After finishing third at the 2013 Women’s College World Series and earning the No. 3 ranking from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association last week, the Washington Huskies softball team has caught the attention of the coaches in the Pac-12.
The Huskies are in a tie with Arizona State for first place in the Pac-12 coaches preseason poll.
The Huskies return 14 letter winners from last season’s team, which finished third in the Pac-12 with a record of 16-8 in conference. The Huskies finished 45-17.
Bellevue High offensive lineman Morgan Richey announced he had accepted an offer to be a preferred walk-on at Washington.
Richey, listed at 6 feet 5, 281 pounds, is rated as a three-star recruit by Scout.com.
Patrick Simon’s 20 points led four double-figure scorers for No. 20 Seattle Pacific, which beat Saint Martin’s 76-53 at Brougham Pavilion to avenge an earlier loss. The Falcons (17-4, 8-2 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) extended their winning streak to six games.
• Austin Bragg had 18 points and 14 rebounds, lifting host Western Washington (14-4, 8-2 GNAC) to a 53-51 victory over Alaska Fairbanks (12-6, 7-3).
Katie Benson scored 23 points, but host Simon Fraser (12-5, 7-3 GNAC) went on a 17-2 run to break open a close game and earn a 77-68 victory over Seattle Pacific (13-5, 6-4). The Falcons had their five-game win streak snapped.
• Western Washington’s home winning streak ended at 26 games as guard Bobbi Knudsen scored a game-high 28 points to lift Montana State Billings (15-5, 8-2 GNAC) to a 71-63 win over the Vikings (11-7, 7-3).
• Host North Dakota cruised to an 82-60 victory over Eastern Washington (8-10, 4-5 Big Sky).
• Host Alaska Anchorage (13-5, 6-4 GNAC) surged to a 77-70 win over Central Washington (6-12, 1-9).
Steve Nugent was named the Washington State coach, athletic director Bill Moos announced.
Nugent becomes the sixth coach in program history after spending the past three seasons at UNC Greensboro. His 2012 UNCG squad captured the Southern Conference regular-season title.
Times reporter Adam Jude and sports information contributed to this report.