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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Orange you glad you can see now?

Koby Gray Upchurch / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Softball University of Arizona V Washinton
Koby Gray Upchurch
Koby Gray Upchurch / Arizona Daily Wildcat Softball University of Arizona V Washinton

Two members of the Arizona Wildcats softball team aren’t exactly seeing red, but it’s close.

Seniors Lauren Schutzler and Stacie Chambers have started wearing Nike MAXSIGHT Sport Tinted contact lenses, a product head coach Mike Candrea first used during the 2008 Olympics while coaching Team USA.

While Schuztler and Chambers aren’t the first Wildcats to have the lenses — back-up first baseman Alicia Banks was given a pair but chose not to use the contacts — Schuztler and Chambers have been wearing the specialized lenses since February.

Chambers said the effects of the lenses, which filter out a certain light wavelength, are helping her game.

“”I found out about them from my vision doctor where I do my vision therapy stuff,”” Chambers said. “”They basically just help make the ball a little brighter because I struggle with that.””

Schutzler said for her, the darkened background caused by the non-prescription lenses helps to make the ball brighter.

“”The green is a little bit greener and the sky is not as bright,”” Schuzler said. “”It’s kind of like sunglasses and it clarifies things a little bit for me.””

There are two different types of Nike MAXSIGHT lenses — amber for fast tracking sports and grey-green for sports in bright lights.

Under the lights, Chambers and Schutzler’s eyes glow with a distinctive orange hue as a result of the effects of the amber contacts.

Schutzler said she’s played around with the technology, but finally found the pair that enhances the ball properly.  

“”I’ve had a few different pairs,”” Schutzler said. “”I finally found some that feel really good and it seems to be working out.””

Still questions in the circle

With the absence of Kenzie Fowler for the past week due to a concussion, the Arizona Wildcats are struggling to find consistency in the circle.

“”You never want to be caught short-handed and most of the time you’re not,”” Candrea said. “”We’ve never had a pitcher hit in the head the way it happened.

“”If it’s a line drive in a game it would be a little different. But, my God, sitting on the bench reading the scouting report and missing four players before it hits her … wow,”” Candrea said.

Fowler sustained a concussion while sitting on the bench in the final game of the Washington series and has not returned since.

Freshman pitcher Shelby Babcock has taken on most of the responsibility on the mound, but Candrea had to use second baseman Victoria Kemp, first baseman Baillie Kirker and left fielder Brittany Lastrapes against ASU last weekend.

Candrea said nearly two weeks later, there still isn’t a definite time for her return, and that he would use the position players against Oregon if needed this weekend.

‘Cats fall in the rankings

The Wildcats suffered their first series sweep at the hands of the ASU Sun Devils and fell to No. 10 in the national rankings. ASU moved up to the top spot in the nation with 20 first-place votes. Only one other Pac-10 team — California, No. 9 — cracked the top 10.

The rest of the Pac-10 is grouped together with Arizona at No. 10, UCLA at No. 11, Washington at No. 12 and Stanford at No. 13.

Oregon, Arizona’s opponent this weekend, moved up to No. 16.

Arizona was one of three teams to fall as a result of the weekend play along with Stanford and Washington.

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