PHOENIX--Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks, in the thick of the National League West division race, took note of accomplishments by different pennant-class players to the south Wednesday in feting the Arizona softball team for its recent NCAA Softball Championship.
The Diamondbacks recognized the team on the field prior to the D-Backs-Giants night game at Chase Field.
UA coaches and players on hand were assistants Larry Ray and Nancy Evans, pitcher Leslie Wolfe, catcher Callista Balko, outfielders Adrienne Acton and Jill Malina, and infielders Chelsie Mesa, Laine Roth and Danielle Rodriguez. Former player and 2001 NCAA champion Erika Hanson also attended the recognition. The rest of the team, including seven-time NCAA champion coach Mike Candrea and Women's College World Series MVP Alicia Hollowell, were preparing for camps or other summer softball action and not able to attend.
UA capped its seventh championship June 2 in Oklahoma City with a sweep over Northwestern. The Cats finished 54-11 and made it through NCAA play with a record of 10-2 -- 5-1 in regional and super regional play, and a 5-1 mark at Oklahoma City's WCWS. It gave UA two national titles in the past six years and seven since its first in 1991.
A number of players also joined former Chicago Cubs star and current D-Backs color analyst Mark Grace in the booth for a brief interview during the game's telecast on Fox Sports Net Arizona.
"It was really thoughtful of a major league baseball organization to recognize the achievement of a college softball team from within the state," said Hanson, who works with the softball team as a marketing associate for the athletics department. "The players on hand really appreciated the recognition, although we were pulling for the Diamondbacks to win the game." San Francisco somewhat spoiled the night with an 11-4 victory over Arizona.