Arizona Softball to Host Worth Wildcat Invitational

Feb. 18, 2002

Next Up For the Cats

The Cats (12-2) are home this weekend for the Worth Wildcat Invitational. Five other teams are making the trip to Tucson for the tournament. Arizona will face Eastern Michigan (0-0) and San Jose State on Friday. The Cats will take on Drake (0-4) and Northern Iowa (5-1) on Saturday. On Championship Sunday Arizona will face Cal State Northridge (7-7).

Tournament Champions

Arizona walked away last weekend as Pepsi Arizona Classic Champions, winning all five games. In the first game of the tournament, the Cats were ready to perform. With two runners on base sophomore Leneah Manuma hit a run home run, her fourth of the season. The Cats went on to win 6-2. Against Notre Dame on Friday Jennie Finch struck out 11 batters, Finch won her 46th consecutive game and threw her third shutout of the season. The Cats beat the Irish 3-0. On Saturday, Jenny Gladding proved to be the dominant player, hitting her first grand slam of the season and pitching a one-hitter to lead the Cats to a 10-0 victory over South Florida. Against Auburn with the bases loaded, no outs and both teams without a run, it looked as if the Tigers would score. Jennie Finch managed to escape with some help from the defense and a strikeout. Finch ended the game with 11 strikeouts. A home run by Leneah Manuma won the game, 4-0. On Championship Sunday freshman Jackie Coburn had a grand slam and her third home run of the season. Finch had her first no-hitter of the season and the sixth of her career. She extended her win streak to 48 games. UA beat New Mexico State, 8-0.

The Coach

Arizona's Mike Candrea carries a career record of 879-172 (.836), accomplished in 16 years with the Wildcats. The 2001 Pac-10 co-Coach of the Year has led UA to six national titles and six Pacific-10 Conference championships. He should become only the third Division I coach in history to win 900 games this year. Candrea is joined by assistant coaches Nancy Evans and Larry Ray.

The Rankings

Arizona is ranked No. 1 in the Preseason USA/Today Top 25. Five other Pac-10 schools are in the Preseason USA Today/NFCA Top 10. The first regular season poll comes out February 20.

Cats Winning Streaks

The Cats improved their home winning streak to 52 victories this past weekend. UA last lost in Hillenbrand on April 9, 2000, to No. 9 Stanford, 4-3 in eight innings.

UA Softball Notes

... Pitcher Jennie Finch won her 48th game which is two shy of the NCAA record set by Rebecca Aase of Florida State from 1991 to 1993... Finch had her first no-hitter of the season and the sixth in her career... Jennie Finch and Jenny Gladdig have struck out a combined 124 batters in 14 games, which is nine batters a game... Gladding broke out of her slump, winning both her games and striking out 10 batters... All five of Leneah Manumas home runs have come when there have been runners in scoring position... Manuma had 10 RBI last weekend and now has 24 on the year... The team overall batting average is .320 and opponents batting average is .130... Arizona has had 27 runs in the first inning and a combined 69 runs in the first four innings... The Cats have held opponents to 16 runs in the first four innings and six runs in late innings... Arizona pitchers have only given up six runs in late innings... Finch's ERA in eight games is 0.52... She has had eight complete games... Finch has five shutouts on the season... The team is hitting an average of .372 with runners in scoring position...

Softball Tickets

Most of Hillenbrand Stadium's reserved seating has been sold out on a season-ticket basis, and fans are purchasing outfield general admission seating as season tickets. Contact the McKale Center Ticket Office for more information at 621-2287 or 1-800-452-2287.

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