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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Former ‘Cats fall to current ‘Cats

Rodney Haas / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Rodney Haas
Rodney Haas / Arizona Daily Wildcat

It was all smiles for the members of the Arizona Alumni team despite being bested by their younger current Wildcat softball team 5-1 on Friday.

“”I think this is one of the larger numbers that we’ve had, and I think it’s a testament to what coach has built, and what we have here at Arizona softball,”” said Jennie Finch after the game.

Finch was one of 62 alumnae of the Arizona softball program that returned to the hollowed ground of Hillenbrand Stadium. The turnout was the largest in the program’s history of the Alumni game.

“”Great turnout by the alum. It gives our young kids a chance to see who paved the way for them and I think it’s important,”” said head coach Mike Candrea. “”Tradition, to me, is probably the most important part of any program, and we’ve been very fortunate because of the players to build a great tradition here.””

Taryne Mowatt started the game for the Arizona Alumni and only gave up one hit, a homerun in the second inning that sailed over the outfield bleachers off the bat of Lini Koria. The solo shot gave the current players the lead, which they would never relinquish.

“”It was just a good pitch to hit and just amazing to hit off someone well-known and has legacies here at Arizona and has done so much,”” Koria said.

The current Wildcats scored four more runs in the fifth inning thanks to help from former pitcher Jennifer Martinez’s inability to find the strike zone.

Playing with the legends — and former teammates — of her current program was something that Koria said she appreciated.

“”It’s very overwhelming because you never really have a chance to see all of them and to see them play and knowing that they paved the path for us to be able to play this game still, it’s just great,”” she said.

Sophomore Kenzie Fowler started the game for the current Arizona players and gave up just three hits in two innings of work. She was relieved by Shelby Babcock, who gave up a solo homerun to former player and current volunteer assistant coach Candace Abrahms in the fifth inning.

Candrea, however, said that the turnout by former players and fans was more important that the actual win. He called special attention to the 1991 and 2001 national championship teams in between innings.

“”This is what it’s all about, to be able to thank some great players for what they’ve done here,”” Candrea said.

“”It’s like a proud dad, you know, really,”” Candrea said. “”In this day and age, it’s not often that you get to spend 25 years at one place and to be able to see the program grow and be a part of what we’ve done is pretty special. And to be able to bring them back, it’s better than a Christmas, it really is.””

The Wildcats will pick up spring ball in February, and finished fall ball with a record of 8-1.

 

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