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No. 4 Softball Heads to Bay Area
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 04/25/2007
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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With a two-game lead in the Pac-10 standings, fourth-ranked Arizona begins the second half of Pac-10 play with a trip to the Bay Area to take on No. 17 Stanford and Cal.

 

ARIZONA SOFTBALL THIS WEEK

Friday, April 27 vs. Cal ?- 3 p.m.

Saturday, April 28 vs. Stanford ?- 1 p.m.

Sunday, April 29 vs. Stanford ?- 1:30 p.m.

            TV: CSTV (Tom Hart/Ann Schatz)

 

RECAPPING LAST WEEKEND: Arizona bounced back from a mid-week, 6-3 loss at Arizona State with three home wins over the Oregon schools.

 

On Friday, the Wildcats defeated No. 14 Oregon State by a 3-1 tally behind a two-hit, eight-strikeout performance by Taryne Mowatt.  Kristie Fox was a single short of the cycle, as she went 3-for-3 with her second career triple, 12th home run of the year and a double. 

 

The next night Mowatt duplicated her one-run, two-hit outing with the same results against No. 15 Oregon in UA’s 4-1 win over the Ducks.  A balanced offensive effort that saw multi-hit games for Caitlin Lowe, Kristie Fox and Laine Roth paced, as well as a two-run homer from Callista Balko and a game-winning sacrifice fly by K'Lee Arredondo lifted the Wildcats over UO.

 

On Sunday, the Wildcats completed the weekend sweep with a 9-1, six-inning victory over Oregon.  Arizona’s first run-rule victory of Pac-10 play came via a trio of three-run innings, a strong pitching effort out of Mowatt and dominating offensive performance out of the three seniors.  Caitlin Lowe opened the game with a single and a stolen base, followed by a Chelsie Mesa walk.  Kristie Fox singled Lowe home for the game’s first run, before Jenae Leles doubled Mesa and Fox around to score.  The next inning, Lowe repeated what she did in the first with another single and stolen base and Mesa followed suit with her second walk in as many innings.  Fox then doubled UA’s lead with her 12th home run of the year.  Lowe’s second-inning stolen base was the 148th of her career, placing her in a tie with school recordholder Alison McCutcheon for stolen bases in a career.

 

NOTING THE GOLDEN BEARS: Cal enters the week with a 26-26 overall record and 2-10 mark in Pac-10 play.  The Golden Bears are led by Christina Schallig (.351, 4 HR, 35 RBI) and Alex Sutton (.316, 10 HR, 40 RBI).  In the circle, Lauren Frankiewicz (13-13, 3.35 ERA) has earned half of the decisions and has the best ERA on the staff.

 

Arizona took two games from Cal in Tucson two weeks ago, as UA prevailed by 6-4 and 5-2 tallies.  UA hit .347 as a team in the two contests, with Caitlin Lowe swiping four of the seven Wildcat stolen bases.

 

NOTING THE CARDINAL: Stanford comes into the week 29-13 overall and 5-7 in Pac-10 games.  After getting swept at Arizona and ASU two weeks ago, the Cardinal bounced back to take a game from UCLA and to split with Washington last week at home.  Alissa Haber leads Stanford with a .392 average and tops most of the Cardinal’s offensive categories during Pac-10 play.  Missy Penna  boasts a 21-6 record in the circle to go with her 2.17 ERA, but has seen her ERA nearly double in conference play as it has risen to 4.17 in those contests.

 

Arizona defeated Stanford in the two teams’ only meeting this year, as UA knocked off the Cardinal, 4-1. 

 

ARIZONA HEAD COACH MIKE CANDREA ?- is in his 22nd season at the helm of the Arizona softball program.  He boasts a 1,115-223 (.833) record in 21 seasons in the dugout.  Candrea is one of five Division I softball head coaches to have won 1,110 games and was the fastest to do so.  He has earned 17 coach of the year honors, including nine Pac-10 Coach of the Year citations, and is a member of the NFCA Hall of Fame.  In 2004, Candrea took a year off to coach the USA Olympic softball team to a 9-0 record and a gold medal in Athens.  Candrea was also awarded the Olympic Shield award, the U.S. Olympic Committee’s most prestigious award, marking the first time in history the award was given to an Olympic coach.  During his tenure, Arizona has won nine Pac-10 titles and seven national championships.

 

1,100 WINS FOR CANDREA: On March 16 in Fullerton’s Judi Garman Classic, Arizona head coach Mike Candrea won his 1,110th career game in an 11-0 rout of Pacific.  Incidentally, Candrea’s son Mikel was on hand as Pacific’s hitting coach.

 

With the win, Candrea joined Margie Wright (Fresno State), JoAnne Graf (Florida State) and Gayle Blevins (Iowa) as one of only four coaches to accumulate 1,100 Division I softball coaching victories.  Since then, LSU’s Yvette Giourard joined the illustrious group with her 1,100th win.  Additionally, as this is his 21st season in the dugout, Candrea is now the fastest of the four to reach the 1,100-win plateau.  The feat took Wright 24, Graf 22, Blevins 28 and Giourard 27 years, respectively, to get to 1,100 wins.

 

ARIZONA TOPS NFCA RPI, STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: The Wildcats have the top RPI and strength of schedule, according to the NFCA’s simulated ratings percentage index, which can be found at http://www.fullysports.com/softball/2007/rpi or on page 7 of the .pdf version of the notes.  Arizona has received top-billing every week the rankings have been published this year and possesses a commanding lead ?- the difference between Arizona and the second-ranked team, Oklahoma, is larger than the difference between the Sooners and No. 18 NC State.

 

STEALING THE RECORD: On Sunday, April 22, Caitlin Lowe tied Alison McCutcheon’s school record of 148 career stolen bases.  That marks is good for 12th in NCAA history and second in Pac-10 history.  Lowe is currently 41-for-41 in stolen bases this year, giving her the most steals without being caught in Arizona history and the highest steals-per-game ratio (0.98) in the country. 

 

Dating back to last season, in which she ended with seven straight successful stolen bases, Lowe has stolen a school record 48 consecutive stolen bases without being caught.

 

In terms of NCAA history, Lowe is currently tied for third for the most steals in a season without being caught.  Only Morgan State’s Angel McNamara (48 SB in 1994) and South Carolina State’s Gina Freeman’s (47 SB in 1996) marks stand ahead of her on the single season stolen-base percentage list.

 

THE LOWE-DOWN ON THE RECORD BOOK: As a three-time, first-team NFCA All-American Caitlin Lowe has already cemented her name into the annals of Arizona softball.  In addition to the inevitable single-season marks she will set or challenge throughout 2007, Lowe is already climbing up the school record book and has a legitimate shot to finish in the top 10 in four categories in NCAA history. 

 

Lowe in top 10 Arizona history

Category

 

Ariz. Rank

NCAA Rank

Batting Avg.

.454

2

6

Hits

324

6

18

Runs

231

8

14

Stolen Bases

148

t-1

t-12

Triples

10

4

 

 

300-200-100 CLUB: Caitlin Lowe is one of 12 players in NCAA Div. I softball history to have accumulated 300 hits, 200 runs and 100 stolen bases over her career.  Arizona has three former Wildcats plus Lowe on the list and is the only program represented by more than one athlete.

 

Nicole Barber, Georgia 379 hits, 266 runs, 257 stolen bases
Lauren Bauer, Arizona 349 hits, 238 runs, 133 stolen bases
Amy Chellevold, Arizona 371 hits, 252 runs, 113 stolen bases

*Norrelle Dickson, Oklahoma 317 hits, 227 runs, 104 stolen bases

 *Amber Jackson, Maryland 332 hits, 250 runs, 103 stolen bases
Kelly Krestchman, Alabama 368 hits, 288 runs, 133 stolen bases
*Caitlin Lowe, Arizona 324 hits, 231 runs, 148 stolen bases

Alison McCutcheon, Arizona 405 hits, 289 runs, 148 stolen bases

*Lindsay Schutzler, Tennessee 343 hits, 230 runs, 114 stolen bases

Tiff Tootle, South Carolina 351 hits, 207 runs, 114 stolen bases

Natasha Watley, UCLA 395 hits, 252 runs, 158 stolen bases

Shamalene Wilson, Florida St. 310 hits, 223 runs, 161 stolen bases
 

*current players

 

LOWE NAMED CANDIDATE FOR LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD:  Caitlin Lowe was named one of 20 candidates for the 2007 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Candidates were selected based on personal qualities that define the complete student athlete.  While on-the-field performance during their collegiate softball careers is a factor in determining candidates and the eventual winner, their personal character and off-the-field achievements in the classroom and community are major areas of focus.  Finalists for the award will be announced on April 26.

 

PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: On March 6 Caitlin Lowe (Feb. 26-March 4) became the first Arizona player to be named the Conference’s player of the week this season.  The honor was well-deserved, as Lowe helped Arizona sweep Missouri by batting .700 (7-for-10), scoring eight runs with four RBI and nine stolen bases.  She scored multiple runs and had multiple hits in all three games and had a pair of four-stolen base contests.

 

SENIORS LEADING THE WAY: In 29 of the last 30 games, Arizona has started seniors in the first, second and third spots in the batting order.  Caitlin Lowe, Chelsie Mesa and Kristie Fox are the first trio of seniors to be penciled in to the top of the order since Lauren Bauer, Nicole Giordano and Toni Mascarenas started up the majority of games during UA’s 2001 title run.

 

Below are the seniors’ combined numbers in relation to the other six spots in the batting order throughout the year: 

 

 

Avg.

Runs

RBI

SB

Seniors

.377

115

94

57

Non-seniors

.249

117

119

23

 

PAC-10 PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Taryne Mowatt has been named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week three times this season, including last week for her performance against the Oregon schools.  Mowatt compiled three complete-game, one-run outings that led to a weekend sweep of No. 14 Oregon State and No. 15 Oregon.  Her two shutouts of ASU (April 2-8) and stellar effort at the Judi Garman Classic (March 13-19) account for her other citations this season.  She has now earned five weekly honors from the Pac-10 during her career.

 

Mowatt was also named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week for her work against ASU and earlier in the season (March 13-19) for leading UA to a runner-up finish at Fullerton’s Judi Garman Classic, in which she posted victories over NC State, Pacific, Michigan and Louisiana-Lafayette.

 

 

MO-HITTERS: On April 6 against ASU, Taryne Mowatt tossed her fourth career no-hitter and second of 2007.  That places her seventh in UA history for no-no’s, with all six Wildcat greats ahead of her garnering at least one All-America citation during their careers.

 

STRIKE THREE! Two weeks ago, Taryne Mowatt reached the 400 career-inning plateau that qualified her for a place on NCAA ratio-based career record lists, such as ERA.  Entering the week, Mowatt’s 10.6 strikeouts per seven innings rank her seventh on the all-time list, right behind Alicia Hollowell and fourth among active players.

 

A NEW WORKHORSE: When four-time All-American pitcher Alicia Hollowell’s eligibility expired with the 2006 Women’s College World Series championship last season, the Wildcats knew that they had to replace someone who had pitched in over 75 percent of Arizona’s games since 2003.  Taryne Mowatt has pitched all but 11 of Pac-10 play, seen action in at least part of 38 of UA’s 43 games this year and has recorded over 75 percent of the total outs. 

 

USA SOFTBALL NATIONAL COLLEGIATE PLAYER OF THE YEAR “WATCH LIST”: Arizona senior shortstop Kristie Fox and senior center fielder Caitlin Lowe were named to the list of 25 finalists for the USA Softball Player of the Year award.  Junior catcher Callista Balko and junior pitcher Taryne Mowatt had been named to the preseason 50-name list.  Lowe was one of three finalists for the award in 2005, while Alicia Hollowell was a top-three finalist last year.

 

FOX RACKS UP THE RIBBIES: Kristie Fox enters the weekend ranked seventh on UA’s career RBI list with 215.

 

Fox leads Arizona with 48 RBI, 17 more than Chelsie Mesa’s 31 ribbies that are good for second on the team.  A two-time, first-team NFCA All-American, Fox also leads the Wildcats in home runs (12), slugging percentage (.681) and total bases (92).

 

THREE TIMES A CHAMPION: If nothing else, Chelsie Mesa can be called a winner.  The senior second baseman from Yuma, Ariz., transferred to Arizona after two years at Phoenix College.  All she did there was lead the Bears to two NJCAA national titles and grab a couple of national tournament MVP honors.  In her first year with Arizona, Mesa started every game on the 2006 national championship squad.  In the coming months, Mesa has the opportunity to accomplish the rarest of feats: win her fourth national championship as a player.

 

AHEAD OF THE CURVE: In comparing Arizona’s performance through its first 12 Pac-10 games of 2007 with 2006, the Wildcats appear to be doing alright considering the way last year’s season ended.

 

Team Stats through nine Pac-10 games:

 

2007

2006

Record

10-2

6-6

AVG

.261

.199

RUNS

53

28

SB-A

19-21

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