Friday, April 09, 2010

The Washington Huskies will put their consensus No. 1 ranking in the two major polls on the line this weekend (single games Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) when Arizona comes up to Seattle. The Wildcats are ready to take over at the top if things work out well for them, as U of A is No. 2 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and No. 3 (behind Michigan) in the NFCA/USA Today balloting. Additional information is available from news releases issued by UW and UA. The Washington release showcases Arizona's strengths:

As always, [the Wildcats] boast one of the country's most powerful offenses, scoring a nation-best 8.36 runs per game. UA is led by USA Softball Player of the Year candidate Brittany Lastrapes, who is one of the best hitters in the country, batting .443 with 12 home runs, 43 RBI and 41 runs scored. Freshman Brigette Del Ponte has added some serious pop, blasting a team-high 15 home runs and driving in 55 runs to lead the Pac-10. The Wildcats, who were thin on pitching last year, now also boast one of the top pitchers in the country in freshman phenom Kenzie Fowler. Rivaling [the Huskies'] Danielle Lawrie nearly stat for stat, Fowler is 21-2 with a 0.83 ERA and has struck out 192 batters in 134.2 innings pitched.