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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball to host battle of Arizona

    UA outfielder Caitlin Lowe swings at a pitch in Arizonas 8-1 win over Texas Tech Feb. 18 at Hillenbrand Stadium. Lowe and the rest of the Wildcats will compete in two exhibition games today and tomorrow against Phoenix and Pima colleges.
    UA outfielder Caitlin Lowe swings at a pitch in Arizona’s 8-1 win over Texas Tech Feb. 18 at Hillenbrand Stadium. Lowe and the rest of the Wildcats will compete in two exhibition games today and tomorrow against Phoenix and Pima colleges.

    Regional pride will be on the line tonight at Hillenbrand Stadium when the No. 4 Arizona softball team plays an unusual regular-season exhibition tournament against Phoenix and Pima colleges.

    The Arizona Battle of Champions features three defending national champions.

    Arizona won the NCAA Division I championship last season, Pima won the Division-I NJCAA championship and Phoenix won the Division-II NJCAA championship.

    The Wildcats (11-3) meet Phoenix at 5 p.m. and Pima at 7 p.m.

    “”We thought we would get together and have a little friendly meeting,”” said UA head coach Mike Candrea. “”It should be a good exhibition.””

    Candrea added that while the games are merely tune-ups for his team, the Wildcats shouldn’t view them that way.

    “”It will give us a chance to get some at-bats and keep working on things,”” Candrea said, “”but it should be nothing different.””

    Arizona defeated Pima 2-0 in October in the Arizona Fall Tournament, but the Aztecs have given them stiff competition in the past, even winning in a 2003 exhibition matchup.

    “”It didn’t count for anything, but it was just representative of ‘You can’t take any team for granted,'”” said center fielder Caitlin Lowe, who was a freshman at the time.

    “”We take it seriously because Pima is obviously a good team, and whenever they play us, they always give us a good game,”” said pitcher Taryne Mowatt. “”I definitely think it’s a pride thing.””

    Mowatt said she is expecting to pitch against Pima and plans to stick to the strategy that has earned her a 6-3 record and 1.42 ERA in 13 games this season.

    “”I’m going to use this game as a game to make me get better,”” she said. “”Anytime you’re facing live hitters it gives you something to work on.””

    Candrea mixed around his lineup over the weekend in a series against No. 2 Texas A&M. Among the moves, senior shortstop Kristie Fox moved up to her usual No. 3 spot from No. 4 in the batting order, and freshman left fielder K’Lee Arrendondo went to No. 8 from No. 2.

    “”We learned a lot of stuff this weekend,”” Lowe said. “”We just need to make sure that we fix the things that need to get fixed and get comfortable in some situations.””

    Lowe, who leads the team with 13 stolen bases and is second with a .467 batting average, said she needs to get in some quality at-bats as the Wildcats prepare for a three-game series with Missouri this weekend.

    The Aztecs are coached by Stacy Iveson, who pitched for the Wildcats from 1986-89. She also was an Arizona assistant coach from 1995-2001 and was a part of three national championship teams.

    “”Any team is going to come gunning for us, but especially them,”” Lowe said. “”In a way, they’re our cross-town rivals, so we just need to make sure we play our game.””

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