By Craig Degel
Arizona Daily Wildcat April 3, 1996
Arizona has just finished what would normally be considered its toughest weekend of the Pacific 10 Conference softball season.
But as Arizona head coach Mike Candrea will tell you, the conference schedule is tougher than ever before.
There are no weak teams.
There is no time to rest.
With that in mind, here are your notes for the Arizona softball team.
Running on empty: It's probably a good thing the team took Monday off. Junior Carrie Dolan probably would have collapsed from exhaustion if they had not.
Dolan pitched all 14 innings of the doubleheader sweep against UCLA on Friday. That is nothing new for a pitcher, but on Sunday against Washington, Dolan pitched UA (30-4 overall, 3-1 in the Pac-10) into the ninth inning before simply running out of gas. In that ninth, Dolan gave up six runs on five hits.
"It makes me wonder what we're going to be able to do (in doubleheaders) from here on out," Candrea said.
The answer may be freshman Lisa Pitt. She has been inconsistent at times (i.e., giving up nine runs to a weak North Carolina team), and at other times she has shown the ability to get the job done (she beat No. 3 Washington in the second game on Sunday).
The question now is whether or not she can do what she did on Sunday consistently.
"For (Carrie), yes I hope so," Pitt said.
"If she can throw like she did against Washington," Candrea said. "She can throw against anybody."
A game of inches: UA eventually lost Sunday's first game, but not before some sterling defense was exhibited by both teams' center fielders.
In the top of the third inning with runners at first and second and two outs, Washington's Mindy Williams smacked a fly ball into the gap in left center field. UA sophomore Alison Johnsen raced over and made a leaping over-the-fence catch to rob Williams of a home run and UW of a 7-1 lead.
But it was Husky center fielder Shelly Brown's play that meant the most in the game.
Tied at 4 in the bottom of the seventh, Arizona was threatening to win the game. Senior third baseman Krista Gomez had stolen second base and with two outs, Johnsen stepped to the plate. She lifted a fly ball into shallow center but Brown made a spectacular diving catch to send the game into extra innings.
"There were some fantastic plays," Candrea said. "When you get two good teams together you expect to see those kind of plays. We were an inch away from winning that game."
This, that and other things: After starting her season 0-for-24, transfer Tiana Hejduk is starting to find her groove. Over the weekend the junior first baseman was 2-for-5 with 5 RBI including the game-winning RBI against UCLA... The 10-4 loss to UW was the most runs given up by Arizona since losing to Cal State-Fullerton 9-4 on April 9 of last season... UA is 10-2 against ranked teams this year.