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Four Wildcats Named to NCAA Softball 25th Anniversary Team
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: April 26, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The NCAA has named 10 former student-athletes and one coach to its NCAA Division I Softball 25th Anniversary Team for their outstanding achievements while participating in NCAA competition. The list includes four former Arizona players Leah O’Brien-Amico, Leah Braatz and Jennie Finch.  Arizona head coach Mike Candrea is the only non-student-athlete to be honored.

For O’Brien-Amico, good things come in threes.  The former outfielder, has a trio of NFCA first-team All-American citations, national championship rings, NCAA All-Tournament selections and Olympic gold medals. 

The only catcher named to the list, Braatz was a four-time NFCA first-team All-American.  In her four years of competition at UA, Braatz played in the NCAA championship game each year, and helped bring the Wildcats a pair of national titles.

Leah Braatz

Perhaps the most recognized name in the game today, Finch was the NCAA Most Outstanding Player in 2001, when she led the Wildcats to the most recent of their NCAA titles.  A two-time Honda Softball Award winner, Finch was named an NFCA first-team All-American three times and an NCAA All-Tournament team member twice.

Jennie Finch

Candrea, who is in his 21st year as head coach Arizona, has been at the helm of six national championship squads.  The nine-time Pacific-10 Coach of the Year took 2004 off to coach the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in Athens, Greece.  Incidentally, Arizona has qualified for the Women’s College World Series every year since 1988, with the only exception being 2004.

Mike Candrea

The NCAA is celebrating the 25th anniversary of women's championships in several sports during the 2005-06 season.



NCAA Division I Softball 25th Anniversary Team


Leah O’Brien, The University of Arizona, Outfield
NCAA All-Tournament (1994, 95, 97)
NCAA Champion (1994, 96, 97)
NCAA Runner-Up (1995)
NFCA All-American First-Team (1994, 95, 97)


Leah Braatz, The University of Arizona, Catcher
NCAA All-Tournament (1994, 95, 98)
NCAA Champion (1994, 97)
NCAA Runner-Up (1995, 98)
NFCA All-American First-Team (1994, 95, 97, 98)


Jennie Finch, The University of Arizona, Pitcher
NCAA All-Tournament (2001, 02)
NCAA Most Outstanding Player (2001)
NCAA Champion (2001)
NCAA Runner-Up (2002)
NFCA All American First-Team (2000, 01, 02)


Mike Candrea, The University of Arizona, Coach
NCAA Champion (1991, 93, 94, 96, 97, 01)
NCAA Runner-Up (1992, 95, 98, 02)
Women’s College World Series (WCWS) appearance (1988, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 2000, 01, 02, 03, 05)
NFCA National Coach of the Year (1994, 96, 97)

Shawn Andaya, Texas A&M University, Pitcher
Laura Berg, Fresno State, Outfield
Debbie Doom, UCLA, Pitcher
Lisa Fernandez, UCLA, Third Base and Pitcher
Lisa Longaker, UCLA, Pitcher
Amanda Scott, Fresno State, Pitcher
Natasha Watley, UCLA, Shortstop