest ranking for UW in school history, something they have done twice before and has brought them good luck each time. Besides last year's national-champion three-seed, UW was also picked third in 1999, going on to finish as national runner-up.

HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: The Huskies retained the No. 1 spot in both of the final regular-season NFCA and USA Softball polls. They were the No. 1 team in both polls every week this season, the first time that has ever happened in the USA Softball poll since its inception in 2003. The Huskies were a unanimous choice on eight occasions in the NFCA poll and seven times in the USA Softball poll. No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 UCLA and No. 6 Arizona all received No. 1 votes during the season but never enough to shake the Huskies

The only rating in which UW did not rank No. 1 heading into the postseason was the NCAA's RPI, which takes strength of schedule into consideration. UW came in at No. 2 in that ranking behind Alabama. The Huskies started the season ranked No. 1 for the first time in school history. Seven of the eight Pac-10 teams finished the regular-season ranked, with four of those seven in the top 10 (Washington, Arizona, UCLA, Arizona State).

HUSKY POSTSEASON HISTORY: The Huskies are in the midst of their 17th-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, missing out only during their inaugural season in 1993. Washington has a 77-32 record in postseason (50-12 Regionals/7-5 Super Regionals/20-15 WCWS) and has advanced to the Women's College World Series 10 times (1996-2000, `03, `04, `07, `09, `10), finally winning the National Championship last year with a 2-0 sweep over Florida in the best-of-three championship series.

The Huskies had previously advanced to the national championship game in both 1996 and `99. Their 17-straight tournament appearances are tied for the fifth-longest active streak with Oklahoma, while their 77 wins in the tournament are fifth-best in NCAA history. Additionally, UW's 10 WCWS appearances are fifth-most in history.

NCAA REGIONALS WRAP-UP: The Huskies waited a long time to host an NCAA Regional - 10 years to be exact - and they didn't disappoint the home crowd, winning three close games to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals. UW opened up with a 3-0 win over 2009 Super Regional participant North Dakota State, with Danielle Lawrie firing a four-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts while also providing the offense with a two-run home run. On Saturday, the Huskies used an unearned run to eek out a 1-0 win over North Carolina, with Lawrie breaking her own school record with her 22nd shutout, allowing just two hits and striking out 11. Then on Sunday, with UNC needing to win three games in one day - including two over UW - the Huskies were able to escape the winner-take-all game when they won a 2-1 thriller in eight innings on freshman Shawna Wright's walk-off double down the left field line. Lawrie out-dueled Tar Heel ace Danielle Spaulding - who fired two no-hitters over the weekend - for the second time, allowing just one run on three hits and striking out 15, giving her 39 Ks and just one walk in 22 innings over the weekend.

NCAA SUPER REGIONALS REPORT: Washington faced a stern test in the NCAA Super Regionals as Oklahoma took the series to a third game. In the first of the three, the Sooners belted five home runs (three from Amber Flores) and knocked off the Huskies, 6-1, in front of a standing-room crowd at Husky Softball Stadium. However, with their backs against the ropes, the Huskies came out swinging the following day, posting back-to-back shutout wins over Oklahoma, 3-0 and 4-0. In the second inning of the first game, Niki Williams tripled and scored on a Taylor Smith double for the first run, and then got a bases-loaded walk to Hooch Fagaly and a groundout to score two more. Meanwhile, Danielle Lawrie threw a two-hitter, striking out 10. In the nightcap, freshman catcher Shawna Wright got things started with a three-run homer in the first and it was for than enough for Lawrie, who went the distance once more, fanning 17 in a five-hit shutout.