April 20, 2010
Cats, Beavers Set to Battle in Tucson
April 23-25, Hillenbrand Stadium, Tucson, Ariz.
After downing then-No. 8 Stanford in a three-game sweep, the Arizona Wildcats continue their six-game homestand as they take on the Oregon State Beavers for the second-to-last Pac-10 series to be played at Hillenbrand Stadium this season.
Arizona is in the midst of an 11-game winning streak against the Beavers, having not dropped a contest to Oregon State since March 31, 2006, when then-No. 7 OSU was on the winning side of a 2-1 contest against then-No. 3 Arizona in Corvallis.
OSU: The Beavers (21-21, 2-7 Pac-10) have a midweek doubleheader against Portland State, but are currently led by freshman Lea Cavestany and her .387 average at the dish. Sophomore pitcher Paige Hall (15-16) doubles up as the second-best hitter on the squad, but touts a 3.10 ERA with 148 strikeouts in 185 innings pitched. Junior catcher Audrey Roderfeld leads the team with 12 doubles, 13 home runs and 42 RBI. Senior pitcher Kelly Dyer (5-4) has seen plenty of the Wildcats during her career, and carries a 4.78 ERA with 48 strikeouts in 77.2 innings tossed.
Last Time Out
Friday: No. 4 Arizona won a pitching duel of sorts and the Wildcats slipped past No. 8 Stanford, 3-2, Friday night to open a three-game Pac-10 series in Hillenbrand Stadium in front of 2,516 fans. UA freshman Kenzie Fowler (22-5) tossed a four-hitter and struck out nine, while Stanford freshman Teagan Gerhart (22-6) and Ashley Chinn combined to hold UA to three hits, but one of them was a two-run home run that proved to be the difference.
Saturday: Stacie Chambers' walk-off two-run home run gave Arizona the margin for a six-inning mercy rule victory, 10-2, over No. 8 Stanford Saturday night and left the fourth-ranked Wildcats to a two to zero lead in the Pac-10 weekend series. A crowd of 2,748 at Hillenbrand Stadium saw freshman Kenzie Fowler two-hit the Cardinal (30-8) and watched the Wildcats (34-7) slug four home runs including two in the final inning.
Sunday: Arizona outlasted Stanford, 5-4, to sweep a weekend Pac-10 softball series and gain sole possession of third place in the league standings. A home run by Lini Koria in the fifth proved to be the winning hit, while senior K'Lee Arredondo had a perfect day at the plate, going 4-for-4.
Catch the Action
Go to arizonawildcats.com for live GameTracker stats, sponsored by Tucson Electric Power. Fans can watch all home games on All-Access, and most home games will be broadcast in-stadium on 103.3 FM with David Kelly and former UA softball player Erika Barnes describing the game action.
Fowler Named USA Softball Player of the Week
Kenzie Fowler was also named the USA Softball Player of the Week on April 19. It was the second national honor she's received this season. She was named NFCA's Player of the Week on March 23, and was the first freshman to receive the NFCA's weekly honor in 2010.
Players of the Week
Arizona has had five Pac-10 Player of the Week citations this season. Most recently, Kenzie Fowler was named the Pitcher of the Week and Stacie Chambers was named Player of the Week on April 19. It's the second time this season that UA has swept the conference's weekly awards. On March 16, K'Lee Arredondo and Fowler shared the honors, while Brigette Del Ponte was named Player of the Week just a week earlier. With the citations, Arizona took the overall lead in Pac-10 Players of the Week away from UCLA with 130 overall selections.
Walk the Line
Arizona has drawn 214 walks in 42 games, a clip of 5.1 BBs per game. Should the UA keep up its current pace, it will break the all-time mark of 287 set by the 1995 squad right around WCWS time. Stacie Chambers has drawn a team-leading 37 walks, only one away from cracking the top 10 for walks in a single season. Chambers should reach the top five by season's end; Leah Braatz holds the 4, 5 and 6 spots on the list with 53, 45 and 44 walks, respectively.
Del Ponte in Historical Perspective
With 12 regular season games and an NCAA Tournament berth remaining, freshman Brigette Del Ponte has already established staked her claim to one of the best newcomer seasons in Arizona history. Here are her home run and RBI numbers stacked up against other first-year players.
Player HR Year
Mackenzie Vandergeest 20 2001
Leneah Manuma 19 2001
Leah Braatz 19 2001
Brigette Del Ponte 17 2010
Lovieanne Jung (Jr.) 16 2002
Stacie Chambers (So.) 15 2008
Lini Koria 12 2009
Player RBI Year
Leah Braatz 75 1994
Toni Mascarenas 73 1998
Mackenzie Vandergeest 61 2001
Brigette Del Ponte 58 2010
Stacie Chambers 49 2008
Laura Espinoza 44 1992
Alison McCutcheon 40 1995
A Tale of Two Seasons
Year Overall Conference
2010 .332 .294
2009 .339 .301
2008 .304 .296
2007 .289 .266
2006 .311 .265
Top of the Order
Leadoff batter Brittany Lastrapes is tied for second on the team with 13 home runs. Five of them led off innings. In Arizona's history, no leadoff hitter has more circuit clouts that Lastrapes. Caitlin Lowe had 12 from 2004 to 2007, and Alison McCutcheon had 10 from 1995 to 1998. Brittany has 35 career home runs, No. 15 in UA history. She recently passed Lauren Bauer (32 from 1998 to 2001). Next up is Leneah Manuma with 40 in 2001-02, and a pair at 42 - Lindsey Collins from 1998-2001 and Lovieanne Jung in 2002-03.
Kenzie Fowler in the Circle...The freshman's 24-5 pitching record bodes well for Arizona, and gives her a chance, albeit a tough one with 12 regular-season games remaining, to crack the 30-victory barrier. Arizona pitchers have accomplished it 17 times, last by Taryne Mowatt in the magical NCAA title 2007 year when she did all the pitching and went 42-12 with a lot of the work in the postseason. Mowatt just missed in her senior year in 2008, going 29-15, again pitching a lot with 72 percent of the innings thrown. Fowler's has tossed 66 percent of the action this year.