Up Next: ?No. 7 Arizona (27-10, 4-2 Pac-10) returns home for week three of Pac-10 play, where they will host a trio of ranked teams for four games.
Wednesday, April 9 ??C vs. ASU, 7 p.m. Hillenbrand Stadium, Tucson, Ariz.
Friday, April 11 ?C vs. Washington, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 12 ??C vs. UCLA, 3 p.m. (TV: FSN)
Sunday, April 13 ?C vs. UCLA, 12 p.m.
Possible Arizona Lineup:
Lauren Schutzler ?C cf
Kˇ?Lee Arredondo ?C ss
Jenae Leles ?C 3b
Stacie Chambers ?C dp
Laine Roth ?C 1b
Callista Balko ?C c
Sam Banister or Sarah Akamine ?C 2b
Cyndi Duran - lf
Adrienne Acton ?C rf
Taryne Mowatt/Lindsey Sisk - p
Noting the Opponents: ?
No. 1 ASU (41-2, 5-0): ?The Sun Devils have been at the top of the NFCA poll since March 4th. All-American Kaitlin Cochran has a .456 average and an on-base percentage of .639. The junior from Yorba Linda, Calif. also leads the nation in runs scored, with 55. In the circle, another All-American looms in senior lefty Katie Burkhart (22-2). The all-time ASU statistical leader in every pitching category is second only to Angela Tincher of Virginia Tech (who no-hit Team USA) in strikeouts per seven innings. She has recorded 276 Ks so far this season. Not to be outdone, sophomore pitcher Megan Elliott (14-0) has whiffed 77 in 97.2 IP.
No. 23 Washington ( 24-12-1 , 3-3): The Huskies are led at the dish by freshman Jace Williams, who touts a .408 average and thus remains the only above .400 hitter on the squad. In the absence of Canadian Olympian Danielle Lawrie, UWˇ?s Aleah Macon (13-5) and Caitlin Noble (11-7) have split time in the circle and have racked up a combined 285 strikeouts along with a 2.09 ERA.
No. 4 UCLA (35-3, 7-0): ?With a .398 average at the plate, Samantha Camuso leads the Bruins, who have won 10 straight games and 29 out of their last 30. Freshman GiOnna DiSalvatore leads the team in RBIs with 37 while contending for the team lead in bating average with .385. Senior Anjelica Selden (17-2) and freshman Donna Kerr (13-1) have seen about equal time on the rubber, and the latter leads the nation with a .48 ERA.
Last Week: ?Arizona visited the rainy and cold Pacific Northwest to take on the Oregon schools and came away with a 2-1 weekend record. On Friday, the Cats shutout the OSU Beavers 6-0 in Corvallis behind a five-hit, nine-strikeout performance by Taryne Mowatt. Six Cats registered two hits, and Sam Banister picked up her fourth homer of the season, a two-run shot, to cap the scoring. Saturdayˇ?s game was delayed 45 minutes because of rain in Eugene, but when the action started, so did UAˇ?s bats. The Cats plated three runs on four hits in the first inning, en route to a 5-1 victory over UO. This time five Cats registered at least two hits, with Laine Roth going 3-4 at the dish. Sunday was a much different story for UA. Touting a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third, starter Lindsey Sisk gave up a three-run bomb to Neena Bryant. Arizona cut the deficit to one, courtesy of Jenae Lelesˇ? 10th homer in the fifth, but UO withstood a seventh-inning rally that included a 20-minute rain delay at the climax of the game to hold on for a 3-2 victory and their first Pac-10 win. In the final game, Arizona held UO to only three hits but left 10 runners on base, including seven in scoring position.
Track the Cats: ? Free GameTracker live stats sponsored by Tucson Electric Power, are provided for all home games and many road games (depending on Internet access) via arizonaathletics.com.? Many road opponents provide the service through their web sites as well. All-Access video streaming of home games also is available through UAˇ?s web site. A number of games will be broadcast by UA partner IMG Sports and KCUB 1290 AM Radio.
Arizona Head Coach Mike Candrea: ? Mike Candrea is in his 23rd season at the helm of the Arizona softball program.? He boasts a 1,131-228-2 (.832) record in 21 seasons in the dugout.? This year, he is taking an eight-month partial leave of absence from January onward to serve as head coach for the U.S. Womenˇ?s National Team.? He was named a finalist for USOC Coach of the Year on March 19. His USA squad beat Arizona 16-0 in Tucson Feb. 19. Candrea has earned 19 coach-of-the-year honors, including 10 Pac-10 Coach of the Year citations.? Last year, the Pac-10 tabbed Candrea as its coach of the year, and the NFCA named Candrea and his assistants its national staff of the year.? Similar to this season, Candrea took a leave of absence in 2004 to coach the USA Olympic softball team to a 9-0 record and a gold medal in Athens.? Candrea also was awarded the Olympic Shield award, the U.S. Olympic Committeeˇ?s most prestigious award, marking the first time in history the award was given to an Olympic coach.? He has led Arizona to eight national championships, 10 Pac-10 titles and is one of just five Division I coaches to have won over 1,100 career games. Despite his leave of absence he will be on hand periodically to infuse the leadership that has taken the UA softball program to the top of the game. He crossed paths at tournaments in Tempe and Palm Springs, for example, already and was in Tucson for games last week ?C of about 17 games heˇ?ll witness home and away.
Interim Head Coach Larry Ray: With head coach Mike Candrea on leave, 17-year assistant coach Larry Ray has taken the reins of the Arizona softball program and assumes the historical record in 2008.? Ray has a 249-122 (.671) career record as a head coach, and five NCAA Championships as an assistant.? Ray possesses a powerful combination of head coaching experience and familiarity with Arizona softball.? Ray spent five years as Floridaˇ?s first head coach, and in 1998 he was named the SEC Coach of the Year after leading the Gators to an SEC Eastern Division title and a trip to the NCAA Regional Championships.? He returned to Arizona in 2002, and in 2004 he led the Wildcats to a 55-6 record and a Pacific-10 Championship. Ray is assisted by Dave Feinberg and volunteer pitching coach Gale Bundrick.
RPG : Actually, home runs per game. Arizona led the nation in home runs per game six times since the NCAA began rating teams for such categories. The softball office has a pile of plaques commemorating many of them, including this clout factor. Here's how this year's home run rate measures:
No. 1??? 2001??? 1.83 HRPG (NCAA record)
No. ???? 2008??? 1.70
No. 1??? 1995??? 1.39
No. 1??? 2002??? 1.39
No. 1??? 1994??? 1.39
No. 1??? 1998??? 1.11
No. 1??? 1993??? 0.69
Big-D: ? Arizona ranks in the nation's Top 15 in fielding percentage at .976. Little things count; That figure is 10 errors from being atop Division I (with a .986 figure).?UA has 24 boots that have helped lead to 12 unearned runs on the season. In two games it really hurt -- Texas A&M scored three unearned runs in a 3-2 victory (dropped fly ball) and San Diego State scored one unearned run in a 2-1 victory.
Stranded: ? In Arizonaˇ?s 10 losses this season, the Cats have 70 LOB. Easy math averages this to 7 Cats being left on base per loss. In their eight losses of two runs or less, the Cats have left a total of 41 runners in scoring position. Jenae Leles is the big bat with RISP, touting a .382 average in this category.
Better than Most: ?Arizona's team batting average of .313 is modest, and 15 regular-season Pac-10 games shy of being anywhere near a final figure, but it rates the best in the last four seasons at this point and .24 points above last year's .289 figure ?C one of only three sub-.300 seasons in the past 15 years in Tucson.
Who's Up ?? Don't pencil the Wildcats lineup in before you see it. Arizona has used 24 different starting lineups this year. Reasons are players like Jenae Leles moving herself into the three-hole hitting job with a steady bat, slugger Stacie Chambers getting more proficient as the season wore on to take over the cleanup spot, Lauren Schutzler moving from the eight spot to the set-up role at No. 2, players with a hot bat populating the 5 and 6 roles, the platoon situation at second base and in right field in the bottom of the order, etc.??
Mowing them Down : Taryne Mowatt reached the 1,000 strikeout plateau a few weeks back and has 1,093, the third Arizona pitcher in history to reach 1,000. Sheˇ?s whiffed them in 747 innings pitched for a career 10.2 strikeouts per seven innings, tied for No. 10 in NCAA career strikeout ratio. Sheˇ?s No. 2 in UA history behind Alicia Hollowell (2003-2006) at No. 1 with 1,768 and just ahead of Jennie Finch (1999-2001) with 1,028. Sheˇ?s no. 7 in UA history with 87 victories (87-25). Her 42 victories as a junior in 2007 are a UA single-season record, as were her 370 innings pitched and 522 Ks. Along with her 12 Ks to beat Oregon this past weekend, and a 20-strikeout game in a victory over Virginia Tech (in which she and Angela Tincher (21) set a single-game NCAA record of 41 whiffs), she has 11 double-digit K games this year.
Long Balls: ?Arizona has 63 home runs (tied for national lead with Arizona State, with six fewer games), led by four players with nine or more ?C Stacie Chambers and Callista Balko with 11 each, and Laine Roth and Jenae Leles with 10. Eight others have gone yard for the Cats. The HR-less game Saturday at Oregon was only the third such contest in the last 23.? Chambersˇ? 11 clouts are the most by a UA newcomer since Ju-Co transfer Chelsie Mesa knocked 10 in 2006.
Arizona Newcomer Homers
Mackenzie Vandergeest?20, 2001
Leneah Manuma???????????? 19, 2001
Leah Braatz????????????????????? 18, 1995
Lovie Jung (Jr.)??????????????? 16, 2002
Jackie Coburn????????????????? 12, 2002
Stacie Chambers (So.)? 11, 2008
ˇ?Balkoˇ?s total is two shy of her season best of 13 as a sophomore in 2006. The 1.79 per game clip would lead the country at the end of most years. The Catsˇ? juggernaut team in 2001 hit 126 for the NCAA-record of 1.83.
More ˇ®Yardˇ? Talk ˇ? Balko, Kˇ?Lee ??Arredondo, Laine Roth and Stacie Chambers (twice) have grand slams. Balko, Stacie Chambers, Leles and Kemp each have two home runs in a game. Balko hit two in one inning vs. La Salle, when pinch-hitter Corinna Gonzalez also joined in to make it three in one frameˇ? UA has hit three or more home runs in 10 games and six ?C within one of the school record ?C against UIC and La Salleˇ? UA has inning leadoff homers by Brittany Lastrapes (3), Chambers (2) and Sarah Akamineˇ? Corinna Gonzalez got her first career hit against La Salle March 7 ?C a pinch-hit three-run bombˇ?
Long Balls Allowed : When opponents hit a home run this year, they won five of the 13 gamesˇ? Northwestern hit a pair in the season opener, Creighton had a long ball in its victory, UTEP hit one in its victory and Michigan/Oregon, ditto. Taryne Mowatt (7) and Lindsey Sisk (6) have given up 13 to opponents this season.
HRBIs : The Cats have driven in 126 runs this year with home runs alone. Itˇ?s doubtful UA can keep up the 3.41 runs per game via balls over the fence, but itˇ?s a nifty total for now. The Cats have gap and deep power when the hitters use the right combination of patience and aggressive focus at bat. Callista Balko has 25 of her 33 RBI? (76%) from home runs. Stacie Chambers 25 of her 36 RBI (69%) from home runs, Laine Roth has 22 of 32 RBI (68%) from the long ball. Jenae Leles, wisely the three-hole hitter, has only 16 of her 34 RBI from homers.
Ribbie Race : Four players are contending for the team lead in runs batted in, a stat held by All-American Kristie Fox for the past three seasons (230 in her career). Stacie Chambers leads with 36, backed by Jenae Leles with 34, Callista Balko with 33 and Laine Roth with 32. Brittany Lastrapes (23) and Kˇ?Lee Arredondo (24) also have more than 20. Chambers had the game high with five against LSU on Feb. 24. Leles has 11 multiple-RBI games, Balko is at 10, Chambers has nine and Roth has eight.
Catnips : Shortstop Kˇ?Lee Arredondo has all 35 of her starts at that position. Brittany Lastrapes has all 34 of her starts in left field, but every other regular has a few quirks in the mixˇ?Regular second baseman Victoria Kemp has not played since fouling a pitch into her face March 18 against UTEP, missing 11 straight contests. Her status remains questionableˇ?Lauren Schutzler continues to lead the team in hitting at .383. She took over the centerfield role after some early platooning and has not looked backˇ?Freshman leadoff hitter Brittany Lastrapesˇ? has four home runs, the highest output for her slot in the batting order since Caitlin Lowe had five in 2005. Lastrapes had 14 extra-base hits. Lowe had 14 as a freshman and as a junior...As should be expected, Lastrapes has a team-high 37 runs scoredˇ?Lastrapes has the best current hitting streak, five gamesˇ? DP/catcher Stacie Chambers saw her team-best 12-game streak snapped two weeks ago, and Lastrapes had 10- and seven-game streaks this yearˇ? ?Freshman Lindsey Sisk tossed her first career no-hitter against La Salle March 8, a five-inning effort backed by a bundle of offense. It was the second of the year for Arizona. The no-hitter thrown by Taryne Mowatt (4 IP) and Sarah Akamine (1) in the 5-inning game against South Florida Feb. 29 was Arizonaˇ?s first shared no-no since Alicia Hollowell (4) and Wendy Allen (1) did it in five innings April 23, 2004 against Oregon State. Siskˇ?s was the 78th no-hitter in school historyˇ?? Arizona is 18-2 on the year when scoring in the first inning. The Cats scored in the first inning at Cal in the first game and then went 11 scoreless innings until a three-run sixth turned the tide in Game 2ˇ? Jenae Leles was walked intentionally twice in the second game last week. Only Stacie Chambers previously was issued a free passˇ? Senior catcher Callista Balko set an Arizona career record for putouts this year, and now has 1,947. She passed catcher Mackenzie Vandergeest at 1,812ˇ? Arizonaˇ?s 0-3 start this year was its worst since Mike Candreaˇ?s 1989 team opened 0-2 in a doubleheader against Oregon in Pac-10 play to open the year. His 1987 team also matched the 0-3 start. ? UAˇ?s three-game skid was its first since dropping three in a row April 8-14, 2006, against UCLA (twice) and at Arizona State, in a season when UA later won the NCAA Championshipˇ? Arizona continues to have more home runs than stolen bases and that happened only five times in its history ?C 1994 (93 HR/78 SB), 1995 (100/74), 2001 (126/83), 2002 (93/32) and 2003 (70/43). The common denominator in those figures is a lot of home runs, not a dearth of stolen bases.
Turnstiles Turning ?C Again:? ?Including the twin exhibition dates against Teams USA and Canada as paying dates, UA already has drawn 19,500 for 11 home dates. Thatˇ?s an average of 1,772.? In Division I games only Arizona has drawn 15,230 in nine gates, for a 1,692 average. For the second consecutive year in 2007, the Wildcats led the nation in home attendance with an average crowd of 1,534 per date and a total of 44,487 fans.? Hillenbrand Stadium nears 500,000 fans in cumulative attendance dating back to 1993. ?Entering the season, Hillenbrandˇ?s aggregate attendance figure stood at 464,104. ?After 10 home dates itˇ?s up to 483,604. With 1,845 season ticket holders, the goal of a half million fans is in sight if UA keeps average crowds as high as to date. Marketing specialists added ˇ®Candreaˇ?s Cornerˇ? status to the outfield seats and boosted season-ticket sales in that section of the yard. ? Call (520) 621-CATS or log on to arizonaathletics.com for ticket information.
Arizona Softball in Historical Perspective : Arizona began play in 1974 and sports an all-time record of 1,463-421-2. The Cats are 361-97-1 in Pac-10 play, which began in 1987. Since 1982 and NCAA Division I Championships play began, Arizona is 1,299-320-2. UA has appeared in 21 NCAA Championships, has won the Womenˇ?s College World Series eight times in 19 trips, and has secured 10 Pac-10 titles.
The Rankings: ?Arizona has been ranked No. 1 in the country for at least part of the year every season since 1991.? This year the Wildcats were tabbed the preseason No. 1 team by both by the NFCA/USA Today and USA Softball/ESPN.com polls. This week UA is No. 7 in the oldest poll, the NFCAˇ?s, and 9th in the USA Softball poll. UA has been in every NFCA poll since 1988.
USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year ˇ?Watch List:ˇ±? ?For the second consecutive year Arizona senior pitcher Taryne Mowatt and senior catcher Callista Balko were named to the exclusive 50-name preseason list.? Arizona is scheduled to face 25 of the highly-touted players. ?Balko was also named to the early list of candidates for the Loweˇ?s Senior Class Award.
More ?Red, White and Blue: On March 28, former Wildcats Jennie Finch, Lovie Jung and Caitlin Lowe were named to the U.S. Womenˇ?s National Team for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.? Alicia Hollowell was name a replacement player. The defending gold medalists are led by UA head coach Mike Candrea. ?Current Wildcats Kˇ?Lee Arredondo, Brittany Lastrapes and Lindsey Sisk played for the U.S. Junior Womenˇ?s National Team this past year, and Lastrapes was named the MVP of the ISF Junior Womenˇ?s World Championships in the Netherlands.
Wildcat Signees: ?The Arizona coaching staff signed three high school seniors to National Letters of Intent during the November early signing period.? Kristen Arriola (INF, Pacifica High School, Garden Grove, Calif.), Perelini Koria (C, San Pedro High School, Gardena, Calif.) and Karissa Buchanan (OF, Sabino High School Tucson, Ariz.) are expected to enroll next fall.
Here are some Arizona career records categories involving current players
Career Pitching Victories
1. Alicia Hollowell??????????????? 134-23?? 2003-06
2. Nancy Evans??? 124-8???? 1994-98
3. Jennie Finch??? 119-16?? 1999-02
4. Carrie Dolan??? 103-13?? 1994-97
5. Becky Lemke?? 103-19?? 1998-01
6. Susie Para?????? 101-19?? 1991-94
7. Taryne Mowatt?87-25?????? 2005-08
Career Pitching Strikeouts
1. Alicia Hollowell??????? 1768
2. Taryne Mowatt??????? 1,093
3. Jennie Finch??????????? 1028
4. Becky Lemke?????????? 916
Innings Pitched ?C Career
1. Alicia Hollowell??? 1122.0?? 2003-06
6. Carrie Dolan??????? 755.1????? 1994-97
7. Teresa Cherry????? 730.1????? 1985-88
8. Taryne Mowatt??? 747.0????? 2005-08
1. Alicia Hollowell??????????? 81/8
2.Jennie Finch???????????????? 64/7
3. Susie Parra????????????????? 61/1
4. Nancy Evans??????????????? 53/2
5. Becky Lemke?????????????? 44/9
6. Taryne Mowatt??????????? 35/4
1. Callista Balko-c????????????????????? 1976?????? 2005-08
2. Mackenzie Vandergeest-c???? 1812?????? 2001-04
3. Amy Chellevold-1b????????????????? 1718?????? 1992-95