TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The top-seeded and Pac-10 champion Arizona softball team had four players named to the All-Pacific-10 team on Wednesday. Seniors Caitlin Lowe and Kristie Fox, as well as junior Taryne Mowatt earned first-team honors, while 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 11 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
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 of the other four coaches that have done so.
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.
Beginning Friday, Arizona will play host to an NCAA Regional for the 13th time in the last 15 years. The Wildcats will open the four-team, double-elimination tournament against MEAC champion Howard at 6:30 this Friday. For tickets, call (520) 621-CATS or log on to arizonaathletics.com.
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