You might be wondering who are the team UW Softball. The Washington Huskies softball team competes in NCAA Division I collegiate softball competition on behalf of the University of Washington. Husky Softball Stadium in Seattle, Washington, serves as the team’s home field for Pac-12 Conference games. There will be 14 more appearances by the Huskies in the Women’s College World Series until 2020, including a championship in 2009.
Now that you know about the UW Softball Team, let us look at their history and past achievements.
History Of UW Softball
Head coach Teresa Wilson helmed the team during its debut season in 1993. The squad qualified for the NCAA tournament in their second year and advanced to the Women’s College World Series six times, including the championship games in 1996 and 1999. From 1996 to 2000, Wilson’s squad placed no lower than sixth in the country, and he collected a record of 532–198–1 in that time (.728).
Wilson’s time as head coach was cut short in late 2003 because she was embroiled in a drug distribution controversy involving her players. After Rick Neuheisel’s resignation in the NCAA wagering controversy, she became the second high-profile coach to be sacked in Washington that year.
For one season in 2004, Scott Centella and Steve Dailey shared the head coaching duties after Wilson was fired.
The Heather Tarr Era is born.
Dick Thompson, the interim athletic director, hired Heather Tarr as Washington’s new head coach after the 2004 season. During her first two seasons as the head coach, Tarr guided the Huskies to back-to-back appearances in the Women’s College World Series, where sophomore star Danielle Lawrie headed them.
After the game, the Huskies would suffer a series of misfortunes. The fact that Lawrie had been selected for the 2008 Canadian Olympic squad meant that she would have to forgo the 2008 season to prepare. Seniors Ashley Charters and Lauren Greer had season-ending injuries before the season began. For the 1st time since 2002, the UW Huskies failed to go beyond the first round of the NCAA Tournament without three of its greatest players.
Although Lawrie, Charters, and Greer were all back in 2009, and Washington started the year 18–0, it was a different story in 2010. After finishing third in the nation during the regular season, the Huskies will benefit from playing their WCWS game at home.
On the other hand, Husky Softball Stadium could not host an NCAA tournament game because it lacked permanent lighting. Therefore, the Huskies were forced to go to Amherst, Massachusetts, for the regional.
The Minutewomen fought back to beat the Huskies, setting up a game for both teams in the tournament’s final round. Lawrie faced Brandice Balschmiter of the University of Massachusetts.
In the 15th inning, the Huskies scored five runs to win 6-1 and advance to the super regionals, where they’ll meet Georgia Tech in Atlanta. There were no surprises for the Yellow Jackets, as they were routed 7–1 and 7–0 in the first and second games to secure a trip to Oklahoma City for Washington.
With victories against Georgia and Arizona State, Washington advanced to the semifinals of the WCWS. Second-place UConn Huskies beat the Bulldogs in the second semifinal game to go to their first national championship series since 1999.
Then the first time in their history, the Washington Huskies won a national championship after crushing Florida 8–0 in the 1st game of the best-of-seven series. This was the Pac-12’s 22nd championship in 28 World Series competitions.
Since the Finals
Lawrie led UW to a 45–6 regular season record, but the team was knocked out of the WCWS in the first round after losing the tournament’s first two games. On 2013, the Huskies reached the semifinals in their first trip back to OKC. For the 1st time in UW history, the Huskies missed out on the WCWS for three consecutive seasons from 2014 to 2016, despite reaching the Super Regionals twice.
In 2017, the Huskies started their return to national prominence, led by sophomore ace Taran Alvelo. A top-eight seed would give the Huskies home-field advantage throughout the tournament; after defeating No. 2 Auburn and No. 1 Oklahoma on their opening weekend, they spent the rest of the season in the top-10 and headed into their final regular-season series against Utah at No. 8. Even though Washington had won the first two games of the series, it fell 12–1 in the third game before rallying for a 12–12 tie in the top of the fifth to escape the mercy rule and finally winning the game in the top of the eighth with a run.
To qualify for the WCWS, Washington received the No. 7 seed in the tournament, breezed through its regional, and beat Utah in a rematch. A pair of defeats to No. 1 Oklahoma in the semifinals ended the Huskies’ season after Alvelo led them to low-scoring upsets over No. 3 Oregon and No. 9 UCLA.
Current Situation OF UW Softball
Alvelo and freshman Gabbie Plain guided Washington to a perfect 28-0 non-conference record in 2018, aided by their pitching duo. The Huskies were rated No. 1 for most of the season until losing back-to-back series sweeps to No. 3 UCLA and No. 2 Oregon with one weekend remaining in the regular season, which halted their momentum.
A convincing win against Oregon State gave Washington the No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament, where it went undefeated in the regular and super regional rounds. A 2–0 victory against No. 4 Oklahoma has secured thanks to a save by Alvelo after Plain took the start in the first game in OKC. Alvelo slammed the door shut in the seventh inning of Washington’s next game against Oregon, a 6–2 triumph against No. 1 Oregon, to emulate Tarr’s tactic.
While Alvelo threw a complete game shutout to lead UW to the championship series, Tarr handed the ball to the junior in the semifinals. Washington was scheduled to play Florida State, which was ranked sixth. A solo home run by Meghan King in the sixth inning gave Florida State the victory in the 1st game of the series against Penn State. In the second game, UW led 3–0, but Florida State rallied to win the game and secure the title with eight unanswered runs.
Despite a loss to No. 1 UCLA and national player-of-the-year Rachel Garcia in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the University of Washington finished the season with a 50-win record, winning 23 of its final 24 games and earning the No. 3 seed in the tournament, and advancing to the WCWS with a 5-0 record.
After losing their first game against Arizona in extra innings, the Huskies advanced to the semifinals by winning two loser-out games against Minnesota and Oklahoma State. They would then face UCLA twice in the finals. Two pitchers faced off against Garcia for nine innings, with Plain hurling six innings and Alvelo taking over three. Garcia hit a three-run walk-off home run against Plain in the bottom of the 10th inning, ending the Huskies’ season 3–0.
After a 23-2 non-conference record, Washington was forced to abandon their season the week before Pac-12 play was scheduled to begin because of the COVID-19 epidemic.
After reading the above information, you will gain a detailed and complete understanding of the history of UW softball and how it reached its current glorious state. Knowing these are a must for many Husky softball fans, so you must know them too.