No. 2 Arizona (39-4 overall, 3-2 Pac-10) plays host to No. 9 Arizona State (30-9, 5-1 Pac-10) on Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14 at 7 p.m. at Hillenbrand Stadium. The Sun Devils are tied for first in the conference with Stanford, after coming off wins at No. 14 Washington and No. 1 UCLA. Arizona holds the No. 2 spot in the Pac-10.
Last Time The Cats Played
Arizonas road trip last weekend was one of the hardest the Wildcats will face in the Pac-10. Arizona faced No. 14 Washington, falling 1-0. Senior Becky Lemke struck out eight batters, but allowed five hits.
Arizona then traveled to Los Angeles to take on No. 1 UCLA. The Wildcats split the series with the Bruins. Junior Jennie Finch struck out eleven on the mound and walked one batter. At the plate, she had one hit and one run. Freshman Mackenzie Vandergeest added a home run and 3 RBI in the Cats 4-0 win over the Bruins. UCLA took the lead in the bottom of the first inning and defeated Arizona 3-0 on Sunday. The Bruins had two doubles and struck out eight Wildcat batters.
The Wildcat pitching staff of seniors Becky Lemke, junior Jennie Finch, Gladding and Teresa Demeter in 43 games have a combined ERA of 0.60 in 258 innings of play. They have struck out 394 batters, averaging 9 strikeouts a game. Lemke has 141 strikeouts, Finch has 131 and Gladding has 121. The Cats have 29 shutouts and have only allowed 96 hits compared to Arizonas 416 hits. Finch is 14-0 with a 0.40 ERA, Lemke is 13-2 with a 0.95 ERA and Gladding is 12-2 with a 0.44 ERA.
Bangin Them Silly
In 43 games, the Wildcats have hit 88 home runs with their opponents only hitting 9. Mascarenas (16), Manuma (14) and Vandergeest (14) lead the way, with every other usual starter hitting at least one. The school and NCAA record is 100 by the 1995 Arizona team the 1994 club hit 93... The Cats are averaging 2.18 homers a game... The all-time collegiate record is 1.39 for a season by the Arizona teams in 1994 and 1995. All those teams had a couple of sluggers who outpaced the rest of the club -- Laura Espinoza, Jenny Dalton, Leticia Pineda, Leah Braatz. In 1998, for example Braatz (25) and Pineda (20) led, but the next highest totals were seven homers by Mascarenas and Nancy Evans. This year's team is spreading the wealth a bit more...The Cats hit 6 home runs against Bowling Green, which is tied for the No. 2 spot in NCAA history. 24 times Arizona has had multiple homers in a game, 6 times they have hit 5 or more and one time more than 5.
Leaders of the Pac
Arizona leads the Pac-10 Conference in a number of categories including team batting average (.366), Slugging percentage (.633), on base percentage (.450) and runs scored (344). Senior Lauren Bauer is tied for first in the conference in batting average (.449) with Stanfords Jessica Mendoza. Bauer leads the Pac-10 in runs scored (55) and hits (66). Senior Toni Mascarenas has the highest slugging percentage (.910) and leads the conference in RBI (55), home runs (16) and total bases (111). On the mound, Arizonas team ERA is lowest (0.60), as well as opposing batting average (.111). The Wildcat pitching staff leads the league in batters struck out (394). On defensive, the Cats have the highest fielding percentage (.981) in the conference.
NFCA Player of the Week
Freshman Leneah Manuma was named Louisville/NFCA Player of the Week for the Week of Feb. 26-March 4. Manuma had a batting average of .600 in seven games, with nine hits, three home runs and six RBI. She was also named Pac-10 player of the week on March 2.
Arizona has 416 hits compared to its opponents 96...The team is hitting .366 on the season with its oppositions .111...With 43 games under its belt, Arizona's 88 home runs are No. 3 in Wildcat history and sixth in NCAA history... It also has given Arizona a slugging percentage of .663, compared to the school-record mark of .608 by the '95 team... Arizona favors the fourth inning the best, scoring 76 of its 344 runs in that inning... Lauren Bauer leads the team with 55 runs scored, including 22 multiple hit games... Three Cats are hitting over .400 - Bauer (.449), Giordano (.444), Mascarenas (.434)... When Jenny Gladding pitches, opponents are hitting .111... She has struck out 31 batters looking... Lemke's career strikeout total of 817 is No. 2 on the UA chart and within reach of Susie Parra's No. 1 figure of 874 from 1991 to 1994... She could become only the fourth Wildcat to win 100 career games. She has a career mark of 96-19. Parra is No. 3 on the UA chart with a 101-9 record... Jennie Finch has won 67 career games against 10 defeats and is tied for No. 6 on Arizona's career chart. Her career total of 493 K's is No. 4 behind Parra, Lemke and Nancy Evans... Opponent batters are hitting .100 when Finch pitches, the lowest in the Pac-10... Each of Arizona's three starting pitchers is averaging more than 10 stikeouts per seven innings. Lemke is tops with an 11.2 mark, Gladding averages 10.5 strikeouts per seven innings and Finch has a 10.4 mark... The three have combined for 29 shutouts this year and Lemke combined with Teresa Demeter for a 30th shutout... Opposing batters are hitting .111 against Arizona... The team has played 15 five-inning mercy rule games and three six-inning run-rule games... Lauren Bauer has stolen 32 bases in 36 attempts, No. 10 in Arizona history. Her career total of 127 is 21 short of the school record set by Allison McCutcheon (148) from 1995 to 1998 and puts Bauer at No. 3 on that list behind McCutcheon, Vivian Holm (129) and Amy Chellevold (113)... Arizona's team on-base percentage is .450, meaning every single player has been getting on base about half the time... The Cats 29-0 victory over Bowling Green State on Feb. 16 is believed to be a school record for runs, as is the 17-run fourth inning UA put together... The Pepsi Softball Classic was one of the best opening weekend crowds in school history with a three-day average of 1562... Arizona has a 30-game home winning streak dating to a 4-3 lost to Stanford on April 9, 2000...The attendance for the Hillenbrand Invitational marks the second largest crowd in history with 2751 out to see Arizona play against No. 5 Oklahoma...
National Fastpitch Coaches Association Poll
Arizona is No. 2 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I coaches poll. UCLA is No. 1, Alabama is No. 3, No. 4 is Stanford and California is at the five spot. Seven Pac-10 school are currently ranked in the top 25 with five in the top 10. Arizona has been in the national rankings every single period since 1990. Ranking are available at www.nfca.org. The Poll: Preseason: No. 3; Feb. 21 - No. 2; Feb. 28 - No. 2; March 7- No. 2, March 14- No. 2, March 21- No. 2; March 28- No. 2; April 4- No. 2
Typical Arizona Lineup
Lauren Bauer - cf
Nicole Giordano - lf
Toni Mascarenas - 3b
Leneah Manuma - dh/1b
Lindsey Collins - c
Jennie Finch - 1b/p
Mackenzie Vandergeest - rf - or a c batting fifth
Allison Andrade - ss
Lisha Ribellia - 2b or Erika Hanson/Kim Balkan - rf
Becky Lemke - p
When Jenny Gladding pitches, she normally bats eighth and Ribellia is the defo.
Arizona Head Coach Mike Candrea
After 15 seasons at Arizona, Candrea carries a record of 842-172. His Division I winning percentage (.830) is No. 2 all-time and No. 1 among active coaches. On Tuesday, March 6, Candrea coached his 1000th game. Candrea was named Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year in 2000, his sixth time. Last season, he won his 800th game, only the eighth NCAA softball coach in history to do so. His players have earned 54 All-America honors and six Academic All-America honors, plus he has coached three players to the Honda Softball Award as national player of the year. He has taken the Wildcats to the College World Series the past 13 years and reached the championship game in eight of the last 11 years.
Next Up for the Wildcats
The Arizona softball team will play host to Fresno State in a doubleheader on Wednesday, April 18 at 6 p.m., Stanford on Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m., California on Saturday, April 21 at 7 p.m., and California on Sunday, April 22 at 1 p.m. All home games are played at Hillenbrand Stadium.