Arizona Softball Team Ready For Regionals
May 15, 2001
Wildcats In NCAA Action Thursday at Hillenbrand StadiumThe Games--The No. 1-ranked Arizona softball team (57-4, 19-2 for the Pac-10 title) plays hostto a six-team NCAA Region 1 tournament May 17-20, the winner of which will earn a berth in theeight-team Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla., May 24-28. UA's first-roundfoe is St. Peter's (42-18), champion of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.Action is double-elimination.
Thursday, May 17Game 2 Cal State Fullerton (46-12, No. 2 seed) vs. Texas Tech (35-22, No. 5 seed) NoonGame 3 Hawai'i (46-16, No. 3 seed) vs. Southwest Texas State (52-10, No. 4 seed) 2:30 p.m.Game 1 Arizona (57-4, No. 1 seed) vs. St. Peter's (42-18, No. 6 seed) 5 p.m.Game 4 Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 1 7:30 p.m.Friday, May 18Game 5 Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3 2:30Game 6 Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3 5 p.m.Game 7 Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 5 7:30 p.m.Saturday, May 19Game 8 TBA ( Only if Game 7 winner has a loss) Loser Game 6 vs. Loser Game 7 TBAGame 9 Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 6 TBAGame 10 TBA TBASunday, May 20Game 11 TBA 1 p.m.Game 12 TBA, if both teams remaining have a loss 3:30 p.m.
How They Got There--Arizona of the Pacific-10 Conference earned the automatic bid as theleague's regular-season champion. St. Peter's is the champion of the MEAC Tournament.Cal State Fullerton is the Big West Conference champion. Southwest Texas State is theSouthland Conference champion. Hawai'i of the Western Athletic Conference earned an at-largebid. Texas Tech of the Big 12 Conference earned an at-large berth.
Team Rankings -Arizona is the top-ranked team in the nation in the latest NFCA poll. CalState Fullerton is No. 10, Southwest Texas State is tied for No. 19, and Hawai'i, Texas Techand St. Peter's were not ranked.
Pac-10 Flavor in NCAAs-The Pac-10 qualified seven teams for the NCAA tournament, snapping atwo-year streak for appearances by all eight teams. Oregon did not get a bid. The selectedPac-10 teams and their seeds and sites are UCLA (1) is a host in Los Angeles,Arizona State (2) travels to baton Rouge, La., Oregon State (3) travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala.,Washington (2) travels to Norman, Okla., Stanford (1) is a host in Palo Alto, Calif., andCalifornia (2) travels to Tallahassee, Fla.
Arizona's NCAA Appearance--Arizona appears in its 15th consecutive NCAA regional playoff(15th overall) since 1987, all under coach Mike Candrea. Softball became a Division I sportin 1982 and Arizona did not qualify for the first five tourneys. Arizona has won a regional13 consecutive years. Arizona has been host 10 other times -- 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994,1995, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000. Arizona has a record of 74-22 in NCAA games including a 38-5mark in NCAA Regional play. Arizona is 31-2 in regional games played in Tucson -- the onlylosses were a 1-0 decision to South Carolina in 1988 and a 7-3 loss to Maryland in UA's thirdof six NCAA regional games in 1999. UA outscored its four opponents last year by a combinedscore of 36-0 including three mercy-rule victories.
Arizona vs. the Tucson NCAA Field-Arizona did not play any of the teams in the Tucsonregional during the regular season. In previous NCAA action, Arizona is 1-0 against Cal StateFullerton (11-0 victory in 1995 CWS) and 1-0 against Southwest Texas State (8-0 in 1999 TucsonRegional).
Arizona vs. Entire NCAA Field-Including its 16-2 record against Pac-10 teams in the NCAATournament (losses at UCLA and at Washington), Arizona played to a 30-3 record against teamsin the Tournament. The other loss was to Louisiana-Lafayette, 4-3, at the Kia ClassicTournament in Fullerton, Calif. UA beat Florida Atlantic, South Florida, LSU, Nebraska,South Carolina, Pacific, Connecticut, Florida, defending NCAA Champion Oklahoma, San Diego State, Cal State Northridge, North Carolina and twice beat Fresno State this year.
Arizona Coach Mike Candrea-Arizona's mentor takes his 15th consecutive team into post-seasonplay. Seven times he has been named Pac-10 Coach or Co-Coach of the Year, most recently thisseason. He has led his teams to 13 consecutive NCAA Regional titles and thereby taken Arizonateams to the College World Series each year since 1988. He led UA to NCAA Championships fivetimes in the 1990s (1991, '93, '94, '96, '97) and his teams have won six of the past 10Pacific-10 Conference titles (1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001) and finished second theother four years. Candrea, 44, became the eighth Division I coach in history to win 800 gameslast season. He is in his 16th year at Arizona and carries a record of 863-172, a winningpercentage of .834. His Division I winning percentage is No. 2 all time and No. 1 among activecoaches. Three times he has been named National Coach of the Year (NFCA '94, '96, '97). Inall, during his career he has won 14 conference, regional or national coaching honors. He waselected to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1996. His teams' 67victories in 1998, 66 victories in 1994 and 64 victories in 1995 are in the top five in theNCAA record book. His players have earned 54 All-America playing honors and six AcademicAll-America honors, plus he has coached three players to the Honda Softball Award as the nationalplayer of the year. His average yearly record to date: 53-10. The Cats played in the NCAAChampionship game from 1991 through 1998.Overall Record: 863-172Pac-10 Record: 264-65NCAA Games Record: 74-22NCAA Regionals: 38-5College Word Series: 36-17
Cats in the Polls--Arizona has been in the top three slots all year in the National FastpitchCoaches Association poll and was No. 1 in the final poll last week. The Cats have been rankedsteadily since 1988.
Cats Take on Challenges-Arizona played to a 21-2 record against ranked teams. It played atotal of 33 games this year against teams in the NCAA field and was 30-3.
All-Pac-10 Honors-Arizona placed eight players on the 2001 All-Pacific-10 Conference SoftballTeam. Junior pitcher Jennie Finch was named Pitcher of the Year. First-team selections weresenior outfielder Lauren Bauer and senior third baseman Toni Mascarenas. Senior outfielderNicole Giordano, senior pitcher Becky Lemke and freshman first baseman Leneah Manuma earnedsecond-team selection. Senior Lindsey Collins made the honorable mention. Head Coach MikeCandrea was also named Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year.
Attendance--Arizona has a chance to increase its attendance average of 1,518 with someexpected good turnout for the NCAA Regional. In 26 dates this year the Cats have drawn 39,468fans. NCAA regional crowds have been in the 1,600 to 2,100 range. Capacity is about 2,750. UA's season-record attendance average was a 1,592 mark in 1997. The Cats broke the attendancerecord this season with 3,004 fans to watch the UCLA game on May 11.
Wildcat Notes......Normal Lineup: Lauren Bauer-cf, Nicole Giordano-lf, Toni Mascarenas-3b, Leneah Manuma-dh/1b,Lindsey Collins-c, Jennie Finch-1b/p, Mackenzie Vandergeest -rf, Allison Andrade-ss, LishaRibellia-2b, Becky Lemke-p. Off the bench: Jenny Gladding-p, Kim Balkan-rf/dh, Erika Hanson-ph/1b,Candace Abrams-ph, Teresa Demeter-p/ph ...Arizona was undefeated at Hillenbrand Stadium thisyear... The Cats have a 44 home game winning streak dating back to a loss to Stanford on April9, 2000... The Wildcats hold the longest home game winning streak at 45 games set by the 1997and 1998 teams... In NCAA regional games at the stadium Arizona is 23-1 with the lone losscoming to Maryland (7-3) in 1999... In 61 games, Arizona has 115 home runs, the NCAA teamsingle-season record. Arizona now holds the top three spots in NCAA history- the 1995 teamhit 100 and the 1993 team hit 93...Senior third baseman Toni Mascarenas' 20 home runs are tiedfor No. 8 on the Arizona season Top 10 chart... She also tied the team high 11 doubles on theyear... She leads the team in multiple RBI games with 20... Senior leftfielder Nicole Giordano's349 career hits are third all-time and she is only the fourth Wildcat to collect over 300 hitsin her Arizona career... Her .409 career batting average is sixth all time...Senior pitcherBecky Lemke (17-2) became Arizona's strikeouts leader with 894...She surpassed former UA aceand Honda Award winner Susie Parra's 872 K's from the 1991 to 1994 season. She's averaging 10strikeouts per game... Lemke's 93 career victories is the No. 4 total in UA history...Juniorpitcher Jennie Finch (27-0) has a career 80-10 record, putting her at No. 5 on the career chart... Her 0.24 ERA is the lowest in the country... She has 18 shutouts on the season and allowed only 9 runs... Opposing batters are hitting .121 against her...At the plate she has 57 hitsand 11 home runs, including three grand slams...Teammate Jenny Gladding (13-2) averaged 10.1strikeouts and added 11 shutouts... Senior centerfielder Lauren Bauer's .442 batting averageleads the team and puts her at No. 8 all time... Her career average is .425, which is No. 3... At home she is hitting .491... She leads the team in hits (95) and runs scored (76) andmultiple hit games (30)...She has stolen 37 bases in 42 attempts this year, the seventhhighest total in UA season history... She is No. 2 all-time with 132 stolen bases behindAllison McCutcheon's 148 for 1995 to 1998......Freshman first baseman Leneah Manuma set the freshman home run record with 19, passing LeahBraatz's 18 in 1994...The Wildcats lead the country in team batting average at .363, in teamfielding at .976, and team ERA at 0.64...Hitting streaks: Here are the Cats' starters andtheir current/longest hitting streaks this year: Lauren Bauer (12/13), Toni Mascarenas (1/11),Allison Andrade (3/4), Jennie Finch (11/11), Nicole Giordano (4/14), Lindsey Collins (1/7),Leneah Manuma (0/5)...Pac-10 Players of the Week--Arizona had two honors this season -LeneahManuma (3/2) and pitcher of the week Jennie Finch (4/9)... Manuma was also named NationalFastpitch Coaches Association player of the week (3/2)...Arizona's 57 victories are the seventhhighest total in school history...