Washington Begins Season On The Road
SEATTLE - The Washington Huskies will take the field for their first game action of the 2021 season this week. Washington begins the year on the road, playing at the UNLV Classic against Dixie State, Southern Utah, and UNLV. Washington will play five games this weekend, beginning Friday. All those games will be streamed for free via the UNLV live stream.
The Huskies return every single inning played from the 2019 season and add five freshmen to the 2021 roster. Washington was ranked #2 in the country to begin the year in the NFCA poll, the fourth consecutive year that Washington has been ranked in the nation's top five to start the season. Washington has been ranked in the nation's top five for 14 consecutive weeks and in the top ten for 44 consecutive weeks. The last time Washington was unranked was 2008, 186 weeks of rankings ago.
Four of Washington's regular starting lineup had perfect 2020s in the field, with Sis Bates, SilentRain Espinoza, Morganne Flores, and Jadelyn Allchin all making zero errors. Washington's fielding percentage was .981 in 2020, its second straight season with a fielding percentage over .980. Each of the last two years Washington has matched its program-record fielding percentage.
Sis Bates hit .529 in 2020, going hitless once all season. Since back-to-back hitless games to in March 2019, Bates has gone hitless eight times: she has eight games with three or more hits in that time and 24 multi-hit games. Bates' career on-base percentage is now up to .451 after last year's .574 mark. Since the beginning of her sophomore year, Bates had reached base safely in 119 of 138 games. She is second among active NCAA players in career runs scored with 172 and fourth in hits with 245.
Both Morganne Flores and Sami Reynolds enter 2021 with double-digit on-base streaks. Flores reached base in ten straight to end 2020, while Reynolds reached base in every game of 2020 and now has a 33-game on-base streak. That's the second-longest on-base streak in Washington history, behind only Jaime Clark's 42-game streak. Both Baylee Klingler and Sis Bates enter 2021 on long hitting streaks as well, with Klingler sitting at nine games and Bates at seven.
A STRONG OPENING ACT
Four Huskies made their Washington debuts last year. Jadelyn Allchin, Baylee Klingler, Brooke Nelson, and Kelley Lynch hit a combined .360 with a .422 on-base percentage and 32 extra-base hits. In the circle, the duo of Nelson and Lynch pitched to a 7-0 record, with a 2.75 ERA and 61 strikeouts. By wRC+, Klingler was the second-most valuable hitter in the entire Pac-12, with Lynch and Allchin both in the top 50. Klingler led the Pac-12 in batting average and RBI while Lynch was second in home runs with eight.
PLAIN PITCHING, IT'S A PAIN HITTING
Entering her fourth season at Washington, Gabbie Plain is already all over the record books. The Australian is fourth in career ERA at 1.39, tenth in wins (56), sixth in saves (6), eighth in shutouts (22), and eighth in strikeouts (521). Plain has a chance to become the seventh Husky ever with 600+ strikeouts this year, as well as the third ever with 30+ shutouts. Among active pitchers, Plain is fourth in career ERA and sixth in shutouts.
Make sure to follow the Huskies on Twitter with the username @UWSoftball and on Instagram at uwsoftball.