April 16, 2013
WEEK 11 (APRIL 18-20): UCLA // Tucson, Ariz.
#22 Arizona (27-17, 4-8 Pac-12) vs. #18 UCLA (28-14, 5-10 Pac-12)
Date Time (PDT) (Rank) Opponent Location
Thursday, April 18 7:00 p.m. (18/19) UCLA Hillenbrand Stadium
Friday, April 19 5:00 p.m. (18/19) UCLA Hillenbrand Stadium
Saturday, April 20 6:00 p.m. (18/19) UCLA Hillenbrand Stadium
FOLLOW THE CATS
T.V.: All three games will be televised live on three different networks. Thursday's game will be broadcast on ESPN2, Friday's contest on ESPNU and Saturday's game will be on the Pac-12 Network. Games one and two will simulcast on WatchESPN.com
Live Audio: A free online audio stream of both games will be available at ustream.tv/channel/ua-
Live Stats: Find Gametracker links for all games at http://www.arizonawildcats.
- Arizona celebrates the 20th anniversary of Hillenbrand Stadium with a three-game series with UCLA. Thursday's game will be a celebration of the hallowed grounds which have seen 580 victories in 646 games. That's an .898 winning percentage over 20 years of competition.
- The Wildcats will be debuting copper helmets for Thursday's game. The copper helmets will honor the meaningful history of the copper industry in the state of Arizona.
- Arizona and UCLA, which have combined to win 19 NCAA Championships, have met 120 times in the programs' history, with UCLA holding a 66-54 advantage. The Bruins took 2-of-3 in Westwood in 2012 and 7-of-the-last-8 series, dating back to 2005.
- The Wildcats are an impressive 17-4 at home this season while they are just 10-13 away from Hillenbrand Stadium this season. Arizona has not finished with a sub-.500 record on the road (including neutral site games) in Head Coach Mike Candrea's 27 previous years at Arizona. The Cats have six remaining road games, plus potential NCAA Tournament games.
- In her last 34 at-bats, spanning 12 games, Chelsea Suitos is batting .411 (12-for-34).
- Hallie Wilson leads the team with a .415 batting average in Pac-12 games, 30 points higher than her average in non-conference games (.385). Though the splits are not mind blowing, it is surprising given that the team as a whole is hitting 59 points worse in conference games than in non-conference contests (.321 vs. .262).
- In the last six games, Arizona has two grand slams (Mandie Perez vs. UC Santa Barbara, April 7; Brigette Del Ponte vs. New Mexico State, April 9). It had not had a grand slam in the previous 38 games of the season.
- Oregon's two run-rule victories over Arizona bring the season total to three mercy defeats for the Cats this season. Arizona was also run-ruled thrice in 2010, a season in which it made it to the Women's College World Series championship series. However, this brings up a more spectacular point: In the last 20-plus years, Arizona is a mind-blowing 376-11 (.972) in mercy-shortened contests.
THIS WEEK: Twenty-second ranked Arizona (27-17, 4-8 Pac-12) hopes to rebound from a rough weekend in Oregon in which the Cats were swept by the seventh-ranked Ducks in a series that included a no-hitter followed by a perfect game. The Wildcats welcome in 18th-ranked UCLA (28-14, 5-10 Pac-12) in a historic weekend. UA will celebrate the 20th anniversary of legendary Hillenbrand Stadium on Thursday and will gear up with copper helmets, a gesture to importance of the copper industry in the state of Arizona, for the game. The Cats and the Bruins, who have 19 national titles between the two programs, meet Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with all three games set to be televised nationally. Thursday and Friday's games will be broadcast on the ESPN family of Networks, ESPN2 and ESPNU, respectively, and Saturday's game will be shown on the Pac-12 Network.
SERIES HISTORY: Arizona and UCLA have met 120 times in the programs' history, with UCLA holding a 66-54 advantage. The Bruins took 2-of-3 in Westwood in 2012 and 7-of-the-last-8 series, dating back to 2005.
UCLA: The Bruins (28-14, 5-10 Pac-12) are ranked 18th in the NFCA Top 25 and 19th in the USA Softball poll. The Bruins earned a big series win when it took 2-of-3 from then-eighth-ranked California last weekend to end a stretch of four-consecutive Pac-12 series losses. UCLA is led by B.B. Bates (.331 avg, 10 2B, 15 HR, 45 RBI, .780 slg%) and Stephany LaRosa (.368 avg, 8 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 35 RBI, .455 OBP) offensively and Ally Carda (19-7, 2.39 ERA, 162 SO, 146.1 IP) in the circle.
HEAD COACH Mike Candrea: Arizona head coach Mike Candrea is in his 28th year at the helm of the Arizona softball program with a career record of 1,337-313-2 (.810). 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 thrice in the last 25 years (2004, 2011, 2012). 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 151-45. An even 50 All-Americans with a staggering 90 total citations have played in the program since Candrea took over.
THE RANKINGS: Arizona dropped to number 22 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll and a tie for 25th in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 after being ranked 17th and 22nd, respectively, a week ago. The Wildcats were ranked preseason No. 13 by the NFCA and 14 by USA Softball.
RECENT RESULTS: Arizona swept in three games at Oregon, dropping 5-3, 8-0 (5 innings) and 9-0 (5 innings) decisions over the weekend. Arizona was held without a hit over the final two games, including a perfect game by Oregon starter Jessica Moore in Sunday's game.
4/12/13 - UO's Four-Run Sixth Dooms Cats: Seventh-ranked Oregon hit game-tying and go-ahead two-run home runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to earn a come-from-behind win from 17th-ranked Arizona.
Through five innings, Arizona led 3-1 and starter Shelby Babcock had allowed just three hits. In the sixth, Oregon recorded four extra-base hits, including two home runs against Babcock and reliever Nancy Bowling to take a 5-3 lead.
4/13/13 - Cats Fall in Five, 8-0: Oregon pitcher Cheridan Hawkins threw a no-hitter and Arizona fell in five innings, 8-0 in game two at Oregon.
Hawkins struck out 11 over five innings, including seven of the first eight batters she faced. The Oregon freshman allowed a walk in the first and two hit batsmen in the fourth, but was perfect otherwise. Hawkins improved to 14-3 on the year.
4/14/13 - Arizona Drops Series Finale: Oregon pitcher Jessica Moore was perfect as seventh-ranked Oregon (36-6, 13-2 Pac-12) completed its sweep of 17th-ranked Arizona (27-17, 4-8 Pac-12) with a 9-0, five-inning victory.
Arizona, which was no-hit Saturday, failed to put a runner on base against Jessica Moore, who struck out six of the 15 batters she faced and improved to 19-3 on the year.
In the final two games of the series, Oregon's offense scored 17 runs while its pitchers limited the Wildcats to just three base runners (0 hits).
RECENT RESULTS AGAINST UCLA: UCLA earned the series victory in Westwood in 2012 with victories in games 1 and 2 (10-4 and 7-2, respectively) before Arizona avoided the sweep with a 7-6 game 3 win.
5/4/12 - Unearned Runs Hurt Cats in Loss to UCLA: No. 15 Arizona Softball allowed six UCLA unearned runs to cross the plate in the Bruins' 10-4 victory in game one the three-game series.
In addition to the two errors, the Cats gave 17th-ranked UCLA free bases in the form of seven walks, a hit-by-pitch and a defensive miscommunication on an outfield fly ball. The Bruins capitalized and put 10 runs on the board, marking the third game in the last four that Arizona has allowed double-digit runs.
5/5/12 - Cats Fall to Bruins, 7-2: No. 15 Arizona Softball put runners in scoring position in five of the seven innings, four times with less than two out, but managed to score only two runs and UCLA won game two 7-2.
Arizona took a 1-0 lead in the second inning before yielding seven unanswered Bruin runs, including a four-run sixth.
5/6/12 - Arizona Tops UCLA in a Wild Game: No. 15 Arizona Softball (33-16, 10-11 Pac-12) used timely pitching to escape with a 7-6 victory over UCLA (35-16, 11-10 Pac-12) to avoid the sweep in a wild game with plenty of lead changes and momentum shifts.
The Cats used a trio of pitchers to notch the W, with Shelby Babcock picking up the win and Kenzie Fowler shutting the door for the save.
Arizona took a 7-5 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning before UCLA made things interesting. Fowler allowed a leadoff walk before getting the next two batters out. With two out, UCLA notched back-to-back two-strike singles, the latter of which, off the bat of Samantha Camuso, drove home a run. The tying run was at second base with the winning run 45 feet behind her. Fowler struck out Dani Yudin to end the game.