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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Summer Sports Update: No. 2 Cats to host softball regional tourney

    The No. 2 Arizona softball team celebrates the end of the top of the second inning in its last home game, an 8-3 loss to No. 1 UCLA April 9 at Hillenbrand Stadium. The Wildcats will return to Hillenbrand tonight to host a Tucson Regional for the 13th time in 15 years.
    The No. 2 Arizona softball team celebrates the end of the top of the second inning in its last home game, an 8-3 loss to No. 1 UCLA April 9 at Hillenbrand Stadium. The Wildcats will return to Hillenbrand tonight to host a Tucson Regional for the 13th time in 15 years.

    After finishing the regular season on a 10-game winning streak, the Arizona softball team is set to host a Tucson Regional for the 13th time in 15 years, which will be played today through Saturday at Hillenbrand Stadium.

    The Wildcats (44-9, 15-6 Pacific 10 Conference) finished the season one-half game behind UCLA (15-5 Pac-10) in the conference, earning themselves an at-large bid and the No. 2 overall seed in the 64-team NCAA Tournament.

    “”I think we’re in the mode that we would like to be in right now,”” Arizona head coach Mike Candrea said. “”During the 10-game streak, we played well with good preparation and good confidence and just played how we’re supposed to play. It makes me feel a lot better than before.””

    The Bruins earned the No. 1 overall seed and will host their own regional this weekend.

    In the Tucson Regional, the Wildcats will play host to three other teams: Auburn, Ohio State and Marist. Arizona starts with Marist (33-11) tonight at 6:30 to kick off the postseason.

    If the Wildcats win tonight, they will play the winner of the game between Ohio State (38-21) and Auburn (34-20) tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. If they lose, they play the loser at 4 p.m.

    The two teams that split their first two games play tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. with the winner advancing to take on the squad that sweeps its first two contests Saturday afternoon at 3, a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN2. If the team with one loss wins, they will play a deciding game on ESPN 2 at 5 p.m.

    “”It’s a very competitive field,”” Candrea said. “”We’re very excited about hosting, (and) it’s good to be at home. It’s like a new season. We’re just excited to get out there and play.””

    Wildcats earn conference and region honors

    As would be expected from the No. 2 overall seed, Arizona placed four players on both the All-Pacific 10 Conference and All-Pacific Region teams.

    Juniors center fielder Caitlin Lowe and shortstop Kristie Fox earned first team honors on both teams, while senior ace Alicia Hollowell made the conference’s first team and the second team for the region. Senior left fielder Autumn Champion made both squads’ second teams.

    Lowe led the conference with a .441 batting average and tied for second with 26 stolen bases despite missing nine games due to injury, while Fox contributed a .400 batting average and led the team with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs , a total that ranks third in the Pac-10.

    Hollowell went 23-4 with a 0.87 ERA (third Pac-10) and 316 strikeouts (fifth) to just 30 walks.

    Champion ranked third behind Lowe and Fox on the squad with a .388 batting average and scored a team-high 44 runs, third in the conference.

    -Michael Schwartz contributed to this report

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