May 15, 2002
TUCSON - UA senior All-American softball pitcher Jennie Finch was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season this week, and coach Mike Candrea earned Coach of the Year honors for the second straight year.
Junior shortstop Lovie Jung earned the league's Newcomer of the Year award. Four other teammates also earned All-Pac-10 recognition -- sophomore first baseman Leneah Manuma was a first-team pick and second-team honors went to sophomore catcher Mackenzie Vandergeest, while sophomore pitcher/dp Jenny Gladding and freshman third baseman Jackie Coburn were honorable mention selections.
Candrea shared the honor a season ago with John Rittman of Stanford, but was a solid choice in 2002 with a team that lost five All-Americans and featured four freshman starters, finishing the regular season 48-10 and second place in the league with a 13-6 mark.
Finch became a three-time first-team pick. Manuma repeated after second-team honors in 2001. Vandergeest also was a second-team selection in 2001. Jung was a two-time All-Western Athletic Conference honoree in 1999-2000 at Fresno State, but earned her first Pac-10 honors after transferring.
Finch earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors twice this season and Jung earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors once. Finch is 29-4 with an earned run average of 0.86 entering NCAA action this week in Minneapolis. She also hit .317 and clouted 15 home runs. Jung is the Cats' leader in batting at .386, plus led the club in runs and hits. Manuma has 20 home runs and a team-high 67 RBI. Gladding contributed 11 homers and 40 RBI as a designated player and pitcher, recording 19 victories against six defeats. Vandergeest enters NCAA play with 12 homers but was especially effective behind the plate, throwing out 25 runners attempting to steal, holding opponents to 12 stolen bases all year. Coburn, one of the Cats' freshman starters, at third base, socked 13 home runs.
Finch and Manuma earned All-Pacific Region first-team honors, while Gladding was named the region's second-team designated player.