April 8, 2002
Next up for the Cats
The softball team (35-5, 4-1) continues Pac-10 play when they face No. 14 Oregon State (31-11, 4-2) at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 12. Arizona will face Oregon (18-15, 0-6) at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14 at 1 p.m.
Leaders of the Pac
The Wildcats finished their first Pac-10 conference play at home, with a 2-1 record. Arizona defeated No. 10 Washington on Friday, 1-0. A home run by junior Lovie Jung in the fifth inning turned out to be the game-winning run. A pitching duel on Saturday against No. 1 UCLA ended with senior Jennie Finch striking out eight batters on the way to a 3-2 victory. With the score tied in the seventh inning Jung hit her second game-winning home run of the weekend. The 5-6 loss on Sunday against the Bruins ended the Cats' 70-game home victories streak and snapped Finch's 60-game-winning streak.
Arizona's Mike Candrea carries a career record of 906-177 (.837), accomplished in 16+ years with the Wildcats. The 2001 Pac-10 co-Coach of the Year has led UA to six national titles and six Pacific-10 Conference championships. He is only the fifth coach in history to win 900 Division I games. During his tenure Wildcat student-athletes have earned All-America honors 59 times and won the Honda Softball Award four times (Susie Parra-1994, Jenny Dalton-1996, Nancy EvansB1998 and Jennie Finch-2001). Candrea=s Arizona teams have played in 15 consecutive NCAA Tournaments and 14 consecutive College World Series. Assistant coaches Nancy Evans and Larry Ray join Candrea.
Home Sweet Home
The loss to UCLA on Sunday ended the Cats' 70 home-winning streak at 70. UA last lost in Hillenbrand Stadium on April 9, 2000, to No. 9 Stanford, 4-3, in eight innings. The home-winning streak broke the previous school record of 45 games (May 1996 to March 1998).
Arizona was ranked No. 2 in the latest USA/NFCA poll. UA was No. 2 in the March 27 poll, No. 3 in the March 20 poll, No. 2 in the March 14 poll, No. 2 in the March 6 poll, and No. 3 in the February 27 poll and No. 1 in the preseason poll. UA has been ranked steadily since 1988. The next USA/NFCA poll comes out on April 10.
Finch on Fire
UA senior All-American - and 2001 Honda Softball Award winner -- Jennie Finch had her 60 consecutive winning decision streak snapped on Sunday against UCLA. The previous record was 50, set by Rebecca Aase of Florida State from 1991 to 1993. Finch broke the record on Feb. 24 with her 51st. Her last loss came against ASU on April 21, 2000. The remarkable streak is all the more so because it spans considerable Pac-10 play and NCAA regional and WCWS action. She was 32-0 last year, another NCAA record for single-season perfection. Finch is 20-1 with an earned run average of 0.75 and has 210 strikeouts in 140 innings pitched. Among her 12 shutouts, she has three no-hitters this year (eight in her career). Her career record is 105-11, which makes her No. 2 on the all-time UA record, passing Carrie Dolan.
Bangin' Them Silly
Among one of the seemingly unassailable records UA set in 2001 was the team's 126 home runs in 69 games. This year a powerful UA club has whacked 70 dingers in 40 games - a pace (1.75 per game) ahead of last year's effort. Leneah Manuma leads the team with 17 homers and needs three more to top her freshman-year high of 19 a year ago. Arizona also has hit 11 grand slams this year. The team slugging percentage is .581.
The Amateur Softball Association has announced the 25 finalists for the inaugural USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award. The award recognizes the outstanding athletic achievement by softball players across the country. Jennie Finch, Lovie Jung and Leneah Manuma have all been named as finalists for the award.
Wildcat Softball Notes
...Arizona has committed 19 errors to opponents 48... Arizona has 260 RBI to opponents 48...
...The jersey retirement of former Wildcat pitcher Nancy Evans on Sunday made her only the fourth UA softball player to have their jersey retired...
...Sunday's attendance of 3,161 is a new school record...
...Vandergeest has 344 putouts on the season and needs 89 more to move to No. 10 on the UA record for putouts in a season...
...Manuma has 59 RBI in 99 at-bats. She has a crack at the UA top-10 chart on which No. 10 is former catcher Leah Braatz 75 RBI in 1994...
...Manuma's 36 career homers are No. 7 on the UA charts - in only one-plus seasons... She is also No. 13 on the home runs in a season... Catcher Mackenzie Vandergeest is No. 8 on the career chart with 29...
...Manuma leads the team in RBI (59), home runs (17), and hit by pitch (13).
...Leadoff hitter Lovie Jung leads the team in batting average (.431), runs scored (47), doubles (8), at-bats (116), hits (50) and walks (30)... Jung has a 10-game active hitting streak which ties Manuma for longest hitting streak this season...
...Arizona has outscored opponents 273-49... Arizona has scored 213 runs in the first four innings and has only given up 16 runs in late innings
...In the latest Pac-10 stats, Arizona leads the conference in runs scored (273), home runs (70), total bases (579), hit by pitch (31) and runs batted in (260). Arizona has six of the top-10 home run hitters in the conference...