May 27, 2004
OKLAHOMA CITY - Four University of Arizona softball players were named first-team All-America by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association last night in ceremonies opening the 2004 Women's COllege World Series.
Sophomore pitcher Alicia Hollowell and sophomore outfielder Autumn Champion were repeat selections, earning the honor as freshman a year ago. Freshman outfielder Caitlin Lowe and senior designtated player Wendy Allen earned their first honors, although Allen was a second-team All-American in 2002 at Ohio State.
Champion is the nation's leader with a .489 batting average and Allen hit .396 and leads the nation with 1.22 runs batted in per game. Hollowell finished 41-4 with a 0.79 ERA and leads the nation with 12.1 strikeouts per game, plus set the Pac-10 single season record with 508 strikeouts. Lowe is second nationally with 1.25 runs per game and hit .437. She is sixth in stolen bases per game and ninth in batting.
Hollowell was one of three finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year honor and is a candidate for the Honda Softball Award. She won the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year award, while Lowe earned Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year honors. All four were first-team All-Pac-10 and All-Pacific Region selections.
Arizona finished the year 55-6, ranked No. 1 in the final regular-season NFCA poll but getting bumped from the NCAA Championships with losses in its Region 1 tournament to Oklahoma and Louisiana-Lafayette last weekend.
Arizona has had four or more first-team All-America selections five times in its history, with a record six picks in 1994 and 1995. The Cats last had four first-teamers in 2001 with Jennie Finch, Toni Mascarenas, Lauren Bauer and Leneah Manuma earning the honor for UA's last NCAA Championship team.
It was the 15th year the UA has had multiple All-Americans on either the first, second or third team.
The Wildcat program now has produced 70 All-Americans since 1984. The 2005 team will have five players who have earned the honor -- this year's four plus outfielder Courtney Fossatti, a second-team selection in 2003. She sat out this year redshirting while rehabilitating from offeseason ankle surgery.
First Team NFCA All-America Position Name School Pitcher Monica Abbott Tennessee Pitcher Alicia Hollowell Arizona Pitcher Dana Sorensen Stanford Catcher Kristen Rivera Washington First Base Kim Wendland Georgia Second Base Caitlin Benyi UCLA Third Base Vicky Galindo California Shortstop Christina Clark Fresno State Outfield Nicole Barber Georgia Outfield Caitlin Lowe Arizona Outfield Iyhia McMichael Mississippi State DP Wendy Allen Arizona Utility Jessica van der Linden Florida State At-Large Gina Carbonatto Pacific At-Large Autumn Champion Arizona At-Large Brooke Mitchell Louisiana-Lafayette At-Large Heather Scaglione Oklahoma At-Large Jamie Southern Fresno State