Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Six Opponents Await Cats at Cathedral City Classic
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 22, 2012
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Feb. 22, 2012

Cathedral City Classic Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Date                        Time                 Opponent               Location
Thursday Feb. 23      1:00 p.m. PT      Fresno State           Field of Dreams (Wrigley Field)
Thursday, Feb. 23     3:30 p.m. PT      Georgia                  Field of Dreams (Wrigley Field)
Friday, Feb. 24          8:00 p.m. PT      Oklahoma State     Field of Dreams (Wrigley Field)
Saturday, Feb. 25      5:30 p.m. PT      Fordham                Field of Dreams (Wrigley Field)
Saturday, Feb. 25      8:00 p.m. PT      Syracuse                Field of Dreams (Wrigley Field)
Sunday, Feb. 26        3:00 p.m. PT      Long Beach State    Field of Dreams (Yankee Stadium)



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Cathedral City Classic All-Time Record:

22-3 (.880)

First Competed: Last Year:

2004        4-1



- Arizona will face a higher-ranked team for the " rst time all season when it takes on #13 Georgia.

- Brigette Del Ponte has stolen four bases in 11 games this season. In her " rst two years, BDP recorded just

six steals.

- Five Wildcats have recorded double digit RBI: Shelby Pendley (18), Jessica Spigner (14), Lini Koria (10),

Brigette Del Ponte (10) and Kristen Arriola (10).

- Arizona hit two grand slams in the Kajikawa Classic. Kristen Arriola hit one against UAB and Brigette Del

Ponte slammed one in Arizona’s second matchup with Southern Utah.

- The last time the Wildcats played ALL SIX of their opponents this weekend, the game ended in " ve in-

nings. Arizona was 5-1 in those contests, with its only loss coming to then-No. 1 Georgia at the Cathedral

City Classic last year.

- The Wildcats have outscored opponents 86-27 on the season.

- Two UA players are recording at least one base per at-bat with Jessica Spigner slugging 1.000 and Lini

Koria slugging 1.179.

- In 2011, Shelby Babcock averaged 4.80 strikeouts/seven innings. In 36.1 innings this season, Babcock is

striking out 7.90 per seven innings.

- The Wildcats’ pitching sta%  leads the conference with 74 strikeouts on the year.

- Arizona’s 18 home runs lead the Pac-12.



Fresno State: The Bulldogs (7-2) did not allow a run in their four-game weekend sweep of Santa Clara and Cal State Fullerton. Pitcher Mackenzie Oakes was named WAC Pitcher of the Week for her performance in

the games which included a no-hitter against Cal State Fullerton. The Cats and the Bulldogs are familiar foes; this will be the 49th meeting between the schools. Arizona has only battled one other non-conference

opponent more (New Mexico State - 50).

Series History: Arizona 36-12 // First Meeting: 1982 // Last Meeting: 2/26/2010; Arizona11, Fresno State 0 (5 innings); Cathedral City Classic (Palm Springs, Calif.)

Georgia: The Bulldogs (8-1) are ranked 13th by both the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll and the Softball Collegiate Top 25. UGA has outscored its nine opponents 58-7. The pitching staff has allowed just five earned runs all year and is led by Erin Arevalo, who is 4-0 on the season with a 0.56 ERA. Arizona and Georgia met at the Cathedral City Classic last year, and the Bulldogs blanked the Cats in five, 8-0.

Series History: Arizona 3-1 // First Meeting: 2000 // Last Meeting: 2/26/2011; Georgia 8, Arizona 0 (5 innings); Cathedral City Classic (Palm Springs, Calif.)

Oklahoma State: The Cowgirls (4-4) are ranked 21st in the NFCA Top 25 and are unranked in the USA Softball poll. OSU lost all three games it played over the weekend, losing to Virginia Tech, Auburn and Alabama. Tamara Brown leads the Cowgirls with a .435 average and five RBI.

Series History: Arizona 15-9 // First Meeting: 1989 // Last Meeting: 2/18/1995; Arizona 14, Oklahoma State 3 (5 innings); Kajikawa Classic (Tempe, Ariz.)

Fordham: The Rams (2-2) split four games at the Pirate Clash; they beat Virginia and East Carolina and fell to the Cavaliers and UNC Greensboro. This will be the first ever meeting between the Cats and the Rams.

Series History: N/A // First Meeting: N/A // Last Meeting: N/A

Syracuse: The Orange (3-2) was off last week after going 3-2 at the Kajikawa Classic, where Arizona defeated Syracuse 11-1 in five innings. The Cats and the Orange had never met before this season and will meet twice in two weeks this season. In the first matchup, Brigette Del Ponte, Shelby Pendley and Jessica Spigner all homered and Spigner picked up her first pitching victory as a Wildcat, pitching a three-hit gem.

Series History: Arizona 1-0 // First Meeting: 2012 // Last Meeting: 2/11/2012; Arizona 11, Syracuse 1 (5 innings); Kajikawa Classic (Tempe, Ariz.)

Long Beach State: The 49ers (5-5) went 2-3 at the Lousville Slugger Desert Classic with victories over Indiana and Memphis. Two 49ers swept the Big West weekly awards with Erin Jones-Wesley winning Pitcher of the Week and Hannah De Gaetano winning player of the week. Jones-Wesley has recorded all five of Long Beach State’s wins and carries a 1.11 ERA in the circle.

Series History: Arizona 23-9 // First Meeting: 1982 // Last Meeting: 3/5/2006; Arizona 11, Long Beach State 0 (5 innings); Hillenbrand Invitational (Tucson)


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 1,280-280-2 (.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 improved to 15th the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll and remained ranked 16th in the Softball Collegiate Top 25. UA was ranked 16th in both polls the previous week. The Wildcats finished 2011 ranked 11th in both rankings.



The Cats swept their five games at the Hillenbrand Invitational, outscoring their opponents 44-7.

Friday, Feb. 17

Western Kentucky 9, North Dakota 2

Southern Utah 5, Western Kentucky 4

UAB 2, Southern Utah 0

ARIZONA 7, Uab 0

ARIZONA 14, North Dakota 2 (5 innings)

Saturday, Feb. 18

Southern Utah 4, North Dakota 1 (8 innings)

UAB 9, North Dakota 8

Western Kentucky 3, UAB 2

ARIZONA 6, Western Kentucky 4

ARIZONA 9, Southern Utah 1 (5 innings)

Sunday, Feb. 19

Western Kentucky 6, UAB 0

North Dakota 6, Southern Utah 1

ARIZONA 8, Southern Utah 0 (5 innings)



Last Year: The Cats went 4-1 in the 2011 Cathedral City Classic with wins over LSU, Virginia, Loyola Marymount and San Diego State, however UA dropped a five-inning game to then-No. 1 Georgia, 8-0. Arizona will get a chance for revenge as the two square off on Thursday.

All-Time: UA is 22-3 all time at the Cathedral City Classic. The Wildcats have attended the attended the event in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011.



Shelby Pendley: Drove in 12 runs while batting .438 on the weekend. Had a couple of home runs and pair of doubles over the five games. Both home runs and one double came in Arizona’s 14-2, five-inning victory over North Dakota (2/17), in which she drove in eight runs.

Lini Koria: Batted .692 and had an on-base percentage of .765 while going 9-for-12 at plate with two doubles and one home run in the Hillenbrand Invitational.

Kristen Arriola: Hit a grand slam and drew five walks at the Hillenbrand Invitational while batting .364 in the five games.

Kenzie Fowler: Looked good in her first extended action of the season, picking up a pair of victories at the Hillenbrand Invitational. K-Fowl struck out 19 batters in 14 innings pitched.

Jessica Spigner: Had a couple of home runs and seven RBI while batting .417 at the Hillenbrand Invitational. In the circle, took a no-hitter into the ! fth against Southern Utah in her shutout victory of the Thunderbirds.


DOUBLE VISION: The Cats have two doubles per game, an early season indication that there are enough players with gap power to challenge the school mark of 111 two-baggers. (1995). Seven players have hit a double, but clearly freshman Hallie Wilson with eight is leading the way. That’s helped push her slugging percentage to .615 without a home run, and she has home run power, too, it just hasn’t worked out yet. Brigette Del Ponte set the UA single-season mark with 23 doubles last year and Pendley has the stick to challenge that one. Lini Kori and Shelby Pendley have four apiece.


TURNING TURNSTILES: A trickle-in-and-out, all-day effect plus the fact of the home-opening action helped push attendance for the three home dates last week to an average of 2,503 per game. The Friday crowd of 2,657 was outside the Rita Hillenbrand Stadium top 30, but impressive nonetheless. UA has averaged more than 2,400 per game the last three seasons and it looks like there’s a great chance to continue the string in 2012.


HOME SWEET HOME: One reason for the attendance is the usual result. Arizona is 544-57 in games played at the Rita since it opened in 1993. That’s a 91 percent mark for winning in the venue. That stacks up against any sport at any school.


AGGRESSIVE, ENTERPRISING SOFTBALL: The Cats would like to be that way, for sure. But kudos to Oregon State University’s softball program for playing host to a 90-game softball tournament 827 miles from its campus. NINETY GAMES. Arizona’s own 13-game Hillenbrand Invitational was on one field and no less busier a function, but four days’ worth of ball on five fields is beyond the pale.


SO CLOSE: Arizona’s first three losses came by a combined three runs while its wins came by a total of 59 runs. Arizona lost three one-run games in the span of four games; in 2011 Arizona lost just one game by one run (Baylor; 3/17/11; 3-2).


FOUR BALLING: Arizona has walked 49 times in eleven games. In a 60-game season that’s about 267 bases on balls, third-most in UA history. Unlikely to continue, but it shows some early-season patience. A couple of Cats have used it to advantage, notably Kristen Arriola (10) to help her get her normal batting

eye back. She’s hitting .231 but has an on-base percentage of .459 thanks to the good eyes. Jessica Spigner, meantime, has 11 free passes because it’s smart to work carefully with a .458 hitter. Her on base percentage is .625. Lini Koria, too, has nine walks and a .711 OB%, thanks mostly to her .607 hitting.


RBI RAMPAGE: Freshman shortstop Shelby Pendley has 18 RBI through 11 games, thanks to an 8-spot against North Dakota last Thursday when she had two home runs. She has four multiple-RBI games and would need a bunch more to make it historical. Cracking the single-season RBI chart at Arizona is one of the toughest of all records at the school. Brigette Del Ponte did it in 2010 with 80 for the No. 10 spot, and other than Stacie Chambers’ 96 in 2009 all other occupants on the list pre-date 2001 – various seasons by Laura Espinoza (128, 95), Jenny Dalton (109, 98, 91), Leah Braatz (100), Lety Pineda (96) and Toni Mascarenas (84).