Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
5-0 Softball in ASU Tournament This Weekend
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 09, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Related Links

This Week

The No. 1 Arizona softball team, undefeated after its first week of the regular season, will head to Tempe this weekend for the Kajikawa Classic (formerly the Fiesta Bowl Classic) hosted by Arizona State. The Kajikawa will be played at the Tempe Sports Complex and ASU’s Farrington Softball Stadium, and runs from Feb. 11-13. Arizona is set to play Tennessee-Chattanooga at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, followed by Sacramento State at 5 p.m. On Saturday the Cats will play South Carolina at 11:15 a.m. and Cal State Northridge at 1:30 p.m. Arizona will play its final game of the Kajikawa Classic on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. versus Cal State Fullerton.

Last Week

Arizona hosted and won the Pepsi Arizona Softball Classic at Hillenbrand Stadium, playing host to Oklahoma State, New Mexico State, Northwestern, Kansas and Tulsa. The Cats took on Tulsa and Kansas on Friday, Feb. 4, shutting out Tulsa, 3-0, and edging Kansas, 4-3. Junior pitcher Alicia Hollowell got the win against Tulsa, striking out 15 batters over seven innings and allowing just one hit. Against Kansas, freshman pitcher Taryne Mowatt got her first win of the season. On Saturday, the Cats needed eight innings to beat Northwestern, 4-3. Hollowell got her second win in the game, striking out 14. Hollowell also appeared twice in relief in the tournament. The Wildcats went on to beat Oklahoma State on Saturday, 4-1. Junior pitcher Leslie Wolfe got her first win of the year against the Cowgirls. On Sunday, Arizona played New Mexico State and won its first run-ruled game, 9-0, in five innings. Mowatt got her second win of the year against the Aggies, allowing two hits and striking out eight.

The Coach

Head Coach Mike Candrea is in his 20th year with Arizona and carries a career record of 987-191. Candrea returned to Arizona after taking a year off to coach the U.S. 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, in January. Candrea’s award, given for outstanding service to the USOC and the Olympic movement, marked the first time in history that the award was given to an olympic coach. Candrea is also an eight-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year and a menber of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He has led Arizona to six national championships and seven Pac-10 titles.

The Coaches

Larry Ray (Idaho State ?'74) took over as head coach for Mike Candrea in 2004 and led the Wildcats to a 55-6 record and another Pac-10 title. He set the all-time Arizona record for the best start with a 34-0 mark through March 20 last season. Ray is acting assistant head coach this season, and carries an overall record of 224-112, including five years as head coach of Florida. Associate head coach Nancy Evans is a former Honda Award winner as a player at Arizona. Evans has been an assistant at UA since 1999.

The Rankings

As of Feb. 8, the Cats are tied with UCLA at No. 1 in the Today Poll. Arizona was ranked preseason No. 3 in the NFCA poll, behind UCLA and Cal.

Wildcat Softball Notes

...Sophomore Kristie Fox had a stellar performance at the Pepsi Classic tournament. Good enough to earn her the USA Softball National Player of the Week title for the week of Feb. 1-7. Fox posted a .692 batting average in the three-spot. She had nine hits, eight runs and nine RBI, including two hom runs. She also stole three bases...

...Sophomore All-American Caitlin Lowe had an impressive first week, hitting .444 in the leadoff spot over five games. She had eight hits in 18 at-bats and scored four runs. She stole six bases last weekend and defensively stayed perfect in center field, continuing her 1.000 mark from last season. She had four putouts over five games, including a throwout at the plate to keep New Mexico State scoreless...

...In her first week back since an ACL injury last season, junior Autumn Champion struggled at the plate, hitting .231 in the two-spot with three hits and three runs. She’s still speedy and stole two bases, plus drove in two runs...

...Senior Crystal Farley had a nice weekend, hitting .500 over five games, with five hits in 10 at-bats and three runs. She added a stolen base and at first base defensively, had 28 putouts and a perfect fielding percentage...

...Junior All-American pitcher Alicia Hollowell got her first two wins of the season Friday against Tulsa and Saturday against a tough Northwestern squad. She also tallied 35 strikeouts, which puts her career total at 937...

...Freshman pitcher Taryne Mowatt got a pair of wins in the Pepsi Classic, against Kansas and New Mexico State. Mowatt threw for 10 innings, striking out 12 and earning an ERA of 0.70...

...The Cats had a solid defensive weekend, committing just two errors in 34 innings of work for a combined fielding percentage of .986...