March 14, 2012
THE GAMES Date Time Opponent Location Friday, March 16 3:30 p.m. PT UC Davis south field 7:30 p.m. PT Cal State Fullerton Anderson Family Field Saturday, March 17 1:00 p.m. PT Brigham Young Anderson Family Field 3:30 p.m. PT No. 10 Lousiana Anderson Family Field Sunday, March 18 9:00 a.m. PT No. 24 DePaul Anderson Family Field
FOLLOW THE CATS
Live audio will be available at ustream.com/channel/ua-athletics
Live stats will be provided via GameTracker at arizonawildcats.com.
Follow Arizona Softball on Twitter (@UA_Softball) and Facebook (facebook.com/ArizonaAthletics) for game updates.
Arizona at the Judi Garman Classic All-Time:
First Competed: Last Year:
- UA traveled to Waco, Texas to take on Baylor last week only to have all three games rained out. It was the first time in Arizona history that it made a trip only to have all the games canceled.
- Brigette Del Ponte has reached base in Arizona's last 17 games.
- Arizona has shut out its last five opponents.
- Kenzie Fowler has gone 35 innings without allowing a run.
- Arizona pitchers allowed just three hits to College of Charleston; Arizona outhit the Cougars 30-3 and outscored CofC 22-0.
- Shelby Babcock dealt her first career no-hitter vs. College of Charleston in Arizona's 8-0, five-inning victory on Saturday. Babcock was a first-inning walk away from perfection.
- The Wildcats' defense has been errorless in 13 straight defense and 16 of its last 17 contests, leading to a very good .988 fielding percentage which leads the Pac-12.
- Arizona's pitching staff has a 0.91 ERA since Feb. 12. In that same time period, UA's offense is scoring 6.87 runs/game.
- Arizona stole six bases in Sunday's 5-0 victory over College of Charleston. Karissa Buchanan swiped three of them. Prior to the contest, Arizona's team season-high stolen bases was three.
UC Davis: The Aggies (9-17) are unranked by both the NFCA and USA Softball. UC Davis is coming off a 3-2 showing at the Aggie Stampede II last weekend with three wins over Idaho State and a pair of losses to Sacramento State. The Aggies also traveled to second-ranked California last week and were run-ruled by the Bears, 11-3 in six. Kelly Harman leads a balanced offensive team with her .295 batting average and two homers. UC Davis is coached by Karen Yoder who has a career 156-255-1 in her eight year at UC Davis.
Series History: N/A // First Meeting: N/A // Last Meeting: N/A
Cal State Fullerton: The Titans (12-14) are unranked by both the polls. The Judi Garman Classic hosts went 3-2 last week with wins over Michigan State, Charleston Southern and Utah State and losses to UNLV and East Carolina. Anissa Young leads the team with five homers and 16 RBI. Fullerton is coached by Michelle Gromacki, who, in her 13th year, carries a 416-275-1 with the program.
Series History: Arizona, 25-20 // First Meeting: 1982 // Last Meeting: 2/14/2010; Arizona 8, Cal State Fullerton 1; Tempe, Ariz. (Kajikawa Classic)
Brigham Young: The Cougars (13-7) are unranked by both the polls. BYU was off last week, but went 4-1 the previous week at the San Diego Classic with wins over Cal State Northridge, Saint Joseph's, Long Beach State and Charlotte and a loss to San Diego State. The Cougars are led by Delaney Willard offensively; she has six doubles, seven home runs, 27 RBI and bats .500. The head coach for BYU is Gordon Eakin who has a 384-167 career record in his ninth season at the helm of the program.
Series History: Arizona, 5-0 // First Meeting: 2000 // Last Meeting: 5/29/2010; Arizona 10, BYU 2 (5); Tucson, Ariz. (NCAA Super Regional)
Louisiana: The Ragin' Cajuns (22-0) are ranked 10th by the NFCA and 11th by USA Softball. Louisiana is coming off a three-game sweep of North Texas in which it beat the Mean Green 7-6, 5-4 and 11-4. The Ragin' Cajuns' offense has scored 217 runs on the season (nearly 10 per game) and is led by Christi Orgeron (.438 avg., nine doubles, nine home runs, 44 RBI) and former Wildcat Matte Haack (.403 avg., eight doubles, six home runs, 36 RBI). Orgeron leads the country in RBI per game and the Ragin' Cajuns lead the country in runs scored per game. Louisiana is co-head-coached by Stefni and Michael Lotief.
Series History: Arizona, 15-2 // First Meeting: 2001 // Last Meeting: 3/17/2011; Arizona 10, Lousisiana 2 (5); Fullerton, Calif. (Judi Garman Classic)
DePaul: The Blue Demons (14-5) are ranked 24th by the NFCA and 25th by USA Softball. DePaul went 4-1 last week at the Florida International Tournament where it split with Florida International and defeated Deleware twice. The Blue Demons are led in the circle by Bree Brown (4-0, 1.09 ERA, 32 strikeouts) and Kristen Verdun at the plate (.379 avg., six doubles, three homers, 16 RBI). DePaul is coached by Eugene Lenti, who currently has the fifth most wins among active Division I college softball coaches.
Series History: Arizona, 10-3 // First Meeting: 1995 // Last Meeting: 3/19/2011; Arizona 7, Lousisiana 1; Fullerton, Calif. (Judi Garman Classic)
HEAD COACH Mike Candrea: Arizona head coach Mike Candrea is in his 27th year at the helm of the Arizona softball program with a career record of 1,288-281-2 (.820). A winner of eight national championships (1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2007), Arizona has made 22 trips to the Women's College World Series under his guidance, missing just twice in the last 24 years (2004, 2011). In 2010, Candrea became the fastest coach in NCAA Division I softball to earn 1,200 wins, and, providing the squad wins 28 games this season, he will be the fastest to 1,300. Under Candrea, Arizona has a spectacular postseason record of 148-43. An even 50 All-Americans with a staggering 90 total citations have played in the program since Candrea took over.
THE RANKINGS: Arizona remained 13th in both the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll and ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25. The Wildcats started the season ranked eighth in both polls and finished 2011 ranked 11th in both.
LAST TIME OUT
The Wildcats took all three games in a series with College of Charleston. Arizona shutout the Cougars, and limited CofC to just three hits in the three games. Shelby Babcock tossed her first-career no-hitter on Saturday. UA downed College of Charleston 9-0 (5) on Friday, 8-0 (5) on Saturday and 5-0 on Sunday.
Friday: Fowler Fans 12 as Cats Cruise, 9-0 in Five
Arizona cruised past College of Charleston in the first of three games between the two clubs, 9-0 in five innings.
The fifteenth-ranked Wildcats (14-4) recorded a season-high 12 hits in the game, accomplishing the feat in just four innings of offense. Senior first baseman Jessica Spigner led the way with three hits, her first three-plus hit game in an Arizona uniform. Arizona outhit College of Charleston (9-5), 12-2 on the night.
Saturday: Babcock Collects First No-Hitter in UA Victory
Shelby Babcock allowed only one base runner in her first career solo no-hitter and Arizona run-ruled College of Charleston, 8-0.
Babcock retired the final 13 batters she faced and was a walk shy of perfection. The no-hitter was the 87th in school history. The sophomore struck out six of the 16 Cougar batters she faced. Babcock pitched the final inning of a combined no-no with Kenzie Fowler on March 25, 2011 against Cal State Northridge.
Sunday: Softball Completes Sweep of College of Charleston
Kenzie Fowler tossed a one-hitter and fifteenth-ranked Arizona shutout College of Charleston, 5-0, to earn a three-game sweep of the Cougars.
Fowler tossed a one-hitter, and recorded her fifth-consecutive complete-game shutout. The junior has not allowed a run in her last 35 innings pitched. Fowler struck out eight and walked three while improving to 7-0 on the season.
AT THE JUDI GARMAN CLASSIC
Last Year: Arizona went 3-2 at the Judi Garman Classic last season; it downed Louisiana (10-2/5), DePaul (7-1) and San Jose State (14-6/6) and fell to Michigan (8-0) and Oklahoma (5-3).
March 17, 2011: UA Falls to Oklahoma, Downs Louisiana Lafayette
Seventh-ranked Arizona (24-5) split a pair of games at the Judi Garman Classic, falling to No. 9 Oklahoma (24-6) 5-3 before besting No. 19 Louisiana Lafayette (22-4) 10-2 in five innings.
No. 7 Arizona dropped its first game at the Judi Garman Classic, failing to get revenge vs. No. 9 Oklahoma (24-6), a team that beat it 11-1 in five innings earlier in the season.
The Cats didn't take much time to respond to the earlier loss, putting ten runs across in the first three innings vs. Louisiana Lafayette.
March 18, 2011: Cats Drop Another at Judi Garman
Seventh-ranked Arizona (24-6) fell to No. 5 Michigan (28-1) 8-0 in a game that was much more competitive than the final score indicates.
Despite scoring eight less runs, Arizona had as many hits as Michigan, with team each registering seven base-knocks.
March 19, 2011: Offense Leads UA to Sweep
Seventh-ranked Arizona improved to 26-6 with a pair of wins vs. DePaul and San Jose State.
The Cats powered 24 hits and scored 21 runs on the day. UA beat DePaul (15-7) 7-1 and San Jose State (12-15) 14-6 in six in its final day at the Judi Garman Classic.
Lini Koria batted in seven runs on the day.
All-Time: Arizona has been travelling to Fullerton to compete in the school's tournament every year since 1984, which makes it the oldest active tournament that the Cats attend annually. Arizona has a 116-46 (.716) all-tim record in the tournament, formally known as the CSFU Pony Invitational, Pony-Lousville Slugger and Kia Klassic. The 46 losses in the tournament are by far the most losses in a tournament for Arizona. The next-closest figure is 15 at the Kajikawa Classic.
Brigette Del Ponte: Had four doubles in eight at-bats while driving in four runs against College of Charleston. Del Ponte hit .625 and slugged 1.125 in the three games.
Kenzie Fowler: Allowed three hits in 12 innings pitched while not allowing College of Charleston to cross the plate on the weekend. Fowler struck out 20 batters, including a season-high 12 in five innings (3/2).
Shelby Babcock: Pitched her first career no-hitter against College of Charleston (3/3). Babcock was one walk away from perfection in the five-inning no-no. The sophomore struck out six of the 16 batters she faced.
Jessica Spigner: Went 5-for-8 (.625) while driving in a couple of runs against Collegeof Charleston. Spigner doubled and drew a walk on the weekend.
Shelby Pendley: Had a couple of bombs and four ribbies to extend her team lead in both categories vs. College of Charleston. Pendley led the team with a 1.250 slugging percentage for the weekend.
STARING AT THE STATS: Arizona is on pace to become the 10th Wildcat club to knock and leg-out 90 doubles in a season. The Cats have 34 led by leadoff hitter Hallie Wilson's nine and seven by Brigette Del Ponte... Del Ponte is working on being a more selective swinger. She still gets the most of an at-bat but has built a .455 average and .855 slugging percentage as a more patient hitter. She hit .335 last year and .322 as a freshman with some more theatrical at-bats... Pitchers Kenzie Fowler, Shelby Babcock (and Jessica Spigner) have given UA a team ERA of 1.68 so far this year. A year ago Arizona checked out of the year at 2.99 in the category. Fowler (9.6) and Babcock (7.7) have increased their strikeouts-per-7-innings figures by 2.1 and 3.0, respectively. They each had some early-season trouble with bases on balls, but those tendencies appear to be diminishing as they challenge more hitters.
THREE HITS: Arizona pitchers Kenzie Fowler (2), Shelby Babcock (0) and Fowler (1) held College of Charleston to three hits in three games - one Babcock's first career no-hitter - in a total of 52 at-bats and 60 plate appearances by the Cougars. The hits all were safeties by outfielder Kristy Giragosian, who went 3-for-8 in the series. Babcock walked one batter, Kelsey Hodgson, in the first inning, otherwise would have notched a five-inning perfect game.
MAKING THE PLAYS: Arizona has gone 13 games without an error. (Uh-oh, not a good number.) It's helped push the team fielding percentage to .988, a superlative figure that would be its best in history if it held up. UA has been above the .980 mark just once in history, the 2001 national title year when UA went 65-4 and committed 34 errors. The Cats have just six miscues this year by five players.
GETTING IT DONE: Arizona is 16-4 to start the year. Decent, and typical. In the last five seasons the Cats have opened 18-2 (2011), 19-1 (2010), 16-4 (2009), 15-5 (2008) and 17-3 (2007).
PENDLEY POWER: Slugging freshman shortstop Shelby Pendley had two home runs last week to extend her team lead to eight. If that projected to three times that in a 60-game season she'd have one of Arizona's top 20 single-season home run marks. A couple of other slugging shortstops in UA history were Laura Espinoza with 37 in 1995 to set the UA record, Espinoza with 30 in 1994 and Lovie Jung with 25 in 2003. Kristie Fox had 15 in both 2006 and 2007 and finished with a career total of 48 (No. 11 on UA's chart). It's unfair to compare her to those All-Americans, but she has the power to make a run for it.
THIRTY-FIVE AND COUNTING: Kenzie Fowler has not allowed a run in her last 35 innings pitched, a streak that dates back to Feb. 18, when she allowed four runs to Western Kentucky. In the streak, Fowler has allowed just 14 hits and struck out 45.
IN THE CIRCLE: Arizona's pitching staff has been lights out as of late. In the last 92 innings, UA has allowed just 12 earned runs, shaking out to an ERA of 0.91 since Feb. 12. Arizona's only hiccup in that regard was an 11-10 loss to Nebraska on Feb. 10. The 11 runs surrendered to the Cornhuskers came in Kenzie Fowler's first start of the season after receiving minimal work in the weeks leading up to the season due to back injury. Over a third of Arizona's runs allowed on the season came in that game.
BDP: Brigette Del Ponte is a Bad Dream for Pitchers. BDP has reached base in 17 consecutive games and in all but one game this season. The junior has had multiple hits in five of Arizona's last nine games and has recorded 16 RBI in her last 10 games. Five of her seven doubles on the season have come in the past six games, including a three-double effort against College of Charleston on Saturday.
TURNING TURNSTILES: Through six home dates, Arizona is averaging 2,515 fans per game. If the fans continue to turn the turnstiles at this rate, it would rank second in Hillenbrand Stadium history. Last season, Arizona attracted 77,129 fans, an NCAA record, in 30 dates, shaking out to an average of 2,570 fans per game... a Hillenbrand high.
HOME SWEET HOME: One reason for the attendance is the usual result. Arizona wins 91% of its games at Hillenbrand Stadium (547-57) and is undefeated this season (8-0).