Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Callista Balko
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: September 26, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Arizona ?- 2006: Pac-10 Honorable Mention ... Starting catcher for all 65 games for Arizona ... Caught every pitch of every inning for UA in 2006; roughly 1,637 batters, 434 innings and 690 putouts ... Batted .439 with, seven home runs and 24 RBI in Arizona’s 14-game winning streak towards end of the year ... Had at least one RBI in 12 of the last 16 games entering WCWS ... Women’s College World Series (June 1-6): Batted .286 with three RBI in six WCWS games ... Drove in game-winning run in UA’s 2-0 victory over Texas.  That was Arizona’s only hit of the game.  Was previously 0-for-9 with nine strikeouts against Cat Osterman ... Hit .429 (3-for-7) in the final three games ... Tucson Super Regional (5/26-27): After going 1-for-3 with an RBI in Game 1, went hitless in back-to-back games for the first time since April ... Snapped a season-high seven-game hit streak in Game 2 ... Tucson Regional (5/18-20): Slugged 1.182 with a .455 (5-for-11) batting average in UA’s three wins ... Four of her five hits went for extra bases ... Caught multiple games in a day 16 times ... After hitting a home run in Arizona’s first game of the season against Cal State Northridge, Balko was hitless in the next eight games (22 straight at-bats) ... Lowest batting average of the season was .105 through UA’s first 16 games of the year.  Went on to hit .314 in the last 49 games ... Belted 13 home runs, nearly tripling 2005 total of five ... First four home runs of Pac-10 play were all solo shots, last three were a grand slam and a pair of three-run jacks ... Had six multi-RBI games during Arizona’s 10-game win streak to close out regular season ... Hit two home runs in first half of April 30 doubleheader against Washington ... Batted .356 in Pac-10 play (second on team) after hitting .197 (last on team) in non-conference contests ... Threw out 13 of 35 (37 percent) potential base stealers ... Had two passed balls this year in 65 games behind the dish, after four in 33 games during 2005.


2005: Finished tied for third on the team with five home runs ... Only player other than Caitlin Lowe to triple in 2005 ... Of her 23 RBI on the season 18 came with two out ... Started 33 games behind the dish, as well as 16 at second base ... Women’s College World Series (June 2-5): Led the team with a .364 on-base percentage ... Only Wildcat to slug over .500 in the series (.556) ... Hit her final home run of the year in a win over California ... Super Regional (May 27-28): Drove a run home with a bases-loaded walk in game one ...Tucson Regional (May 20-22): Homered in a 12-0 win over Lehigh ... Broke up 15 at-bat hitless streak with a two-run double in 9-0 win over Oregon on April 29 ... Had a two-run double in an April 9 win over Oregon ... Hit safely in a stretch of 14 out of 15 games from Feb. 13 to March 14 ... Had at least one RBI over the course of six consecutive contests from Feb. 25 to March 12 ... One game after the streaks ended, Balko followed up by going 5-for-10 in the next three games ... Smashed a three-run homer at the front end of a doubleheader against Hawai’i on Feb. 20 ... Hit her first collegiate home run against UT-Chattanooga to invoke the mercy rule on Feb. 13.


High School: Canyon Del Oro High School, Tucson, Ariz., 2004 ... Member of first-team all-state and all-city teams ... 2002 second-team All American ... 2004 Canyon Del Oro High School Female Athlete of the Year ... 2001 Most Valuable Offensive and Defensive softball player ... Varsity softball MVP 2002 and ?'03 ... Athlete-Scholar award winner 2004 ... Holds Canyon Del Oro records for home runs, stolen bases and triples ... Member of 2001 Arizona state champion team ... Placed third in the state in 2002 and ?'03 ... Division champion in 2001, ?'02 and ?'03 ... 2001-02 Regional champion ... Member of honor roll and DECA.


Personal: Academic major is history with a business minor ... Wants to pursue a career in sports broadcasting ... Daughter of Scott and Vicki Balko ... Father is retired from the Navy, mother is a piano teacher ... Enjoys relaxing and going out ... Born Callista Jo Balko on April 4, 1986.