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Candrea Wins 1100th Game
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/17/2007
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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FULLERTON, Calif. ?- Arizona head coach Mike Candrea became the fourth coach in Division I softball history to win 1,100 games on Friday.  Candrea’s fifth-ranked Wildcats defeated Pacific, 11-0, in pool play as part of Fullerton’s Judi Garman Classic.

 

“I didn’t even know that this was my 1100th win.  It just means there were a lot of victories by a lot of good athletes,” Candrea said.  “To be honest, I don’t keep track of that stuff.”

 

With his 1100th victory, Candrea joined Fresno State’s Margie Wright, Florida State’s JoAnne Graf and Iowa’s Gayle Blevins as the only coaches in Division I softball history to have reached the 1100-win plateau.  Additionally, as this is his 21st season in the dugout, Candrea is the fastest of the elite quartet to accomplish the feat.  It took Wright 24, Graf 22 and Blevins 28 years, respectively, to get to 1100 wins.

 

Wright and Graf were both on hand at the Titan Sports Complex with their teams and congratulated their colleague on the rare achievement.

 

“I don’t think people realize what a difficult feat this is,” Wright said.  “It’s very difficult for anyone to get to 1,000 wins and it only gets tougher to get anything beyond that.  I’m happy for him and he deserves all the recognition he gets for his achievements.”

 

“Mike is one of the best coaches in the country and achieving 1100 wins is a credit to his ability and his knowledge of softball,” Graf said.  “I think he one of the classiest individuals there is and I congratulate him on his achievement.”

 

The victory improved Arizona’s record to 19-6 on the year and places Arizona in the Championship Bracket for the tournament.  The Wildcats will take on seventh-ranked Michigan on Saturday morning at 9 a.m.

 

A number of Wildcats moved up the program’s record book, including Caitlin Lowe reaching the 300-hit mark and scoring her 212th career run for eighth place on UA’s all-time list.  Kristie Fox tied Wildcat great Jennie Finch with 195 career RBI, and Chelsie Mesa promoted her hitting streak to 22 games.

 

In the circle, Taryne Mowatt improved to 13-6 on the year, behind four shutout innings of work in which she gave up four hits and one walk while striking out six opposing hitters.  Pacific’s Chelsea Engle (6-7) drew the loss and gave up three runs on eight hits before leaving after pitching 3.2 innings.  Sarah Akamine earned her first career save with three shutout innings in which she allowed only one Pacific hitter to reach base.

 

Arizona got on the board in the first inning behind Caitlin Lowe’s speed and a clutch single by Sarah Akamine.  Lowe led off with an infield single and stole her 24th base of the year.  Two outs later, Lowe was standing on third with Akamine at the plate in her first career at-bat as a cleanup hitter.  Akamine lined Chelsea Engle’s full-count offering through the right side to plate Lowe, giving Arizona a 1-0 edge.  The run was Lowe’s 212th of her career, moving her past Toni Mascarenas for eighth place on Arizona’s all-time list.

 

The Wildcats rallied for a pair of runs in the third inning to increase its lead to 3-0.  Caitlin Lowe led off with her second hit of the game and the 300th of her career.  One out later, Kristie Fox doubled her classmate home to double Arizona’s lead.  Next, Akamine traded places with Fox on a two-bagger of her own for Arizona’s second run of the inning and third of the game.

 

Arizona staged another two-out rally in the fifth inning, as the Wildcats scored two runs to increase their lead to 5-0.  With two out and nobody on base, Sam Banister reached base via a Pacific fielding error.  Callista Balko singled and K’Lee Arredondo was hit by a pitch to load the bases for the Wildcats.  Adrienne Acton then extended her hitting streak and UA’s lead with a two-run single down the right-field line, plating a pair of Wildcat runners.

 

The Wildcats put the game out of Pacific’s reach with six runs in the seventh inning and made it their most robust offensive effort since the season-opener against Ohio State.  All six runs came with two outs in a rally that saw five consecutive hits, capped off by a Jenae Leles’ fifth home run of the year.

 

Game Notes:

-         Chelsie Mesa extended her career and Pac-10-long hitting streak to 22 games in the seventh inning.

-         Caitlin Lowe’s first-inning run was the 212th of her career, moving her past Toni Mascarenas for eighth place on Arizona’s all-time list.

-         Caitlin Lowe became the seventh player in program history to have 300 career hits.

-         Adrienne Acton’s RBI single in the fifth inning pushed her hitting streak to 10 games.

-         Kristie Fox tied Jennie Finch for eighth place on Arizona’s all-time list with 195 career runs batted in.

-         Sarah Akamine started as the cleanup hitter for the first time in her career and had a career night.  The frosh 3-for-4 with a career-high four RBI.  She was one of five Arizona hitters to have more than one hit in the game.

 

Up Next: Arizona moves to the Championship Bracket in the Judi Garman Classic, as the Wildcats will take on No. 7 Michigan at 9 a.m. in the first round of the Championship Bracket.  Log on to www.arizonaathletics.com for free live stats, and check in with www.fullertontitans.com to see updated scores and brackets from the Judi Garman Classic.

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