March 8, 2004
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This Week The Arizona softball team plays host to the Missouri Tigers of the Big 12 in a three-game series Friday-Sunday at Hillenbrand Stadium. The Tigers are 9-11 and play a doubleheader at Arizona State on Wednesday prior to series in Tucson.
The Coaches Larry Ray (Idaho State '74) is 25-0 in his tenure as acting head coach of the Wildcats. Including five seasons (four of competition) building a Florida program he has a career record of 194-106. His work with the Arizona program dates to 1986 and he was Candrea's top assistant for 10 years. Acting associate head coach Nancy Evans, a former Honda Award winner as a player, has been an assistant at UA since 1999.
The Coach Arizona's Mike Candrea carries a career record of 982-191 in 18 years at UA, but puts it on hold this season while he's on partial leave to be head coach of the U.S. Olympic Team. The eight-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year is a member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He has led Arizona to six national championships and seven Pac-10 titles. Candrea has led UA to 16 consecutive College World Series.
The No. 2 Wildcats remained undefeated with four victories in their Hillenbrand Invitational, including a narrow decision over No. 24 Georgia Tech. UA beat North Texas (11-0), Indiana (6-0), Georgia Tech (2-0) and UTEP (14-6). Alicia Hollowell threw a perfect game against Indiana, striking out a school-record 20 batters. The Cats had 36 hits and 15 stolen bases in the four games. UA overcame a nice challenge from UTEP on Sunday. The Miners, in their first season of competition, scored more runs in one inning (6) than any team had scored against UA all year, but Arizona rallied to win the game by the mercy rule. The Cats improved to 25-0.
The Rankings Arizona was ranked No. 2 in the preseason NFCA poll, and No. 3 in the ESPN/USA Softball poll. Feb. 11: 2/3. Feb. 18: 2/3. Feb. 25: 2/2. March 3: 2/2. March 10: TBA. UA has been ranked steadily since 1988 by the NFCA.
Wildcat Softball Notes ...Alicia Hollowell's phenomenal perfect-game performance against Indiana gave her the school record with 20 strikeouts in a game, topping Jennie Finch's record of 19 (vs. Oklahoma 4-17-2002). Her 20 strikeouts puts her at No. 20 on the NCAA record chart, and at No. 2 on the chart for strikeouts in a normal-regulation game. Hollowell also had 18 in March 2003 against UNLV and 17 this season against Oklahoma State... Her season total of 202 is a couple dozen shy of the single-season Top 10 chart, atop which she sits with her 394 Ks as a freshman. She could blow that mark away, with her 2.1 strikeouts per inning average... ...Hollowell, Leslie Wolfe and Wendy Allen each threw a shutout last week, giving the UA 13 this season... ...The Cats swiped 15 bases in 17 tries over the weekend, increasing the season total to 68 in 76 attempts. Freshman outfielder Caitlin Lowe led the way with six in six tries. The pace (2.7 per game) points at a potential season record. The mark is 138 by the 1998 team . Lowe is three shy of the school single-season Top 10 chart... ...Wendy Allen leads the team with 13 extra-base hits, highlighted by eight doubles - just eight shy of the No. 10 chart. Allen also drove in four runs on the weekend, pushing her team-leading season total to 44... ...Freshman Caitlin Lowe led the Wildcats on offense over the four-game weekend, hitting .750 with six hits in eight at-bats and seven runs... ...Junior Allyson Von Liechtenstein started three games for Arizona in the tournament, hitting a second-best .625 with five hits in her eight at-bats. Von Liechtenstein had five runs, four RBI and went three-for-three in stolen bases... ...The Wildcats' first three batters (Lowe, Champion and Allen) are hitting a combined .504, with 104 hits and 83 runs... ...Arizona's pitching staff (Hollowell, Allen and Wolfe), combined for a 0.97 ERA, allowing just 19 earned runs in 159 innings pitched and striking out 279. Wildcat opponents allowed174 earned runs (8.34 ERA) in 146 innings and have allowed 43 Wildcat homers... ...Senior catcher Mackenzie Vandergeest has 53 career home runs, which puts her at No. 4 on the UA career chart, ahead of Leticia Pineda, who has 52... ...With 39 home runs, junior Jackie Coburn is just one shy of a tie with Leneah Manuma at No. 10 on the UA career home runs chart, and only six shy of the No. 6 spot... ...The Wildcats are hitting a combined .362, with 244 hits, 205 runs, 43 homers and a .977 fielding percentage... ...Autumn Champion more than doubled her total RBIs over the weekend, adding seven over four games and putting her season total at 13... ...Freshman Kristie Fox drove in a second-best five runs in the tournament, hitting .500, including a home run, her sixth of the year... ...All-American junior outfielder Courtney Fossatti will take a medical redshirt season in 2004 while rehabilitating after off-season ankle surgery. She hit .327 as a sophomore... ...Three players have been named to the 'watch list' for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, won in its inaugural season last year by Texas' Cat Osterman. Sophomore pitcher Alicia Hollowell, senior catcher Mackenzie Vandergeest and freshman outfielder Caitlin Lowe were among 15 Pac-10 players on the list, which will be trimmed to 25 on April 6, to 10 on April 28 and to three finalists on May 11.
Probable Lineup - Caitlin Lowe-cf, Autumn Champion-lf, Wendy Allen-dh/1b, Mackenzie Vandergeest-c, Shelly Schultz-1b/2b, Jackie Coburn-3b, Kristie Fox-ss, Samantha Quintero-2b, Crystal Farley/Allyson Von Liechtenstein/Candace Abrams-rf, Alicia Hollowell-p. Reserves: Leslie Wolfe-p, Erin Palomarez-ph/1b, Cortney Nix-pr/ph, Jennifer Martinez-ph/inf, Betsy Wilson-pr/ph, Annalyn Hollingsworth-pr/ph.