#13 Washington Softball 2015 Preview

Washington Huskies

Overall Rank: #13
Conference Rank: #3 Pac-12
#13 Washington Softball 2015 Preview
Washington Team Page


Washington continued its run as one of the more consistent programs in the nation in 2014 by making a return trip to the Gainesville Super Regional, where they fell in the decisive third game to eventual national champion Florida. With having to replace Kaitlin Inglesby and Bryana Walker, this is going to be one of the more inexperienced teams that coach Heather Tarr has had, especially in the circle. But the Huskies will still have plenty of talent and will be a tough out for anyone in the nation to beat on a given day.

2014: 37-15, 13-9
2014 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Heather Tarr

Field Players:
Outfielder/Infielder Kylee Lahners is the top returning all-around player for Washington. Lahners hit .346 last season with 17 homeruns and 61 runs batted in. The challenge for Lahners will be how she deals with opposing teams pitching around her and making someone for the Huskies beat them. Infielder Ali Aguilar is going to have to build on a very good 2014 season to compensate for some of the lost offensive production from last season in the Washington lineup. Aguilar hit .333 with seven homeruns and drove in 39 runs. She also had a .410 on-base percentage.

This is where the Huskies coaching staff is going to be tested the most as they will be very inexperienced in the circle this season. Kasey Stanchek is the only returning pitcher from the 2014 season and she only pitched 19.2 innings overall and will be counted on heavily to replace the loss of Inglesby and Walker, who were a strong 1-2 punch last season for Washington. Stanchek was 2-1 with a 3.56 earned run average and did throw two complete games in the three games that she did start in for the Huskies. Transfer Casey Stangel, who had a very solid freshman season for the University of Missouri in 2014, was 15-11 with a 3.27 earned run average for the Tigers. Stangel was also the 2013 MaxPreps National High School Softball Player of the Year, so the talent is there and playing closer to home should work out for her.

Who to Watch:
Infielder Kimberlee Souza returns in 2015 after missing the entire 2014 season due to injury. In 2013 Souza showed she could hit for plenty of power and knocked out eight homeruns and drove in 39. If Souza is healthy and can get back to her level of production from 2013 that could be the protection behind Kylee Lahners that should keep opposing pitchers more honest when pitching against this Washington lineup.

Final Projection:
This is a pretty efficiently laid out schedule for the Huskies that should allow this young team some time to develop during the non-conference schedule. A matchup with Minnesota at the UNLV Sportco Kickoff Classic highlights the opening weekend of play. The Huskies then have a big test against a strong Oklahoma team at the Littlewood Classic in Tempe, Arizona on February 13th. That will be a great early season showdown between two perennial powers. The other key test for the Washington in the non-conference schedule is a neutral site battle over in Honolulu on February 20th against a strong Central Florida team out of the American Athletic Conference. The conference schedule as always is a gauntlet, but it does start off with two key home series with Arizona State and UCLA before heading down to Eugene to take on Oregon. The ability for Washington to hang around .500 in conference play after these first three series will go a long way in dictating the direction of the 2015 season. There are going to be ups and downs while the Huskies get more experience, but if they stay healthy and steadily progress, they should be in position for another trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Ali Aguilar, IF, 153; Kylee Lahners, IF/OF, 153
Hits: Kylee Lahners, IF/OF, 53
Home Runs: Kylee Lahners, IF/OF, 17
RBIs: Kylee Lahners, IF/OF, 66
Runs: Kylee Lahners, IF/OF, 38
Stolen Bases: Ali Aguilar, IF, 5

Wins: Kasey Stanchek, P, 2
Innings Pitched: Kasey Stanchek, P, 19.2
Strikeouts: Kasey Stanchek, P, 13
Complete Games: Kasey Stanchek, P, 2

Madness 2015 NPF Draft Rankings:
#11 Kylee Lahners

Madness 2015 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#12 Krystal Aubert
#14 Taylor Van Zee


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