Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Sports


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Originally published May 31, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified June 13, 2007 at 9:01 PM

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Husky softball faces Cinderella in World Series

It would appear to be a best-case scenario for the Washington softball team. To open the eight-team Women's College World Series today in...

Special to The Seattle Times

Women's College World Series


At Oklahoma City, Okla.

Today's first-round games: times Pacific; seedings in parentheses, all games on ESPN.

10 a.m.: (6) Washington (40-17) vs. (14) DePaul (46-11)

Noon: (2) Northwestern (50-11) vs. (7) Arizona State (54-15)

4 p.m.: (4) Texas A&M (46-12) vs. (5) Tennessee (59-6)

6 p.m.: (1) Arizona (44-12-1) vs. (8) Baylor (50-14)

Today

No. 6 UW (40-17) vs. No. 14 DePaul (46-11), 10 a.m., ESPN/KKNW (1150 AM)

advertising

It would appear to be a best-case scenario for the Washington softball team.

To open the eight-team Women's College World Series today in Oklahoma City, Okla., the sixth-seeded Huskies (40-17) will take on the tournament's Cinderella, 14th-seeded DePaul (46-11). ESPN and KKNW (1150 AM) will carry the game live at 10 a.m.

Only one potential problem for UW: Cinderella has been on a roll.

The Blue Demons, regular-season champions (20-0) of the Big East (generally regarded as a second-tier softball conference), have marched through the postseason with five straight wins -- the first four coming on shutouts.

Today

No. 6 UW (40-17) vs. No. 14 DePaul (46-11), 10 a.m., ESPN/KKNW (1150 AM)

No team goes far in the WCWS without a dominant pitcher, and DePaul has one in senior Tracie Adix, a hard-throwing right-hander who graduated from Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Adix has pitched 21 scoreless innings in the postseason, picking up two wins (the second with four innings of hitless relief) last weekend as DePaul swept third-seeded Oklahoma (55-8) in a best-of-three Super Regional on the Sooners' field. Oklahoma began the series with the nation's third-best batting average.

Adix (21-2) enters the Series with the nation's fourth-best earned-run average (0.79).

Women's College World Series


At Oklahoma City, Okla.

Today's first-round games: times Pacific; seedings in parentheses, all games on ESPN.

10 a.m.: (6) Washington (40-17) vs. (14) DePaul (46-11)

Noon: (2) Northwestern (50-11) vs. (7) Arizona State (54-15)

4 p.m.: (4) Texas A&M (46-12) vs. (5) Tennessee (59-6)

6 p.m.: (1) Arizona (44-12-1) vs. (8) Baylor (50-14)

Washington will counter with another power pitcher from the Pacific Northwest, sophomore Danielle Lawrie of Langley, B.C.

Lawrie ranks fifth nationally in strikeout ratio -- 11.6 strikeouts per seven innings (422 K's in 255 innings).

The WCWS is a double-elimination event until six teams are gone. The two survivors will play a best-of-three series for the national title starting Monday.

In such a format, winning the opening game is a big advantage. Win today, and the Huskies will play the Arizona State-Northwestern winner at 3 p.m. Friday (ESPN2).

Lose, and the road gets rougher. UW must then win two games on Saturday plus one more, and possibly two, on Sunday to stay in the tournament.

Lawrie showed her stamina two weeks ago in Lincoln, Neb., when she pitched 16 innings in two games on the final day of UW's regional win over Georgia.

She generally pitched well in two games last weekend, picking up wins over 11th-seeded Alabama, which featured an offense ranked No. 1 in four categories. Still, she surrendered eight runs (seven earned) in two of her 13 innings.

Lawrie impressed Alabama hitters and coaches not just with her power but also her changeup.

"Her changeup is very good," said Alabama coach Patrick Murphy, who was an assistant on the Canadian national team when Lawrie was teenage player. "She's gotten a lot better with that."

At 18, Lawrie jolted the softball world at the 2005 World Cup when she tossed a five-hitter at the vaunted U.S. national team, striking out seven and winning 2-1. That ended a three-year winning streak for the Americans.

Lawrie will pitch on the same field today.

"Her advantage [in postseason play] is that she's pitched internationally," Murphy said. "There are not many kids who have pitched for the U.S. in a major type of Pan-Am Games or Olympic qualifier or U.S. Cup.

"Those are some big-time atmospheres, and for her it's no big deal. She's done it with Canada on her shirt, and I think that's a huge advantage for her going into Oklahoma City."

Notes

• Lawrie and UW first baseman Dena Tyson were named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's 18-player All-America first team, and shortstop Ashley Charters was selected for the 18-player second team. Lawrie and Tyson were selected for the first time. Charters was a third-team selection last year.

• This is the first WCWS in 26 years with no California school in the final eight. UCLA has won 10 NCAA titles. The Bruins, seeded 12th in this year's tournament, lost their regional at home.

• Fifth-seeded Tennessee has the top WCWS pitcher statistically in senior Monica Abbott -- first in strikeout ratio (14.5 K's per seven innings) and second in ERA (0.65).

• Four of this year's final eight appeared in last year's WCWS: Arizona, Arizona State, Tennessee and Northwestern. Arizona and Northwestern played for the title, and Arizona swept the best-of-three battle of the Wildcats, 8-0 and 5-0.

Arizona has won seven NCAA titles and has appeared in 19 of the past 20 World Series.

UW at the World Series
Year W-L Finish
2004 0-2 Seventh (tie)
2003 1-2 Fifth (tie)
2000 1-2 Fifth (tie)
1999 3-1 Second
1998 3-2 Third
1997 2-2 Third (tie)
1996 3-1 Second

Stat leaders in WCWS
Note: "Rk" is rank including all games
Batting average (individual)
Rk Player, school Avg.
1 Katilin Cochran, Arizona State .495
4 India Chiles, Tennessee .466
19 Caitlin Lowe, Arizona .425
24 Tonya Callahan, Tennessee .416
43 Dena Tyson, Washington .406
Batting average (team)
Rk School Avg.
3 Tennessee .328
11 Baylor .315
48 Arizona .294
51 Northwestern .291
58* Washington, Texas A&M .288
Slugging percentage
Rk Player, school Avg.
4 Katilin Cochran, Arizona State .897
12 Dena Tyson, Washington .804
13 G. Cooper, Northwestern .800
28 Megan Gibson, Texas A&M .745
37 T. Williams, Northwestern .719
Strikeouts per 7 innings
Rk Player, school SO
1 Monica Abbott, Tennessee 14.5
4 Megan Rhodes, Tennessee 11.7
5 Danielle Lawrie, Washington 11.6
6 Katherine Burkhart, ASU 11.3
10 Taryne Mowatt, Arizona 10.1
Earned-run average
Rk Player, school ERA
2 Monica Abbott, Tennessee 0.65
4 Tracie Adix, DePaul 0.79
7 A. Scarborough, Texas A&M 0.99
9 Katherine Burkhart, ASU 1.06
12 Becca Heteniak, DePaul 1.16
40 Danielle Lawrie, Washington 1.54
Wins
Rk Player, school W-L
1 Monica Abbott, Tennessee 46-3
4 T. Mowatt, Arizona 36-10
6 Katherine Burkhart, ASU 35-11
9 Eileen Canney, Northwestern 31-9
12 Danielle Lawrie, Washington 29-11
*-tied

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

More Sports

NFL, union resume labor talks at mediator's office

UPDATE - 08:52 AM
Hundreds attend funeral for fallen Mich. player

UPDATE - 09:40 AM
Norway's Tarjei Boe wins men's biathlon at worlds

Crying is OK, but admitting it is apparently not

NEW - 08:46 AM
Tripoli ruled unsafe for international soccer

More Sports headlines...


Get home delivery today!

Video

Advertising

AP Video

Entertainment | Top Video | World | Offbeat Video | Sci-Tech

Marketplace

Advertising