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09-17-07 Olympic Team Announced
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 09/17/2007
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Candrea 09-17-07

OKLAHOMA CITY ??C?Arizona softball head coach Mike Candrea has been appointed the head coach for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, USA Softball announced Monday.

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Additionally, USA Softball announced its 18-player roster for Beijing, which will be cut down to 15 eligible players with three alternates before the Games.

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Four former Wildcats ?C Jennie Finch, Alicia Hollowell, Caitlin Lowe and Lovie Jung ?C were selected.? Those four players, who have 12 NFCA All-America citations among themselves, will strive to add to the five gold medals won by former UA softball players Finch and Jung earned gold medals with the 2004 team, while Hollowell and Lowe joined the national team-fold in 2005.

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ˇ?Those four players were obviously outstanding players here at Arizona,ˇ± Candrea said, ˇ?and they had the opportunity to take their game to the next level. ?They have all done a nice job of representing the Untied States and the sport.? I look forward to all of them making great contributions for this team.ˇ±

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Candrea, who is in his 23rd year at Arizona, coached the 2004 Olympic squad to a 9-0 record and a gold medal at the Athens games, is coming off back-to-back national championship titles with the Wildcats.

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ˇ?Itˇ?s an honor.? Any time you get an opportunity like this itˇ?s a chance of a lifetime,ˇ± Candrea said.? ˇ?I feel very blessed that Iˇ?ve been able to do it twice.? Itˇ?s an honor and a wonderful feeling to be able to work with the best athletes in the country and the world.? I enjoy the process and the pressure of going into the arena.? Iˇ?m looking forward to the upcoming year.ˇ±

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Arguably the most decorated coach in the history of the sport, Candrea has won eight national championships at UA, is one of just five coaches in Division I history to have won 1,100 games and was the fastest of the quintet to do so, has been named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year 10 times and was the first coach to have been awarded the U.S. Olympic Committeeˇ?s Olympic Shield.? Also in 2004, Candrea was named the USOCˇ?s Coach of the Year.

?Jennie Finch

At Arizona, Finch was heralded as a two-time Honda Award winner, a three-time All-American and the 2001 Womenˇ?s College World Series Most Outstanding Player, which capped off a perfect 32-0 season for the pitcher from La Mirada, Calif.

?Lovie Jung

Jung began her Wildcat career as a junior transfer in 2002, when she was named the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year and a top 10 finalist for the USA Softball Award.? After winning a gold medal at the ISF World Championships along with Finch and Candrea in the summer of 2002, Jung capped her collegiate career with an incredible senior year, in which she led the nation with 25 home runs.? In 2003, she was named one of three finalists for the USA Softball Award and an NFCA first-team All-American.

?Alicia Hollowell

That year, a freshman from Suisun, Calif., joined Jung and the Wildcats and would become UAˇ?s first four-time All-American pitcher.? Hollowell had the unenviable task of replacing Finch in the circle, but managed to make a name for herself in the process.? By the time she wrapped up her four years in Tucson, Hollowell had set school records for victories (134), strikeouts (1768), innings pitched (1122) and no-hitters (17).

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Hollowellˇ?s playing career at UA culminated with a stellar 2006 WCWS, in which, she brought the Wildcatsˇ? seventh national championship home to Tucson.? At the WCWS, she struck out 64 and allowed just two earned runs over 43 innings and six games, earning her Most Outstanding Player honors.

?Lowe 09-17-07

In a program that has had 34 different players named an All-American, four Honda Awards, 19 WCWS appearances and eight national championships, it can be difficult for a player to stand out from the rest of the pack.? Lowe, however, has a way of racing away from the rest of field and did just that at UA ?C setting a school record for stolen bases, along with a myriad of other accomplishments.

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Loweˇ?s endeavors include joining Leah Braatz as the only other Wildcat to have been named a first team All-American all four years, as well as being one of just 12 players in Division I history to have accumulated over 300 hits, 200 runs scored and 100 stolen bases.

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Lowe has served as the U.S. National Teamˇ?s leadoff hitter and has contributed 74 hits and 60 runs scored and 23 stolen bases in 58 games with Team USA since 2005.

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The four-year process culminated with the final selection camp held last week in Chula Vista, Calif., with 32 participants.??UA was well represented at the camp, with former Wildcats Kristie Fox and Mackenzie Vandergeest joining current players Taryne Mowatt and Brittany Lastrapes.?

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ˇ?This experience was a good one for both Taryne and Brittany,ˇ± Candrea said.? ˇ?They will both do an outstanding job here.? Taryne had a remarkable finish last year, and sheˇ?s going to come into this year and know sheˇ?s not sneaking up on anyone.

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ˇ?Brittany did a great job,ˇ± Candrea continued.? ˇ?She fit in very well, competed hard.? I think sheˇ?s going to have a great career here.ˇ±

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The team will kick off a 40-city U.S. Tour titled ˇ?Bound 4 Beijingˇ± in February.? Team USA will face the two-time defending national champion Arizona Wildcats at Hillenbrand Stadium on Feb. 19.

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Monica Abbott, Salinas, Calif. (Tennessee ˇ®07)

Laura Berg, Santa Fe Springs, Calif. (Fresno State ˇ?98)
Crystl Bustos, Canyon Country, Calif. (Palm Beach C.C.)

Andrea Duran, Selma, Calif. (UCLA ˇ?06)

Lisa Fernandez, Long Beach, Calif. (UCLA ˇ?95)

Jennie Finch, La Mirada, Calif. (Arizona ˇ?02)

Tairia Flowers, Tucson, Ariz. (UCLA ˇ?04)

Vicky Galindo, Union City, Calif. (Cal ˇ?04)

Alicia Hollowell, Suisun, Calif. (Arizona ˇ?06)

Lovieanne Jung, Fountain Valley, Calif. (Arizona ˇ?03)

Kelly Kretschman, Indian Harbour Beach, Fla. (Alabama ˇ?01)

Lauren Lappin, Anaheim, Calif.? (Stanford ˇ?06)

Caitlin Lowe, Tustin, Calif. (Arizona ˇ?07)

Jessica Mendoza, Camarillo, Calif. (Stanford ˇ?02)
Stacey Nuveman, La Verne, Calif. (UCLA ˇ?02)
Cat Osterman, Houston, Texas (Texas ˇ?06)
Jenny Topping, Whittier, Calif. (Cal-State Fullerton ˇ®03)

Natasha Watley, Irvine, CA. (UCLA ˇ?03)

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Head Coach Mike Candrea

Assistant Coach Chuck Dˇ?Arcy

Assistant Coach Karen Johns

Assistant Coach John Rittman

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