Moving up the rankings again, the No. 3 Washington softball team won’t get to play at Husky Softball Stadium for a while. Beginning a three-week stretch before its next home series, the UW will go for more than just the normal three games against a Pac-12 opponent.
Instead, the Huskies (35-6, 12-3 Pac-12) are flying southeast a day early to Provo, Utah to play BYU, driving about 45 miles north for a three-game set against Utah, taking Easter off, and going to Orem, Utah on Monday for a matchup with Utah Valley before finally coming home.
“Our team hasn’t played an overabundant amount of games,” head coach Heather Tarr said. “We got one game taken away at Judi Garman due to weather, so we definitely need to get the games in.”
The Dawgs take a 13-game winning streak to BYU and a run for four consecutive Pac-12 sweeps to Salt Lake City.
“We’re feeling good,” senior center fielder Amirah Milloy said. “It feels like we’re on a roll.”
Playing softball in Utah provides its own sort of challenges for visiting teams. Up in the Rocky Mountains, fly balls can really fly and carry, making it even more vital for pitchers to keep the ball down in the zone.
In this regard, getting the Wednesday game at BYU could provide a bit of practice for the Huskies’ pitchers and outfielders before they take on a conference opponent.
“Presenting the concept to our team, I think they are smart enough to understand,” Tarr said. “Whether they execute or not, that’s on them.”
On the other hand, Utah’s Dumke Field has a larger outfield than normal, going 225 feet down the lines and 235 feet out to center field. So while there’s more of a yard to keep the ball in, Washington’s outfielders are going to have more ground to cover.
“It’s kind of fun chasing down balls there, actually,” Milloy said. “I think we’ll have some fun with that.”
Senior and pitcher Taran Alvelo became the latest Dawg to get drafted, going in the second round of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) draft to the Aussie Peppers of Mankato, Minn.
The No. 8 overall pick, she’s the second UW player drafted into the NPF in the past three years, after Ali Aguilar.
“It feels awesome to have that, but I’m trying not to look too far in the future,” Alvelo said. “Right now is all that matters.”
Reach Sports Editor Josh Kirshenbaum at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @J_Kirshenbaum
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