Arizona Wildcats softball

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Arizona Wildcats
Arizona Wildcats athletic logo

University University of Arizona
Conference Pac-12
Location Tucson, AZ
Head Coach Mike Candrea (25th year)
Home Stadium Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium
(Capacity: 2,956)
Nickname Wildcats
Colors Cardinal and Blue

             

National Championships
1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2007
WCWS Appearances
1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Conference Champions
1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007

The Arizona Wildcats softball team represents the University of Arizona in NCAA Division I Softball. Having claimed eight national championships (second only to UCLA), the Arizona Softball program is one of the most successful in the history of the sport. The Wildcats play their home games at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium in Tucson, AZ. The current head coach is Mike Candrea who has been the head coach since 1986.

History[edit]

1974 to 1985[edit]

The Arizona Wildcats officially began softball play in 1974 under head coach Judy Spray in the Intermountain Conference. The first team in the school's history went 11-3 and participated in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) College World Series. The NCAA did not begin organizing women's softball until 1982, so the AIAW and DGWS sponsored the College World Series until that time. The 1975 team also participated in the AIAW College World Series. In 1977, the Wildcats finished second in the AIAW College World Series and just missed out on winning the tournament, and the 1979 also participated in the AIAW College World Series. However, after the 1979 season, the Wildcats failed to make the postseason again until 1987. From 1981 to 1986, the Wildcats were members of the Western Collegiate Athletic Association (WCAA), which renamed itself the Pacific West Conference (PacWest; not to be confused with the current NCAA Division II conference) for its final season.[1] The WCAA/PacWest folded after the 1986 season when the then-Pac-10, home to all five of the final PacWest members, began sponsoring women's sports.

Mike Candrea era[edit]

Mike Candrea was hired for the 1986 season to build the Wildcats program. In his first season, the Wildcats won 27 games and missed out on the postseason. However, in 1987, Arizona won 42 games and made the NCAA tournament for the first time since the NCAA began sponsoring the sport. In 1988, Candrea guided the Wildcats to 54 wins and an appearance in the Women's College World Series where the team finished tied for third place. From 1988 to 2003, the Wildcats made sixteen straight appearances in the Women's College World Series. Arizona's first national championship season came in 1991. The Wildcats went 56-16 that year. In 1992, the Wildcats won the school's first Pac-10 title and finished runner-up at the Women's College World Series. The Wildcats continued their hot streak throughout the 1990s winning national championships in 1993, 1994, 1996, and 1997. The 1994 team went 64-3 and was ranked #1 throughout the year. Arizona also claimed the Pac-10 championship in 1994, 1995, 1997, and 1998. The Wildcats experienced continued success in the 2000s winning another national title in 2001 after finishing that year 65-4. The Wildcats won the 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2007 conference titles. Candrea left Arizona to coach the USA National team in the 2004 Olympics, and Larry Ray was named the interim coach for the 2004 season. The 2004 team won 55 games but lost to the Oklahoma Sooners in the Regionals, which marked the first time since 1987 that the Wildcats did not make it to the Women's College World Series. Candrea returned in 2005, and the Wildcats again returned to Oklahoma City for the World Series. The 2006 Arizona team defeated the Northwestern Wildcats to capture the Wildcats' seventh national title and their first since 2001. The 2007 Wildcats repeated as national champions by defeating the Tennessee Lady Volunteers in the championship series after losing the opening game of the series. Larry Ray again was tagged the interim coach in 2008 when Candrea coached the U.S. National Team at the 2008 Olympics. The 2008 team again made it to the Women's College World Series finishing tied for seventh in the eight team field. The Wildcats participated in the World Series in both 2009 and 2010 finishing tied for seventh and second respectively.[2] In 2011, the Wildcats were eliminated in the NCAA Super Regional play by the Oklahoma Sooners.[3]

All-Americans by position[edit]

  • Pitcher: Debby Day, Julie Jones, Susie Parra, Carrie Dolan, Nancy Evans, Becky Lemke, Jennie Finch, Alicia Hollowell, and Taryne Mowatt
  • Catcher: Jody Miller-Pruitt, Leah Braatz, Leticia Pineda, Lindsey Collins, and Stacie Chambers
  • First Base: Julie Jones, Amy Chellevold, Leticia Pineda, Leneah Manuma, and Laine Roth
  • Second Base: Karen Fellenz and Jenny Dalton
  • Shortstop: Julie Standering, Laura Espinoza, Lovie Jung, and Kristie Fox
  • Third Base: Nicki Dennis, Krista Gomez, Toni Mascarenas, and Jenae Leles
  • Left Field: Vivian Holm, Alison Johnsen, Lauren Bauer, Brandi Shriver, Nicole Giordano, Autumn Champion, and Brittany Lastrapes
  • Center Field: Jamie Heggen, Leah O’Brien, Brandi Shriver, Alison Johnsen, Lauren Bauer, and Caitlin Lowe
  • Right Field: Brandi Shriver, Leah O’Brien, Nicole Giordano, and Courtney Fossatti
  • Designated Player: Wendy Allen [4]

Head coaches[edit]

Name Years Seasons Won Lost Tie Pct.
Judy Spray 1974–1976 3 45 18 0 .714
Ginny Parrish 1977–1979 3 82 40 0 .672
Rocky LaRose 1980 1 23 23 0 .500
Paula Noel 1981–1985 5 110 96 0 .534
Larry Ray (Interim) 2004, 2008 2 96 25 0 .793
Mike Candrea 1986–present 25 1313 302 2 .813
All-Time 38 1,669 504 2 .768

Year-by-year results[edit]

Season Coach Record Notes
Overall Conference
Intermountain Conference
1974 Judy Spray 11-3 AIAW College World Series
1975 13-8 AIAW College World Series
1976 21-7
1977 Ginny Parrish 22-14 6-2 AIAW College World Series
1978 16-11 3-6
1979 44-15 15-3 AIAW College World Series
Western Collegiate Athletic Association
1980 Rocky LaRose 23-23 2-14
1981 Paula Noel 24-20 5-11
1982 21-20 6-14
1983 20-24 7-12
1984 28-16 5-5
1985 17-16 5-7
Pacific West Conference
1986 Mike Candrea 27-13-1 5-6-1
Pacific-10 Conference
1987 Mike Candrea 42-18 6-4 NCAA Regional
1988 54-18 15-5 Women's College World Series
1989 48-19 11-9 Women's College World Series
1990 49-17 12-6 Women's College World Series
1991 56-16 11-9 Women's College World Series Champions
1992 58-7 16-2 Pac-10 Champions, Women's College World Series
1993 44-8 15-3 Women's College World Series Champions
1994 64-3 23-1 Pac-10 Champions, Women's College World Series Champions
1995 66-6 24-4 Pac-10 Champions, Women's College World Series
1996 58-9 23-5 Women's College World Series Champions
1997 61-5 26-1 Pac-10 Champions, Women's College World Series Champions
1998 67-4 27-1 Pac-10 Champions, Women's College World Series
1999 53-16 19-9 Women's College World Series
2000 59-9 16-4 Women's College World Series
2001 65-4 19-2 Pac-10 Champions, Women's College World Series Champions
2002 55-12 15-6 Women's College World Series
2003 56-7 19-2 Pac-10 Champions, Women's College World Series
2004 Larry Ray 55-6 17-3 Pac-10 Champions, NCAA Regional
2005 Mike Candrea 45-12 13-8 Pac-10 Champions, Women's College World Series
2006 54-11 15-6 Women's College World Series Champions
2007 50-14-1 15-5-1 Pac-10 Champions, Women's College World Series Champions
2008 Larry Ray 41-19 13-8 Women's College World Series
2009 Mike Candrea 46-17 13-7 Women's College World Series
2010 52-14 12-8 Women's College World Series
2011 43-18 11-10 NCAA Super Regional

National championships[edit]

ARIZONA WILDCATS SOFTBALL

NATIONAL
CHAMPIONS

1991

NATIONAL
CHAMPIONS

1993

NATIONAL
CHAMPIONS

1994

NATIONAL
CHAMPIONS

1996

NATIONAL
CHAMPIONS

1997

NATIONAL
CHAMPIONS

2001

NATIONAL
CHAMPIONS

2006

NATIONAL
CHAMPIONS

2007

Retired jerseys[edit]

RETIRED SOFTBALL JERSEYS

JENNY
DALTON


16

NANCY
EVANS


13

JENNIE
FINCH


27

SUSIE
PARRA


1

JULIE
REITAN


10

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]