Softball Season in Review
June 24, 2008
2008 Season in Review
2008 Hempstead Regional, Tucson Super Regional Champions
Dialing Long Distance: The long ball was the story of the season for Arizona...
*The Wildcats' 94 home runs this year put the club in historical territory for the long ball. Only four other UA teams reached 90 or above. The 2001 club hit 126, an NCAA record. The 1995 bombers knocked out 100, an NCAA record at the time, breaking the then NCAA-record 93 hit by the 1994 UA club. In 2001, the Cats clouted another 93.
*UA's 94 gives it the national lead in HR per game at 1.57, ahead of neighboring ASU with its 99 clouts in 71 games for a 1.39 mark.
*The NCAA single-season individual record for home runs is held by Arizona's 1995 shortstop, Laura Espinoza, who knocked out 37 in '95. This year's squad has plenty of balance in building its 94 circuit hits. Here is UA's single season Top 10, and no one this year will likely reach it. Jenae Leles beasted a piece of the Top 15 with two blasts Saturday, giving her 17 and the No. 15 spot. Three others still have a shot at the Top 20 -- it takes 16 to get there and Laine Roth, Stacie Chambers and Callista Balko each have 15 round-trippers.
Arizona Single Season Home Runs Top 20
1. 37 - Laura Espinoza, 1995
2. 30 - Laura Espinoza, 1994
3. 28 - Jenny Dalton, 1995
4. 25 - Lovie Jung, 2003
25 - Jenny Dalton, 1996
25 - Toni Mascarenas, 2001
25 - Leah Braatz, 1998
8. 21 - Leah Braatz, 1997
21 - Leah Braatz, 1995
21 - Leneah Manuma, 2002
11. 20 - Leticia Pineda, 1998
20 - Mackenzie Vandergeest, 2001
13. 19 - Leneah Manuma, 2001
14. 18 - Leah Braatz, 1994
15. 17 - Jenae Leles, 2008
16. 16 - Six tied: Pineda-'97, Dalton-'95, Jennie Finch-'00, Lindsey Collins-'00, Finch-'02, Jung-`02
[Note: the national leader in HRs this year is Steph Fischer of Tennessee Tech with 27, leading a group of eight players with 20 or more.]
Arizona's 21st NCAA Appearance: Arizona made its 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance (21st overall) since 1987, with Larry Ray serving as interim head coach. The Wildcats have qualified for the Women's College World Series in 19 of the last 20 years, including a run of 16 consecutive trips to the WCWS, which ended in 2004.
Arizona has a record of 129-37 (.777) in NCAA Tournament games. Additionally, after winning two of three at Hillenbrand Stadium, UA is now 57-7 (.891) all-time when NCAA games are played in Tucson.
All-Pac-10: The same duo along with Jenae Leles also collected All-Pac-10 first team honors. K'Lee Arredondo and Taryne Mowatt earned second team honors, and Adrienne Acton, Cyndi Duran and Stacie Chambers nabbed honorable mention honors. This same trio was also picked for the NFCA All-Pacific Region second team.
Pac-10 All-Academic: Shortstop K'Lee Arredondo was named to the Pac-10 All-Academic first team. A Psychology major, Arredondo has a 3.54 cumulative grade-point average.
Department of Defense: Before the 2008 season, Arizona had experienced exceptional success in years following a national title. The Wildcats had appeared in the national title game after every one of their national championships, have won six of seven Pac-10 Championships and average a 60-7 record in those seven campaigns. This season marks the first time that UA did not return to the championship game or series while defending one of their eight national championships.
Arizona's NCAA Tournament finish in year's following a national title
1992 Lost in WCWS title game
1994 NCAA Champions
1995 Lost in WCWS title game
1997 NCAA Champions
1998 Lost in WCWS title game
2002 Lost in WCWS title game
2007 NCAA Champions
2008 Lost in WCWS second game
Like Clockwork: Arizona has been ranked No. 1 in the country for at least part of the year every season since 1991.
The T-Mo File: Departing senior Taryne Mowatt left her mark in four years at the UA. She leaves Arizona having won two national championships and two ESPY awards to say the least. Here are some of the marks she has achieved in the cardinal and navy:
- 877.2 career innings pitched, 2nd place
- 1,267 career strikeouts, 2nd place
- 40/6 career shutouts, 6th place
- 100 career victories, 7th place
- 413 strikeouts in 2008, 5th place. She and Hollowell now hold he top six positions for strikeouts in a single season
- 285.2 inning pitched in 2008, 5th place
Strike Three: While she is not the overbearing presence of an Alicia Hollowell or Jennie Finch, Taryne Mowatt struck out more than her share of opponents. At season's end, Mowatt's career mark of 10.1 strikeouts per seven innings are good for 10th place in NCAA history.
The CB File: Callista Balko leaves Arizona as one of the great catchers in UA history. Though having caught for the two leading K artists in Arizona history may have beefed up her stats, Balko was a force and a leader both on the field and in the dugout. Her 43 career long balls tie her for ninth on the all-time list alongside Toni Mascarenas. She leaves with an astounding 2,173 putouts, 361 above 2nd place Mackenzie Vandergeest. Also, Balko now owns the first, third and ninth positions on the single-season putout list.
You Know It's Over When: When the Cats were leading after five innings, they touted a 26-1 record. The lone loss occurred on April 25 when Arizona stranded a seven-inning season-high 14 base runners in a 2-1 loss to Oregon. In the last four seasons, UA has compiled a 127-2 record when leading after five innings, and a 122-1 mark after six.
Hitting Streaks: In Arizona's March 2 victory over Creighton, Stacie Chambers' team leading 12-game hitting streak came to an end. The sophomore DP batted .405 (15-for-37) with six extra-base hits, 13 RBI, three jacks and a stolen base over the duration of the streak that lasted from Feb. 17 through March 2.
The streak was the longest for an Arizona player since Chelsie Mesa's 22-game streak in 2007.
Take Me Out With The Crowd: Arizona appears to be a near lock to three-peat as the NCAA champion - in home game attendance. In 21 dates, Arizona hosted 39,544 fans for an average of 1,883 per date. Even more impressive is Arizona's average of 1,939 fans in Pac-10 contests.
Since Hillenbrand Stadium's opening in 1993, 507,811 fans have passed through the turnstiles.
UA on TV: Arizona had 8 of its games televised, all but one which were shown to a national audience. UA went 3-5 in those games, which includes a 1-2 mark in Pac-10 contests and a 2-3 record in postseason games. Since 2005, UA has had a total of 49 of its games televised, 42 of which were televised on one of ESPN's family of networks.
Arizona Against the Conferences:
Big 10: 0-2
Big 12: 4-2
Western Athletic: 1-1
The Summit League: 2-0
Mountain West: 2-1
Atlantic 10: 3-0
Big East: 2-0
Horizon League: 1-0
Atlantic Coast: 1-0
Missouri Valley: 2-1
Conference USA: 3-1
Sun Belt: 1-0
Big West: 0-1
Metro Atlantic: 1-0
Colonial Athletic: 2-0
Pacific 10: 13-9
Arizona State: 0-3
Oregon State: 3-0
Returning in 2009: Six of the top seven '08 hitters will return to action in the cardinal and navy in the '09 season.
The Seniors: Power hitters Jenae Leles (17), Laine Roth (15) and Sam Banister (10) all gave the rock a long ride many times this season. Leles also led the team with a .479 on-base percentage, while Roth and Banister were steady as a first and second base duo. The trio was also in the bottom four for strikeouts by any '09 returning starter. Situational players Jill Malina and Jessica McNamara return healthy and ready to step up when called on. Malina's season was hampered by an injury, and McNamara scored 11 runs in 26 games. Jennifer Martinez redshirted the '08 season, and is expected to contend for the starting pitching role in the spring.
The Juniors: K'Lee Arredondo anchors this small group of solid bats. Having come two hits shy of tying the single-season doubles record, Arredondo's .298 average and rock-solid defense have garnered her reputation as a player who leaves it all on the field. More impressively, the Tempe native was also recognized for her work in the classroom as well. In her first season donning the cardinal and navy, Stacie Chambers' 15 clouts were the most by a newcomer since Lovie Jung knocked 16 out in 2002. Her lone-RBI single scored the only run for UA in the '08 WCWS and she will compete for time behind the plate in the spring. Sarah Akamine will contend for the starting role in the circle next season, having pitched effectively in six contests and compiling a 1.72 ERA.
The Sophomores: This class will be led by Brittany Lastrapes and Lauren Schutzler, who accumulated the team's best overall batting averages at .364 and .353, respectively. Lastrapes also led the team in hits (68) and runs scored (52). Lindsey Sisk saw significant time in the circle, besting Taryne Mowatt's nine freshman year victories in the process and posting a 1.62 ERA. She should battle for the starting pitching role in the spring. Victoria Kemp started 17 games at second base before an injury sidelined her for the stretch run of the season. The Saugus, Calif. native socked two homers in a game against UIC and totaled four at seasons end. Corinna Gonzalez, who was mostly used in a pinch-hitting role, tallied a three-run blast in her third career at-bat.
The Newcomers: The Arizona coaching staff signed three high school seniors to National Letters of Intent during the November early signing period. Kristen Arriola (INF, Pacifica High School, Garden Grove, Calif.), Perelini Koria (C, San Pedro High School, Gardena, Calif.) and Karissa Buchanan (OF, Sabino High School, Tucson, Ariz.) are expected to enroll next fall.