April 1, 2002
Next up for the Cats The Cats (33-4, 2-0) return home on Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m., to face No. 12 Washington (30-9, 1-1). Arizona then faces No.1 UCLA (33-4, 1-1), on Saturday, April 6 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, April 7 at 1 p.m.
Cats Sweep In-State Rivals
The Arizona softball team traveled to Tempe last weekend to open conference play. The Cats managed to sweep the two games against the Sun Devils. On Friday, senior pitcher Jennie Finch struck out 10 batters in seven innings to lead the Cats to a 2-0 victory. It marked the 12th shutout for Finch on the season. Freshman Jackie Coburn hit her second grand slam of the season to help the Cats to a 10-1 win on Saturday. Freshman Courtney Fossatti was 3-for-4 with two runs and one RBI.
Arizona's Mike Candrea carries a career record of 904-176 (.837), accomplished in 16+ years with the Wildcats. The 2001 Pac-10 co-Coach of the Year has led UA to six national titles and six Pacific-10 Conference championships. He is only the fifth coach in history to win 900 Division I games. During his tenure Wildcat student-athletes have earned All-America honors 59 times and won the Honda Softball Award four times (Susie Parra-1994, Jenny Dalton-1996, Nancy EvansB1998 and Jennie Finch-2001). Candrea=s Arizona teams have played in 15 consecutive NCAA Tournaments and 14 consecutive College World Series. Assistant coaches Nancy Evans and Larry Ray join Candrea.
Home Sweet Home
UA will return home this week, and hope to improve on its home winning streak of 68 games (44 last year and 21 this season). UA last lost in Hillenbrand Stadium on April 9, 2000, to No. 9 Stanford, 4-3, in eight innings. Incidentally, the Cats are 9-4 on the road this year. The home winning streak broke the previous school record of 45 games (May 1996 to March 1998).
Arizona was ranked No. 2 in the latest USA/NFCA poll. UA was No. 3 in the March 20 poll, No. 2 in the March 14 poll, No. 2 in the March 6 poll, and No. 3 in the February 27 poll and No. 1 in the preseason poll. UA has been ranked steadily since 1988. The next USA/NFCA poll comes out on April 3.
Finch on Fire
UA senior All-American - and 2001 Honda Softball Award winner -- Jennie Finch has won 59 consecutive games in the circle, an NCAA mark she established Feb. 24 with her 51st. She broke the record of 50 that was set by Rebecca Aase of Florida State from 1991 to 1993. The remarkable streak is all the more so because it spans considerable Pac-10 play and NCAA regional and WCWS action. She was 32-0 last year, another NCAA record for single-season perfection. Finch is 19-0 with an earned run average of 0.62 and has 197 strikeouts in 125 innings pitched. Among her 12 shutouts, she has three no-hitters this year (eight in her career). Her career record is 104-10, which moves her to No. 2 on the all-time UA record, passing Carrie Dolan.
Bangin' Them Silly
Among one of the seemingly unassailable records UA set in 2001 was the team's 126 home runs in 69 games. This year a powerful UA club has whacked 67 dingers in 37 games - a pace (1.8 per game) ahead of last year's effort. Leneah Manuma leads the team with 17 homers and needs three more to top her freshman-year high of 19 a year ago. Arizona also has hit 11 grand slams this year. The team slugging percentage is .602.
Wildcat Softball Notes
...Manuma has 58 RBI in 93 at-bats. She has a crack at the UA top 10 chart on which No. 10 is former catcher Leah Braatz 75 RBI in 1994...
...Manuma's 36 career homers are No. 7 on the UA charts - in only one-plus seasons... She is also No. 13 on the home runs in a season... Catcher Mackenzie Vandergeest is No. 8 on the career chart with 28, tied with Lauren Bauer...
...Manuma leads the team in RBI (58), home runs (17), and hit by pitch (12).
...Leadoff hitter, Lovie Jung leads the team in runs scored (43), doubles (8), at-bats (108), hits (46) and walks (27)...
...Manuma also has had 13 multiple RBI games... Jung has 15 multiple-hit games...
...Vandergeest and Manuma both lead the team in grand slams with three apiece...
...In the latest Pac-10 stats, Arizona leads the conference in home runs with 67, followed by Washington with 35...
...Arizona has outscored opponents 264-41 ... Arizona has scored 208 runs in the first four innings and has only given up 12 runs in late innings
... Jennie Finch's career pitching record is 104-10. She is only the fifth pitcher in UA history to win 100 games. With her victory this weekend she passed Carrie Dolan (103-13, from 1994-97), Becky Lemke (103-19, 1998-2001) and Susie Parra (101-9, 1991-94) into the No. 2 spot behind current assistant coach and former Honda Award winner Nancy Evans (124-8, from 1994-98)...