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No. 5 Softball Goes to Oregon
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 05/02/2007
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The fifth-ranked Arizona softball team (35-10-1, 11-3-1 Pac-10) will play its final road games of the year this weekend, as it heads to the great Northwest to face No. 20 Oregon (39-14, 4-11 Pac-10) on Friday, before taking on No. 16 Oregon State (36-18, 7-8) on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Live stats will be available for all three games on www.arizonaathletics.com and fans can watch a live video stream of Friday’s game, courtesy or Oregon on www.arizonaathletics.com or www.goducks.com.

 

ARIZONA SOFTBALL THIS WEEK

Friday, May 4 at Oregon ?- 4 p.m.

Saturday, May 5 at Oregon State ?- 1 p.m.

Sunday, May 6 at Oregon State ?- 1 p.m.

 

RECAPPING LAST WEEKEND: Arizona took a trip to the Bay Area and came away with a rare tie ?- its first since 1986.

 

The Wildcats began the weekend with a 6-0 victory over Cal, which was highlighted by Caitlin Lowe’s record-setting stolen base.  Taryne Mowatt scattered five hits in the shutout win, in which she struck out 10 Golden Bear batters.  After a scoreless first inning, Jenae Leles gave Arizona a lead it would hold the rest of the game when she hit her seventh home run of the year.  Later that inning, Lowe laced her 11th career triple down the right field line to plate a pair of Wildcats.  UA would go on to double its lead to the final 6-0 margin before game’s end.

 

On Saturday, UA fell to Stanford 3-2 after taking a two-run lead in the middle of the fifth.  Mowatt, who hurled every pitch for the Wildcats over the weekend, took a no-hitter into the bottom of the fifth inning.  Two walks, coupled with a pair of single and a wild pitch would be all Stanford needed to score its three runs in what was otherwise a solid outing for Mowatt. 

 

Sunday’s contest featured a combined 24 runners left on base for the Wildcats and the Cardinal over 12 innings of scoreless ball that was called a tie due to travel considerations.  Arizona had six leadoff hitters reach base, got three runners to third base and went a collective 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.  Meanwhile, Stanford failed to make use of the 10 walks it drew against Mowatt, who fanned 11 Stanford hitters.  The game is officially a tie and will not be resumed at a later date.

 

NOTING THE DUCKS: Oregon comes into the week having lost six of its last seven Pac-10 games, including two in Tucson back in April.  Freshman shortstop Jennifer Salling leads all Pac-10 hitters with an in-conference .515 batting average and .667 on-base percentage and ranks second with a .909 slugging percentage.  The Duck pitchers have struggled to adjust to Pac-10 competition, as they have compiled a league-high 6.48 ERA in Pac-10 contests.  The duo of Alicia Cook and Melissa Rice has combined to pitch all but 1.2 innings of Oregon’s 53 games this season.

 

NOTING THE BEAVERS: Oregon State and Arizona have played once since meeting in the Women’s College World Series last June.  The Wildcats won both contests by slim margins, as the WCWS game went into extra innings and the more recent contest was a UA 3-1 decision. Taryne Mowatt hurled a two-hitter, in which she did not allow a hit outside of the first inning.  Kristie Fox, who went 3-for-3 was a single short of being the first player in Arizona history to hit for the cycle.

 

The Beavers have five seniors, their top two pitchers Brianne McGowan and Ta’Tyana McElroy, as well as three starters ?- Natalie Johnson, Sherina Galvan and Mia Longfellow ?- who will be partaking in Senior Day against the Wildcats.

 

ARIZONA HEAD COACH MIKE CANDREA ?- is in his 22nd season at the helm of the Arizona softball program.  He boasts a 1,116-224-2 (.832) 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.

 

STEALING THE RECORD: On Friday, April 27, Caitlin Lowe broke Alison McCutcheon’s school record of 148 career stolen bases.  The senior from Tustin, Calif., now has 150 steals ?- which is the good for 12th in NCAA history and second in Pac-10 history.  Lowe is currently 43-for-43 in stolen bases this year, giving her the highest steals-per-game ratio (0.93) in the country. 

 

Dating back to last season, in which she ended with seven straight successful stolen bases, Lowe has stolen a school record 50 consecutive stolen bases without being caught.

 

In terms of NCAA history, Lowe is currently 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.

.455

2

6

Hits

330

6

16

Runs

231

8

14

Stolen Bases

150

1

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 320 hits, 231 runs, 106 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 330 hits, 231 runs, 150 stolen bases

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

*Lindsay Schutzler, Tennessee 344 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 FINALIST FOR LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD:  Caitlin Lowe was named one of

10 finalists for the 2007 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.  Having been awarded the last six years in basketball, this is the first year Lowe’s will bestow the honor on a softball player.  The winner will be announced in Oklahoma City at the Women’s College World Series.  The winner will be chosen from a combination of media, coach and fan voting.  Fans can go online to vote for Lowe or any of the other candidates at www.softball.seniorclassaward.com.  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.

 

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 32 of the last 33 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

.370

115

98

59

Non-seniors

.248

125

123

26

 

PAC-10 PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Taryne Mowatt has been named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week three times this season, including two weeks ago 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! Earlier this year, 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 10.5 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 41 of UA’s 46 games this year and has recorded over 77 percent of the total outs. 

 

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, Alabama, is larger than the difference between the Rolling Tide and No. 16 Hawaii.

 

USA SOFTBALL NATIONAL 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.

 

AHEAD OF THE CURVE: In comparing Arizona’s performance through its first 15 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

11-3-1

9-6

AVG

.259

.225

RUNS

61

53

SB-A

24-27

15-18

FLD%

.990

.977

ERA

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