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20070823 2007 Softball Season in Review
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 08/23/2007
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2007 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

Final Overall Stats

Arizona (50-14-1, 15-5-1 Pac-10) won its eighth NCAA Championship in the last 17 years, and made its 19th?trip to the Womenˇ?s College World Series in the last 20 years.? Additionally, UA won its 10th Pacific-10 Conference title in program history and its fourth in the last five years.

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Arizonaˇ?s 20th NCAA Appearance ˇ? Arizona made its 20th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance (20th overall) since 1987, all under coach Mike Candrea, except in the case of 2004 when Larry served as interim head coach.??The Wildcats have qualified for the Womenˇ?s College World Series in 18 of the last 19 years, including a run of 16 consecutive trips to the WCWS, which ended in 2004.

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Arizona has a record of 124-34 (.785) in NCAA Tournament games.? Additionally, after winning all five postseason games played at Hillenbrand Stadium, UA is now 55-6 (.902) all-time when NCAA games are played in Tucson.

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At the WCWS in Oklahoma City, the Wildcats went 6-2 over a seven-day span to win its second consecutive national championship.? This marks the third time in program history that UA has won back-to-back titles, as well as just the fifth occurrence in Division I Softball history for a program to win consecutive national championships.? UA now holds a 57-25 all-time record in WCWS contests.

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USA ?SOFTBALL NATIONAL COLLEGIATE PLAYER-OF-THE-YEAR FINALISTS:? Caitlin Lowe was named to the USA Softball POY list of 10 finalists.??Kristie Fox had been named to the mid-season list of 25 candidates, while Callista Balko and Taryne Mowatt were tabbed for the 50-name pre-season watch list.

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HONDA SOFTBALL AWARD FINALIST: Caitlin Lowe was named one of four finalists for the Honda Softball Award, which recognizes the nationˇ?s top collegiate softball player based on national balloting.

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ESPY AWARDS: Taryne Mowatt won two ESPY Awards ?C??Best Female Athlete and Best Female College ?C and in doing so became the first Arizona student-athlete to win an ESPY in the award showˇ?s 15-year history.

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LOWE WINS LOWEˇ?S SENIOR CLASS AWARD:? Caitlin Lowe was named the winner of the 2007 Loweˇ?s Senior CLASS Award for softball.??Having been awarded the last six years in basketball, this is the first year Loweˇ?s bestowed the honor on a softball player.? Candidates were selected based on personal qualities that define the complete student athlete.

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ARIZONA ?HEAD COACH MIKE CANDREA ?C concluded his 22nd?season at the helm of the Arizona softball program and now boasts a 1,131-228-2 (.832) record in 21 seasons in the dugout.? During the season, Candrea became is one of five Division I softball head coaches to have won 1,100 games and was the fastest to do so.? In 2007 he added to his already extensive list of coach-of-the-year honors with his 10th Pac-10 Coach-of-the-Year citation and the NFCA Division I Coaching Staff of the Year honor.

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1,100 WINS FOR CANDREA: On March 16 in Fullertonˇ?s Judi Garman Classic, Arizona head coach Mike Candrea won his 1,100th?career game in an 11-0 rout of Pacific.??Incidentally, Candreaˇ?s son Mikel was on hand as Pacificˇ?s hitting coach.

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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, LSUˇ?s Yvette Giourard joined the illustrious group with her 1,100th win.? Additionally, as this is his 21st season in the dugout, Candrea became the fastest of the five 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.

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Candrea by the Numbers

Overall record:??????????????????1131-228-2

Pac-10 games:???????????????? 340-92-1

NCAA games:????????????????? 122-32

WCWS games:??????????????? 57-25

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Candreaˇ?s Honors

2007???? Pac-10 Coach of the Year

????????????NFCA Division I Coaching Staff of the Year

2004???? USA Olympic team head coach

????????????Olympic Shield Award

????????????USOC Coach of the Year

2003???? Pac-10 Coach of the Year

2002???? Pac-10 Coach of the Year

2001???? Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year

2000???? Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year

1999???? University of Arizona Honorary Alumnus Degree

1998???? Pac-10 Coach of the Year

1997???? NFCA Division I Coach of the Year

????????????Pacific Region Coach of the Year

????????????Pac-10 Coach of the Year

1996???? NFCA Division I Coach of the Year

????????????Elected to NFCA Hall of Fame

1995???? Pacific Region Coach of the Year

1994???? NSCA Division I Coach of the Year

????????????Pacific Region Coach of the Year

????????????Pac-10 Coach of the Year

1988???? Northwest Region Coach of the Year

????????????Pac-10 Coach of the Year

1987???? Pac-10 Coach of the Year

1986???? Pacific-West Co-Coach of the Year

1985???? NJCAA Coach of the Year (Central Arizona)

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ALL-WCWS: Arizona had four players named to the All-WCWS, including Taryne Mowattˇ?s Most Outstanding Player citation.??The UA pitcher was joined by seniors Caitlin Lowe, Kristie Fox and sophomore Jenae Leles on the 12-player list.

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WCWS RECORDS: In pitching UA to the national championship, Taryne Mowatt set several WCWS records including innings pitched (60.0), victories (6), complete games (8) and strikeouts (76).

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ALL-AMERICANS: Caitlin Lowe and Taryne Mowatt were named to the first and second NFCA All-America teams, respectively.??Lowe became just the second player in Arizona history to earn first-team All-America honors all four years.??Mowattˇ?s citation was the first in her career, but marked the 17th consecutive year Arizona has had a pitcher named to the All-America team.? This marks the 18th consecutive year that UA has had at least two All-Americans.

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ALL-PAC-10: Seniors Caitlin Lowe and Kristie Fox, as well as junior Taryne Mowatt earned All-Pac-10 first-team honors, while senior Chelsie Mesa was listed on the second team.??Arizona head coach Mike Candrea was cited as the Pac-10 Coach of the Year for the 10th?time.? Additionally, Caitlin Lowe was named the conferenceˇ?s Defensive Player of the Year.? Callista Balko and Adrienne Acton were tabbed for honorable mentions.

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PAC-10 ALL-ACADEMIC: Arizona outfielder Jill Malina was named to the Pac-10 All-Academic second team.??A pre-physical education major, Malina has a 3.43 cumulative grade-point average.

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ALL-PACIFIC REGION TEAM: Three Wildcats ?C Taryne Mowatt, Caitlin Lowe and Callista Balko ?C were named to the NFCAˇ?s all-Pacific Region first team.??The honor is a first for both Mowatt and Balko, while Lowe has been named to the all-region first team four years.

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CAMPAIGN ISSUES ?C A STRONG NATIONAL DEFENSE: Arizona has experienced exceptional success in years following a national title.??The Wildcats have appeared in the national title game after every one of their national championships, have won six of seven Pac-10 Championships and average a 60-7 record in those seven campaigns.

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Arizona ˇ?s NCAA Tournament finish in yearˇ?s following a national title

1992???? Lost in WCWS title game

1994???? NCAA Champions

1995???? Lost in WCWS title game

1997???? NCAA Champions

1998???? Lost in WCWS title game

2002???? Lost in WWCS title game

2007???? NCAA Champions

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LIKE CLOCKWORK: Arizona has been ranked No. 1 in the country for at least part of the year every season since 1991.?

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STEALING THE RECORD: April 27, Caitlin Lowe broke Alison McCutcheonˇ?s school record of 148 career stolen bases.??The four-time, first-team All-American finished her career with 156 steals ?C which is the good for 11th?in NCAA history and second in Pac-10 history.? Loweˇ?s 49 stolen bases in 50 attempts are the second-highest single season mark in program history and a career high. Additionally, she finished with the third-highest steals-per-game ratio (0.77) in the country.?

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During regional action, Lowe was caught stealing for the first time since 2006.? She stole a school record 54 consecutive bases without getting caught; the sixth most consecutive steals in NCAA history.

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Just as impressively, Lowe finished her career in sixth place in NCAA history with a .945 (156 for 165) career stolen base percentage.

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THE LOWE-DOWN ON THE RECORD BOOK: As a four-time, first-team NFCA All-American Caitlin Lowe cemented her name into the annals of Arizona and NCAA softball.??She finished towards the top of the UA and NCAA lists in six career categories.

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Lowe in top 10 Arizona history

Category?????????????????????????Ariz. Rank??????NCAA Rank

Batting Avg.?????????.446????? 2?????????????????? 11

Hits???????????????????? 351?????? 4?????????????????? 10

Runs??????????????????? 242?????? 6?????????????????? 11

Stolen Bases??????? 156?????? 1?????????????????? 11

Stolen Base Pct.?.945????? 1?????????????????? 6

Triples??????????????????11?????????4??????????????????

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300-200-100 CLUB: Caitlin Lowe is one of 12 players in NCAA Division 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.

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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 328 hits, 234 runs, 110 stolen bases

Amber Jackson, Maryland 349 hits, 264 runs, 113 stolen bases
Kelly Krestchman, Alabama?368 hits, 288 runs, 133 stolen bases
*Caitlin Lowe, Arizona?351 hits, 242 runs, 156 stolen bases

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

*Lindsay Schutzler, Tennessee?362 hits, 241 runs, 120 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
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* current players

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FOX RACKS UP THE RIBBIES: Kristie Fox finished her career with 230 career RBI, placing her seventh on UAˇ?s all-list with 230.??That marks the 12th?most RBI in NCAA history.

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A two-time, first-team NFCA All-American, Fox led the Wildcats in RBI (63), home runs (15), slugging percentage (.668) and total bases (129).

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FOUR TIMES A CHAMPION: If nothing else, Chelsie Mesa can be called a winner.??The 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 two years at Arizona, Mesa won two additional national titles to accomplish the rarest of feats: win four national titles as a player.

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MO-HITTERS: Taryne Mowatt tossed her fifth career no-hitter in Arizonaˇ?s regional opener against Howard on May 18.??The no-no was the third in postseason history for an Arizona pitcher and the first since Jennie Finch held Nebraska hitless in the 2000 Tucson Regional.

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That places her in a sixth place tie with current pitching coach Nancy Evans in UA history for no-noˇ?s.??All five Wildcat greats ahead of her collected at least one All-America citation during their careers.??On April 6 against ASU, Taryne Mowatt tossed her fourth career no-hitter and second of 2007, after recording her first of 2007 against Texas Tech on Feb. 16.?

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MOWATT MAKING HER MARK: As UAˇ?s only viable pitching option, Taryne Mowatt set or challenged a number of records throughout the season.??These include the following marks:

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Record????????????????????????????????????????Ariz. Rank??????all-time NCAA Rank

Innings pitched-season?? 370.0?????? 1?????????????????? 11

Victories-season??????????? 42??????????? 1?????????????????? 12

Strikeouts-season????????? 522????????? 1?????????????????? 11

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STRIKE THREE! While she is not the overbearing presence of an Alicia Hollowell or Jennie Finch, Taryne Mowatt strikes out more than her share of opponents.??At seasonˇ?s end, Mowattˇ?s career mark of 10.1 strikeouts per seven innings are good for 10th?place in NCAA history.

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A NEW WORKHORSE: When four-time All-American pitcher Alicia Hollowellˇ?s eligibility expired with the 2006 Womenˇ?s College World Series championship last season, the Wildcats knew that they had to replace someone who had pitched in over 75 percent of Arizonaˇ?s games since 2003.??Taryne Mowatt pitched all but 15.2 innings of Pac-10 play, every inning of Pac-10 play and saw action in at least part of 60 of UAˇ?s 65 games this year and recorded over 83 percent of the total outs.

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ARIZONA ?TOPS NFCA RPI, STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: The Wildcats finished the year with the top RPI and strength of schedule, according to the NFCAˇ?s simulated ratings percentage index, which can be found at http://www.fullysports.com/softball/2007/rpi .? Arizona received top-billing every week the rankings were published.

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YOU KNOW ITˇ?S OVER WHENˇ? Arizona was a perfect 35-0 when leading after the fifth inning.??The Wildcats also boasted a 33-0 record when scoring five or more runs in a game this season.?

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SLAMMINˇ? IT HOME: Sarah Akamineˇ?s grand slam in the third inning of UAˇ?s 9-0 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday, March 18 was a firstˇ? her first career home run and Arizonaˇ?s first grand slam since Kristie Foxˇ?s four-run shot in the 2006 Tucson Super Regional against LSU.??However, it was the grand slam Akamine hit in the seventh inning ?C her second of the game ?C that raised eyebrows.??The freshmanˇ?s pair of grand slams in a single game marked the first time in program history that any player achieved the feat and her eight RBI are good for fourth in a single game.

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HITTING STREAKS: InArizonaˇ?s March 17 victory over Michigan, Chelsie Mesaˇ?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.

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The streak was the longest for an Arizona player since Autumn Champion had a base knock in 25 straight games in 2003.? Adrienne Actonˇ?s career-long 11-game streak was snapped the very next game against Louisiana-Lafayette.

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ˇ?WHOˇ?S YOURˇ± INSPIRATION? The Angels had the Rally Monkey in their 2002 World Series run, the Braves rode the Tomahawk Chop to 14 consecutive division titles, and in 2007 the Arizona Wildcats had ˇ?Hoosiers.ˇ±??Arizona scored the game-winning run in the inning immediately following an inspirational clip from the legendary sports flick ˇ?Hoosiersˇ± five of the six times it was played on UAˇ?s videoboard this year.

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The following are the situations in which the clip was played and the result.

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Date

Opponent

Inn .

Before

After

2/17

Mid. Tenn. St.

6

2-1 MTSU

Six-run inning leads Arizona to 7-3 win

2/24

Texas A&M

7

4-3 A&M

Arizona failed to score, loses game

3/2

Missouri

7

4-4

Lowe 1B, steals two bases and scores on Balkoˇ?s walk-off 1B

3/4

Missouri

7

7-7

Jenae Leles first pitch, walk-off homer

3/25

New Mexico

6

3-2 NM

Wildcats score 9 runs and run-rule Lobos 11-3

4/6

Arizona State

7

0-0

UA scores run with two outs for 1-0, walk-off win

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ARIZONA ?SOFTBALL ATTENDANCE: Arizona appears to be a near lock to repeat as the NCAA champion ?C in home game attendance. ? ?In 29 dates, Arizona hosted 44,487 fans for an average of 1,534 per date.? Even more impressive is Arizonaˇ?s average of 2,093 fans in Pac-10 contests.

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Since Hillenbrand Stadiumˇ?s opening in 1993, 459,866 fans have passed through the turnstiles.

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UA on TV: Arizona had 14 of its games televised, all but two of which were shown to a national audience.??UA went 10-3-1 in those games, which includes a 2-1-1 mark in Pac-10 contests and 8-2 record in postseason games.??Since 2005, UA has had a total of 41 of its games televised, 37 of which were televised on one of ESPNˇ?s family of networks.

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