1997 National Champion Softball Team
The Wildcats won their fifth NCAA Championship in the past seven years, while appearing at the College World Series for their tenth consecutive year under the leadership of head coach Mike Candrea. The Wildcats finished the season with a 61-5 record, its third Pacific-10 Conference title at 26-1 for the best-ever Pac-10 season record, and winning their ninth consecutive NCAA regionals dating back to 1988. The Wilcats finished the season unbeaten at home (30-0) for the first time in school history, and hit .357 as a team for the season. Five Wildcats earned first-team All- America honors Leah Braatz-Cochrane, Leah O'Brien, Alison Johnsen, Lety Pineda and Nancy Evans and three were All-NCAA tournament selections: O'Brien, Johnson and Evans, who was also named College World Series Most Outstanding Player. Coach Mike Candrea was named Pac-10 Conference Coach of the Year and Pacific Region Coach of the Year for Division 1. In 1997, the Wildcats were a perfect combination of dedication and teamwork and reclaimed their position at the pinnacle of college softball.