May 8, 2013
WEEK 14 (MAY 9-11): STANFORD // Palo Alto, Calif.
Arizona (30-23, 7-14 Pac-12) vs. #13 Stanford (35-17, 12-9 Pac-12)
Date Time (PDT) (Rank) Opponent Location
Thursday, May 9 7:00 p.m. (13/13) Stanford Boyd & Jill Smith Family Field
Friday, May 10 7:00 p.m. (13/13) Stanford Boyd & Jill Smith Family Field
Saturday, May 11 12:00 p.m. (13/13) Stanford Boyd & Jill Smith Family Field
FOLLOW THE CATS
T.V.: Thursday’s contest will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Network (Krista Blunk/Tammy Blackburn)
Live Stats: Find Gametracker links for all games at http://www.arizonawildcats.com/scoreboard/
Live Updates: Twitter: @UA_Softball (twitter.com/ua_softball)
- Arizona wraps up regular season play with a visit to Palo Alto to take on the 13th-ranked Stanford Cardinal as the teams jockey for postseason position. Both teams ride hot streaks into the contest; Arizona took its series from third-ranked ASU while Stanford swept No. 12 California on the road with an aggregate score of 37-12. Arizona and Stanford meet Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:00, 7:00 and 12:00 p.m. PDT, respectively.
- With two wins against Arizona State, the Cats improved to No. 29 in the RPI and got to the 30-win plateau for the 27th consecutive season. With that in mind, the Wildcats figure to be in the NCAA Tournament’s field of 64 when it is announced this Sunday (ESPNU at 7:00 p.m. PDT).
- Brigette Del Ponte, who has started 231 of Arizona’s 237 games in her career, will be playing her final three regular season home games of her career. Del Ponte celebrated her senior weekend by hitting .500 with a double, a homer and four RBI in Arizona’s series victory over ASU.
- Del Ponte is set to leave Arizona in the career top 10 in four categories. The senior currently sits tied for seventh in doubles (51), tied for sixth in home runs (59), ninth in RBI (227) and fifth in assists (453). Del Ponte, currently with 103 walks, will need two bases on balls to crack the top 10 in that category as well.
- The Wildcats own a 61-9-1 record all-time against Stanford and have won 10 of the last 11 meetings, dating back to 2009.
- The Wildcats are an impressive 20-7 at home this season while they are just 10-16 away from Hillenbrand Stadium this season. Arizona has not finished with a sub-.500 record on the road (including neutral site games) in Head Coach Mike Candrea’s 27 previous years at Arizona. The Cats have just three remaining road games, plus potential NCAA Tournament games.
- Arizona has been run-ruled three times in the last 11 games and four times this season to set a record for run-rule losses in a season Arizona history. The previous high came in 2010, when Arizona was run-ruled three times, a season in which it made it to the Women’s College World Series championship series. However, this brings up a more spectacular point: In the last 20-plus years, Arizona is 376-13 (.967) in mercy-shortened contests.
- In the Wildcats’ 23 losses, they have scored a total of 36 runs (1.57 runs per game) and are hitting just .208 as a team. Contrast to the impressive offensive numbers in the games won: 7.4 runs per game, .359 batting average.
THIS WEEK: Arizona (30-23, 7-14 Pac-12) wraps up regular season play with a visit to Palo Alto to take on the 13th-ranked Stanford Cardinal (35-17, 12-9 Pac-12) as the teams jockey for postseason position. Both teams ride hot streaks into the contest; Arizona took its series from third-ranked ASU while Stanford swept No. 12 California on the road with an aggregate score of 37-12. Arizona and Stanford meet Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:00, 7:00 and 12:00 p.m. PDT, respectively.
SERIES HISTORY: The Wildcats own a 61-9-1 record all-time against Stanford and have won 10 of the last 11 meetings, dating back to 2009. Arizona won the 2012 series in Tucson when it bounced back from a game one defeat to take the final two games of the series.
Stanford (35-17, 12-9 Pac-12) is ranked 13th NFCA and USA Softball after a road sweep of then-No. 12 California. The Cardinal outscored the Bears 37-12 on the weekend and posted double-digit runs in two of the three games. The series win was its fourth of Pac-12 play, Stanford also owns series victories over UCLA, Oregon State and a sweep of Utah. The Cardinal is led by Tucson native Kayla Bonstrom (Canyon Del Oro), who is hitting .396 with seven homers, eight doubles and 43 RBI. Jenna Rich leads the team in home runs (11), RBI (48) and slugging percentage (.600).
HEAD COACH Mike Candrea: Arizona head coach Mike Candrea is in his 28th year at the helm of the Arizona softball program with a career record of 1,340-319-2 (.807). A winner of eight national championships (1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2007), Arizona has made 22 trips to the Women’s College World Series under his guidance, missing just thrice in the last 25 years (2004, 2011, 2012). In 2012, Candrea became the sport’s fastest ever, and second all-time, to reach 1,300 wins. Under Candrea, Arizona has a spectacular postseason record of 151-45. An even 50 All-Americans with a staggering 90 total citations have played in the program since Candrea took over.
THE RANKINGS: Arizona is receiving votes in both the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll and the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25. This week marks the first time in school history that Arizona has been unranked. The Wildcats were ranked preseason No. 13 by the NFCA and 14 by USA Softball.
RECENT RESULTS: The Cats earned a huge series victory over No. 3 Arizona State on the weekend, taking the first two games in dramatic fashion and letting a series sweep slip through its fingers when it blew a three-run seventh inning lead in game three. Down big late in both games, the Cats used two comeback wins to take the series, led by Brigette Del Ponte’s .500 batting average and four RBI on senior weekend.
5/3/13 - Down Eight Runs, Cats Come Back, Walk Off: Down eight runs early, Arizona softball, with help from a pair of two-run homers by Chelsea Goodacre, chipped away and completed a grand comeback when Hallie Wilson’s two-out single in the bottom of the seventh gave Arizona a 10-9 victory at home against third-ranked Arizona State.
The Wildcats plated three in the third inning, one in the fourth, two in the fifth, three in the sixth and one in the seventh to earn the come-from-behind victory that will go down as one of the classics on a field that has had its share of awesome moments.
UA, which scored three total runs in 22 innings at Oregon State, plated 10 runs on 12 hits in the contest; previously, ASU had not allowed more than seven runs in a game this year. This marks the first time the Sun Devils have allowed double-digit runs since 2011, when they allowed 10 runs to Arizona in a 13-10 ASU victory.
5/4/13 - Cats Win Thriller, Take Series from ASU : For the second consecutive night, Arizona needed a late-inning rally to defeat third-ranked Arizona State. For the second consecutive night, the Wildcats prevailed. Down four runs in the fifth inning, the Cats scored the game’s final six runs, punctuated by a three-run, go-ahead Mandie Perez home run in the sixth inning to give Arizona the eventual 6-4 victory.
The Wildcats used a three-run fifth and a three-run sixth to earn their second straight come-from-behind victory over the Sun Devils. Arizona, which had just three top-25 victories entering the series, has ensured itself a series victory over the third-ranked Devils.
5/5/13 - Softball Falls Short on Senior Day: For the third consecutive game, a team used a dramatic, late-game comeback to persevere in the Territorial Cup battle between Arizona softball and Arizona State. For the first time, though, Sunday Arizona was the victim, not the conqueror.
The Wildcats (30-23, 7-14 Pac-12) took a three-run lead into the top of the seventh inning, three outs away from sweeping the third ranked Sun Devils. ASU (43-9, 14-7 Pac-12) scored four times in the seventh to rally and defeat the Wildcats, who took the first two games of the series.
In her final game in Hillenbrand Stadium, Arizona’s lone senior Brigette Del Ponte put together arguably her best game of the season. For the first time in 2013, Del Ponte had three hits, including a home run and a two-run double. The senior drove in four of Arizona’s six runs in the game, tying for her most RBI in a game all season.
RECENT RESULTS AGAINST STANFORD: Arizona took 2-of-3 from Stanford in Tucson in 2012. The Cats fell in game one 4-1 before taking games two and three 9-1 (5 innings) and 3-1 respectively. Brigette Del Ponte hit two homers and slugged 1.375 in the series while the pitchers allowed just four earned runs with an 18/5 strikeout to walk ratio.
3/30/12 - Softball Drops Game One to Stanford: No. 19 Arizona Softball fell into a 2-0 hole in the top of the first and could never recover, dropping game one of the three-game series, 4-1 to 13th-ranked Stanford.
The Cats managed just two hits off Stanford ace Teagan Gerhart, who struck out one-third of the Wildcats she faced (9-of-27). The one run is the fewest Arizona has scored since being shut out by then-No. 13 Georgia on February 23 in a 3-0 loss. Arizona’s two hits matched its season low, recorded in the Georgia shutout, as well.
Stanford used two bases-loaded, two-out, two-RBI singles to plate the four runs in the game. Corey Hanewich came through in the first and Maya Burns in the third.
3/31/12 - Arizona Uses Long Ball to Mercy Cardinal: No. 19 Arizona Softball earned its first conference win of the season with a 9-1, five-inning win over 13th-ranked Stanford. Arizona plated seven of its nine runs on home runs.
Baillie Kirker matched Del Ponte’s four RBI with a quartet herself. Kirker drove home a run on a bases-loaded walk in the first and ended the game with a three-run, walk-off home run in the fifth. Nicole Bryan drove home the other Arizona of the game with a free pass in the first inning.
4/1/12 - Softball Takes Game, Series with Sunday Victory: No. 19 Arizona Softball (23-9, 2-4 Pac-12) was on the right side of a pitcher’s duel between Shelby Babcock and Stanford’s Teagan Gerhart. The Wildcats downed the 13th-ranked Cardinal (27-8, 1-5 Pac-12), 3-1 in front of 2,587 fans at Hillenbrand Stadium.
Babcock and Gerhart combined to allow just eight total hits in the game, three of which left the park for home runs. Two of the homers came off Wildcat bats; Shelby Pendley crushed a solo homer in the second and Lini Koria hit a two run home run in the fourth. Cassandra Roulund had Stanford’s homer in the fourth.
Sophomore Babcock (12-6) allowed the one run on just three hits to an offense that scattered 15 hits total in the first two games. Babcock struck out seven and walked one in the victory.
BDP: Brigette Del Ponte contines to climb the career charts in the Wildcat record book. The senior currently sits tied for seventh in doubles (51), tied for sixth in home runs (59), ninth in RBI (227) and fifth in assists (453). Del Ponte, currently with 103 walks, will need two bases on balls to crack the top 10 in that category as well.
A GOODY: The player the team calls “Goody” has had a season worthy of the moniker in 2013. Chelsea Goodacre is third in the conference in home runs (16) and RBI (57) after recording just eight homers with 24 runs batted in as a freshman in 2012. Goodacre has been able to supply the power while also hitting for a high average. The sophomore is batting .352, which ranks second on the team and just outside the top 10 in the Pac-12.
WHAT SOPHOMORE SLUMP?: Arizona has just three sophomores on the 2013 roster and if you pick up a copy of the team’s stats (sorted by batting average), they would be the first names you would see. Chelsea Goodacre (.352) and Chelsea Suitos (.331).
SOMETIMES IT’S THERE: Arizona’s offense has been doing its best Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde impersonation all season long. In the Wildcats’ 23 losses, they have scored a total of 36 runs (1.57 runs per game) and are hitting just .208 as a team. Contrast to the impressive offensive numbers in the games won: 7.4 runs per game, .359 batting average. Arizona has already been shut out six times this season, but has scored double-digit runs nine times already. In 2012, the Cats were shut out only five times all of 2012 and only scored 10-or-more runs four times.
HOME SWEET HOME: In 2013, the Wildcats posted a 20-7 record in the friendly confines of Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium. Since its opening in 1993, Arizona has put up a 583-68 record on the field. That’s a .904 winning percentage at home in the last 20 years. Hillenbrand has led the nation in attendance nine times since 1994 and set the NCAA record in attendance in 2011 when 77,129 fans turned the turnstiles. For the fifth consecutive season, Arizona has drawn over 2,000 fans per game. In 21 home dates this year, the Wildcats drew 2,202 fans.
GIVING UP THE LONG BALL: With three regular season games to play, the Wildcats have allowed opponents to hit 67 home runs, most in school history. In fact, Arizona had never, in 31 previous seasons of Division I softball, allowed opponents to hit as many as 40 home runs in a season. To add insult to injury, the Wildcats are on pace to hit just 50 home runs (plus any postseason bombs), which would be the fewest the 2005 team hit only 33.
FRESH FACES: The 2013 Arizona roster features nine newcomers to just seven returning players. Three of the nine newbies are junior transfers -- Mandie Perez (Whittier, Calif.), Courtney Rodriguez (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Gabbie Sandstedt (Glendale, Ariz.), Darcy Taylor (Jenks, Okla.) and Lauren Young (Anaheim Hills, Calif.).
FAMILY TIES: In 27 years, head coach Kellie Fox is the sister of former Wildcat shortstop and two-time national champion Kristie Fox (04-07). Additionally, third baseman Lauren Young’s brother Brandon is one of the team’s managers.