Arizona softball welcomes Boise State for a three game series Thursday and Saturday
March 6, 2013
Date Time (MST) Opponent Location
Thursday, March 7 6:00 p.m. Boise State Hillenbrand Stadium
Saturday, March 9 5:00 p.m. Boise State Hillenbrand Stadium
7:00 p.m. Boise State Hillenbrand Stadium
FOLLOW THE CATS
Live Video: A free online stream of the five Arizona games will be available at http://pac-12.com/live/arizonawildcats.aspx
Live Audio: An online audio stream of the games will be available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ua-athletics
Live Stats: Find Gametracker links for all games at http://www.arizonawildcats.com/scoreboard/
Live Updates: Twitter: @UA_Softball (twitter.com/ua_softball) & Facebook: Arizona Athletics (facebook.com/arizonaathletics)
- Arizona prepares for its first three-game series of the season after playing in four tournaments to open the season. The three-game series with Boise State offers a brief rift in tournament play as the Wildcats continue and conclude non-conference tournaments next week with a trip to Fullerton, Calif., for the Judi Garman Classic.
- The Cats outscored its opponents 48-10 in the Wildcat Invitational a week after scoring just nine runs in the same number of games at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. The 48-run offensive output was by far the most during a five-game tournament this season. Arizona scored 21 runs in the Kajikawa Classic and 30 runs in the Hillenbrand Invitational prior to the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
- UA improved to a perfect 10-0 on the season at home last weekend. The Wildcats own a 573-61 record all-time at Hillenbrand Stadium. The total weekend attendance was 6,178, bringing Arizona’s season total to 13,106, an average of 2,184 fans per date.
- To say Chelsea Goodacre had a good weekend would be an understatement. Goodacre went 10-for-13 (.769) with a double, a home run and nine RBI in the Wildcat Invitational. The sophomore batted in a run in every game and had two 3-for-3 performances during the weekend. Goodacre had just one career three-hit game entering the tournament. The Temecula, Calif., native opened the season just 2-for-her-first-22. Since then, she is 19-for-36 (.528) with 19 RBI.
- This will be the first ever meeting between Arizona and Boise State.
- In addition to scoring 48 runs in the Wildcat Invitational, Arizona stranded 37 runners on base. That is an average of over seven per game.
THIS WEEK: Arizona (15-5) welcomes Boise State (9-11) for a three-game series, March 8 and 9. The Wildcats and Broncos compete Friday at 7:00 p.m. and double dip on Saturday at 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. MST. Arizona prepares for its first three-game series of the season after playing in four tournaments to open the season. The three-game series with Boise State offers a brief rift in tournament play as the Wildcats continue and conclude pre-conference tournaments next week with a trip to Fullerton, Calif., for the Judi Garman Classic.
SERIES HISTORY: This is the first ever meeting between Arizona and Boise State.
Boise State: The Broncos (9-10) are coming off a 2-3 weekend at the San Diego Classic. BSU dropped its first three games of the tournament to BYU, Long Beach State and UCLA before downing San Diego and Utah State to close the event. Boise State is led by Devon Bridges, whose .359 batting average, four home runs and 19 RBI lead the team. The Broncos own a .255 team average to go along with 10 home runs. In the circle, Rebecca Patton leads the squad with a 5-4 record, a 3.30 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 53 innings pitched. As a team, BSU carries a 4.09 ERA and limits opponents to a .280 batting average.
Series History: N/A // First Meeting: N/A // Last Meeting: N/A
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 1,325-301-2 (.815). 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 improved to number 16 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll and 20th in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 after being ranked 17th and 21st, respectively, a week ago. The Wildcats were ranked preseason No. 13 by the NFCA and 14 by USA Softball.
RECENT RESULTS: Arizona swept the Wildcat Invitational, outscoring its five opponents (UC Riverside, Boston 2x, Portland State 2x) 48-10. Arizona earned a pair of run-rule victories in the tournament; it had just one on the season entering the weekend. Chelsea Goodacre hit .769 with a double, a home run, nine RBI and seven runs scored while slugging 1.077 and getting on base at an .824 clip. The sophomore’s triumphs made Alex Lavine’s .500 batting average with six RBI, her first six of the season, look modest. Shelby Babcock allowed just two runs in 18 innings (0.78 ERA) and went 3-0 in the Wildcat Invitational. Babcock struck out 15 and walked five.
Chelsea Goodacre: Goodie opened the season just 2-for-her-first-22. After that fugacious slump, the sophomore is on a tear. Goodacre is 19-for-her-last-36 (.528) with 19 RBI over her last 13 games. In the Wildcat Invitational, Goodacre went 10-for-13 (.769) with a double, a home run and nine RBI in the Wildcat Invitational. The sophomore batted in a run in every game and had two 3-for-3 performances during the weekend. Goodacre had just one career three-hit game entering the tournament.
Hallie Wilson: The sophomore is on her second nine-game hitting streak of the season. No other player has a hitting streak of over six on the season, and Wilson is on her second nine-game streak of the season. Wilson has failed to hit in just one of Arizona’s last 19 games, a 5-0 loss to second-ranked Oklahoma. The first baseman leads the team with a .393 batting average and 24 hits. Like Goodacre, Wilson had a slow start to the season. The Santa Ana, Calif., native was just 1-for-her-first-10. Since then Wilson is 23-for-51 (.450).
Alex Lavine: The junior entered the Wildcat Invitational as the only Arizona player to record an at-bat to not have driven in a run on the season. Lavine, who had five RBI in 2012, batted in six runs while going 7-for-14 (.500) at the plate in the Wildcat Invitational.
Shelby Babcock: Over her last five appearances, totaling 21 innings, the junior has allowed just two runs (0.67 ERA) and 11 hits. In the appearances, Babcock has 18 strikeouts to go along with just five walks.
Brigette Del Ponte: Although Del Ponte has struggled in terms of batting average, the senior continues to find ways to help the team. Del Ponte has reached base in every one of Arizona’s 20 games and has a hit in Arizona’s last three. Despite Del Ponte’s .254 batting average, the shortstop is second on the team with 16 RBI and four home runs.
HOME SWEET HOME: Arizona went 5-0 last weekend in the friendly confines of Hillenbrand Stadium. Since its opening in 1993, Arizona has put up a 573-61 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. UA has averaged over 2,000 fans per game for each of the last four seasons, including last year when it brought in 2,328 per game.
FREE BASES: UA opponents have scored in 38 separate innings this season, in 34 of those innings, Arizona’s pitching and defense, through walks, hit batsmen, wild pitches, passed balls or errors, have given the opposing offense a free base.
WEAR PINK: Thursday’s contest will be Breast Cancer Awareness night at Hillenbrand Stadium and fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of the cause.
FRESH FACES: The 2013 Arizona roster feautres nine newcomers to just seven returning players. Three of the nine newbies are junior transfers -- Kellie Fox (UCLA - ingeligible to compete this season due to NCAA transfer rules), Estela Piñon (Yavapai College) and Kelsey Rodriguez (Pacific) -- and six are freshmen -- Nancy Bowling (Simi Valley, Calif.), Mandie Perez (Whittier, Calif.), Courtney Rodriguez (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Gabby Sandstedt (Glendale, Ariz.), Darcy Taylor (Jenks, Okla.) and Lauren Young (Anaheim Hills, Calif.).
FAMILY TIES: In 27 years, head coach Mike Candrea has never had sisters come through the program, in 2013, he has two pairs. Siblings Kelsey and Courtney Rodriguez are the first pair of sisters to ever be on the same Wildcat team. UCLA transfer Kellie Fox is the sister of former Wildcat shortstop and two-time national champion Kristie Fox (04-07).
BDP: Brigette Del Ponte’s double, two home runs, seven RBI and five assists over the weekend helped improve her standing in the Arizona career top 10 in the three categories. The senior is currently tied for seventh with 57 home runs, two away from Mackenzie Vandergeest in sixth place. The shortstop has 211 career RBI, ninth best in program history. Del Ponte will need 19 RBI to catch Kristie Fox’s 230 RBI in eighth place. Del Ponte is seventh with 395 assists. The senior is tied for ninth with 59 career doubles.
UP NEXT: Arizona concludes in nonconference tournament play with a trip to Fullerton, Calif., for the Judi Garman Classic, March 14-16. The Wildcats will take on Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan and Oklahoma in the tournament.