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No. 1 Softball to Take on UCLA and Washington
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 05/05/2003
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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May 5, 2003

Next Up for the Cats

The No. 1 Arizona softball team (47-4, 16-1) will host No. 2 UCLA (43-5, 15-3) on May 9 at 7 p.m. The Cats will take on No. 4/5 Washington (40-13-1, 7-11) in a doubleheader beginning at 6 p.m. These are the last regular season games for Arizona.

Last Time Out

The Cats ended their road trip to the Bay Area with a 3-0 record. Senior Lovie Jung was 2-for-4 with one run in the Cats, 2-1 win over No. 15 Stanford on Saturday. A three-run home run by junior Mackenzie Vandergeest helped the Cats to a 6-0 win over Stanford on Sunday. The game against Cal was originally scheduled for Friday was moved to Monday because of rain. Arizona defeated Cal, 6-0 with the help of a two-run home run by Jung in the fifth inning.

Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week

Freshman Alicia Hollowell has been named Pac-10 Co-Pitcher of the Week for April 28- May 4. Hollowell ended the weekend with a, 2-0 record and 0.00 ERA. She pitched 14 innings and struck out 19 batters. In the Cats 6-0 win over No. 15 Stanford, Hollowell gave up one hit and struck out 11 batters. It was her ninth one-hitter and 11th double-digit strikeout performance. This is the fifth weekly award for Hollowell. She becomes the first Arizona pitcher to ever win the award five times in one season.

Hollowell in Hallowed Company

Freshman pitcher Alicia Hollowell is one of 12 other UA pitchers to win 30 victories. Hollowell's 313 strikeouts this season moves her to No. 3 on the UA record charts for strikeouts in a season. Finch holds the season record of 366 in 2002. Hollowell also moves to No. 8 on the charts for strikeouts in a career. Hollowell now holds the record for most victories by a freshman, previously set by Becky Lemke who won 25 games her freshman year in 1998. Hollowell stacks up quite nicely against some of the outstanding performances by Wildcat freshmen over the years, including National Player of the Year (Honda) award winners Susie Parra, Nancy Evans and Jennie Finch. Here's a look at the freshman season for five Wildcat greats:

Player                 Year       W-L    ERA     ShO   K     BB   IP
Susie Parra               1991       14-3    0.43    12   128   42    129.1
Nancy Evans               1994       17-0    1.39    5     75   24    106
Becky Lemke               1998       25-2    1.67    10   161   32    151
Jennie Finch              1999       24-8    2.08    11   179   64    202.1
Alicia Hollowell          2003	     33-3    0.69    23   313   46    233.2

Softball Regionals

Arizona has been picked as one of eight schools to host the NCAA Softball Regionals from May 15-18. Each regional will feature eight teams playing double-elimination format. All locations were based on location, quality of facilities and quality of the experience for the student athletes. The other schools selected to host are Alabama, Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State, Michigan, Nebraska and Texas. The last time Arizona hosted was in 2001 and drew in more than 8,000 fans.

The Coach

Arizona's Mike Candrea carries a career record of 974-188 (.838), accomplished in 17+ years with the Wildcats. The 2002 Pac-10 co-Coach of the Year has led UA to six national titles and six Pacific-10 Conference championships. Last season, he became only the third Division I coach in history to win 900 games. He's on his way to becoming only the second coach to win 1,000 games. Margie Wright from Fresno State is the other coach to win 1,000 games. Wright won 1,028 games in 23 years. Candrea is also the coach for the U.S. Olympic Team. During his tenure, Wildcat student-athletes have won the Honda Softball Award fives times (Susie Parra-1994, Jenny Dalton-1996, Nancy Evans-1998, Jennie Finch-2001, 2002). Candrea's Arizona teams have played in 16 consecutive NCAA Tournaments and 15 consecutive College World Series. Last season, Candrea's team made it to the College World Series Championship game before losing to California, 6-0. Candrea is joined by assistant coaches Nancy Evans and Larry Ray.

Hillenbrand Stadium

UA carries a record of 329-21 in Hillenbrand Stadium. The Cats had an average attendance of 1,755 and drew in a total of 49,140 in 2002. Arizona set an attendance record of 3,161 fans on April 9, 2002 against UCLA. Arizona had a three-season 70-game home winning streak snapped by UCLA on April 7, 2002.

Amateur Softball Player of the Year

The Amateur Softball Association announced the 10 finalists for the 2003 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award. Freshman Alicia Hollowell and senior Lovie Jung are among the finalists for the award. The list of 10 will be reduced to three players on May 13. The winner will be announced on May 21 at the opening ceremonies of the College World Series. Last season, UCLA's Stacey Nuveman received the award. Lauren Bay (Oklahoma State), Lindsay Chouinard (DePaul), Keira Goerl (UCLA), Jessica van der Linden (Florida State), Iyhia McMichael (Mississippi State), Tairia Mims (UCLA), Cat Osterman (Texas) and Natasha Watley (UCLA) are the other finalists for the award.

USA Softball National Team Camp

The Amateur Softball Association announced Monday nine additional players invited to attend the 2003 Women's National Team Selection Camp. Freshman Autumn Champion has been added to the list. Champion joins Leah Amico, Jennie Finch, Nicole Giordano, Alicia Hollowell, Lovie Jung, Toni Mascarenas and Mackenzie Vandergeest. A total of 50 athletes will participate in the team camp for June 4-8, at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. These players will compete for spots on two teams that will represent the USA Softball National Teams in international competition this summer.

Cats in the Polls

Arizona has been ranked No. 1 in the nation in both of the current polls this year - by USA Today/NFCA and Espn.com/USA Softball. This is the first year for the latter poll. The Cats have been ranked steadily since 1988, so polls are standard for the program. Here's how Arizona has fared in the polls this year (dates are Tuesday's in season): NFCA Poll: Preseason (2), Feb. 11 (2), Feb. 18 (2), Feb. 25 (2), March 4 (2), March 11 (2), March 18 (2), March 25 (3), April 1 (1), April 8 (1), April 15 (1), April 22 (1), April 29 (1). USA Softball Poll: Feb. 25 (4), March 4 (2), March 11 (2), March 18 (1), March 25 (2), April 1 (2), April 8 (1), April 15 (1), April 29 (1).

Jennie Finch Jersey Retired

Former UA softball pitcher Jennie Finch will have her jersey retired prior to the UA-UCLA game on May 9. The ceremony begins at 6:45. Finch will also throw out the first pitch.

UA Softball Notes

... Arizona has faced UCLA in seven College World Series title games (1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2001)... The Cats won in 1991, 1993, 1997 and 2001... Arizona and UCLA have faced each other twice this season with the Cats winning both games... ... Lovie Jung leads the nation in home runs (24) and runs batted in (71)... Jung has 47 career home runs including six from Fresno State... ... Arizona currently leads the Pac-10 with a 17-1 record, followed by UCLA with a 15-3 record... The Cats are on an 11-game winning streak... The team has had 33 shutouts this season, which is eight shy of the 1992 team that had 41... ... Head Coach Mike Candrea needs 26 more wins to reach 1,000 victories... ... Arizona will host its 11th NCAA Regional on May 15-18... ... The UA-UCLA game will be broadcasted on CSTV, which can be found on Direct TV channel 610...

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