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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona softball using long break to refresh

Michelle A. Monroe
Michelle A. Monroe / Arizona Daily Wildcat University of Arizona Police Department officials gave awards to UA employees and one student who helped them solve crimes or arrest people.

After playing eight games in nine days, the Arizona softball team has had an extended break in action, thanks to a revamped Pac-12 Conference schedule. The break began after April 18 and ends this weekend when the team hosts the Oregon Ducks.

“We did some good things, but right now, this little break we’re going to have is coming at a good time,” head coach Mike Candrea said. “We’re a little fatigued.”

The break came at a crucial time for the Wildcats (31-12, 8-7 Pac-12), who sit at fourth in Pac-12 standings, and who are pushing for a potential home field advantage for the first segment of postseason play.

“Luckily, we have a break this weekend and have a chance to get away from the game and refresh our batteries,” Candrea said on Wednesday. “We have a few people that are grinding away at the plate, and sometimes it’s good to get away from the game and come back with a new approach and a new feeling.”

Despite his goal of turning the time off into an opportunity for the team to recharge, Candrea knows that such a long break should not happen once in a season, let alone twice — the Wildcats face another nine-game break from the end of the season until the start of postseason play.

“We’ve (Pac-12 coaches) got some conversation to have about it,” Candrea said. “We had a conference call yesterday and we were definitely talking about something different regarding the schedule, whether we push the season back a week, which goes into finals for the quarter schools. There will definitely be a conversation, and I think a change.”

With just nine games remaining on the schedule, Candrea noted the importance of picking up steam at the right time, saying the train is taking off, and his team better be on board if it wants to have the home field come playoff time.

“I think it’s a good thing,” sophomore pitcher Shelby Babcock said. “We’re together all the time, so I think it will be good to have a break and think about ourselves for a change.”

Candrea is seeking motivation the old-fashioned way, watching film with his players and trying to tweak anything that could be problematic.

“It’s a good time,” Candrea said. “I told them one of the things I wanted to do was go see some film with the hitters and show them what they’re looking like right now at the plate. I’ll have some time in the next few days with a little recruiting in between.”
While Candrea is focused on the nuts and bolts of the game, his players are ready for a break and having an opportunity to come back to the game with a renewed focus.

“Get away from the field and take all of our minds off of what we’ve been doing,” senior catcher Lini Koria said. “It’ll be good when we come back fresh and feeling brand-new. It will be good for us.”

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