Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Softball Regional Guide
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: May 18, 2007
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For the 13th time in the last 15 years, the Arizona softball team will host an NCAA Regional in Tucson. 






4 p.m.

1 ?- Mississippi State vs. Pacific


6:30 p.m.

2  - Arizona vs. Howard


1:30 p.m.

3 ?- Winner 1 vs. Winner 2


4 p.m.

4 ?- Loser 1 vs. Loser 2


6:30 p.m.

5 ?- Winner 4 vs. Loser 3



6 ?- Winner 3 vs. Winner 5


2:30 p.m.

7 ?- Winner 6 vs. Loser 6

 (if necessary; each has loss)


How They Got to the Regional ?-


Arizona (39-12-1, 15-5-1 Pac-10) earned an automatic bid as the Wildcats won their 10th Pac-10 title in program history.  The Wildcats were named the top overall seed in the field of 64 after playing the nation’s toughest schedule and accumulating the top RPI, according to both the NFCA and NCAA.


Howard (35-19, 13-4 MEAC) was a latecomer to enter the tournament, but comes in with the momentum of a 17-0 drubbing of North Carolina A&T to capture the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament title. 


Mississippi State (34-25, 14-14 SEC) is one of seven teams from the Southeastern Conference to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament.  The Bulldogs got an at-large bid thanks to an RPI of 39 and the 25th-best strength of schedule, according to the NFCA.  MSU and Arizona played two common opponents during the season ?- Florida and California.  The Bulldogs went 1-3 against the Gators and 1-0 against the Golden Bears, while UA dropped its only game to Florida and swept three games from Cal.


Pacific (34-22, 9-9 Big West) is the only team in the Tucson Regional that Arizona has faced this year ?- an 11-0 UA victory.  The Tigers earned an at-large bid after a fourth place finish in the Big West Conference that is sending five teams to the tournament.


Arizona’s 21st NCAA Appearance ?- Arizona makes its 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance (21st overall) since 1987, all under coach Mike Candrea, except in the case of 2004 when Larry Ray served as interim head coach.  The Wildcats have qualified for the Women’s College World Series in 18 of the last 19 years, including a run of 16 consecutive trips to the WCWS, which ended in 2004.


Arizona has a record of 113-32 (.779) in all NCAA Tournament games.  In regional contests, Arizona is 58-8 (.879), with a 50-6 (.893) clip when playing the games in the friendly confines of Hillenbrand Stadium


For game-by-game results of Arizona’s NCAA Tournament history, see page 40 of this year’s media guide.


Arizona vs. the NCAA Tournament Field ?- Arizona is 29-12-1 against this year’s opponents included in the 64-team field.  Additionally, the Wildcats racked up an 11-11 record against the 16 seeded teams.


Arizona vs. the Tucson Regional Opponents ?- The Wildcats faced only Pacific during the regular season.  UA took the game 11-0 at Fullerton’s Judi Garman Classic on March 17.  The victory was Arizona head coach Mike Candrea’s 1,100th of his career.  Pacific is also the only team participating in the Tucson Regional that the Wildcats have seen in postseason play prior to this year.  UA defeated the Tigers by 10-0 and 7-0 margins in the Tucson Regional back in 1998.


Arizona last played Mississippi State on Feb. 9, 2003 as part of the Fiesta Bowl Tournament in Phoenix.  UA defeated the Bulldogs 9-2.


UA on TV: While the bright lights of television won’t be shining on Hillenbrand Stadium this weekend, Arizona has had its share of time in front of the cameras.  The Wildcats played four games this past year on TV and went 2-1-1 in those contests.  More impressively, Arizona has played a total of 31 games on television since 2005, including 12 last year.


USA SOFTBALL NATIONAL COLLEGIATE PLAYER-OF-THE-YEAR FINALISTS:  Two weeks ago, Caitlin Lowe was named to the USA Softball POY list of 10 finalists.  USA Softball cut its initial list of 25 candidates to 11 and will narrow the list down to three finalists before the Women’s College World Series.  Kristie Fox had been named to the mid-season list of 25 candidates, while Callista Balko and Taryne Mowatt were tabbed for the 50-name pre-season watch list.


ARIZONA HEAD COACH MIKE CANDREA ?- is in his 22nd season at the helm of the Arizona softball program.  He boasts a 1,120-226-2 (.832) record in 21 seasons in the dugout.  Candrea is one of five Division I softball head coaches to have won 1,100 games and was the fastest to do so.  He has earned 17 coach-of-the-year honors, including nine Pac-10 Coach-of-the-Year citations and is a member of the NFCA Hall of Fame.  In 2004, Candrea took a year off to coach the USA 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, marking the first time in history the award was given to an Olympic coach.  During his tenure, Arizona has won 10 Pac-10 titles and seven national championships.


1,100 WINS FOR CANDREA: On March 16 in Fullerton’s Judi Garman Classic, Arizona head coach Mike Candrea won his 1,100th career game in an 11-0 rout of Pacific.  Incidentally, Candrea’s son Mikel was on hand as Pacific’s hitting coach.


With the win, Candrea joined Margie Wright (Fresno State), JoAnne Graf (Florida State) and Gayle Blevins (Iowa) as one of only four coaches to accumulate 1,100 Division I softball coaching victories.  Since then, LSU’s Yvette Giourard joined the illustrious group with her 1,100th win.  Additionally, as this is his 21st season in the dugout, Candrea is now the fastest of the five to reach the 1,100-win plateau.  The feat took Wright 24, Graf 22, Blevins 28 and Giourard 27 years, respectively, to get to 1,100 wins.


Candrea by the Numbers

Overall record:                  1120-226-2

Pac-10 games:                 340-92-1

NCAA games:                  111-30

NCAA Regionals:              56-6

NCAA Super Regionals:    4-1

NCAA games in Tucson:   48-4

WCWS games:                51-23

Olympic Gold:                  1

All-Americans:                  73


Candrea’s Honors

2007     Pac-10 Coach of the Year

2004     USA Olympic team head coach

            Olympic Shield Award

            USOC Coach of the Year

2003     Pac-10 Coach of the Year

2002     Pac-10 Coach of the Year

2001     Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year

2000     Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year

1999     University of Arizona Honorary Alumnus Degree

1998     Pac-10 Coach of the Year

1997     NFCA Division I Coach of the Year

            Pacific Region Coach of the Year

            Pac-10 Coach of the Year

1996     NFCA Division I Coach of the Year

            Elected to NFCA Hall of Fame

1995     Pacific Region Coach of the Year

1994     NSCA Division I Coach of the Year

            Pacific Region Coach of the Year

            Pac-10 Coach of the Year

1988     Northwest Region Coach of the Year

            Pac-10 Coach of the Year

1987     Pac-10 Coach of the Year

1986     Pacific-West Co-Coach of the Year

1985     NJCAA Coach of the Year (Central Arizona)


ALL PAC-10: Seniors Caitlin Lowe and Kristie Fox, as well as junior Taryne Mowatt earned All-Pac-10 first-team honors, while senior Chelsie Mesa was listed on the second team.  Arizona head coach Mike Candrea was cited as the Pac-10 Coach of the Year for the 10th time.


Lowe, a four-time, first-team all-Pac-10 honoree, also became the first player in Arizona history to be named the Pac-10’s Defensive Player of the Year.  The center fielder from Tustin, Calif., is a three-time, first-team NFCA All-American and is hitting .431 on the season and leads the country in stolen bases at a perfect 46-for-46.  Arizona’s career steals leader is one of just 12 players in NCAA history to have accumulated 300 hits, 200 runs and 100 stolen bases. 


This is Fox’s third year as an all-Pac-10 first team selection.  The San Diego, Calif., native has been named a first-team NFCA All-American the last two years and currently leads Arizona with 13 home runs and 55 RBI.  The shortstop ranks eighth on the career home run list at UA with 46 dingers and is 15th in NCAA history with 222 RBI.


Mowatt, who assumed the esteemed role of being the Arizona ace this year, is a first time honoree after being tabbed as an honorable mention in 2006.  Mowatt boasts a 31-10 record with 409 strikeouts in 277 innings pitched.  The strikeout mark is the fifth best in a single season for a UA pitcher, as is the aforementioned innings total.  The hurler from Corona, Calif., has appeared in all but five of UA’s 52 games this season and has posted 25 wins against teams that made the NCAA Tournament.


For Candrea, who has been named coach of the year by every conceivable association or media outlet over the course of his illustrious career, his 10th Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor coincides with the 10th Pac-10 title for Arizona softball.  Earlier this year, the 22-year UA head coach earned his 1,100th Division I coaching victory and reached the benchmark victory faster than any other coach in the sport’s


Mesa, a second-year letterwinner from Yuma, Ariz., earned her first yearly honor in an Arizona uniform thanks to a .377 batting average, eight home runs and 16 stolen bases.  The second baseman came to the Wildcats after having won a pair of NJCAA national championships up the road at Phoenix College.  She has yet to complete a season of intercollegiate softball without a national championship.


Three Wildcats ?- Adrienne Acton, K’Lee Arredondo and Callista Balko ?- were listed as honorable mentions.  It is the first such honor for Acton or Arredondo and the second for Balko, who earned the same distinction in 2006.


Player of the Year: Kaitlin Cochran, ASU

Pitcher of the Year: Katie Burkhart, ASU

Defensive Player of the Year: Caitlin Lowe, ARIZ

Newcomer of the Year: Jennifer Salling, ORE

Coach of the Year: Mike Candrea, ARIZ



Katie Burkhart, ASU

Ashley Charters, WASH

Kaitlin Cochran, ASU

Krista Colburn, UCLA

Bianca Cruz, ASU

Lisa Dodd, UCLA

Kristie Fox, ARIZ

Danielle Lawrie, WASH

Jodie Legaspi, UCLA

Caitlin Lowe, ARIZ

Cambria Miranda, OSU

Taryne Mowatt, ARIZ

Jennifer Salling, ORE

Dena Tyson, WASH



Suzie Barnes, ORE

Mindy Cowles, ASU

Alissa Haber, STAN

Sari-Jane Jenkins, ORE

Natalie Johnson, OSU

Megan Langenfeld, UCLA

Dominique Lastrapes, WASH

Mia Longfellow, OSU

Brianne McGowan, OSU

Chelsie Mesa, ARIZ

Missy Penna, STAN

Jackie Rinehart, STAN

Alex Sutton, CAL

Ann Marie Topps, ORE



Adrienne Acton, ARIZ

Tricia Aggabao, STAN

K’Lee Arredondo, ARIZ

Callista Balko, ARIZ

Neena Bryant, ORE

Maddy Coon, STAN

Jaisa Creps, UCLA

Joanna Gail, ORE

Sherina Galvan, OSU

Lauren Greer, WASH

Tara Henry, UCLA

Whitney Holum, UCLA

Heidi Knabe, ASU

Shannon Koplitz, STAN

Marnie Koziol, WASH

Kristi Leiter, ORE


ALL-PACIFIC REGION TEAM: Three Wildcats ?- Taryne Mowatt, Caitlin Lowe and Callista Balko ?- were named to the NFCA’s all-Pacific Region first team.  The honor is a first for both Mowatt and Balko, while Lowe has been named to the all-region first team four years.  Next, voters will select the All-America teams from the all-region squads from across the country.


First Team

Pos.            Name                        School

P                Katie Burkhart            ASU

P                Taryne Mowatt            Arizona

C                Callista Balko             Arizona

1B              Dena Tyson                Washington

2B              Lisa Dodd                   UCLA

3B              Biana Cruz                 ASU

SS              Jennifer Salling           Oregon

OF              Kaitlin Cochran           ASU

OF              Caitlin Lowe                Arizona

OF              Krista Colburn             UCLA

UT/P           Danielle Lawrie           Washington

UT/Non-P    Cambria Miranda         OSU