Tough Games Ahead in Fullerton 2008 03 19 Top level competition on the horizon, this week and beyond... article Release in PDF format Cats
Release in PDF format?
Cats To Fullerton for Tough Week
Up Next: ?No. 7 Arizona travels to Fullerton, Calif., for the Judi Garman Classic and faces three ranked squads and all familiar names from national college softball powers. UA meets, in order, No. 14 DePaul, ?Florida State, No. 6 Michigan, No. 16 ULL and host Cal State Fullerton. It＊s a heady lineup for a squad still looking for overall consistency while wearing the target of back-to-back national championships.... It's a weekend of games that typically provide some fine tuning to all participating teams for their looming conference play... Arizona has played in the Garman tournament for years through its iterations under?various names, and always?cooperates with host Cal State?Fullerton to?ensure the Wildcats face tough competition...
Thursday, March 20 --?? ?vs. DePaul, 11 a.m. PDT
Friday, March 21 每 vs. Florida State, 9 a.m.
Friday, March 21 ?每 vs. Michigan, 11 a.m.
Saturday, March 22 每 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, 9 a.m.
Saturday, March 22 每 vs. Cal State Fullerton, 1:30 p.m.
Possible Arizona Lineup:
Brittany Lastrapes 每 lf
Sam Banister 每 1b/dp
Jenae Leles 每 3b
Stacie Chambers 每 dp/c
Callista Balko-c/dp or Laine Roth 1b
Victoria Kemp or Sarah Akamine 每 2b
K＊Lee Arredondo 每 ss
Cyndi Duran or Adrienne Acton 每 rf
Taryne Mowatt/Lindsey Sisk/Sarah Akamine - p
Noting the Opponents:??DePaul: ?Having yet to play a home game, the Blue Demons (17-6) have compiled a successful record thanks to a balanced offensive attack led by freshman Sean Plese, batting .389. Sophomore Becca Heteniak (8-3) leads the pitching staff with a 1.22 ERA through 69 innings pitched.??Florida State : The Seminoles (21-9) are led by senior Brittany Osmon with a .393 batting average with 5 homeruns. On Monday, Osmon was named ACC Player of the Week. Terese Gober (7-6) has seen the most time in the circle for the Noles, and has a 1.93 ERA to show for it. FSU has 2 other pitchers with more than 6 appearances and less than 2.00 ERA. Michigan : Coming in on a 14-game winning streak, the Wolverines (21-2) have also yet to see their home turf. They are led by senior Samantha Findlay, whose .413 average and 8 homeruns are tops on the club. Freshman Jordan Taylor (12-1) and sophomore Nikki Nemitz (9-1) have split time in the circle and have ERAs of 0.49 and 0.65, respectively. Louisiana-Lafayette: The Ragin Cajuns (19-5) are led by senior Holly Tankersley who leads the club with 9 homeruns on the season. In the circle, the Cajuns boast the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week Ashley Brignac (12-3).??Cal State Fullerton: The Titans (14-13-1) are paced by senior Kiki Munoz with a .410 average, the only above .400 hitter on the club. The last time UA and CSUF met was in the 2007 Super Regional Round in Tucson where the Wildcats swept the Titans to advance to the WCWS.
Last Week: ?Arizona took a pair of games from New Mexico, 8-1, and 8-0 in five innings, knocking out four home runs and getting twin three-hitters from Taryne Mowatt and Lindsey Sisk. A third game was rained out. On Tuesday the Cats took their game on the road and met a re-energized UTEP squad that took a 9-6 victory in the first game of a doubleheader. Arizona regrouped and banged out 10 hits to take the nightcap, 8-2. The games dropped UA to 7-5 away from home 每 where they＊ll be for 11 of their next 13 games. The Cats are hitting the ball fairly well (.316), have a serviceable team ERA (1.68), have above average fielding (.975) and some star power. Putting it all together is the task, notably this week.
Track the Cats: ?Free GameTracker live stats sponsored by Tucson Electric Power, are provided for all home games and many road games (depending on Internet access) via arizonaathletics.com.? Many road opponents provide the service through their web sites as well. All-Access video streaming of home games also is available through UA＊s web site. A number of games will be broadcast by UA partner IMG Sports and KCUB 1290 AM Radio.
Arizona Head Coach Mike Candrea: ? Mike Candrea is in his 23rd season at the helm of the Arizona softball program.? He boasts a 1,131-228-2 (.832) record in 21 seasons in the dugout.? This year, he is taking an eight-month partial leave of absence from January onward to serve as head coach for the U.S. Women＊s National Team.? He poured it on his collegiate club with a 16-0 pasting at Hillenbrand Stadium Feb. 19. Candrea has earned 19 coach-of-the-year honors, including 10 Pac-10 Coach of the Year citations.? Last year, the Pac-10 tabbed Candrea as its coach of the year, and the NFCA named Candrea and his assistants its national staff of the year.? Similar to this season, Candrea took a leave of absence in 2004 to coach the USA Olympic softball team to a 9-0 record and a gold medal in Athens.? Candrea also was awarded the Olympic Shield award, the U.S. Olympic Committee＊s most prestigious award, marking the first time in history the award was given to an Olympic coach.? He has led Arizona to eight national championships, 10 Pac-10 titles and is one of just five Division I coaches to have won over 1,100 career games. Despite his leave of absence he will be on hand periodically to infuse the leadership that has taken the UA softball program to the top of the game. He crossed paths at tournaments in Tempe and Palm Springs, for example, already and was in Tucson for games last week 每 of about 17 games he＊ll witness home and away.
Interim Head Coach Larry Ray: With head coach Mike Candrea on leave, 17-year assistant coach Larry Ray has taken the reins of the Arizona softball program and assumes the historical record in 2008.? Ray has a 242-118 (.671) career record as a head coach, and five NCAA Championships as an assistant.? Ray possesses a powerful combination of head coaching experience and familiarity with Arizona softball.? Ray spent five years as Florida＊s first head coach, and in 1998 he was named the SEC Coach of the Year after leading the Gators to an SEC Eastern Division title and a trip to the NCAA Regional Championships.? He returned to Arizona in 2002, and in 2004 he led the Wildcats to a 55-6 record and a Pacific-10 Championship. Ray is assisted by Dave Feinberg and volunteer pitching coach Gale Bundrick.
Yard Balls: ?Arizona has 45 home runs in 24 games, with punch throughout the lineup 每 eight players have three or more, five have five or more four-baggers. The Cats have a 10-game home run hitting streak＃ The 1.86 per game clip would lead the country at the end of most years. But the schedule doesn＊t get easier. The Cats＊ juggernaut team in 2001 hit 126 for the NCAA-record of 1.83. UA hit 100 only one other time, also to lead the country in total round-trippers. This year 12 different players have chipped in by hitting it out. That could be one reason no one pitches around anyone in the order 每 UA has not been issued an intentional walk this season＃ Callista Balko leads the way with eight, but three players have six apiece 每 Laine Roth, Jenae Leles and Stacie Chambers. K＊Lee Arredondo has five. Balko and Arredondo have grand slams. Balko, Stacie Chambers, Leles and Kemp each have two in a game. Balko hit two in one inning vs. La Salle, when pinch-hitter Corinna Gonzalez also joined in to make it three in one frame＃ UA has 20 two-out homers＃ UA has inning leadoff homers by Brittany Lastrapes (3), Chambers and Sarah Akamine＃Corinna Gonzalez got her first career hit against La Salle March 7 每 a pinch-hit three-run bomb＃ Roth had a three-run pinch-hit blast in the loss at UTEP, and then had a three-run homer in the top of the first in UA＊s victory in Game 2 on Tuesday＃
HRBIs : The Cats have driven in 89 runs this year with home runs alone. Not too bad to pick up 3.70 runs per game with the real long ball.
No Sitting Schutzler: ?Freshman outfielder Lauren Schutzler wormed her way into the lineup, then higher into the batting order, in recent weeks. Not hard to figure out why. She＊s the team＊s leading hitter at .429. She hit .500 in her last six games, 9-for-18.
Leading Off :? Freshman leadoff hitter Brittany Lastrapes＊ game is a bit more powerful than her predecessor＊s (Caitlin Lowe). She touts a .638 slugging percentage, built with three home runs, a triple and a team-high eight doubles. A total of 28 runs in 24 games shows she gets on base and can score.
Streaking : Lastrapes has the best current hitting streak, five games. DP/catcher Stacie Chambers saw her team-best 12-game streak snapped two weeks ago＃ Schutzler has a four-game streak＃ Substitute Jessica McNamara checks in next with a 3-game hitting streak, two of those pinch-hits＃ Lindsey Sisk has an 8-game winning streak in her last eight decisions in the circle＃