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No. 5 Softball Opens Pac-10 at Washington, UCLA
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/30/2007
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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The fifth-ranked Arizona softball team hits the road for the third time in four weeks to begin Pac-10 play at No. 16 Washington (22-7) on Friday and No. 14 UCLA (24-7) on Saturday and Sunday.

 

ARIZONA SOFTBALL THIS WEEKEND

Friday, March 30 at Washington ?- 1 p.m.

Saturday, March 31 at UCLA ?- 2 p.m. (FSN Tape Delay 4/1 at 2 p.m.)

Sunday, April 1 at UCLA ?- 1 p.m.

 

EASTON STADIUM SOLD OUT

All tickets for the Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1 Arizona softball games against UCLA at Easton Stadium have been allocated.

Fans who have not made prior arrangements to attend the games should be aware that tickets will not be available at the gate on the day of the game.

FOLLOWING THE WILDCATS IN THE MEDIA: Fans can catch Arizona’s Saturday game against UCLA on FSN Arizona this Sunday at 2 p.m..  FSN Arizona will replay the game early Monday morning at 2 a.m. and Monday at noon.  Fans in Southern California can watch the game on FSN Prime Ticket this Sunday at 1 p.m., early Monday at 1 a.m. or Monday at 5 p.m.  This is the first of four games Arizona has slated for television this year after playing on the tube 12 times in 2006 and on 15 occasions in 2005.

 

On Friday, Washington’s website www.gohuskies.com will provide free video coverage of Arizona’s Pac-10 opener.  Washington’s softball schedule.

 

RECAPPING THE NEW MEXICO SERIES: Arizona closed out non-conference play with an emphatic sweep of New Mexico this past weekend, as the Wildcats outscored the visiting Lobos 32-3 over the three games.

 

After a rainout on Friday, the Wildcats opened the series with a Saturday doubleheader.  UA won the first game 13-0 in five innings, its largest margin of victory since a 15-0 drubbing of Eastern Michigan on March 4, 2005.  Taryne Mowatt didn’t necessarily need the offensive support, as evidenced by her one-hit pitching performance in which she threw to only three batters over the minimum.  Either way, the Wildcat offense scored a season-high baker’s dozen worth of runs ?- its most since a 14-5 victory over LSU on May 27, 2006 to clinch the Tucson Super Regional.  The three Wildcat seniors ?- Caitlin Lowe, Chelsie Mesa and Kristie Fox ?- led the game off with three consecutive hits, capped off by a three-run Fox homer.  Following two scoreless innings, Arizona put up a 10-spot in the fourth inning to put the game well out of reach for the Lobos.  Ironically, Caitlin Lowe ?- who has scored the eighth most runs in school history ?- was the only Wildcat not to score in the inning.

 

Arizona followed the five-inning victory with another, this one an 8-0 win to sweep the doubleheader.  After scoring a pair of unearned runs in the first inning, UA tacked on six runs in the third.  Mesa and Fox led off the frame with a pair of solo home runs, before the next three batters filled the sacks for Sam Banister’s first career grand slam.  The victory also marked Sarah Akamine’s first career complete-game shutout.

 

UA got a bit of a scare on Sunday, but would prevail with its third run-rule victory in as many games.  Trailing 3-2 in the sixth, the first six Wildcats reached base in what would be a nine-run inning to invoke the mercy rule.  The rally featured a go-ahead, two-run double by Laine Roth and RBI hits by all three of UA’s seniors at the top of the order.

 

ARIZONA HEAD COACH MIKE CANDREA ?- is in his 22nd season at the helm of the Arizona softball program.  He boasts a 1,105-221 (.833) record in 21 seasons in the dugout.  Candrea is one of four 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 joins 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.  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 and Blevins 28 years, respectively, to get to 1,100 wins.

 

NOTING THE HUSKIES: Washington enters the weekend with a 22-7 record, including a 4-3 mark against ranked opponents.  The Huskies are riding a four-game winning streak, including three consecutive victories from the Judi Garman Classic where they bounced back from being swept in pool play to take the consolation championship.  The Dawgs are led offensively by Ashley Charters (.415, 33 R, 16-18 SB) and Dena Tyson (.415, 8 HR, 28 RBI).  In the circle, Danielle Lawrie posts a 13-3 record with a 0.83 ERA and 217 strikeouts in just 109.2 innings pitched ?- an average of 14.7 per seven innings pitched.

 

Arizona swept the Huskies last year, with a 1-0 victory in Tucson and a doubleheader sweep in Seattle.  UA took the first half of the DH as Alicia Hollowell tossed a no-hitter in UA’s 2-0 victory.  The Wildcat bats came alive for the second game, a 10-1 UA win. 

 

NOTING THE BRUINS: The Bruins enter Pac-10 play with the same record as Arizona at 24-7.  UCLA is coming off a, 3-1, mid-week loss to UCSB that had snapped a 12-game Bruin winning streak.  UCLA is 2-4 against ranked opponents this year.  UCLA enjoys a balanced offensive attack that features eight players with 15 or more RBI, six with 20-plus ribbies but none with 30 or more.  Under first-year head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez, the Bruins aren’t going to run any team to death ?- as evidenced by their Pac-10-low 24 stolen bases.  However, they more than make up for the lack of aggression on the base paths with a .336 team batting average with a conference-leading 40 home runs and .562 team slugging percentage.  In the circle, two-time All-American Anjelica Selden entered the week with a 12-3 record, a 2.03 ERA.                

 

300-200-100 CLUB: Earlier this season, Caitlin Lowe became one of 10 softball greats to have accumulated 300 hits, 200 runs and 100 stolen bases during her career.  Arizona, which is represented by three former Wildcats and Lowe, is the only program to have more than one player on the exclusive club.

 

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
Kelly Krestchman, Alabama  368 hits, 288 runs, 133 stolen bases
*Caitlin Lowe, Arizona  309 hits, 220 runs, 134 stolen bases

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

*Lindsay Schutzler, Tennessee 322 hits, 212 runs, 101 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

 

SENIORS LEADING THE WAY: In 17 of the last 18 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. 

 

In the 18 games since the lineup change went into effect, the seniors’ combined numbers in relation to the other six spots in the batting order speak for themselves.

 

 

Avg.

Runs

RBI

SB

Seniors

.382

57

42

23

Non-seniors

.258

48

55

7

 

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.

.461

2

5

Hits

309

7

33

Runs

220

8

t-17

Stolen Bases

134

2

t-18

Triples

10

4

 

 

FOX RACKS UP THE RIBBIES: Kristie Fox enters the weekend ranked seventh on UA’s career RBI list with 202.

 

Fox leads Arizona with 35 RBI, 12 more than Chelsie Mesa or Jenae Leles’ 23 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 (8), slugging percentage (.673), total bases (63) and extra-base hits (17).

 

HITTING STREAKS: In Arizona’s victory over Michigan, Chelsie Mesa’s Pac-10 leading 22-game hitting streak came to an end.  The senior infielder batted .444 (32-for-72) with 10 extra-base hits, 15 RBI and eight stolen bases over the duration of the streak that lasted from Feb. 10 through March 16.  The streak was the longest for an Arizona player since Autumn Champion had a base knock in 25 straight games in 2003.  Adrienne Acton’s career-long 11-game streak was snapped the very next game against Louisiana-Lafayette.

 

The following is a list of the longest hitting streaks in the Pac-10 over the last two years.

 

Player

School

Year

Streak in games

Chelsie Mesa

ARIZ

2007

22

Anna Beardman

STAN

2006

17

Marnie Koziol

WASH

2007

15

Caitlin Lowe

ARIZ

2006

15

Marnie Koziol

WASH

2006

14

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