The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

48° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Hollowell dominant as softball sweeps openers

    Sophomore Adrienne Acton takes a swing against Texas A&M Saturday. The Wildcats dominated Texas and Texas A&M on Saturday at the 2006 Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, beating them 1-0 and 8-0 respectively, en route to a six-win weekend.
    Sophomore Adrienne Acton takes a swing against Texas A&M Saturday. The Wildcats dominated Texas and Texas A&M on Saturday at the 2006 Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, beating them 1-0 and 8-0 respectively, en route to a six-win weekend.

    TEMPE – All told, the 2006 Kajikawa Classic should pay much bigger dividends for the No. 5 Arizona softball team than its water-logged predecessor of a year ago.

    Behind dominant pitching and standout performances from their freshmen, the Wildcats won all six of their games, including three over national top-15 teams, by a combined total score of 36-1.

    Arizona (6-0) played only one of five Classic games in 2005 – an 8-0, five-inning victory over Tennessee-Chattanooga – because of rain.

    “”This was big for us, to be able to get six games under our belt right now,”” said Arizona head coach Mike Candrea. “”Every week’s going to be a building block. Primarily, February and March are to get you ready to play in the (Pacific 10 Conference). This is a good start, and hopefully, this team will feed off this.””

    Senior pitcher Alicia Hollowell (3-0) fed her fielders early and often this weekend, throwing her 14th and 15th career no-hitters against No. 15 Northwestern and No. 6 Texas A&M, respectively.

    Hollowell had eight no-hitters in all of 2005, including three perfect games.

    She struck out Northwestern’s first 13 batters Friday and finished the weekend with 36 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched.

    Hollowell retired the first 15 batters in yesterday’s 2-0 win over Cal State-Fullerton

    We made some really great defensive plays … (the no-hitters) don’t matter as long as we get the ‘W.’
    – Alicia Hollowell, senior pitcher

    before allowing her only hit of the tournament to Titans senior catcher Ashlee Weatherford.

    “”They were putting the ball in play all day, and we made some really great defensive plays,”” Hollowell said. “”(The no-hitters) don’t really matter, as long as we got the ‘W’ and we’re playing well.””

    Freshmen third basemen Sam Banister and Jenae Leles and first baseman Laine Roth all made significant contributions in their debuts with the Wildcats.

    Batting eighth in the lineup, Leles hit her first career home run, a solo shot to straightaway center field off junior pitcher Candice Baker (1-1), to put Arizona up 2-0 against Fullerton (2-3).

    Room for improvement?
    It’s difficult to imagine anyone pitching better than senior Alicia Hollowell did last weekend. Hollowell hurled two no-hitters and nearly came away with a third, resulting in a weekend line straight out of a video game:
    Games Innings Hits Walks SO ERA WHIP
    3 18 1 1 36 0.00 .11

    She drove in the Wildcats’ initial run with a laser shot to first base that bounced off the chest of Titans freshman second baseman Courtney Martinez, allowing senior pinch-runner Kelly Nelson to score.

    It was the second of three hits yesterday for Leles, who entered the day as the only starter without one.

    She went 1-for-3 with two RBIs in Arizona’s 9-1, five-inning win over New Mexico (0-5) in the first game.

    “”That’s the thing about this game – you get a little monkey on your back,”” Candrea said. “”You go 0-for-3, you go 0-for-6, pretty soon you start pressing. You keep trying a little harder, and the harder you try, the worse it gets. So, anytime you can break out of it by getting a base hit, it feeds confidence.””

    Banister, batting fifth, drove in three runs against the Lobos. She also smacked home runs against the Aggies (3-2) and Cal State-Northridge (1-4), whom the Wildcats defeated 8-0 in five innings Friday to open the Classic.

    “”I just expected to make contact with the ball,”” Banister said. “”I never imagined this.””

    Roth, who hit seventh, went 3-for-3 in Arizona’s 1-0 win over No. 4 Texas on Saturday.

    “”It’s been a while since we really had contributions one through nine (in the lineup),”” Candrea said. “”If this is any indication, then this is a very positive thing for us. I was very, very pleased with how the freshmen played.””

    The win over the Longhorns (4-1) was revenge of sorts, coming in the first meeting between the teams since Texas eliminated Arizona from the Women’s College World Series in June.

    However, neither Hollowell nor Texas senior ace and last year’s USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Cat Osterman pitched in the contest.

    Sophomore pitcher Taryne Mowatt struck out 14 and gave up only two hits against the Longhorns, earning her second complete game in as many starts after going the distance against Northridge. She also went wire-to-wire against New Mexico.

    “”I was really, really pleased with Taryne, because last year, she lacked a little bit of confidence,”” Candrea said. “”This year, she’s come back and really shown she has the confidence to do it.””

    Junior center fielder Caitlin Lowe preserved the Wildcats’ lead over the Longhorns in the bottom of the third inning when she fell through two sections of the outfield fence at the Tempe Sports Complex to rob a home run from Tina Boutelle.

    “”Caitlin’s a player,”” Candrea said. “”The nice thing about breakaway fences is you don’t have any fear. You just go after it, and the more room you give Cait, the more she’s going to cover it.””

    Arizona defeated Texas A&M 8-0 in five innings, tagging preseason Player-of-the-Year candidate Amanda Scarborough (1-2) for seven earned runs in an inning of work.

    “”For us to get a chance to see some quality teams early on, I think, has been huge,”” Candrea said. “”We’re going to see Texas again. We’re going to see A&M again. We’ll probably see Fullerton again.

    “”I think (this tournament) was good for us. It was a good test for us, and hopefully a good confidence booster for the young kids, that they belong and can play at this level.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search