WEEK 5 (MARCH 4): BALL STATE // Hillenbrand Stadium
#10/10 Arizona Wildcats (18-1) vs. Ball State Cardinals (12-2)
Date Time (MST) Opponent Location
Tuesday, March 4 4:00 p.m. Ball State Hillenbrand Stadium
Tuesday, March 4 6:00 p.m. Ball State Hillenbrand Stadium
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THIS WEEK: Week five marks the beginning of one stretch and the beginning of another, as Arizona concludes a seven-game home stand before embarking on a 10-game road swing. Arizona kicks off week five by welcoming Ball State for a doubleheader on Tuesday beginning at 4:00 p.m. MST. UA will then head to Fullerton, Calif., for the Judi Garman Classic March 7-9, where it will take on sixth-ranked Michigan, Wisconsin, Cal State Fullerton, Houston and San Jose State.
ARIZONA VS. BALL STATE: This will be the first ever meeting between Arizona and Ball State.
- Arizona has run-ruled six consecutive opponents, tying a school record. Arizona last run-ruled six straight opponents in 2003 (it also accomplished it in 2001 and 1994). The Wildcats will go for the school record on Tuesday in game one of the doubleheader, but it will be difficult as Ball State has not been run-ruled since April 17, 2013.
- Nineteen games into the season, the Arizona offense is hitting nearly .400 as a team. UA’s .395 average tops the Pac-12 and is .032 points better than second-place Washington. Additionally, the Wildcats lead the conference in slugging percentage (.663), on-base percentage (.489) and runs scored (158).
- Eight regular starters have batting averages over .375, including five over .400, led by Kelsey Rodriguez’s .487 clip. Rodriguez went 5-for-6 with five doubles in the Wildcat Invitational.
- All five Wildcat pitchers have ERAs of 1.00 or better, led by Estela Piñon’s 0.35 earned run average. Arizona’s 0.72 team ERA and .160 batting average against both rank second in the conference.
- Arizona’s pitching staff has allowed just 12 runs this season in 19 games and has a miraculous 0.72 ERA. In 19 games this year, Arizona has tossed 10 shutouts. In 59 games in 2013, UA threw just three shutouts. UA pitchers have thrown four one-hitters this season and one no-hitter (Estela Piñon and Kenzie Fowler, Feb. 9 vs. Southern Miss).
- Kellie Fox continued her blistering start to the 2014 season as she homered twice on the week, both against Valparaiso on Feb. 28, giving her nine homers on the season. Fox leads the Pac-12 in slugging percentage (1.133), on-base percentage (.613), RBI (31), home runs (9) and total bases (51).
- In just 19 games this season, UA has 13 run-rule victories. In 59 games in 2013, the Wildcats run-ruled just eight opponents.
- Arizona’s 18-1 start is its best since beginning the 2010 campaign 23-1. Ironically, in both years, Arizona’s lone loss at this point of the season was to Missouri. In 2010, Arizona was 23-1 when it fell to Michigan at the Judi Garman Classic for its second loss of the year. With a doubleheader sweep of Ball State, the Cats could take a 20-1 record to the Judi Garman Classic. Its first opponent? Michigan.
- With Pac-12 play just around the corner, it will be difficult to keep these figures up, but as of right now, Arizona’s .395 average would be the best in team history while its 0.72 ERA would be the best since the 1992 team’s 0.35 ERA. Also, the Wildcats’ .984 fielding percentage would be the best in school history.
- On the season, Arizona has 58 extra-base hits. Its opponents have 60 TOTAL hits.
Ball State: The Cardinals (12-2) swept the Louisville Slugger Invitational in Tempe over the weekend, including a 3-0 victory over third-ranked Arizona State and former head coach Craig Nicholson. BSU also defeated South Carolina, FIU and Detroit twice in the weekend. Ball State is hitting .361 as a team, led by Briana Evans’ .463 average. Jennifer Gilbert (.400 avg, 4 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 19 RBI) is the main power source on a team that has hit 15 home runs. Kelsey Schifferdecker (6-0, 2.35 ERA, 17 Ks, 38.2 IP) leads a pitching staff that owns a 2.79 team ERA.
Series History: N/A // First Meeting: N/A // Last Meeting: N/A
HEAD COACH MIKE CANDREA: Arizona head coach Mike Candrea is in his 29th year at the helm of the Arizona softball program with a career record of 1,361-323-2 (.808). A winner of eight national championships (1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2007), Arizona has made 22 trips to the Women’s College World Series under his guidance, missing just four times in the last 26 years (2004, 2011, 2012, 2013). In 2012, Candrea became the sport’s fastest ever, and second all-time, to reach 1,300 wins. Under Candrea, Arizona has a spectacular postseason record of 152-47. An even 50 All-Americans with a staggering 90 total citations have played in the program since Candrea took over.