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20070606 Softball Can Capture NCAA Title Tonight
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 06/06/2007
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With a win over Tennessee (63-7) in tonightˇ?s 7 p.m. (CDT) championship game, Arizona (49-14-1) will win its eighth NCAA title since 1991.? The game will be televised live on ESPN2 HD.

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Back-to-back: With a win tonight, Arizona will be crowned back-to-back NCAA champions for the third time in program history.

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Here is a list of back-to-back title winners:


1984-85 UCLA

1988-90 UCLA

1993-94 Arizona*

1996-97 Arizona*

2003-04 UCLA


*Arizona was the only team to win a national title between 1993 and 1997, as UCLAˇ?s 1995 title was vacated by the NCAA Committee due to infractions.

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If we score, we win: Arizona is 56-3 all-time in WCWS play when scoring one run or more.

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Back for more: In all seven years following a national title, Arizona has played a national title game.?

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The toughest thing to do... is end a teamˇ?s season.? While every team has had to write the final chapter in someone elseˇ?s storybook, Arizona wonˇ?t let another squad do it to them.? Arizona enters tonightˇ?s game having won its last six elimination games, dating back to the 2006 super regional against LSU.

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Date

Opponent

Result

Notes

5/27/06

LSU

W, 14-5 (5)

UA advances to 2006 WCWS in Game 3 of Super Regional

6/4/06

Tennessee

W, 6-0

UA reaches Championship Series after losing to UT earlier in day

6/2/07

DePaul

W, 3-0

UA breaks scoreless tie in fifth to eliminate DePaul

6/3/07

Washington

W, 2-0

UA forces ˇ?ifˇ± game with 6th inning 2-run double by Banister

6/4/07

Washington

W, 8-1

UA reaches 12 title game in program history, eliminates UW

6/5/07

Tennessee

W, 1-0 (10)

UA forces Game 3 of Championship Series


Taryne Mowatt has pitched every inning of Arizonaˇ?s 12 postseason games this year and enters Game 3 having thrown 53 innings seven complete games and 888 pitches in the last six days.? Last year, she did not pitch in UAˇ?s 2006 WCWS championship run, but made the All-WCWS team with five hits in seven at-bats.

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The aceˇ?s pitching stats over several timeframes:

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W-L

ERA

IP

R

ER

K

H

AVG

2007

41-12

1.48

363

90

77

511

198

.158

WCWS

5-2

0.53

53.0

6

4

65

27

.150

Postseason

10-2

0.73

86.0

13

9

102

44

.150

Pac-10

14-4

1.60

131.1

31

30

174

71

.156

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Throughout the WCWS, Taryne Mowatt has set or challenged a number of Arizona and WCWS records:

Arizona records

Entering Game 3

Record holder

Innings pitched in a season

363

Mowatt

Victories in a season

41

Tied with Hollowell, ˇ®04

Strikeouts in a season

511

Mowatt

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WCWS records

Entering Game 3

Record holder

Innings Pitched

53.0

54.0 (Ritter, Michigan ˇ?05)

Complete Games

7

Mowatt

Wins

5

5 (multiple)

Games Started

7

7 (Ritter, Michigan ˇ?05)

Strikeouts

65

68 (Abbott, Tennessee ˇ?07)

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Generally speaking, itˇ?s not fair to compare anyone to an Olympic-hopeful, four-time All-American who carried her team to a WCWS title, but Taryne Mowatt is making quite ˇ?pitchˇ± that she is up to the benchmark standards that Alicia Hollowell set in OKC last year.

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Here are their numbers WCWS numbers from their respective seasons.

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W-L

ERA

IP

R

ER

K

H

AVG

Mowatt

5-2

0.53

53.0

6

4

65

27

.150

Hollowell

5-1

0.33

43.0

3

2

64

24

.157

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Sliding up the Banister: Since going hitless (0-for-6) in UAˇ?s first two WCWS games, Sam Banister is 7-for-14 with at least one hit in each of UAˇ?s last five games.? Last night, she had her second consecutive multi-hit game.? That marks the first time she has multiple hits in back-to-back games in 2007 and just the second time she has accomplished the feat in her career.? Additionally, Banister enters tonightˇ?s contest 4-for-9 (.444) in her career against Monica Abbott.? Banisterˇ?s 2007 WCWS highlights include the game-winning double in Arizonaˇ?s first game against Washington on Sunday and having four hits of UAˇ?s eight hits over the last two games against UT.

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Fox on fire: Kristie Fox entered this yearˇ?s WCWS hitting .160 (4-for-25) in WCWS contests... and is hitting .500 (10-for-20) in UAˇ?s WCWS games this year.

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WCWS records: Fox has a shot at several WCWS records.? For a complete listing of records, see page 35 of WCWS Record Book

Foxˇ?s WCWS stats entering Game 3

Record

Batting average: .500 (10-for-20)

Leah Oˇ?Brien, Arizona ˇ®94 .750

Hits: 10

Natasha Watley, UCLA ˇ?03 11

Total bases: 14

Tairia Mims, UCLA ˇ?03 16

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Snubbed? Since learning that she was not named to the All-Pacific Region Team that was announced prior to regional play, Kristie Fox is on a tear.? Here are the two-time, first-team All-Americanˇ?s postseason stats.

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G

AVG

H

AB

OBP

SLG

R

RBI

XBH

HR

SB-A

11

.438

14

32

.535

.719

7

8

5

2

2-2

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Seniors leading the way: ?Last night, Mike Candrea did not have his three seniors ?C Caitlin Lowe , Chelsie Mesa and Kristie Fox ?C as his first three hitters in the order for just the second time in 54 games. However, no matter where the trio of hitters is hitting, they can be counted on to make an impact.

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Overall Stats

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Avg.

HR

Runs

RBI

SB

Seniors

.365

24

148

131

71

Non-seniors

.243

33

172

167

30

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WCWS Stats

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Avg.

HR

Runs

RBI

SB

Seniors

.314

1

7

7

1

Non-seniors

.195

0

9

9

2

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No stealing allowed: Callista Balko has thrown out 4 potential base stealers in 8 attempts this WCWS.? She has thrown out 6 of 11 in her WCWS career.? Arizona has stolen 13 bases in as many attempts over that timeframe.

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OK, she can steal: Caitlin Lowe has 156 steals in her career.? She needs two more to tie Natasha Watleyˇ?s Pac-10 record of 158 career stolen bases.

The Lowe-down on the record book: As a four-time, first-team NFCA All-American Caitlin Lowe has already cemented her name into the annals of Arizona softball.? Throughout the year Lowe has climbed up the school record book and has a legitimate shot to finish in the top 10 in five categories in NCAA history.?

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Lowe in top 10 Arizona history

Category Ariz. Rank NCAA Rank

Batting Avg..444 2 11

Hits 347 5 12

Runs 241 6 11

Stolen Bases 156 1 11

Stolen Base Pct.?.945 1 6

Triples 11 4

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Always All-Americans: On Wednesday, Caitlin Lowe and Taryne Mowatt were cited as 2007 NFCA All-Americans.? Lowe became the second four-time, first-team NFCA All-American in Arizona softball history (Leah Braatz is the other).? Mowatt gave Arizona a pitcher on the All-America team for the 17th consecutive year.

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Bring your friends! Arizona appears to be a near lock to repeat as the NCAA champion ?C in home game attendance. ? In 29 dates, Arizona hosted 44,487 fans for an average of 1,534 per date. ?Even more impressive is Arizonaˇ?s average of 2,093 fans in Pac-10 contests.

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UA on TV: Arizona is no stranger to the ESPN cameras ?C or any television coverage for that matter.? In addition to three Tucson stations making the trip to Oklahoma City, the Wildcats have played 40 televised games since 2005, including 13 this year, 12 in 2006 and 15 in 2005.

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Fool me once... Only teams have beaten Arizona twice in a single WCWS ?C California in 2003 and Tennessee this year.

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Any volunteers? Arizona is 16-3 in its last 19 NCAA tournament games -- and Tennessee is the culprit. Those losses kept UA from a new school-record for consecutive tourney victories, which would have eclipsed the mark of 14 straight in 1993-95.

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Arizona head coach Mike Candrea ?C is in his 22nd season at the helm of the Arizona softball program.? He boasts a 1,130-228-2 (.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 18 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 Committeeˇ?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.

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1,100 wins for Candrea: On March 16 in Fullertonˇ?s Judi Garman Classic, Arizona head coach Mike Candrea won his 1,100th career game in an 11-0 rout of Pacific.? Candreaˇ?s son Mikel was on hand as a coach for Pacific.

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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, LSUˇ?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.

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Candrea by the Numbers

Overall record: 1130-228-2

Pac-10 games: 340-92-1

NCAA games: 121-32

WCWS games: 56-25

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