St. Louis, Mo., March 2, 2016 – The No. 3-ranked Washington University in St. Louis softball team opens a 16-game road trip in Florida with two contests on Saturday, March 5, at The Spring Games in Clermont, Fla. The Bears will play six games at The Spring Games and 10 contests at the 2016 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship.
NFCA RANKINGS – Following a 4-0 start to the 2016 season, WashU moved up to No. 3 in the 2016 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Top-25 Poll. The Bears are up five spots from their preseason No. 8 ranking. WashU returns six starters and 13 letterwinners from last year's squad that posted a 33-13 record and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time in the last 14 years.
WASHU LOOKS TO DEFEND UAA TITLE – The Bears will play 10 games at the 2016 UAA Championship Tournament, held Tuesday-Sunday, March 8-13, in Altamonte Springs, Fla. WashU won seven of its last eight games in 2015 to finish in a tie with Emory with an 8-2 record. The conference title for WashU was its second-straight and ninth in school history.
MEHRLE AND PITKIN HONORED BY UAA – Junior outfielder Hannah Mehrle and senior pitcher Annie Pitkin were named the UAA Hitter and Pitcher of the Week Feb. 22. Mehrle batted .769 (10-for-13) with three doubles, six RBIs and a 1.231 slugging percentage in four wins at the Warrior Spring Fling Feb. 20-21. Pitkin tossed a pair of complete-game shutouts at the Warrior Spring Fling. She allowed one hit and struck out 11 in a 10-0 win in five innings over Hendrix Saturday. The next day, Pitkin struck out 13 batters and allowed three hits in an 8-0 win over Hendrix.
MEHRLE OFF TO FAST START – Mehrle went 10-for-13 at the plate in the opening weekend, and ranks sixth in NCAA Division III with a .769 batting average. Mehrle is also tops in D3 in triples (three) and sixth in on-base percentage (.800).
BEARS IN SEARCH OF 500TH WIN – WashU has compiled a 498-189-1 (.725) overall record in 17 seasons, and has made 13 appearances in the NCAA Tournament. The Bears have also won nine UAA Championships – 2000, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2015.
LIVE COVERAGE – All 18 home games will be broadcast live at no cost on the Bear Sports Network. Jay Murry will provide play-by-play. Live stats will also be available on the WashU Athletics website.