The Huskies will bring back 10 starters with notable experience from last year, when the team went 39-15 overall and reached the NCAA Super Regionals before being defeated by Alabama. The 2017 season will perhaps bring some extra urgency – if Washington misses out on the WCWS, it’ll mark the longest drought from the event for the team since the early 1990s.
Coach Heather Tarr enters her 13th year with depth in every portion of the lineup. Junior outfielder Trysten Melhart led the team with her .378 batting average, stealing eight bases and committing just one error in 48 starts. Ali Aguilar is the focal point of the lineup – the infielder hit .365 last year with 21 home runs and 70 RBI, scoring 76 runs and owning an on-base percentage of .488. Taylor Van Zee also knows how to get on base, as she hit .369 in 2016.
The pitching needs for the Huskies will likely be met in the same fashion as last season. Sophomore Taran Alvelo was 18-7 with a 3.16 ERA in her debut, striking out about one batter per inning; she’ll work alongside Madi Schreyer, a junior who was 13-4 a year ago with a 3.52 ERA.
NOTE: Although UW is tucked up in the Northwest corner of the nation, the softball roster is recognized. Aguilar was named to the USA Women’s National Softball team as one of 20 players; meanwhile, incoming freshman Sis Bates earned a spot on the USA Women’s Junior National Softball roster.