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No. 3 Softball to Host Oregon Schools
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 04/19/2007
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The third-ranked Arizona softball team (31-9, 7-2 Pac-10) is set to host No. 14 Oregon State (33-13, 5-3) on Friday at 7 p.m. and No. 15 Oregon (37-8, 3-5) on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at noon.  Friday’s contest can be seen on FSN Arizona this Sunday at 2 p.m.  Check local listings for airtimes in other markets.

 

ARIZONA SOFTBALL THIS WEEK

Friday, April 20 vs. Oregon State ?- 7 p.m.

                TV: FSN Tape Delay (Cara Capuano/Angie Mentik)

Saturday, April 21 vs. Oregon ?- 7 p.m.

Sunday, April 22 vs. Oregon ?- noon

 

RECAPPING THE LAST FOUR GAMES: Arizona lost to No. 9 Arizona State, 6-3, at Farrington Stadium in Tempe on Wednesday night.  Despite the loss, the Wildcats remain atop the Pac-10 standings and have taken two of three games from ASU on the year.  Freshman pitcher Sarah Akamine got her second Pac-10 start and was touched up for 12 hits in six innings of work.  ASU’s Katie Burkhart retired the side in five of the seven innings and allowed only two hits.  All three of Arizona’s runs came on a second-inning, three-run homer by K’Lee Arredondo.  The round-tripper was her second of the year for the Tempe native playing in front of nearly two dozen family members.

 

Last weekend, Arizona swept Stanford and California to improve to 7-1 in Pac-10 play and 20-1 in games at Hillenbrand Stadium.

 

UA started the weekend with a 4-1 win over the then-No. 12 Cardinal, paced offensively by Callista Balko’s 2-for-3, four-RBI performance at the plate.  Taryne Mowatt went the distance, striking out 11 Stanford hitters and allowing just one run on five hits in her 22nd victory of the year.

 

On Saturday, Arizona overcame a third-inning, two-run deficit to defeat Cal, 6-4.  Chelsie Mesa drove in half of the Wildcat runs, with a pair of RBI doubles.  Caitlin Lowe contributed with two hits, two runs and an RBI.  Mowatt tossed her seventh consecutive complete game in Pac-10 action and improved her overall record to 23-7 and 6-1 in league play. 

 

Sunday’s contest called for another mild UA comeback, but the story of the day was howling winds that gusted up to 40 miles per hour.  Down 1-0 in the fourth, Arizona took advantage of a pair of dropped pop ups to score three runs on three hits and two errors in the inning.  After trading one run apiece with Cal in the fifth, UA got its fifth and final run of the game on an infield double that Jenae Leles skied no more than 15 feet in front of home plate that went untouched by any Golden Bear fielder.  Akamine became the first Arizona  pitcher not named Taryne Mowatt to see any action in the circle during Pac-10 play this year.  Akamine earned the victory with fivse innings of work, with Mowatt coming in for the final two innings to capture her third save of the year.

 

NOTING THE BEAVERS: Oregon State enters the weekend standing at third place in Pac-10 play, just 1.5 games behind conference leader Arizona.  The Beavers took its sole game against UCLA last weekend, before splitting a pair of contests against Washington.

 

OSU is paced offensively by Cambria Miranda, who leads the team in batting (.348), home runs (8) and RBI (40), among other hitting categories.  Brianne McGowan (20-7, 1.54 ERA) has started six of OSU’s eight Pac-10 contests in the circle.

 

NOTING THE DUCKS: Oregon cleaned up on non-conference opponents to the tune of a 33-3 record, but holds a 3-5 Pac-10 record and has dropped five of its last six Pac-10 games.

 

Jennifer Salling, Suzie Barnes and Ann Marie Topps lead the Ducks offensively.  Salling boasts a .504 batting average with 10 home runs, 58 RBI and 14 stolen bases.  Topps enters the weekend hitting .333 with 17 homers and 53 RBI.  Barnes, a leadoff hitter, leads OU with 34 stolen bases

 

ARIZONA HEAD COACH MIKE CANDREA ?- is in his 22nd season at the helm of the Arizona softball program.  He boasts a 1,112-223 (.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 joined 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.

 

ARIZONA TOPS NFCA RPI, STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: The Wildcats have the top RPI and strength of schedule, according to the NFCA’s simulated ratings percentage index, which can be found at http://www.fullysports.com/softball/2007/rpi or on page 7 of the .pdf version of the notes.  Arizona has received top-billing in all three weeks of the rankings have been published this year and possesses a commanding lead ?- the difference between Arizona and the second-ranked team, Alabama, is larger than the difference between Alabama and No. 14 Hawaii.

 

MOWATT NAMED USA SOFTBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Arizona pitcher Taryne Mowatt was named Co-USA Softball Player of the Week for her efforts the week of April 2-8 against then-No. 9 Arizona State.  Mowatt tossed a pair of 1-0 shutouts, including a no-hitter on Friday and a two-hitter on Saturday.  She combined to strikeout 21 Sun Devil hitters, while walking only one batter over 14 innings.  She limited an ASU team that entered the weekend averaging over six runs per game and a .300 team batting average to no runs and a .045 clip in the two contests.

 

Mowatt was also named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week for her work against ASU and earlier in the season (March 13-19) for leading UA to a runner-up finish at Fullerton’s Judi Garman Classic, in which she posted victories over NC State, Pacific, Michigan and Louisiana-Lafayette.

 

MO-HITTERS: On April 6 against ASU, Taryne Mowatt tossed her fourth career no-hitter and second of 2007.  That places her seventh in UA history for no-no’s, with all six Wildcat greats ahead of her garnering at least one All-America citation during their careers.

 

STRIKE THREE! Two weeks ago, Taryne Mowatt reached the 400 career-inning plateau that qualified her for a place on NCAA ratio-based career record lists, such as ERA.  Entering the week, Mowatt’s 10.6 strikeouts per seven innings rank her seventh on the all-time list, right behind Alicia Hollowell and fourth among active players.

 

A NEW WORKHORSE: When four-time All-American pitcher Alicia Hollowell’s eligibility expired with the 2006 Women’s College World Series championship last season, the Wildcats knew that they had to replace someone who had pitched in over 75 percent of Arizona’s games since 2003.  Taryne Mowatt has pitched every inning of Pac-10 play, seen action in at least part of 35 of UA’s 40 games this year and has recorded over 74 percent of the total outs. 

 

USA SOFTBALL NATIONAL COLLEGIATE PLAYER OF THE YEAR “WATCH LIST”: Arizona senior shortstop Kristie Fox and senior center fielder Caitlin Lowe were named to the list of 25 finalists for the USA Softball Player of the Year award.  Junior catcher Callista Balko and junior pitcher Taryne Mowatt had been named to the preseason 50-name list.  Lowe was one of three finalists for the award in 2005, while Alicia Hollowell was a top-three finalist last year.

 

LOWE NAMED CANDIDATE FOR LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD:  Caitlin Lowe was named one of 20 candidates for the 2007 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Candidates were selected based on personal qualities that define the complete student athlete.  While on-the-field performance during their collegiate softball careers is a factor in determining candidates and the eventual winner, their personal character and off-the-field achievements in the classroom and community are major areas of focus.  Finalists for the award will be announced on April 26.

 

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.

.454

2

6

Hits

319

6

t-19

Runs

226

8

13

Stolen Bases

143

2

t-14

Triples

10

4

 

 

300-200-100 CLUB: Caitlin Lowe is one of 11 players in NCAA Div. I softball history to have accumulated 300 hits, 200 runs and 100 stolen bases over her career.  Arizona has three former Wildcats plus Lowe on the list and is the only program represented by more than one athlete.

 

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

*Norrelle Dickson, Oklahoma 312 hits, 226 runs, 103 stolen bases
Kelly Krestchman, Alabama 368 hits, 288 runs, 133 stolen bases
*Caitlin Lowe, Arizona 319 hits, 226 runs, 143 stolen bases

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

*Lindsay Schutzler, Tennessee 341 hits, 227 runs, 112 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

 

PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: On March 6 Caitlin Lowe (Feb. 26-March 4) became the first Arizona player to be named the Conference’s player of the week this season.  The honor was well-deserved, as Lowe helped Arizona sweep Missouri by batting .700 (7-for-10), scoring eight runs with four RBI and nine stolen bases.  She scored multiple runs and had multiple hits in all three games and had a pair of four-stolen base contests.

 

SENIORS LEADING THE WAY: In 25 of the last 26 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

.365

104

85

52

Non-seniors

.253

112

112

23

 

FOX RACKS UP THE RIBBIES: Kristie Fox enters the weekend ranked seventh on UA’s career RBI list with 208.

 

Fox leads Arizona with 41 RBI, 12 more than Chelsie Mesa’s 29 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 (.611) and total bases (77).

 

THREE TIMES A CHAMPION: If nothing else, Chelsie Mesa can be called a winner.  The senior second baseman from Yuma, Ariz., transferred to Arizona after two years at Phoenix College.  All she did there was lead the Bears to two NJCAA national titles and grab a couple of national tournament MVP honors.  In her first year with Arizona, Mesa started every game on the 2006 national championship squad.  In the coming months, Mesa has the opportunity to accomplish the rarest of feats: win her fourth national championship as a player.

 

ARREDONDO HEATING UP: Freshman outfielder/infielder K’Lee Arredondo was hitting a near team-low .212 in non-conference with eight RBI in 31 games.  Since Pac-10 play began, the Tempe native is leading the Wildcats with her .348 batting average .522 slugging percentage, and is tied for the team high with six RBI in conference play.

 

AHEAD OF THE CURVE: In comparing Arizona’s performance through its first nine Pac-10 games of 2007 with 2006, the Wildcats appear to be doing alright considering the way last year’s season ended.

 

Team Stats through nine Pac-10 games:

 

2007

2006

Record

7-2

5-4

AVG

.242

.217

RUNS

37

23

SB-A

14-14

8-10

FLD%

.987

.971

ERA

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