Friday, March 3 Tulsa 6 p.m. Northwestern 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 4 St. Peters 12 p.m.
Sunday, March 5 Indiana 12 p.m. Northwestern St. (La.) 2 p.m.
Additional Games: 3/3: SPC-NW 8a.m., IU-UT 10 a.m., OSU-NWSt. 12 p.m., SPC-NWSt. 2 p.m., IU-OSU 4 p.m.; 3/4: SPC-IU 8 a.m., UT-OSU 10 a.m., NWSt.-IU 2 p.m., NWSt.-NW 4 p.m., NW-UT 6 p.m., SPC-OSU 8 p.m. 3/5: OSU-NW 8 a.m., UT-SPC 10 a.m.
Third-ranked Arizona (20-1), fresh off its Bama Bash Tournament title, will play host to the Hillenbrand Softball Invitational. The tournament will feature seven teams including the Wildcats. While it will be in a round-robin format, with seven total games on Friday and Saturday and three on Sunday, not every team will face each other. The teams include, No. 12 Oregon State, Tulsa, Northwestern, St. Peters, Indiana and Northwestern State (La.).
Arizona softball season tickets are available through the McKale Center Ticket Office (520-621-2287) at varying prices for seat locations, with discounts for children and seniors. Single-game tickets are sold at McKale and at the stadium box office on game days.
Last Week: Arizona captured the title of the 2000 'Bama Bash in Tuscaloosa, Ala. over the weekend with six victories, including a pair of wins over No. 15 DePaul. The Wildcats defeated the Blue Demons in the first game of the weekend, 3-0, behind a three-hitter from pitcher Becky Lemke (11-1), followed by a 6-1 win in the championship game. Pitcher Jennie Finch (9-0), last week's Pac-10 Player of the Week, had another outstanding weekend only this time it was in the circle. She struck out 26 batters and walked one while giving up one run and picking up three victories. Finch threw two shutouts, including a perfect game against Drake - her third career no-hitter - and a 12-0 two-hitter against Georgia Tech. Arizona outscored opponents 54-3 in six games and four Wildcats made the All-Tournament team, including centerfielder Nicole Giordano (12 hits), shortstop Alison Andrade (eight hits, four doubles and a tournament-high 11 RBI), Lemke (3-0, 0.39 ERA) and Finch (3-0, 0.41 ERA; plus three home runs and eight RBI). Swinging for the Fences This Arizona squad has upheld the Wildcat tradition of socking balls out of the yard as six Cats have hit the long ball this season. Jennie Finch leads the team with 10 home runs after hitting three more over the weekend, while Alison Andrade (5), Lindsey Collins (4), Lauren Bauer (2), Chrissy Gil (1) and Toni Mascarenas (1) have also hit the long ball.
National Fastpitch Coaches Association Poll
Arizona was ranked third in last week's NFCA coaches poll released Wednesday, Feb. 23. Eight Pac-10 schools are ranked in the top-25, including four in the top six spots.The poll is available online at www.nfca.org. Arizona has been in the national rankings every single period since 1990.
Notes from Left Field
In 21 games, the Wildcats have 221 hits for a team batting average of .409 and have outscored the opposition, 176-13... Arizona has collected ten or more hits in 13 of its 21 contests on the season... Junior Lauren Bauer leads the team with 15 stolen bases in as many attempts. She stole four more over the weekend. She now has 72 career steals - No. 4 on the all-time list - but still needs 41 more to catch current assistant coach Amy Chellevold who is third with 113... Nicole Giordano led the team at the Bama Bash with a .522 average (12-for-23) with three doubles and seven runs scored. She has a team-high .515 average on the season (34-for-66) with 14 walks and six strikeouts... Freshman Alison Andrade has 25 hits on the season, more than half of which (14) have been for extra bases. She has a team-high nine doubles and five home runs to go with 29 RBI... Senior Chrissy Gil, who had two career triples coming into the season, has hit three this year. She is tied with freshman Lisha Ribellia for the team lead...
Armed and Dangerous
Arizona's pitchers have dominated the opposition in recent years and this season is no exception... Junior Becky Lemke and sophomore Jennie Finch have combined to allow just 10 earned runs in 21 games... They have a combined three no-hitters on the season. The last time a pair of Arizona pitchers threw no-hitters in the same season was when Carrie Dolan and Nancy Evans each threw two during the 1995 season... Finch has an ERA of 0.56, while Lemke is close behind her with a 0.58 ERA... During the Bama Bash last weekend, Finch threw two shutouts against Drake and Georgia Tech while striking out 26 in 17 innings of work...Lemke has struck out 95 batters on the season to give her 493 for her career. She remains third on the all-time list behind Evans, who had 733, but with another two years like she had in 1999 (237 strikeouts) she could surpass that mark... Only three teams have managed as much as two runs off either of them in a single game this season (So. Miss., South Carolina and Alabama). Do Unto Others...
Sophomore Jennie Finch has managed to do to opposing pitchers what opposing batters have been unable to do to her - get big hits. Finch hit three home runs last weekend to bring her season total to 10, and she collected eight RBI... She leads the team in home runs and total RBI (30) and has a 1.018 slugging percentage... Add that to her pitching totals and she does pretty much everything but sweep the infield between games... She threw two no-hitters within a week of each other (vs. Tennessee Tech on 2/18 and vs. Drake on 2/25) and the latter was her first career perfect game... She also has two one-hitters on the season.
Pac-10 Weekly Honors
Finch was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week for Feb. 23-29 for her performance at the Bama Bash. It was her second honor of the year. She was also named the Player of the Week Feb. 29 after hitting .643 (9-for-14), including 12 RBI, four home runs, and nine runs scored at the Wildcat Invitational... Additionally, Becky Lemke won Pitcher of the Week honors Feb. 15 for her performance at the Fiesta Bowl Classic in Tempe, where she earned a 3-0 decision over then-No. 3 Fresno State.
2000 Team Nucleus
The 2000 Cats maintain their speed, defensive power and solid hitting ability from last year with the return of all starters. Three juniors were third-team All-Americans -- pitcher Becky Lemke and first team All- Pac-10 outfielders Lauren Bauer and Nicole Giordano. Junior third baseman Toni Mascarenas was named second team All-Pac-10 along with Lemke. Three Cats were honorable mention all-league picks -- senior outfielder Lindsay Robinson, sophomore pitcher Jennie Finch and senior outfielder Chrissy Gil. Other returning letterwinners include junior pitcher Teresa Ayoub, senior second baseman Katie Swan, junior first baseman Erika Hanson and catcher Lindsey Collins. Freshmen Lisha Ribellia (IF), Leneah Manuma (1B) and Lindsey Rice (OF) join junior transfers Allison Andrade (IF) and April Richardson (IF) to round out the squad.
Arizona Coach Mike Candrea
In his 15th season at Arizona, Candrea carries a record of 761-160 (.826). He is the active and all-time winningest Division I coach by percentage and in the top 10 in victories. Last season, Candrea became the eighth Division I coach in history to win 700 games. His players have earned 49 All-America honors and six Academic All-America honors, plus he has coached three players to the Honda Softball Award as national player of the year. He has taken the Wildcats to the College World Series the past 12 consecutive years and has reached the NCAA Championship game in eight of the last 10 seasons.
Cats Depth Chart p B. Lemke, J. Finch c Lindsey Collins 1b Jennie Finch, Erika Hanson, Leneah Manuma (inj.) 2b Katie Swan ss Allison Andrade, April Richardson, Lisha Ribellia 3b Toni Mascarenas, Lindsey Rice lf Lauren Bauer, Lindsay Robinson cf Chrissy Gil rf Nicole Giordano dp Jennie Finch, Erika Hanson, Teresa Ayoub