#12 Washington Softball Preview

Washington Huskies

Overall Rank: #12
Conference Rank: #6 PAC-12
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The Washington Huskies reached the NCAA Tournament for the 18th time in 19 years and for the seventh consecutive year under Head Coach Heather Tarr’s leadership.  Coach Tarr has built a powerhouse at Washington, reaching the Super Regionals six of those same seven years.  The club was the last undefeated team, at 20-0, in 2011. Even though the 2012 version of the Huskies will miss last year’s senior class that included All-American and PAC-10 Defensive Player of the Year Jen Salling, it returns key members in all phases.

2011: 37-16, 9-12
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Heather Tarr, 8th Season

Field Players:
Seniors Niki Williams, Kimi Pohlman and Taylor Smith are talented and experienced.  Williams was a 2011 All-American.  She played in all 53 games in 2011, hit .364, had 56 RBI, slugged .727 and belted 14 home runs.  Pohlman, an outfielder, hit .432, scored 57 times in 52 games, collected 79 hits, stole 25 bases and earned All-Conference honors.  Smith hit .444 in 27 games, slugging .944, mashing 10 home runs, driving in 32.

Sophomore Kaitlin Inglesby was the ace in the circle as well as a significant contributor on offense.  The All-Conference pick was 25-10 with a 2.36 ERA.  She hurled 21 complete games and struck out 169.  At the plate, the pitcher hit .422, led the team with 11 home runs and knocking in 40. Senior Jenna Clifton and sophomores Bryanna Walker and Whitney Jones round out the staff, collecting 10 wins between them in 20 starts.

Who to Watch:
Coach Tarr adds five freshmen to her squad for 2012.  These talented youngsters include infielder Courtney Gano, infielder Kylee Lahners and outfielder Tara Bellusci.  Gano, an All-State selection in California, hit .630 with 28 RBI her senior season at Bonita High School.  Notably, Gano made no errors at shortstop.  Lahners, a USA Jr. National Team member, was also a High School All-American at Laguna Hills High School.  The second baseman hit .506 with eight home runs.  Bellusci, an outfielder from Anacortes High, hit .558 her senior season.

Final Projection:
With the pieces in place that Coach Tarr has, the 2012 Washington Huskies are set to stay a national power.  Salling will be difficult to replace, but Williams, Pohlman and Smith have the experience and ability to fill the void.  Inglesby will be pivotal to the Huskies 2012 success in the circle and at the plate.  Washington will compete in the very tough PAC-12 and reach the tournament.  If the pieces come together, Coach Tarr’s bunch will reach a Super Regional or beyond.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Kimi Pohlman, OF, 183
Hits: Kimi Pohlman, OF, 79
Home Runs: Kaitlin Inglesby, P, 11
RBIs: Niki Williams, UTL, 56
Runs: Kimi Pohlman, OF, 57
Stolen Bases: Kimi Pohlman, OF, 25

Wins: Kaitlin Inglesby, P, 25
Innings Pitched: Kaitlin Inglesby, P, 217.2
Strikeouts: Kaitlin Inglesby, P, 169
Saves: Kaitlin Inglesby, P, 5

Madness 2012 NPF Draft Rankings:
#6 Nikia Williams

Madness 2012 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#5 Kylee Lahners
#38 Courtney Gano