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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball facing loaded schedule

    Arizona shortstop Klee Arrendondo connects with a pitch during a double-header sweep of Marshall on March 26, 2008 at Hillenbrand Staduim. Arrendondo, a junior, will provide the Wildcats with veteran leadership during a tough schedule in which they play six teams ranked in a preseason top-25 poll.
    Arizona shortstop K’lee Arrendondo connects with a pitch during a double-header sweep of Marshall on March 26, 2008 at Hillenbrand Staduim. Arrendondo, a junior, will provide the Wildcats with veteran leadership during a tough schedule in which they play six teams ranked in a preseason top-25 poll.

    Scheduling in softball can determine which teams make it to the College World Series and which don’t. For the Wildcats, that is still up in the air. Arizona will play more than 31 percent of its total season games against teams that were ranked in the preseason version of the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll. Arizona softball has been ranked at No. 1 at some point in every season since 1991 and as of Feb 10. the Wildcats sit at No. 12.
    Arizona will face many obstacles in its pursuit to return to the Women’s College World Series for the fourth time in as many years Here’s a look at a few of the bigger games on the Arizona’s schedule.

    At Texas A&M Feb. 27 – March 1
    Arizona’s first test will come against No. 5 Texas A&M as the Wildcats will play the Aggies three times in three days in College Station. The Aggies suffered the loss of four players due to graduation last year. Coaches around the league speculate on the outcome of A&M’s season depending on the arms of freshman Rebecca Arbino and sophomore Rhi Kliesing.

    At Washington April 3, vs. Washington April 25 – 26
    After a long stretch of games against unranked teams, the Wildcats will travel north to face the No. 10 Huskies’ powerful pitching staff. The difficulty with Washington lies in its experience level. Junior pitcher Danielle Lawrie is returning from her Olympic appearance and the Huskies’ impressive speed on offense will test Arizona’s defensive skills.

    At UCLA April 4 – 5, vs. UCLA April 24
    Although sophomore Samantha Camuso’s season ending surgery weakened UCLA’s powerful offense, its counterpartwill still be a lot for Arizona to handle. The No. 4 Bruins’ defense is what anchors their squad. The Wildcats’ bats will have to come alive in Los Angeles to keep pace with their Pac-10 rivals early in the conference season.

    Vs. ASU April 10 – 11, at ASU April 29
    The rivalry continues with the defending national champion Sun Devils entering Wildcat territory twice this season. Although ASU is the reigning champ, it is ranked No. 3 in the nation – behind second-ranked Alabama and top-billed Florida. After last season’s disappointing WCWS run – and the Sun Devils belting of Arizona in Tucson last year – the Wildcats will look for revenge this time around in the Duel in the Desert.

    Vs. Stanford April 17, at Stanford May 2 – 3
    No. 8 Stanford has a dynamic infield, including freshman Ashley Hansen – the only high school invitee to the United States Olympic Team’s selection camp before the Beijing Games. Along with senior pitcher Missy Penna, the Wildcats will have a serious challenge facing the Cardinals three times this season, twice in Palo Alto.

    Vs. California April 18 – 19, at California May 1
    Pitching is the strength of the Golden Bears. Behind the arm of junior Marissa Drewrey, California will look to its dominating pitching throughout conference play. The bats of the Golden Bears’ senior Gina Leomiti and junior Bernice Masaniai could cause mayhem for the Wildcats fielders if their young pitching staff isn’t careful.

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