Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcats and Huskies Meet in Seattle
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: April 03, 2012
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April 3, 2012

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Date Time  Opponent Location
Thursday, April 5 6:00 p.m. PDT No. 4 Washington  Washington Husky Softball Stadium (1,500)
Friday, April 6 6:00 p.m. PDT No. 4 Washington  Washington Husky Softball Stadium (1,500)
Saturday, April 7 12:00 p.m. PDT No. 4 Washington  Washington Husky Softball Stadium (1,500)

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Arizona vs. Washington All-Time:
First Competed: Last Year:
1993  2-1

- In its nine losses this season, Arizona is being outscored by only 2.1 runs per game. In its 23 wins, UA is outscoring opponents by 6.4 runs per game.
- UA run-ruled Stanford, 9-1 on Saturday. Last season, the Wildcats mercied just two conference opponents [4/1/11; Stanford; 8-0 (5)] and [4/16/11; Washington; 13-5 (5)].
- The Cats hit 11 home runs last week in five home games led by Brigette Del Ponte with four and Shelby Pendley with three. In its home games this season, Arizona is averaging 1.6 home runs per game, whereas on the road, the Cats are hitting under1.3 home runs per game.
- Arizona committed just one error last week, maintaining its nation’s-best .984 fielding percentage. The error, though, was costly. Two unearned runs resulted in a 4-1 loss to Stanford. Arizona pitchers have allowed a total of seven unearned runs to cross the plate all year.
- Wildcat hitters bat .447 when leading off an inning compared to just .248 in all other at bats.
- Kristen Arriola leads the team in batting average in Arizona’s six conference games (.350). Arriola is hitting 150 points better in conference than in non-conference (.200), against Pac-12 quality pitching.
- Brigette Del Ponte hit .500 (3-for-6) last season against Washington with a couple of RBI. Kenzie Fowler posted a 1.27 ERA in 11.0 innings before being concussed by a foul ball.

Washington: The Huskies (32-4, 3-3 Pac-12) are ranked fourth by the NFCA and fourth by USA Softball. Washington came up short in a three-game series at Cal last weekend, getting swepped by the top-ranked Golden Bears 2-1, 5-3 and 6-4. Kailtin Inglesby leads Washington both at the plate and in the circle. The sophomore carries a 16-2 record with a 1.45 ERA and hits .469 with 12 doubles, seven home runs and 49 RBI. Kimi Pohlman (.454 avg, four doubles, two triples, one home run, 19 RBI and 18 stolen bases) also contributes significantly offensively for the club. UW is outscoring the opposition 252-72 on the season.
Series History: Arizona, 58-23 // First Meeting: 1993 // Last Meeting: 4/17/2011; Arizona 6, Washington 1; Tucson, Ariz.

HEAD COACH Mike Candrea: Arizona head coach Mike Candrea is in his 27th year at the helm of the Arizona softball program with a career record of 1,295-286-2 (.818). A winner of eight national championships (1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2007), Arizona has made 22 trips to the Women’s College World Series under his guidance, missing just twice in the last 24 years (2004, 2011). In 2010, Candrea became the fastest coach in NCAA Division I softball to earn 1,200 wins, and, providing the squad wins 28 games this season, he will be the fastest to 1,300. Under Candrea, Arizona has a spectacular postseason record of 148-43. An even 50 All-Americans with a staggering 90 total citations have played in the program since Candrea took over.

THE RANKINGS: Arizona improved to 17th in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll and 16th in the Softball Collegiate Top 25. The Wildcats started the season ranked eighth in both polls (its highest ranking of the season) and finished 2011 ranked 11th in both.

Arizona went 4-1 in five games last week. The Cats swept San Diego State in a two-game series before taking two-of-three from No. 13 Stanford.

Tuesday, March 27: Del Ponte’s Blasts Help Cats Power Past SDSU
With Head Coach Mike Candrea not in the Arizona dugout due to his Sunday through Tuesday hospitalization, the Arizona softball team used three home runs to power past San Diego State, 8-0 in five innings.

Brigette Del Ponte went yard twice, her sixth and seventh jacks of the season, Lini Koria homered once, and Arizona cruised to the run-rule victory.

Wednesday, March 28: Cats’ Comeback Punctuated by Pendley’s Walk-off
Nineteenth-ranked Arizona Softball used a dramatic comeback to down San Diego State in extras, 8-6 to sweep the series.

The Cats entered the seventh trailing by five runs and in danger of dropping their fifth game in seven tries. Shelby Pendley pounded a home run to begin the inning. After a pair of singles, a walk and a sacrifice fly, right fielder Alex Lavine stepped in with two outs. Arizona was down to its final strike, trailing 6-3, when Lavine, who entered the at-bat with one hit and one RBI on the season, and three career home runs, tied the game with a homer to left field.

In the eighth inning, Shelby Babcock relieved Kenzie Fowler to pitch a spotless top half and Arizona’s offense wasted no time in the bottom half. Jessica Spigner led off the frame with a single to center field. Pendley, who homered off the scoreboard in the seventh inning, took a full-count offering from San Diego State pitcher Bailey Micetich over the batter’s eye in center field to win the game.

It was Arizona’s first walk-off win of the season, and improved the Cats to 1-1 in extra-inning affairs.

Arizona’s heroics came after the Aztecs had seemingly put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh. A single and a pair of two-out walks loaded the bases for SDSU, which was leading 2-1 at the time. Justeen Maeva cleared the bases with a grand slam to left field to put San Diego State ahead 6-1.

Entering the bottom of the seventh, the Wildcats had managed just three hits off Micetich, who tossed every pitch for SDSU. She went seven innings (plus two batters in the eighth), and allowed eight runs on nine hits and struck out seven Wildcats. Micetich fell to 8-6 on the season.

Friday, March 30: Softball Drops Game One to Stanford
No. 19 Arizona Softball fell into a 2-0 hole in the top of the first and could never recover, dropping game one of the three-game series, 4-1 to 13th-ranked Stanford.

The Cats managed just two hits off Stanford ace Teagan Gerhart, who struck out one-third of the Wildcats she faced (9-of-27). The one run is the fewest Arizona has scored since being shut out by then-No. 13 Georgia on February 23 in a 3-0 loss. Arizona’s two hits matched its season low, recorded in the Georgia shutout, as well.

Stanford used two bases-loaded, two-out, two-RBI singles to plate the four runs in the game. Corey Hanewich came through in the first and Maya Burns in the third.

Saturday, March 31: Arizona Uses Long Ball to Mercy Cardinal
No. 19 Arizona Softball earned its first conference win of the season with a 9-1, five-inning win over 13th-ranked Stanford. Arizona plated seven of its nine runs on home runs.
Brigette Del Ponte hit home runs in consecutive at-bats, both two-run shots. Kirker matched Del Ponte’s four RBI with a quartet herself. Kirker drove home a run on a bases-loaded walk in the first and ended the game with a three-run, walk-off home run in the fifth. Nicole Bryan drove home the other Arizona of the game with a free pass in the first inning.

Sunday, April 1: Softball Takes Game, Series with Sunday Win
No. 19 Arizona Softball (23-9, 2-4 Pac-12) was on the right side of a pitcher’s duel between Shelby Babcock and Stanford’s Teagan Gerhart. The Wildcats downed the 13th-ranked Cardinal (27-8, 1-5 Pac-12), 3-1 in front of 2,587 fans at Hillenbrand Stadium.

Babcock and Gerhart combined to allow just eight total hits in the game, three of which left the park for home runs. Two of the homers came off Wildcat bats; Shelby Pendley crushed a solo homer in the second and Lini Koria hit a two run home run in the fourth. Cassandra Roulund had Stanford’s homer in the fourth.

Sophomore Babcock (12-6) allowed the one run on just three hits to an offense that scattered 15 hits total in the first two games. Babcock struck out seven and walked one in the victory.

April 15, 2011: Huskies Slip Past Cats, 3-0
No. 8 Arizona could not muster a run vs. the seventh-ranked Huskies as the Wildcats dropped a 3-0 decision at the hands of freshman ace Kaitlin Ingelsby in front of 2,683 fans in the Pac-10 home opener.

Brittany Lastrapes belted a trio of hits, but was left stranded each time, part of the Wildcats’ eight runners left on base.

Kenzie Fowler took the loss despite another solid outing, pitching all seven innings and allowing three runs, two earned and striking out five. Fowler, who issued three walks and scattered six hits, dropped to 21-6 with the loss. The sophomore has lost her last two starts.

April 16, 2011: UA Wins Wild One in Five to Even Series
A wild game that began pregame with the Arizona’s lineup card, ended with back-to-back home runs by Brigette Del Ponte and Stacie Chambers as No. 8 Arizona walked off with a 13-5, run-rule victory over No. 7 Washington in five innings.

Individual standouts were aplenty with Lauren Schutzler hitting for three legs of the cycle, two home runs for Brigette Del Ponte and Stacie Chambers’ five RBI on two home runs to name a few.

Arizona (35-8, 6-2 Pac-10) took an 8-0 lead in the second inning with a seven spot in the frame. Washington had allowed seven runs in an entire game only five times all season prior to the frame.

April 17, 2011: Cats Take Series with 6-1 Win
Arizona scored six runs on 10 hits while getting a stellar pitching performance from Kenzie Fowler and Shelby Babcock to defeat the Huskies and win the series, 6-1.

Arizona left 13 runners on base, but the six it brought in were plenty to defeat the seventh-ranked Huskies.

Fowler threw three innings without giving up a hit before being hit in the head with a line drive foul ball while sitting in the dugout. Babcock replaced her in the fourth, tossing three innings of two-hit ball before making things interesting in the seventh. She allowed three hits and a run in the frame before getting Washington’s Kimi Pohlman to ground out to end the game.

Brigette Del Ponte: Had five hits against San Diego State and Stanford without stopping at first or second base. Del Ponte had four home runs and a triple while driving in 10 runs in the five contests.

Shelby Babcock: Posted a 1.11 ERA while going 3-1 against San Diego State and Stanford. Babcock’s three-hitter in Sunday’s Stanford finale ranks among the best games in her career.

Lini Koria: Led the team with a .417 batting average against San Diego State and Stanford with a pair of home runs. Koria drove home four runs in the five games and slugged .917.

Shelby Pendley: Hit a home run in back-to-back at-bats in Arizona’s 8-6 comeback victory over San Diego State (3/28), the latter of which ended the game; it was her first-career walk-off homer. Hit another home run against Stanford (4/1) that landed on top of the roof Gittings Gym, a four story building that stands roughly 45 feet beyond right field.

Alex Lavine: Against San Diego State (3/28), batted with two out and runners on first and second trailing by three runs in the seventh. Lavine took an 0-2 pitch beyond the left field fence to tie the game at six. It was the sophomore’s second hit of the season and her fourth career home run.

STARING AT THE STATS: …Through more than half the year, Arizona has almost as many stolen bases (34-for-38) as it had in the last four full seasons. UA had 37 in 2011, 36 in 2010, 29 in 2009 and 43 in 2008. There’s no national-leader threat, just success by Karissa Buchanan (13-13), Brigette Del Ponte (8-9) and Chelsea Suitos (7-8) to lead the way. It could be a useful ploy in tight games … Speaking of which, the Cats’ 202-78 edge in runs scored works out to 6.5 to 2.5 per game, so games have been close. In the Cats’ Jennie Finch/Alicia Hollowell-led pitching years, 2001 to 2006, Arizona allowed less than 90 runs all season by opponents with a low of 63 in Finch’s junior NCAA-record 32-0 season. That’s second only to the Debby Day (32-5) and Susie Parra (26-2) 1992 season when Arizona gave up only 33 runs all season for a 0.35 team ERA … Arizona has struck out 136 times compared to drawing 122 bases on balls. The last time UA had that close of a ratio (to the good side) was in 1998 when it struck out 191 times and walked 238 times … The Cats’ defensive execution has been good all year, and the .984 fielding percentage would be a school best if UA can keep it up. UA has booted only 13 balls and by extrapolation the total would be the fewest number of miscues in school history. The 2001 club committed 34 errors in 69 games and set the school record with a .981 fielding percentage … One mathematical function in UA’s season is its six missed games, to rain. UA has 18 regular-season contests left and an expected minimum of at least two NCAA games. That adds up to 51 – one under the 52 played by the 1993 club. Since it began its string of 25 consecutive NCAA appearances in 1987 Arizona has played an average of 65 games per year and only played less than 60 games twice – in 1993 and in 2005 (57).