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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Can softball repeat without Hollowell?

    Softball still as good as ever

    You know the saying. “”There is no I in team.””

    This year’s softball team is going to prove that statement when it proves it can still be a contender to repeat as national champions without its ace pitcher from last year, Alicia Hollowell.

    Sure, it would be ludicrous to say that the four-time All-American wasn’t the heart and soul of the team a year ago. But with the Wildcats returning all but one starter, it would be just as illogical to say they weren’t in the mix to return to the National Championship.

    So although the all-time strikeout leader in Arizona history will be greatly missed – she posted a sub-1.00 ERA in her career at Arizona – it will not be an insurmountable loss for the Wildcats.

    Out with the old and in with the new. (Well, maybe not new, but more experienced.)

    Enter junior pitcher Taryne Mowatt.

    While she might not have posted the same ridiculous numbers Hollowell did in her illustrious career, she still is clutch enough to step in and fill the hole in the starting pitching rotation.

    As a sophomore Mowatt posted 21 wins in 23 starts, including 20 complete games. If she isn’t the perfect choice to replace Hollowell, then who is?

    On the other side of the spectrum, the Wildcats are also welcoming back most of their lineup, minus since-departed outfielder Autumn Champion.

    With a team that averaged 5.4 runs a game a year ago stepping into the batter’s box this season once again, things are still very bright for this year’s Wildcats.

    In a game dominated predominately by outstanding pitching, the Wildcats might have been going down the road to nowhere.

    But with Mowatt stepping in for Hollowell – and combined with the solid returning hitting – there is definitely light at the end of this year’s tunnel.

    Ari Wasserman
    staff writer


    Can’t spark the fire without the match

    Everyone’s pulling for the Wildcats this year.

    The National Fastpitch Coaches Association voted Arizona the No. 1 preseason team yesterday, while the Pac-10 coaches chose them to repeat this year Monday.

    But can they live up to the hype?

    I know, the UA softball team had consecutive championships in 1993 and 1994, as well as 1996 and 1997. But this year will look a lot different than the last, as the Wildcats will be without their star pitcher, Alicia Hollowell, whose career numbers surpass even that of ex-‘Cat Jennie Finch.

    And, I know all you men out there remember Finch.

    Enter junior Taryne Mowatt, stage left. You’re now in the spotlight.

    Can you handle it?

    Don’t get me wrong. Mowatt’s numbers are nothing to scratch your head at.

    After her first two seasons, her ERA is 1.82. Nothing to be ashamed of.

    But what about Hollowell? Her first two years, her ERA was 0.87.

    What’s the difference? Well, mathematically, it’s 0.95, but basically it’s the fact that Mowatt won’t have those numbers to fall back on anymore.

    To add to the team’s unknowns, newcomer Amanda Williams, a pitcher, may not be eligible for the season due to “”personal reasons.”” So the fate of the pitching squad must rely on Mowatt’s throwing arm.

    I’m not saying UA softball is going to fall off the wagon. They’re still going to be a force to be reckoned with, and odds are, they’re still going to be traveling to Oklahoma come summertime.

    Still, no one can predict what will happen when they get there, and anyone that says they will dominate once again could possibly hurt them in the end by adding pressure.

    All that hype isn’t always a good thing; ask Alex Rodriguez. I hear you can catch him in Central Park on a sunny day.

    Melissa Krueger
    assistant sports editor

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