The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

75° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona softball hosts the Candrea Classic for its season-opening tournament

Celebrating 50 years of softball at Arizona
Arizona+softball+pitcher+Devyn+Netz+celebrates+after+a+strike+out+in+a+game+against+Weber+State+University+on+March+3+in+Mike+Candrea+Field+at+Rita+Hillenrand+Memorial+Stadium.+Arizona+beat+Weber+State+8-0.
Nathanial Stenchever
Arizona softball pitcher Devyn Netz celebrates after a strike out in a game against Weber State University on March 3 in Mike Candrea Field at Rita Hillenrand Memorial Stadium. Arizona beat Weber State 8-0.

From Thursday, Feb. 8 to Sunday, Feb. 11, the third annual Candrea Classic celebrates 50 years of softball at Arizona.

Mike Candrea Field at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium is set to showcase top-level softball from five teams, including the 2023 Big Sky Conference Tournament champion, Northern Colorado University.

Day One — Thursday, Feb. 8

Game One: University of Arizona vs. Utah Tech University – 4 p.m.

Game Two: University of Arizona vs. University of Northern Colorado – 6 p.m.

Game Three: University of Northern Colorado vs. Utah Tech University – 8 p.m.

Day Two — Friday, Feb. 9

Game Four: University of Northern Colorado vs. Lipscomb University – 11 a.m.

Game Five: North Texas University vs. Utah Tech University – 1 p.m.

Game Six: University of Arizona vs. Lipscomb University – 4 p.m.

Game Seven: University of Arizona vs. North Texas University – 6 p.m.

Day Three — Saturday, Feb. 10

Game Eight: Lipscomb University vs. Utah Tech University – 9 a.m.

Game Nine: North Texas University vs. Utah Tech University – 11 a.m.

Game 10:  University of Northern Colorado vs. Lipscomb University – 1 p.m.

Game 11: University of Arizona vs. North Texas University – 4 p.m.

Day Four — Sunday, Feb. 11

Game 12: Lipscomb University vs. North Texas University – 8:30 a.m.

Game 13: University of Northern Colorado vs. North Texas University – 10:30 a.m.

Game 14: University of Arizona vs. University of Northern Colorado – 1 p.m.

A look at the teams:

Arizona Wildcats After leading the Pac-12 Conference in scoring with 6.87 runs a game, the Wildcats return 14 players from the 2023 roster. This includes junior Allie Skaggs, who was named Pac- 12 Defensive Player of the Year last season. Skaggs along with four of her teammates (sophomores Dakota Kennedy, Tayler Biehl, Olivia DiNardo and senior Devyn Netz) were all named to the 2023 Pac-12 all-conference teams.

Utah Tech Trailblazers The defending Western Athletic Conference champions will face off against the Wildcats for the first time in program history. The Trailblazers compete under reigning WAC Coach of the Year Randy Simkins. Sophomore pitcher Sauren Garton and junior infielder Carly Eldredge are featured on the 2024 pre-season All-WAC team.

Northern Colorado Bears An impressive postseason run in the 2023 Big Sky Conference led the bears to win its program’s first championship title. Under first-year head coach, Dedeann Pendleton-Helm, the team concluded the season with a record of 26-23. The bears are led by senior outfielder Alyssa Wenzel who hit a .372 batting average last season. Colorado has played Arizona once before and lost 12-0.

Lipscomb Bison Head coach Kristin Ryman has been with Lipscomb since 2006 after graduating from the school in 2004. The Bison are led by sophomore Kaylyn Belfield, who was named to the 2023 ASUN All-Freshman Team. This will be the first time the Bison face the Wildcats in program history.

North Texas Mean Green Voted No. 3 in the American Athletic Conference, the team returns 16 players from last season. This includes the 2023 NFCA All-South Region selection infielder, senior Kailey Gamble, who hit 16 home runs in the 2023 and 2022 seasons. The Mean Green have faced off against the Wildcats twice in program history and lost both times.

Coach Candrea:

John Michael Candrea coached Wildcat softball for 36 years. During his time as head coach, he collected 1674 wins, 11 Pac-10 Conference titles and 10 Pac-10 coach of the year awards. Arizona has won eight Women’s College World Series titles, all of which were under Candrea.

Coming out of retirement, Candrea was named to be Arizona’s interim athletic director on Friday, Feb. 2.


Follow the Daily Wildcat on Instagram and Twitter/X


 

More to Discover