"It’s hard because I’m really jealous of her,” Stuart said. "But it’s also nice because she doesn’t have the stress that other people have with school, so I can just vent to her my stress. She’s like, ’Oh, yeah. That stinks.’ Then we just talk about something else.”
As for teammate entertainment, "Bailey Stenson is pretty funny,” Stuart said. "Niki Williams has turned out to be a source for some laughs.”
Are you laughing with Williams or at
"Both,” Stuart said.
No one on the team has been nicknamed "Pig-Pen.”
"We have bags everywhere, clothes everywhere,” Pohlman said. "I think we’re all a little bit messy.”
Given their far-northwestern locale, the Huskies are no strangers to the road. Nearly every trip is a long haul.
This season, UW trekked to St. George, Utah; San Diego; Palm Springs, Calif.; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; and Fullerton, Calif., in addition to their regular conference stops.
"The worst part about being away is not being able to play in front of your family, your fans and your friends,” said Pohlman, who counted 11 Huskies fans in the stands at Amherst.
There is another significant element to being on the road non-stop.
"We’re girls,” senior outfielder Lauren Greer said. "There’s a little drama, but that’s just how it goes. I definitely think it’s made us a stronger team.”
Charters downplayed any potential conflict.
"It’s not like we’re going to pull each other’s hair out or anything,” Charters said. "We’re a pretty low-key team.”
The Huskies already knew they were a good team, finishing second in the mighty Pac-10 and carrying a 46-11 into the WCWS.
Perhaps spending two-plus weeks on the road has added an ingredient that might have previously been missing.
Perhaps a potential problem now has been eliminated.
"I don’t think we realized what our capabilities were,” Greer said. "We’re on a roll now.”
The No. 6-seeded Georgia Bulldogs await the Huskies today at noon in the WCWS opener at Hall of Fame Stadium.
"It feels like we’ve been gone forever, but I just try to keep in mind the trip is all going to be worth it,” Greer said.
"The main goal of all this was to get to the World Series, and that’s where we’re at.”
Stuart has no complaints and said: "I actually love being on the road. It’s been a real cool vacation for me, kind of.
"Team chemistry has always been something I’ve considered to be an X-factor for teams. Being on the road, some might see it as a disadvantage, but sometimes you can turn it into an advantage.”
If Washington returns home with the NCAA crown, no need to ask if the trip was worth it.
475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.