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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Around the bases

Around+the+bases

Senior infielder Victoria Kemp will miss the beginning of the 2011 season with a torn posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in her knee.

“”The pain was in the back of her knee,”” said head coach Mike Candrea. “”She’ll be out for about three weeks.””

Candrea said the injury occurred in practice this week when Kemp came down on the grass on a routine ground ball up the middle. Candrea said Kemp would have to wear a brace once she returns.

“”It’s one of those injuries that you can put a brace on it and play with it but whether you can play at this level is yet to be seen,”” Candrea said.

The infielder saw limited action in the 2010 season, appearing in 21 total games for Arizona last season, starting nine at second base.

Although current second baseman Kristen Arriola solidified the spot last March, Kemp proved a viable option off the bench for the Wildcats.

Injuries will force Kemp to miss action for the second time in her Arizona career. A fracture to her orbital bone in 2008 caused her to miss 20 straight games.

Designated hitter Lini Koria practiced for the first time on Monday after missing significant time with a concussion. Koria was hit in the back of the head with a ball during throwing drills. Candrea said he was optimistic about her chances of playing when the season starts.

Arizona tops Pac-10, national polls

The Wildcats landed in first place in both the preseason Pacific 10 Conference Poll and the ESPN.com/USA Softball polls. While the nation recognized Arizona’s depth and pitching prowess, Candrea said isn’t particularly concerned with Arizona’s rankings this early in the year. He said the polls tend to reflect a team’s achievements from the previous season, and are not necessarily an outlook for the current team.

“”It really doesn’t mean anything to me right now,”” Candrea said. “”We’re anxious to get started and see where we’re at. I think we’re going to have a lot of good tests early in the season that can confirm that or not.””

Vying for positions

With the injury to Kemp and the vacancy left by former shortstop K’Lee Arredondo, the underclassmen on Arizona’s bench have the opportunity to step into a starting role.

Candrea said Sophomore Matte Haack and freshmen Ashlee Brawley, Alex Lavine and Chelsea Suitos are all getting chances at the shortstop position, but that no one has claimed a starting spot yet.

“”I think it’s going to be one of those situations where you’re going to try to give them all the opportunities early on,”” Candrea said. “”Right now we haven’t had anyone step up on a consistent basis.””

Candrea added that the depth of his bench can only help the Wildcats, but the uncertainty of the positions wouldn’t last long.

“”Right now I’m not worried,”” Candrea said. “”If I’m still saying this to you in a month then I’ll be worried.””

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