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The Daily Wildcat

 

Candrea ready to make changes to Arizona softball

Arizona+softball+coach+Mike+Candrea+looks+on+during+Arizonas+8-3+win+against+UNLV+on+March+4+at+Hillenbrand+Stadium.+Candrea+said+on+Tuesday+that+he+is+ready+to+make+changes+to+the+team+after+a+poor+weekend+performance.
Sally Lugo

Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea looks on during Arizona’s 8-3 win against UNLV on March 4 at Hillenbrand Stadium. Candrea said on Tuesday that he is ready to make changes to the team after a poor weekend performance.

Fresh off the toughest weekend of the season, Arizona softball saw its national ranking drop from No. 13 to No. 18. The Wildcats went 2-3 at the Judi Garman Classic, including their worst loss in program history against Auburn in a 20-2 blowout.

Arizona’s record dropped to 21-6 after the Wildcats lost to three teams ranked in the top-15 of the latest USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll.

Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea said the weekend was “tough” for the Wildcats and didn’t go as well as it could have.

“We let these games get out of hand. … We have to be able to swing the bats, and we just did not swing the bats well,” Candrea said. “I don’t think we had a really good plan when we walked up to the plate. We got some things that we have to work on to be able to beat good teams.”

Arizona is in much of the same boat as last season. The team had its sixth loss of the season on March 17 against UCLA and had won 23 games previous to that. This year, Arizona won 20 games before suffering its loss.

It’s not the end of the world, but Candrea is certainly not thrilled with how the season has gone so far, especially with how his team approaches opponents with different talent levels.

“Right now, we play a lot different when we play a team we know that we can beat, and then we play differently when there’s a team that is going to challenge us,” Candrea said. “We just haven’t met the challenge, but I feel like this team will do that.”

Parks suffers injury

Arizona freshman pitcher Trish Parks was injured over the weekend at the Judi Garman Classic and was not at the team’s practice on Tuesday. According to Candrea, Parks was injured while sliding into third base, and it’s uncertain what the extent of her injury is.

“Just a slide at third base, [and] a kid came down and hit her head,” Candrea said. “We’re kind of watching her right now.”

Parks has started all 24 games she’s participated in during her freshman season and is fourth on the team in batting average at .386, third in home runs with five and fourth in RBIs with 18.

CATS Medical Services assistant athletic trainer Bruce Johnston said he could not release any information regarding Parks’ injury or the timetable for her return to the field.

“I don’t have her release to talk to you about [the injury],” Johnston said.

Wildcats preparing for long road trip

Unlike fall sports, there is a week period of class recess for spring break. Instead of heading to a festive location, Arizona softball will be on the road playing five games before March 19 and two more road games on March 21.

With those games coming over spring break, players such as sophomore pitcher Michelle Floyd said that it’s easier knowing the players will not have school work to make up when they return.

“It’s kind of nice that it’s during spring break, so it’s not like we have to miss school or anything,” Floyd said. “That takes a lot of pressure off, actually. It becomes a lot more stressful when you have to [make] up classes and you’re on the road.”

The Wildcats don’t have another home game until March 27 when ASU comes to Hillenbrand Stadium to open the home portion of the conference season.

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Follow Roberto Payne on Twitter.

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