March 23, 2004
University of Arizona sophomore pitcher Alicia Hollowell was named USA Softball National Player of the Week for March 15-22 today, after leading the top-ranked Cats with five pitching victories last week at the Kia Klassic.
Hollowell also was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week, her ninth such honor and fourth this year.
Hollowell, of Suisun, Calif., helped UA reach the championship of the tournament and gave UA a school-record 34-0 start to its season, its best ever. The Wildcats dropped the title game to No. 9 Washington, 7-6, with Hollowell watching from the dugout after her five-game splurge.
She allowed only two runs in 35 innings of pitching and struck out 68 at the Kia. She threw a one-hit shutout over No. 10 Louisiana-Lafayette, missing a perfect game by giving up a single in the seventh inning, and striking out 18 of the 22 batters she faced. She earned two victories over Illinois, striking out a combined 21 in the two games and allowing only one run. She had a three-hit shutout against No. 15 Fresno State, and beat No. 9 Oklahoma, fanning 12.
Hollowell, the likely choice to face the U.S. Olympic Team on its Aiming for Athens tour stop in Tucson Friday night, is a perfect 22-0 with a 0.53 ERA and 293 strikeouts this season. Her strikeout total already ranks fourth on the single season chart at Arizona. She set the record a year ago with 394, breaking the mark of 366 by former UA star Jennie Finch, who is likely to pitch for Team USA against Arizona in the exhibition game.
"It's an honor to be selected as player of the week, but I attribute a lot of my success to teammates who scored the runs to back me up," Hollowell said. "My teammates put up a lot of runs and that makes things much easier and allows me to throw my game."
Arizona, 34-1, retained its No. 1 ranking in the ESPN/USA Softball poll this week. The NFCA/USA Today poll comes out tomorrow.