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No. 6 Washington Heads To Florida For St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational

Feb 14, 2022

SEATTLE -- Coming off a successful opening weekend in Puerto Vallarta, the No. 6 Washington softball team is looking to continue their winning ways in the Florida sun. The Huskies defeated Lamar, Rutgers, Long Beach State and then-No. 8 Arkansas twice in the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge last weekend. Washington heads to the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational in Clearwater, Florida on Friday to compete against the nation's top teams in this nationally televised event.
 
Tournament play for the Dawgs begins on Friday, Feb. 18 when the team will face No. 18 Tennessee in the morning at 9:30 a.m. and No. 20 LSU in the evening, at 4:00 p.m.
 
Saturday, Washington will face two new foes, playing Texas Tech at 11:30 a.m. and No. 7 Oklahoma State at 3:00 p.m.
 
The Dawgs will round out the tournament going up against No. 15 Clemson at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 20.

Welcome to Team, Rookie
Olivia Johnson made a splash in her collegiate debut. The freshman earned Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player of the Week honors, and was also named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week. In the first four games of her collegiate career and the first at-bat of her fifth, Olivia Johnson was 7-for-7 with eight RBI, one triple, three home runs, three singles and seven walks (FIVE intentional). Her slugging percentage going into the competition against No. 8 Arkansas on Saturday was 2.833. No other Husky has ever started a season (or a career) going 7-for-7. Johnson is the first Husky freshman to hit back-to-back home runs in her first and second plate appearances. In her first NCAA competition against Lamar, she also tripled and collected five RBI, the most RBI for a Husky in a debut. Against No. 8 Arkansas Friday, Johnson hit a walk off home run in the bottom of the sixth to bring in three runs and solidify the run-rule victory.
 
Queen Klingler
Entering this weekend, Baylee Klingler has the best hitting percentage in Husky history (.433, min. 250 at bats). Her slugging percentage, 0.776, ranks second. This season, she's had a hit in every game and is on a six-game hitting streak, dating back to last season. Down 2-4 in the top of the sixth inning against No. 8 Arkansas, the senior knocked in her first career grand slam to give the Dawgs the lead.
 
Plain and Simple
Gabbie Plain was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week Tuesday for the eighth time in her career. The reigning Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year went 2-0 last weekend, earning wins against No. 8 Arkansas Friday and Rutgers Saturday.
Plain ranks fourth in Husky history with 875 strikeouts – she only needs 21 strikeouts to pass Taran Alvelo to be second on the career list (only behind Danielle Lawrie). She has pitched 13 innings this season, given up zero runs and collected 17 strikeouts. Nine of her strikeouts came against No. 8 Arkansas.
 
Gone Streaking
Sami Reynolds has had a hit in every game this season, and is on an eight-game hitting streak dating back to the NCAA Regionals last year against Michigan. The senior has also had a double in every competition. She is on a 10-game streak for reaching base safely, dating back to the 2021 season. Reynolds is second on the team with a .571 average.
 
Leaders of the Pack
Freshman Olivia Johnson leads the Huskies with a .700 average (which also leads the Pac-12), 2.633 OPS, 1.800 slugging % and three home runs. Sami Reynolds leads the team with five doubles. Madison Huskey leads with 10 RBI, and this also ranks second in the Pac-12.
Reynolds and Huskey are tied for the team lead with eight runs.
 
Iron Sharpens Iron
Washington has compiled a tough schedule that will challenge the purple and gold from the get-go. 24 of the Husky's 51 scheduled games are against opponents ranked or receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll. The breakdown is as follows: No. 3 UCLA (3) //  No. 5 Oklahoma State (1) // No. 8 Arkansas (2) // No. 9 Arizona (3) // No. 11 Missouri (1) // No. 14 LSU (1) // No. 15 Clemson (1) // No. 18 Oregon (3) // No. 21 Arizona State (3) // No. 22 Tennessee (1) // RV Northwestern (1) // RV Iowa State (1) // RV Stanford (3)
 
On the Road Again
The Huskies will play four weekends of non-conference action on the road before returning to Husky Stadium. Washington's home opener and lone non-conference home game is slated for March 8th against Robert Morris. In the nonconference slate, six games are against opponents that finished last season in the Top 25, in No. 6 Oklahoma State, No. 11 Arkansas, No. 13 Missouri, No. 15 LSU, No. 18 Clemson and No. 23 Tennessee. Overall, in the non-conference schedule, UW will face five opponents from the SEC, two from the Big Ten and the Big 12, and one from the ACC.
 
Red, White and Blue
Selected by members of the USA Softball Women's National Team Selection Committee, Coach Heather Tarr will lead the red, white and blue at the 2022 World Games, in addition to various international competitions throughout 2022. Various Huskies have competed for Team USA over the year, and have been named to future rosters as well.  The Husky freshmen trio of Kinsey Fiedler, Olivia Johnson and Rylee Holtorf won the WBSC U-18 World Cup in December 2021 as part of USA Softball's U-18 Women's National Team. The three also won gold at the 2021 Junior Pan American Games, where the U.S. recorded a 10-0 run-rule victory over Mexico in the gold medal game, to finish the tournament undefeated at 6-0.
 
Seniors Sami Reynolds and Baylee Klingler were named to the USA Softball roster for the 2022 Canada Cup, held in Surrey, B.C., June 20-26, and the Japan All-Star Series, which will take place in Fukushima, Japan, Aug. 1-9. Earlier this year, Reynolds was named as an alternate for the 2022 USA Softball National Team that will compete at the 2022 World Games in July in Alabama.  

Follow Washington softball on social @uwsoftball.