May 13, 2003
University of Arizona freshman pitcher Alicia Hollowell was named Newcomer of the Year in the pacific-10 Conference today, and also joined teammates Lovie Jung and Autumn Champion in receiving first-team All-Pac-10 honors.
UA coach Mike Candrea was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
Sophomore outfielder Courtney Fossatti and junior catcher Mackenzie Vandergeest earned second-team honors, while junior designated player/pitcher Wendy Allen, sophomore third baseman Jackie Coburn, sophomore outfielder Crystal Farley and senior second baseman Lisha Ribellia received honorable mention.
Hollowell finished the regular season with a 34-3 record and a 0.79 earned run average, plus had the No. 2 season strikeout total in Arizona history with 326. She threw a pair of no-hitters and was a semifinalist for USA Softball national Player of the Year. She was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week five times this season and also won two National Player of the Week honors April 8.
Jung, the Cats' senior shortstop, is one of three finalists for that award and leads the nation with 24 home runs. She finished the year with a .442 batting average and 72 RBI, plus carries a potential NCAA-record slugging percentage of 1.052.
Champion, UA's freshman leftfielder and leadoff hitter, leads the team with a .449 batting average and 80 hits.
Arizona won the Pac-10 title with a 19-2 record, beating UCLA (17-4) by two games. The Cats, 50-5 overall, are the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championships which start Thursday, including at Tucson for Region 1 action.
UCLA senior shortstop Natasha Watley, the league's top hitter and second in the nation at .503, won the Pac-10 Player of the Year award and also is a finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year honor.
Candrea won his seventh Pac-10 title in 2003 and has been league coach or co-coach of the year the past three seasons. His overall record at Arizona is 976-189, a winning percentage of .838. The Cats were a preseason pick for second in the league after losing Honda Award winner Jennie Finch and slugger Leneah Manuma from its 2002 College World Series team.
Candrea takes his 17th consecutive team into NCAA play this week, trying for a 16th consecutive Regional title and World Series berth.
UCLA pitcher Keira Goerl, who UA beat 7-5 last Friday night to clinch its Pac-10 title, was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year. She has a 31-6 record with a league-best 0.76 ERA.