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Softball Ends Regular Season at Home
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 05/09/2007
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With the Pac-10 crown already locked up, Arizona (38-10-1, 14-3-1 Pac-10) concludes regular-season play this weekend with a home series against No. 14 UCLA (34-15, 10-8) and No. 11 Washington (34-14, 11-7).

 

The Wildcats will take on UCLA on Thursday at 7 p.m., before hosting Washington on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m., when Arizona will celebrate Senior Day.  Please note that Saturday’s season finale’s game time has been changed from previously printed schedules.

 

All three games can be heard live on 1290 AM The Source.  The voice of the Wildcats, Brian Jeffries will share the call with former Arizona softball player Erika Hanson.

 

ARIZONA SOFTBALL THIS WEEK

Thursday, May 10 vs. UCLA ?- 7 p.m.

Friday, May 11 vs. Washington ?- 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 12 vs. Washington ?- 1 p.m.

 

RECAPPING LAST WEEKEND: Arizona clinched its 10th Pac-10 title in program history with its 2-0 win at Oregon State was coupled with second-place Arizona State’s loss at Oregon.

 

The weekend sweep of the Oregon schools marked the first time all year that Arizona has swept a weekend on the road.

 

The Wildcats opened the weekend with a 6-2 win over Oregon on Friday.  The game was halted with a rain delay for 34 minutes during UA’s half of the first inning, after Arizona took an early 2-0 lead.  Up by a 3-0 margin in the sixth, Sam Banister hit her first of two home runs on the weekend, before the Ducks got on the board with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.  Arizona senior infielders Chelsie Mesa and Kristie Fox responded by hitting the first two pitches of the seventh inning for solo home runs to bring the game to its final 6-2 score.  Mesa and Fox combined to go 5-for-6 with three runs, three RBI and four extra-base hits in the contest.  In the circle, Taryne Mowatt pitched the first of three complete-game victories and had her 20th double-digit strikeout performance of the season.

 

Saturday’s 10-1 victory at Oregon State looked like it was going to be a tight game until Fox broke up a scoreless tie in the third inning with a three-run double.  The two-bagger was followed by a Jenae Leles RBI single, and two outs later, Banister hit her second home run in as many days to give UA a half dozen runs in the frame.  The Beavers broke up Mowatt’s shot at a shutout with one run in its half of the third, but Arizona came right back with three runs of its own to take a 9-1 advantage.  Leles catalyzed a two-out rally with a double, followed by a walk and three straight Wildcat singles to put the game away.  Mowatt recorded an impressive three-hit, seven-strikeout performance and did not walk a single hitter.  A balanced team effort, Arizona had four players drive in multiple runs.

 

While Sunday’s game was Oregon State’s Senior Day, in reality it was the Mowatt and Mesa show.  The Wildcat ace limited the Beavers to no runs on two hits and fanned eight in seven innings of shutout work for her 30th victory of the year, while Mesa went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. 

 

On the weekend, Mowatt tallied a 1.11 ERA with 25 strikeouts, four walks, 10 hits and a .156 opponent batting average in 19 innings of work.   The Arizona offense scored 18 runs in 19 innings and clubbed five home runs after entering the weekend with just eight dingers in 15 Pac-10 contests.

 

NOTING THE BRUINS: UCLA has experienced its share of ups and downs this season, but the Bruins also have the knowledge that they have won the last three meetings at Hillenbrand Stadium between the two most storied programs in the sport.

 

First-year head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez may have found an ace in freshman pitcher Megan Langenfeld who has come on strong with an 11-2 overall record and 4-1 mark in Pac-10 contests.  Langenfeld boasts a 1.40 ERA in conference play and has spelled incumbent All-American pitcher Anjelica Selden (17-9, 2.59 ERA).  Offensively, UCLA leads the conference with its .311 overall batting average and 57 home runs.

 

Earlier in the year, Arizona and UCLA split at Easton Stadium with the Bruins taking the first game 2-0 and the Wildcats prevailing with a 11-2 rout in the finale.

 

NOTING THE HUSKIES: Washington enters the weekend in sole possession of second place in the Pac-10 standings, thanks in large part to the arm of Danielle Lawrie and her 23-8 record coupled with a 1.51 ERA, as well as the bat of Dena Tyson.  The Husky slugger is hitting .461 on the year with 17 home runs and 44 RBI.  Tyson is hitting a conference-best .510 in Pac-10 games with nine home runs in 18 Pac-10 games.

 

Arizona and Washington opened Pac-10 play with a 6-0 Wildcat victory in Seattle.  In that contest, Taryne Mowatt pitched a complete-game shutout and Kristie Fox gave Arizona a quick 2-0 lead with a first-inning home run.

 

PAC-10 CHAMPS: Arizona enters the final weekend of the regular season having already clinched the Pac-10 championship.  The 10th Pac-10 title in program history; it is the sixth time that Arizona has followed one of its seven national championships with the conference crown.  This is Arizona’s fourth conference crown in the last five years and third for UA seniors Caitlin Lowe and Kristie Fox.

 

Previous Pac-10 titles and finish in NCAA Tournament

1992

Lost in title game

1994

NCAA Champions

1995

Lost in title game

1997

NCA Champions

1998

Lost in title game

2001

NCAA Champions

2003

Tied for third in WCWS

2004

Lost in regional

2005

Tied for fifth in WCWS

2007

????

 

SENIORS LEADING THE WAY: In 35 of the last 36 games, Arizona has started seniors in the first, second and third spots in the batting order.  Caitlin Lowe, Chelsie Mesa and Kristie Fox are the first trio of seniors to be penciled in to the top of the order since Lauren Bauer, Nicole Giordano and Toni Mascarenas started up the majority of games during UA’s 2001 title run.

 

Below are the seniors’ combined numbers in relation to the other six spots in the batting order throughout the year: 

 

 

Avg.

HR

Runs

RBI

SB

Seniors

.374

21

124

106

61

Non-seniors

.248

25

134

132

26

 

Since Mesa’s arrival at the beginning of the 2006 season, these three Wildcats have accounted for the following:

42 percent of Arizona’s hits

42 percent of Arizona’s runs

44 percent of Arizona’s RBI

44 percent of Arizona’s home runs

67 percent of Arizona’s stolen bases

 

ARIZONA HEAD COACH MIKE CANDREA ?- is in his 22nd season at the helm of the Arizona softball program.  He boasts a 1,119-224-2 (.833) record in 21 seasons in the dugout.  Candrea is one of five Division I softball head coaches to have won 1,110 games and was the fastest to do so.  He has earned 17 coach of the year honors, including nine Pac-10 Coach of the Year citations, and is a member of the NFCA Hall of Fame.  In 2004, Candrea took a year off to coach the USA Olympic softball team to a 9-0 record and a gold medal in Athens.  Candrea was also awarded the Olympic Shield award, the U.S. Olympic Committee’s most prestigious award, marking the first time in history the award was given to an Olympic coach.  During his tenure, Arizona has won 10 Pac-10 titles and seven national championships.

 

1,100 WINS FOR CANDREA: On March 16 in Fullerton’s Judi Garman Classic, Arizona head coach Mike Candrea won his 1,110th career game in an 11-0 rout of Pacific.  Incidentally, Candrea’s son Mikel was on hand as Pacific’s hitting coach.

 

With the win, Candrea joined Margie Wright (Fresno State), JoAnne Graf (Florida State) and Gayle Blevins (Iowa) as one of only four coaches to accumulate 1,100 Division I softball coaching victories.  Since then, LSU’s Yvette Giourard joined the illustrious group with her 1,100th win.  Additionally, as this is his 21st season in the dugout, Candrea is now the fastest of the four to reach the 1,100-win plateau.  The feat took Wright 24, Graf 22, Blevins 28 and Giourard 27 years, respectively, to get to 1,100 wins.

 

STEALING THE RECORD: On Friday, April 27, Caitlin Lowe broke Alison McCutcheon’s school record of 148 career stolen bases.  The senior from Tustin, Calif., now has 151 steals ?- which is the good for 12th in NCAA history and second in Pac-10 history.  Lowe is currently 44-for-44 in stolen bases this year, giving her the highest steals-per-game ratio (0.90) in the country. 

 

Dating back to last season, in which she ended with seven straight successful stolen bases, Lowe has stolen a school record 51 consecutive stolen bases without being caught.

 

In terms of NCAA history, Lowe is currently third for the most steals in a season without being caught.  Only Morgan State’s Angel McNamara (48 SB in 1994) and South Carolina State’s Gina Freeman’s (47 SB in 1996) marks stand ahead of her on the single season stolen-base percentage list.

 

Just as impressively, Lowe currently stands sixth in NCAA history with a .950 (151 for 159) career stolen base percentage.

 

THE LOWE-DOWN ON THE RECORD BOOK: As a three-time, first-team NFCA All-American Caitlin Lowe has already cemented her name into the annals of Arizona softball.  In addition to the inevitable single-season marks she will set or challenge throughout 2007, Lowe is already climbing up the school record book and has a legitimate shot to finish in the top 10 in five categories in NCAA history. 

 

Lowe in top 10 Arizona history

Category

 

Ariz. Rank

NCAA Rank

Batting Avg.

.452

2

7

Hits

333

6

t-14

Runs

234

8

11

Stolen Bases

151

1

12

Stolen Base Pct.

.950

1

6

Triples

11

4

 

 

300-200-100 CLUB: Caitlin Lowe is one of 12 players in NCAA Div. I softball history to have accumulated 300 hits, 200 runs and 100 stolen bases over her career.  Arizona has three former Wildcats plus Lowe on the list and is the only program represented by more than one athlete.

 

Nicole Barber, Georgia 379 hits, 266 runs, 257 stolen bases
Lauren Bauer, Arizona 349 hits, 238 runs, 133 stolen bases
Amy Chellevold, Arizona 371 hits, 252 runs, 113 stolen bases

*Norrelle Dickson, Oklahoma 320 hits, 231 runs, 106 stolen bases

 *Amber Jackson, Maryland 347 hits, 261 runs, 112 stolen bases
Kelly Krestchman, Alabama 368 hits, 288 runs, 133 stolen bases
*Caitlin Lowe, Arizona 333 hits, 234 runs, 151 stolen bases

Alison McCutcheon, Arizona 405 hits, 289 runs, 148 stolen bases

*Lindsay Schutzler, Tennessee 346 hits, 231 runs, 114 stolen bases

Tiff Tootle, South Carolina 351 hits, 207 runs, 114 stolen bases

Natasha Watley, UCLA 395 hits, 252 runs, 158 stolen bases

Shamalene Wilson, Florida St. 310 hits, 223 runs, 161 stolen bases
 

*current players

 

LOWE NAMED FINALIST FOR LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD:  Caitlin Lowe was named one of

10 finalists for the 2007 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.  Having been awarded the last six years in basketball, this is the first year Lowe’s will bestow the honor on a softball player.  The winner will be announced in Oklahoma City at the Women’s College World Series.  The winner will be chosen from a combination of media, coach and fan voting.  Fans can go online to vote for Lowe or any of the other candidates at www.softball.seniorclassaward.com.  Candidates were selected based on personal qualities that define the complete student athlete.  While on-the-field performance during their collegiate softball careers is a factor in determining candidates and the eventual winner, their personal character and off-the-field achievements in the classroom and community are major areas of focus.

 

FOX RACKS UP THE RIBBIES: Kristie Fox enters the weekend ranked seventh on UA’s career RBI list with 221, which is good for a tie in 15th place in NCAA history..

 

Fox leads Arizona with 54 RBI, 19 more than Chelsie Mesa’s 35 ribbies that are good for second on the team.  A two-time, first-team NFCA All-American, Fox also leads the Wildcats in home runs (13), slugging percentage (.671) and total bases (102).

 

THREE TIMES A CHAMPION: If nothing else, Chelsie Mesa can be called a winner.  The senior second baseman from Yuma, Ariz., transferred to Ar

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