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No. 2 Softball Home for Doubleheaders
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/17/2003
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 17, 2003

Next Up for the Cats

The No. 2 Arizona softball team (30-2) returns home for two doubleheaders. The Cats will play the Canadian National Team in an exhibition game on Friday, March 21 at 4 p.m. Arizona is scheduled to play No. 9 Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, March 22 at noon.

KIA Klassic

Arizona ended the KIA Klassic with a 4-0 record. The games that were set for Saturday and Sunday were canceled due to rain. The Cats opened the tournament with a 2-0 win over No. 16 Florida State on Thursday. Later that day, Arizona defeated Louisiana-Lafayette, 7-3. It was the first time the Cats gave up a run in 12 games. On Saturday, Arizona had an, 8-0 win over Long Beach State. Lovie Jung hit her third grand slam of the season. The Cats concluded the day with a 3-0 win over UNLV. Freshman Alicia Hollowell struck out 18 batters.

Going, Going, Gone

Arizona has hit 48 home runs in 32 games this season. The Cats also have hit eight grand slams. Senior Lovie Jung and junior Mackenzie Vandergeest are tied with three grand slams. Ten of Arizona's home runs were leadoff home runs. Fourteen runs have come with at least one runner on base and three have come with two runners on base.

Leaders of the Pac

Currently, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in a number of categories, including, runs scored (219), doubles (53), total bases (509), home runs (48) and runs batted in (204). Senior Lovie Jung leads the Pac-10 in runs scored (36), doubles (15), total bases (108), slugging percentage (1.161), runs batted in (51) and home runs (15).

In the Circle

Freshman Alicia Hollowell ended the KIA Klassic with a 2-0 record. Hollowell had a 0.00 ERA. She pitched 15 innings and struckout 32 batters. Against UNLV on Saturday, Hollowell struck out a season high 18 batters. She has eight double-digit strikeouts this season. Hollowell has a 17-2 season record with a 0.23 ERA. She has pitched 122 innings and has struck out 190 batters. Hollowell has already struck out more batters than former Wildcat All-Americans Susie Parra, Nancy Evans and Jennie Finch when they were freshmen.

Playing Like a Champion

Freshman outfielder Autumn Champion is currently second on the team with a .455 batting average. Champion has a 23-game hitting streak. She's close to breaking the 30 game hitting streak set by Amy Chellevold in 1994. She also has 13 multiple hit games. Champion leads the team in at bats (110), hits (50) and stolen bases (10).

The Rankings

Arizona is ranked No. 2 in the latest USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll. The Cats are also ranked No. 1 in the latest ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll. The ESPN.com poll began on Feb. 25 and is voted on by NCAA Division I coaches and by selected media members. The ESPN.com poll comes out again on Tuesday, March 18, and the USA Today poll comes out on Wednesday, March 19.

The Coach

Arizona's Mike Candrea carries a career record of 956-186 (.837), accomplished in 17 years with the Wildcats. The 2002 Pac-10 co-Coach of the Year has led UA to six national titles and six Pacific-10 Conference championships. Last season, he became only the third Division I coach in history to win 900 games. He's on his way to become only the second coach to win 1,000 games. During his tenure, Wildcat student-athletes have won the Honda Softball Award fives times (Susie Parra-1994, Jenny Dalton-1996, Nancy Evans-1998, Jennie Finch-2001, 2002). Candrea's Arizona teams have played in 16 consecutive NCAA Tournaments and 15 consecutive College World Series. Last season, Candrea's team made it to the College World Series Championship game before losing to California, 6-0. Candrea is joined by assistant coaches Nancy Evans and Larry Ray.

Hillenbrand Stadium

UA carries a record of 321-19 in Hillenbrand Stadium. Arizona had a total crowd of 2,560 for the Hillenbrand Invitational. The Cats had an average attendance of 1,755 and drew in a total of 49,140 in 2002. Arizona set an attendance record of 3,161 fans on April 9, 2002 against UCLA. Arizona had a three-season 70-game home winning streak snapped by UCLA on April 7, 2002.

UA Softball Notes

... Arizona has a 16-game winning streak... The Cats haven't given up more than three runs in a game all season... 13 of Arizona's games have been mercy ruled...

... Autumn Champion has a .615 batting average when advancing runners... Champion also has a .536 batting average with runners in scoring position...

... The Cats have 219 runs to opponents 16... Arizona has a .356 team batting average and opponents have a .136 batting average... Opponents have a .097 batting average against pitcher Alicia Hollowell... Arizona pitchers have only given up four home runs...

... Lovie Jung's 15 doubles this season moves her to No. 10 on the UA all-time record for doubles in a season... Jung has 16 home runs this season, Jung hit 16 last season... Mackenzie Vandergeest's 945 career putouts moves her to No. 8 for putouts in a career...

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