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No. 6 Softball to Host No. 9 ASU for Two Games
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 04/04/2007
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The sixth-ranked Arizona softball team returns to Hillenbrand Stadium for its Pac-10 home-opener against No. 9 Arizona State this Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

 

ARIZONA SOFTBALL THIS WEEKEND

Friday, April 6, vs. Arizona State ?- 7 p.m.

Saturday, April 7 vs. Arizona State ?- 7 p.m.

                TV: ESPN2 (Eric Collins/Cat Osterman)

                Radio: KCUB 1290 AM (Brian Jeffries/Erika Hanson)

 

Friday’s game is College Night and is free to all students with a valud CatCard. Tickets are only $3 for fans who wear red to Saturday’s Rivalry Red-Out.

 

FOLLOWING THE WILDCATS IN THE MEDIA: Fans across the country can catch Arizona’s Saturday game live at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.  This is the second 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.  Eric Collins will call the action, while gold medalist and Honda Award winner Cat Osterman will provide the color.

 

Fans in Tucson who are unable to get in front of a television for the contest can turn their radio dials to 1290 AM to hear Brian Jeffries and Erika Hanson’s call of the game on the Wildcat Radio Network.

 

RECAPPING LAST WEEKEND: Arizona opened Pac-10 play with a tough road trip, one that involved over 3,000 miles of air travel over four days, in addition to playing three road games against ranked conference foes.  The Wildcats silenced the thought of any jet lag by winning two and losing one to place them in a first-place tie in early Pac-10 action.

 

Arizona 6, Washington 0:  The Wildcats opened league play by controlling the game against UW right out of the gate.  Kristie Fox hit the first of what would be two game-winning home runs on the weekend with a two-run blast in the first inning against the Huskies.  UA would never look back, as it scored an additional four insurance runs before the game’s end behind six hits and a very patient six walks.  All nine Wildcats reached base in the victory, but the story of the game was Taryne Mowatt’s performance in the circle.  The junior hurler tossed the first of what would be three complete games on the weekend and shut out a Husky offense that had been held scoreless only once all year.

 

UCLA 2, Arizona 0: On Saturday, the Wildcats and Bruins locked up in a riveting pitching duel that saw a combined five hits for the two squads.  While UA out-hit its archrival 3-2, the Bruins won the only statistical category that mattered: runs.  UCLA second baseman Lisa Dodd clubbed a two-run homer to break a scoreless tie in the sixth inning to give her team what would prove to be the game’s only runs.

 

Arizona 11, UCLA 2: The Wildcats responded to the previous day’s loss in emphatic fashion, defeating UCLA for the first time since 2004 and by the widest margin since a 16-3 drubbing of the Bruins in 1998.  Trailing 2-0 in the fifth, the Wildcats took advantage of two UCLA fielding errors for five unearned runs ?- all of which came with two outs.  With the game tied 2-2 and a pair of Wildcats on base, Fox unloaded on a ball that sailed over the Easton Stadium scoreboard for her 10th home run of the year.  UA would tack on three runs in each of the next two innings to cruise to a comfortable nine-run victory.  

 

ARIZONA HEAD COACH MIKE CANDREA ?- is in his 22nd season at the helm of the Arizona softball program.  He boasts a 1,107-222 (.833) 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 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.  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.

 

NOTING THE SUN DEVILS: Second-year head coach Clint Myers has followed up his team’s 2006 Women’s College World Series appearance with a strong non-conference showing and a 2-1 record in early Pac-10 action.  Sophomore outfielder Kaitlin Cochran leads the Sun Devils in every offensive category but RBI, including batting average (.516), runs scored (48), hits (64), doubles (12), triples (2), home runs (11), slugging percentage (.911), walks (28), on-base percentage (.615) and stolen bases (22 of 25).  Third baseman Bianca Cruz has posted nine home runs and a team-leading 51 RBI entering the week.  In the circle, Katie Burkhart (18-6, 0.94 ERA) has pitched the majority of the innings and averages over 12 strikeouts per game. 

 

Last year, UA took the season series over ASU two games to one.  The Sun Devils’ lone victory came by a 4-2 margin via an extra-inning home run at Farrington Stadium in Tempe.  The next game, Taryne Mowatt shut ASU out in UA’s 3-0 win, in which she went 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run and two RBI.  In Arizona’s only home game against its in-state counterpart last season, the Wildcats run-ruled ASU 10-0 in a six-inning rout, in which the Wildcats out-hit the Devils 12 to 2. 

 

HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE: Arizona holds an all-time 24-0 record against Arizona State at Hillenbrand Stadium, since the park was opened in 1993.  The last time ASU left Tucson victorious was on April 17, 1991, in a 5-0 Sun Devil win.  Since then, the Wildcats have run off 24 straight home Pac-10 wins and 28 home victories, including four regional wins.

 

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 four former Wildcats, 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  311 hits, 222 runs, 137 stolen bases

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

*Lindsay Schutzler, Tennessee 327 hits, 217 runs, 105 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 20 of the last 21 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

.385

98

80

44

Non-seniors

.256

98

99

22

 

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.

.456

2

6

Hits

311

7

27

Runs

222

8

17

Stolen Bases

137

2

16

Triples

10

4

 

 

FOX RACKS UP THE RIBBIES: Kristie Fox enters the weekend ranked seventh on UA’s career RBI list with 207.

 

Fox leads Arizona with 40 RBI, 14 more than Chelsie Mesa’s 26 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 (10), slugging percentage (.692) and total bases (74).

 

HITTING STREAKS: In Arizona’s March 17 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

Mia Longfellow

OSU

2006

13

Jennifer Salling

ORE

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