Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
No. 2 Softball Heads to Louisiana-Lafayette
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 22, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Related Links

This Week

The No. 2 Arizona softball team will travel to Louisiana-Lafayette to take on the Ragin’ Cajuns from March 25-27. This weekend’s series marks the first time the Cats will play the Ragin’ Cajuns since Louisiana-Lafayette upset Arizona last May in the NCAA Regionals. The Wildcats’ May 22 loss to the Ragin’ Cajuns, a 5-0 shutout, marked the only time Arizona was shut out last season. The loss also ended the Cats’ 16-year College World Series appearance streak. Arizona takes on Louisiana-Lafayette at the Ragin’ Cajuns Softball Park in Lafayette on Friday at 6 p.m. CST (5 p.m. MST), Satrday at 6 p.m. CST (5 p.m. MST) and Sunday at 11 a.m. CST (10 a.m. MST).

Last Week

Arizona traveled to Fullerton, Calif., to participate in the 2005 Kia Klassic, hosted by Cal State Fullerton. The Cats went 4-2 in the tournemant and suffered their first two losses of the season to No. 5 Texas and No. 4 Michigan. To open the Kia on March 16, Arizona shut out Long Beach State, 4-0, in junior pitcher Alicia Hollowell’s third perfect game this season. On March 17, the Cats lost to fifth-ranked Texas, 1-0, in 10 innings. Texas pitcher Cat Osterman struck out 23 of 30 Wildcat hitters to get the win over Hollowell. On March 18, Arizona rebounded with a 6-0 shutout over Florida State. Freshman pitcher Taryne Mowatt got the win against the Seminoles in a seven-inning, one-hit performance. On March 19, the Cats got a 4-0 win over No. 8 Oklahoma to advance to the championship bracket. On March 20, Hollowell got her eighth no-hitter of the year against No. 18 Fresno State in Arizona’s 9-0, five-inning win. In the championship game on March 20, the Cats fell to No. 4 Michigan, 6-2. Mowatt got her first loss of the year. Michigan moved up to No. 1 in the Softball poll this week, and Arizona fell to No. 2 for the first time this season.

The Coach

Head Coach Mike Candrea is in his 20th year with Arizona and carries a career record of 1006-193. Candrea returned to Arizona after taking a year off to coach the U.S. 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, in January. Candrea’s award, given for outstanding service to the USOC and the Olympic movement, marked the first time in history that the award was given to an Olympic coach. Candrea is also an eight-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year and a member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He has led Arizona to six national championships and seven Pac-10 titles.

The Coaches

Larry Ray (Idaho State ?'74) took over as head coach for Mike acting assistant head coach this season, and carries an overall record of 224-112, including five years as head coach of Florida. Associate head coach Nancy Evans is a former Honda Award winner as a player at Arizona. Evans has been an assistant at UA since 1999.

The Rankings

As of March 22, the Cats are No. 2 in the Softball poll.The NFCA/USA Today poll, in which the Cats have been steadily ranked since 1989, will be released on March 23. Arizona was ranked preseason No. 3 in the NFCA poll, behind UCLA and Cal. Softball: 2(3/22), 1(3/15), 1(3/8), 1(3/1), 1(2/22), 1(2/15)

NFCA/USA Today: 1(3/16), 1(3/9), 1(3/2), 2(2/23), 2(2/16)

Wildcat Softball Quick Notes:

...Senior Jackie Coburn earned her second career Pac-10 Player of the Week honor for March 15-21 for her performance at the Kia Klassic last weekend. Coburn hit .357 and led the Wildcats offensively with three homers, two doubles and 10 RBI over six games in Arizona’s second-place Kia finish. Her 10 RBI made up half the Cats’ total RBIs in the tournament and put her in second place on the season RBI list with 21...

...Despite suffering her first loss of the season against Cat Osterman and No. 5 Texas, Alicia Hollowell added another perfect game and another no-hitter to her list of accomplishments this season (3/16 vs Long Beach State and 3/20 vs Fresno State). She has eight no-hitters this season, including three perfect games. She sports an ERA of 0.37, a 15-1 record and 220 season strikeouts....

...Caitlin Lowe and Kristie Fox are still leading the Cats on offense with batting averages of .516 and .440, respectively. Lowe and Fox have combined for 23 multiple-hit games and 13 multiple-RBI games...

...Autumn Champion is third behind Lowe and Fox, with a .384 batting average. She’s still speedy hitting in the two-spot, with 10 stolen bases in 12 attempts...

...Though Hollowell has the pitching spotlight, freshman Taryne Mowatt has provided solid pitching in the No. 2 spot. She has a 7-1 record, an ERA of 0.86, 67 strikeouts and only six earned runs in 48.2 innings of work...

...Freshman catcher Callista Balko upped her batting average into into the top five on the team with a .322 mark. Balko is third on the team behind Fox and Coburn in RBIs with 14. Her slugging percentage of .542 is also third behind Fox and Lowe...

...Senior Jen Martinez has gotten 18 starts so far this year, up from three last year. She’s hitting .296 and has 10 RBI, fifth on the team...