March 3, 2003
Next Up for the Cats
The No. 2 Arizona softball team (21-2) hits the road for the Red Raider Classic in Lubbock, Texas, from March 7-9. Arizona opens the tournament on Friday, March 7, with a game against Wichita State (9-5) at 5 p.m. The Cats are scheduled to play Texas Tech (9-17) on Saturday, March 8 at 2 p.m. and then New Mexico (3-11) at 6 p.m. Arizona concludes the tournament on Sunday, March 9 with a game against Columbia (0-0) at 10 a.m. and Texas Tech at noon.
The Cats hosted the Hillenbrand Invitational last weekend and walked away with a 4-0 record. The Wildcats hit six home runs on Friday against New Mexico State to win 16-0. Arizona was scheduled to play the Dutch National Team on Friday night, but the game was canceled due to rain. On Saturday, the Cats beat Northern Iowa, 8-0. Senior Lovie Jung hit her third grand slam of the season to help the Cats to an 11-0 win over San Diego State on Saturday. The Cats concluded the tournament on Sunday with a 6-0 win over San Diego State.
Sophomores Courtney Fossatti and Crystal Farley both had career nights on Friday against New Mexico State. Both players hit their first career home runs. Arizona collectively hit six home runs against New Mexico State, which ties their own single-game home run record. The last time the Cats hit six home runs in a game was against Bowling Green on Feb. 16, 2001.
Arizona is ranked No. 2 in the latest USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll. The Cats are also ranked No. 4 in the latest ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll. The ESPN.com poll began on Feb. 25 and is voted on by NCAA Division 1 coaches and by selected media members. The ESPN.com poll comes out again on Tuesday, March 4, and the USA Today poll comes out on Wednesday, March 5.
ASA Player of the Year Nominees
Lovie Jung, Mackenzie Vandergeest and Alicia Hollowell are among 40 players named to the initial "watch list" for USA Collegiate Player of the Year by the Amateur Softball Association. The ASA gave its first award last season to UCLA's Stacey Nuveman.
Arizona's Mike Candrea carries a career record of 947-186 (.836), accomplished in 17 years with the Wildcats. The 2002 Pac-10 co-Coach of the Year has led UA to six national titles and six Pacific-10 Conference championships. Last season, he became only the third Division I coach in history to win 900 games. He's on his way to become only the second coach to win 1,000 games. During his tenure, Wildcat student-athletes have won the Honda Softball Award fives times (Susie Parra-1994, Jenny Dalton-1996, Nancy Evans-1998, Jennie Finch-2001, 2002). Candrea's Arizona teams have played in 16 consecutive NCAA Tournaments and 15 consecutive College World Series. Last season, Candrea's team made it to the College World Series Championship game before losing to California, 6-0. Candrea is joined by assistant coaches Nancy Evans and Larry Ray.
UA carries a record of 321-19 in Hillenbrand Stadium. Arizona had a total crowd of 2,560 for the Hillenbrand Invitational. The Cats had an average attendance of 1,755 and drew in a total of 49,140 in 2002. Arizona set an attendance record of 3,161 fans on April 9, 2002 against UCLA. Arizona had a three-season 70-game home winning streak snapped by UCLA on April 7, 2002.
Going, Going, Gone
Arizona hit 12 home runs in four games of the Hillenbrand Invitational, including six against New Mexioco State on Friday. Senior Lovie Jung leads the team with 11 home runs. Jung also leads the team with three grand slams. Jung hit two grand slams in the Hillenbrand Invitational, including one against New Mexico State and another against San Diego State. Junior Mackenzie Vandergeest is second on the team with seven home runs.
UA Softball Notes
Freshman Alicia Hollowell has struck out 136 batters in 86 innings... Hollowell has had six double-digit strike out performances, more than any other pitcher in the Pac-10... Hollowell is one of three pitchers in the Pac-10 to have a no-hitter and she is also the only pitcher in the Pac-10 to have two no-hitters... Freshman Autumn Champion has a 14-game hitting streak... Sophomore Jackie Coburn has a team-best .545 batting average as the leadoff batter... Champion has a .588 batting average with runners in scoring position... Sophomore Courtney Fossatti had a team-high .545 batting average in the Hillenbrand Invitational... Fossatti also had five runs, six hits, two home runs and four RBIs... Arizona's game at Cal on May 2 will be a tape delayed presentation on Fox Sports Net...
Autumn Champion, lf Courtney Fossatti, rf Lovie Jung, ss Wendy Allen, dh/p Mackenzie Vandergeest, c Jackie Coburn, 3b Shelly Schultz, 1b Lisha Ribellia, 2b Crystal Farley, cf Alicia Hollowell, p