2006 NCA National Championship Softball Team
In the middle of an up-and-down run through the Pacific 10 Conference, Arizona Softball Coach Mike Candrea challenged his team and threatened to leave college coaching if his players didn't shape up. That speech in early May of 2006 sparked a streak of 18 wins over the next 20 games and spurred Arizona to its first national softball title since 2001. It was Arizona's seventh NCAA softball title since 1991, the most of any school in that span. Senior Alicia Hollowell finished a brilliant World Series by throwing her third consecutive shutout in the 5-0 win over Northwestern that gave Arizona the championship with a two-game sweep. Alicia had 13 strikeouts in the final game to pass UCLA's Debbie Doom for the most strikeouts in a Women's College World Series. She finished with 64 strike outs for the series. Alicia was voted the tournament's most outstanding player and ended her career third on the NCAA's all time wins and strikeouts list. On Offense, leadoff hitter Caitlin Lowe, who led Arizona with a .425 batting average in the 2006 season, had two hits and scored twice. Autumn Champion and Calista Balko drove in two runs apiece to give Arizona plenty of support.