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No. 2 Softball to Play in the KIA Klassic
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/10/2003
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 10, 2003

Next Up for the Cats

The No. 2 Arizona softball team (26-2) hits the road for the KIA Klassic in Fullerton, Calif., from March 13-16. The tournament is pool-play action consisting of four pools of four teams. Results from pool play will seed a 16-team single-elimination bracket, with the champion crowned on Sunday afternoon, March 16 at 2 p.m. On Thursday, March 13, Arizona is scheduled to play No. 16 Florida State at 11 a.m. and Louisiana-Lafayette at 3 p.m. The Cats will take on Long Beach State on Friday, March 14 at 3 p.m.

Red Raider Classic

Last weekend, Arizona traveled to Lubbock, Texas for the Red Raider Classic and walked away with a 5-0 record. Sophomore Courtney Fossatti helped the Cats to a 9-0, win over New Mexico on Friday, March 7. Fossatti hit her first career grand slam. In the second game of the day, five Arizona players hit home runs in the 12-0 win over Columbia. On Saturday, March 8, freshman Autumn Champion was 2-for-3 with one run and two stolen bases to help the Cats to a 6-0 victory over Wichita State. The Cats defeated Texas Tech 10-0 with the help of a two-run home run by junior Mackenzie Vandergeest. Arizona ended the tournament on Sunday, March 9 with a 1-0 win over Texas Tech.

Going, Going, Gone

Arizona hit 12 home runs in five games of the Red Raider Classic. Senior Lovie Jung led the way with three home runs. Jung has hit 14 home runs so far this season. Junior Mackenzie Vandergeest and sophomore Courtney Fossatti both hit grand slams. Vandergeest has hit three grand slams this season. As a team, the Cats have hit seven grand slams.

Leaders of the Pac

Currently, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in a number of categories, including, doubles (52), total bases (459), walks (109), on base percentage (.440) and home runs (45). Jung leads the Pac-10 in doubles (14), total bases (97), runs batted in (42) and home runs (14). Freshman Alicia Hollowell leads all Pac-10 pitchers with batters struck out (158).

In the Circle

Freshman Alicia Hollowell ended the Red Raider Classic with a 3-0 record. Hollowell pitched 20 innings and struck out 22 batters. She ended the weekend with a 0.00 ERA. Hollowell has a 15-2 record and a 0.26 ERA. In 106 innings pitched, she has struck out 158 batters. Hollowell has only given up five runs this season. Junior Wendy Allen ended the weekend with 1-0 record. Allen had a 0.00 ERA and only gave up one hit. Allen has a 9-0 season record with a 0.50 ERA. Freshman Leslie Wolfe had her first career victory on March 7 against Columbia. Wolfe pitched six innings and gave up four hits.

The Rankings

Arizona is ranked No. 2 in the latest USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll. The Cats are also ranked No. 2 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 1 coaches and by selected media members. The ESPN.com poll comes out again on Tuesday, March 11, and the USA Today poll comes out on Wednesday, March 12.

The Coach

Arizona's Mike Candrea carries a career record of 952-186 (.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

The team ERA of 0.44 is currently No. 2 on the UA all-time pitching record... Arizona has had 11 consecutive shutouts... The Cats haven't given up a run since Feb. 22 against Virginia... The team's .978 fielding percentage is currently No. 3 on the UA all-time fielding records... Arizona has 199 runs to opponents 13... The Cats have scored 84 runs in the fourth and fifth innings... No opponent has scored runs in the fourth and fifth innings... Lovie Jung and Mackenzie Vandergeest are one and two in a number of team categories, including doubles, total bases, slugging percentage, walks, runs batted in and home runs... Autumn Champion has a 19 game hitting streak... Lovie Jung has had 12 multiple RBI games... The last time the Cats won the KIA Klassic was in 1998... Of the 16 teams participating in the KIA Klassic, nine teams are ranked; six teams are in the top 10...

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