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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona Softball wins Fall Opener, Alumni Game finishes in a tie


Courtesy of Arizona Athletics

Former Wildcat softball player Jennie Finch pitches during the 2015 Arizona Softball Alumni Game at Hillenbrand Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 25.

Arizona softball began its short fall schedule this weekend with a 27-2 victory over Eastern Arizona College. This was supposed to be the team’s second warm-up game, but the annual Fall Round Robin even was canceled two weeks ago as a result of poor weather.

Junior Katiyana Mauga belted three home runs in her three at-bats to drive in six, and senior Lauren Young added a home run of her own and drove in five to lead the Wildcats’ attack.

Arizona sent five pitchers to the circle Thursday and dominated, generating 18 strikeouts and only allowing two runs.

A truly special event also took place this weekend for the softball program, as it held its annual alumni game. This year marked the 30th year for legendary Arizona softball head coach Mike Candrea.

Candrea is the all-time leader for wins as a head coach at the DI level, racking up 1,428 wins in the last 30 years. He was honored at halftime of the Homecoming football game last weekend.

The program invited back some of its greatest players and honored the two national championship teams from 1996 and 2006. The teams were split up evenly for the event, as half of the current team was in each dugout.

Overall, the game turned in to a pitching duel that scattered only six hits throughout and ended in a 1-1 tie.

The first run scored in the game came from Vivian Holm-Hinds, who played for the 1987-1990 team. Holm-Hinds singled, stole second and was eventually driven in on a single.

Other highlights included assistant coach Caitlin Lowe working a walk off freshman pitcher Taylor McQuillin, and sophomore Robyn Porter drove her in.

The biggest highlight of the game, however, came from the most famous UA softball alum, Jennie Finch. Finch came in and struck out the side in the bottom of the fifth, as she has done before so many times.

Up next for the softball team is the Arizona Fall Invitational, which takes place next weekend. The three-day series begins Friday, Oct. 30 at at 1 p.m. with Pima Community College against Central Arizona. The Wildcats begin play against Arizona Western at 6 p.m.

Follow Chris Deak on Twitter.

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