THIS WEEK: No. 2 Arizona (30-4, 1-1) has its first Pac-10 home games this weekend, as the Wildcats play host to No. 14 Washington (26-10, 1-2) on Friday and No. 3 UCLA (30-3, 2-1) on Saturday and Sunday.
ON THE AIR: Subscribers to All-Access, Arizona's premium multimedia service, can watch video webcasts of all three games. In addition, subscribers can listen to an audio webcast of 1290 AM The Source's radio broadcast of Saturday's game, with Paul Johnson and former Wildcat softball player Erika Hanson calling the action.
More information about All-Access
FRIDAY, APRIL 7
SUNDAY, APRIL 9 UCLA 1 p.m. (MST)
NOTING WASHINGTON: The Huskies are coming off an up and down weekend of Pac-10 play, in which they lost to Cal, 1-0, and Stanford, 2-0, before run-ruling Stanford, 8-0 to finish the weekend.
The UW offense, which lost 2005 co-Pac-10 Player of the Year Kristen Rivera, averages almost five runs a game and is led by Ashley Charters and Sarah Hyatt. Charters boasts a .454 batting average with 25 stolen bases on the year. Hyatt, meanwhile, leads the team with 31 RBI and is second to only Charters with her .538 slugging percentage. Danielle Lawrie and Caitlin Noble split the time in the circle and combine to account for every inning pitched for UW this season. Lawrie is 15-6 with a 1.63 ERA, while Noble is 11-4, with a 1.76 ERA.
UW is scheduled to play
NOTING UCLA: The Bruins enter the week with a 30-3 record and a 2-1 clip in conference play. Last week in
UCLA return all of its starters from last year’s WCWS runner-up squad, including Jodie Legaspi, Caitlin Benyi, Andrea Duran and Emily Zaplatosch. Legaspi leads the Bruins with her .357 batting average and nine home runs, while Benyi and Duran both have seven bombs on the year. Colburn leads UCLA with 25 RBI and four triples, while Zaplatosch is coming off a season in which she hit three home runs and had 11 RBI in three games against UA. In the circle, UCLA returns 2005 All-American and Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year Anjelica Selden.
LAST WEEK RECAP:
Alicia Hollowell pitched her way to a complete-game victory against
INJURY UPDATE: During the same game that Hollowell got hurt, Caitlin Lowe suffered an injury to her left hand when sliding head first into first base on a groundout. The initial prognosis was that Lowe would be out 4-6 weeks, and this is week number three in that timeframe.
Since the injury, Lowe’s absence from the
TOP CATS: In every year since 1992,
RE-WRITING THE RECORD BOOKS: Alicia Hollowell is now
For a complete list of
OFFENSIVE HISTORY: With each passing game, outfielders Caitlin Lowe and Autumn Champion are climbing up the UA record books in several offensive categories, including hits, stolen bases and runs scored. Additionally, both rank in the top five in career batting average at
In the March 31 loss to
This weekend, with five runs scored Champion could also crack the top 10 for runs in a career. The
Lowe has 230 career hits and could challenge Allison McCutcheon’s (1995-98) 405 career base knocks come spring 2007.
Additionally, with 19 stolen bases this year, Lowe has swiped 93 career bases, good for fifth on UA’s all-time list. If she wants top-billing as
Earlier in the season, Autumn Champion moved into sole possession of seventh place in career stolen bases. Entering this week, she has swiped 60 career bases.
BIRTHDAY BALKO BUSTS SLUMP: UA’s sophomore catcher Callista Balko has had some reason to celebrate lately. One reason could be that her 20th birthday came this past Tuesday on April 4, or another could be her recent performance at the plate.
Balko went 4-for-5 (.800) with two walks this past weekend, and is 5-for-6 (.667) with a .900 on-base percentage (9-for-10) over the last three games. The streak is especially notable, as it started when Balko was mired in a 3-for-19 (.158) slump in the previous eight games. As if all that were not enough, Balko has been behind the plate for all 216.2 innings this year while UA has been in the field.
IS BIRTHDAY GIRL BANISTER NEXT? Keeping with the theme, Sam Banister, who will celebrate her 19th birthday this Sunday, is looking to be the next Wildcat (whose surname begins with B) and has a birthday to snap out of a slump. The freshman first baseman from
LEADING OFF WITH A BANG: Of Sam Banister’s five home runs this year, three have come when she was leading off an inning. With 18 plate appearances leading off this year, Banister’s hits a leadoff jack in one out of six tries. If she maintained that rate for all of her plate appearances, the UA first baseman would have 18 long balls on the year. Also, without Banister’s numbers, UA hitters start their frames with a home run about one in every 26 times.
SPEAKING OF SOLO SHOTS:
THREE FOR THE MONEY: Caitlin Lowe moved into a four-way tie on Arizona’s all-time triples list, when she had her fourth three-bagger of the year and ninth of her career on March 18 against CSUN. Among the names Lowe had been tied with when she had eight career triples: UA senior associate athletics director Kathleen “Rocky” LaRose.
Lowe tied her career-high for most triples in a season with four.
TRIPLE THE FUN: Last year,
Through its first 34 games,
Autumn Champion’s triple against Texas A&M on Feb. 24 was the first of her career. Prior to the third-inning hit, Champion had played in 185 games and had 578 at-bats before her first career triple. The slap hitter had 89 hits as a freshman in 2003 ?- all singles.
HOMER HAPPY: Kristie Fox’s fourth-inning home run at
NEWCOMERS MUSCLE UP: Aside from last minute roster additions Kelly Nelson, Jill Malina and Danielle Rodriguez, UA had brought in four new players this year who have helped to fix last year’s power problem.
Chelsie Mesa, Laine Roth, Jenae Leles and Sam Banister have started all 34 games this year and have had a noticeable impact on the UA offense. Those four have 22 of
NERVOUS NEWBIES? NOT ANYMORE:
MOWATT (3/13-19, 3/20-26) AND HOLLOWELL (2/6-12; 2/13-19) NAMED PAC-10 PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Taryne Mowatt was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week for two consecutive weeks from March 13-26. From March 24-26 against Louisiana-Lafayette, Mowatt became the first pitcher all year to shut out the prolific Ragin’ Cajun offense. Over the weekend she pitched 16.0 innings and gave up one run. The week before, Mowatt tossed a no-hitter and a perfect game at the Judi Garman Classic. In two games, Mowatt struck out 28 of the 37 opposing batters she faced. Alicia Hollowell has been named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week twice this year. Following the Kajikawa Classic (2/6-12), USA Softball named her its first National Player of the Week of the year for her performance in last week’s games. In three starts, Hollowell tossed no-hitters against No. 15 Northwestern and No. 6 Texas A&M, while surrendering one hit in a 2-0 win over Cal State Fullerton.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH MIKE CANDREA is in his 21st season at
AND THEN THERE WERE EIGHT: Okay, here’s the bad news:
To cope with the lack of returners, UA brought in Chelsie Mesa, Laine Roth, Jenae Leles and Sam Banister (see “Newcomers Muscle Up”), as well as former UA soccer standout Kelly Nelson, manager Jill Malina and former Tucson High infielder Danielle Rodriguez.
LEADING THE PAC:
IF WE SCORE TWO, WE WIN:
RBI FOR EVERYONE!
Here’s a breakdown of the Wildcats’ RBI per-game:
Last year, only two players (Kristie Fox and Jackie Coburn) ended the season with RBI-per-game ratios of better than .5.
MULTI-HIT AND MULTI-RBI GAMES: Every Arizona starter with the exception of Taryne Mowatt who has only 21 at-bats on the year, has at least one multi-RBI game and a minimum of four multi-hit games. Leading the way with nine multi-RBI games are Laine Roth and Chelsie Mesa. Kristie Fox and Jenae Leles both have a half dozen multi-RBI games, including a five-RBI game for
In the multi-hit game category, Caitlin Lowe has a stranglehold over her teammates with 19 games with two or more hits. Kristie Fox (12), Autumn Champion (10), Laine Roth (8) and Chelsie Mesa (8) round out the top of the list. All told, UA batters have combined for 77 multi-hit and 48 multi-RBI games.
HITTING STREAK: Caitlin Lowe’s career-high 15-game hit streak was snapped in UA’s March 19 loss to
WINNING STREAKS: Speaking of streaks, UA’s longest winning streak this year is 15 games, which were its first 15 contests of the year. The Wildcats’ March 16 loss to Texas A&M snapped a nine-game run.
PERFECTO! Taryne Mowatt’s no-hitter against UNLV and perfect game against Cal State Northridge were both firsts in her career. Mowatt became the 20th pitcher in
NO-NO: Alicia Hollowell has 16 career no-hitters. To put that figure in perspective, you can take any other two Wildcat hurlers (Susie Parra, Jennie Finch, Nancy Evans, Becky Lemke or Teresa Cherry, et al), combine their no-hit totals and they still will not amount to Hollowell’s total. As for UA’s other current pitchers, Taryne Mowatt and Leslie Wolfe have two and one career no-no’s, respectively.
ACE IN THE HOLE: With opponents fearful of facing three-time All-American Alicia Hollowell, some may feel relieved when they see Taryne Mowatt’s name next to position ?'1’ on the UA lineup card. Given Mowatt’s performance in her 15 starts, they should feel no such ease.
Here are a couple of ratios to compare the two hurlers:
ERA K/7 IP K:BB Opp. AVG
Mowatt 0.65 12.4 14.7* .125
Hollowell 0.60 13.2 20.0 .110
Mowatt walked two batters intentionally in the March 19 contest against
NOBODY EVER GOT ANYTHING FREE FROM UA: The Wildcat pitching staff has combined to strikeout 393 opponent hitters in 216.2 innings pitched this season. What’s more, they have issued a total of 24 walks to opposing hitters. That’s one walk per 9.0 innings pitched and 16.4 strikeouts to the walk. In contrast, UA hitters have walked 119 times or 3.5 times a game.
TAKING BALLS AND TAKING NAMES: When Kristie Fox isn’t driving in one of her 29 RBI on the year, she may be doing a number of things, but one of them is not striking out. Fox has drawn 17 walks this year, while striking out just six times. The junior from
STEALING WITH ACCURACY:
GET AHEAD, STAY AHEAD:
THAT’S WHY THEY’RE ALL-AMERICANS:
PINCH WHAT? Taryne Mowatt’s at-bat against UNLV on March 16 marked the first and only time Coach Candrea has sent a pinch-hitter to the plate this year.
PINCH RUNNERS: Kelly Nelson has appeared as a pinch runner in 21 games for UA. In doing so, she has scored 10 runs. Jill Malina and Danielle Rodriguez have appeared as a PR in 10 and nine games, respectively. Rodriguez scored the game-winning run in UA’s 2-1, nine-inning victory over Baylor on March 12.
EXTRA ALMOST EVERY TIME:
THE OLD RED, WHITE & BLUE: Caitlin Lowe and Alicia Hollowell return to
DEFENSE WINS WHAT? With 16 only defensive hiccups in 793 fielding attempts, UA has a Pac-10 leading .980 fielding percentage. Opponents, on the other hand, have committed 41 errors for a .952 fielding clip. UA is error-free in 20 games this season.
NOT AFRAID OF A CHALLENGE: As always,
EARLY SIGNINGS: Head coach Mike Candrea announced that UA has received four National Letters of Intent for the 2006-07 academic year from pitcher Amanda Williams of Brentwood, Calif., catcher/third baseman Stacie Chambers of Glendale, Ariz., shortstop/utility K’Lee Arrendondo of Tempe, Ariz., and pitcher/third baseman Sarah Akamine of Escondido, Calif.