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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Softball takes on UA alumnae

    In its last game action before the regular season starts in February, the Arizona softball team will face some of the best competition in the world – the UA alumnae team.

    Former Wildcats will return to their old stomping grounds Saturday at noon at Hillenbrand Stadium, and take on the 2009 version of Arizona softball in an event that is free to the public.

    “”It’s just an opportunity really to bring back the players who paved the way for these players. It’s more tradition than anything,”” said UA head coach Mike Candrea. “”I think any good program has their roots and a rich tradition, and I think we’re fortunate here at Arizona to have a very rich tradition of excellence in softball, so I like to bring the older kids back so the new kids can kind of understand what the bridge is.””

    This will be the first alumnae game since the 2006 contest when the 1996 national championship winning team was honored, but it makes its customary every-other-year appearance this weekend. Some notable players among the 28-member alumnae team include Adienne Acton (’07), Lisa Bernstein (’86), Jackie Coburn (’05), Kristie Fox (’05), Alicia Hollowell (’06), Lovie Jung (’03), Caitlin Lowe (’07) and Chelsie Mesa (’07).

    “”We get to see everybody who has built this program, basically,”” said senior Sam Banister. “”You look on the (outfield) wall and you see the numbers and those girls are so far in front of us. I know that’s not nice to say, but now we get to learn and see what all the tradition is about and how hard they worked and how much they still love the game.””

    Perhaps the most important thing will be the current Wildcats’ chance to seek advice from the former stars, both during the game and at all of the ensuing Homecoming festivities.

    “”It’s just good to see how the older girls play and how they keep their composure and how intense they are,”” said senior Jenae Leles. “”We’re constantly learning from them even if it’s not a real game.””

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