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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Lowe an all-star all four years of UA career

    Caitlin Lowe
    Caitlin Lowe

    Caitlin Lowe’s play in the final stanza of her illustrious career has earned her the recognition of being named the 2007 Arizona Daily Wildcat Athlete of the Year.

    The senior center fielder leads the No. 5 Arizona softball team in hitting with a .450 average, runs scored with 46 and hits with 68. She ranks in the top five in the Pacific 10 Conference in all three categories.

    But where she has really made her mark this season, as she has throughout her career, is on the basepaths.

    Lowe leads the Pac-10 with 44 stolen bases and has yet to be caught stealing this season. Her 44 thefts are the third most without being thrown out in NCAA single-season history.

    On April 27 she stole the 149th base of her career, moving her past her idol, former UA center fielder Alison McCutcheon, and into first place on the school’s all-time career stolen base list.

    “”We feel we have the best lead-off hitter in the country, so when she gets on base obviously she can make things happen, and I’d rather have her than anyone else, that’s for sure,”” said UA head coach Mike Candrea. “”She sets the tone.””

    Shortstop Kristie Fox, the team leader in RBIs and Lowe’s teammate and roommate for four years, has driven in Lowe for many of Arizona’s runs this season.

    “”It’s definitely a great asset to have a leadoff hitter who can get on most of the time and then her speed just puts so much pressure on the other team,”” Fox said.

    “”When you hit a ball into the outfield, even if they might have a play at home, they’re so worried about her speed that they’ll make a mistake. I just think she’s a great leadoff hitter.””

    Lowe’s defense has also been exemplary this season, as she’s yet to make an error and has made several highlight-reel catches in center field, including a leaping snag in front of the wall to save extra bases against ASU on national television April 7.

    UA pitcher Taryne Mowatt certainly appreciates having Lowe lined up behind her.

    “”She catches everything; she never lets anything drop or go over the fence in her direction,”” Mowatt said. “”It’s amazing having her on your side.””

    Lowe is a three-time All-American and will likely become a fourth with her play this season. But when asked whether she felt this is the best she’s ever played in an Arizona uniform, Lowe elected to wait until after the season to reflect.

    “”It’s hard to think about individual performances until the end of the year, I kind of rate performances just as a team, so if we don’t end up winning the national championship, it’s definitely going to be a disappointment no matter what,”” Lowe said.

    “”I think that as long as the end result (a championship) is there, then I’ll feel great about my performance throughout the year.””

    Runner-up: Preston Guilmet, Baseball

    Perhaps no Wildcat was more dominant for his team than baseball’s right-handed ace Preston Guilmet.

    Guilmet, a sophomore, is 9-1 on the season for Arizona, and leads the Pacific 10 Conference in both strikeouts (110) and ERA (1.68).

    He’s also a semifinalist for college baseball’s top honor, the Golden Spikes Award.

    His coach, Andy Lopez, has repeatedly praised Guilmet’s work between starts.

    “”What I like to talk about more than anything is his makeup, his work ethic,”” Lopez said. “”He’s a great example for a young high school guy to follow. If you follow him around for a day on the practice field, you wouldn’t find anybody that works harder.””

    – Ryan Casey

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