By Scottie Bricker
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 3, 1998

Reitan, Parra first to have numbers retired


Wildcat File Photo
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Julie Reitan

After this weekend's softball games, no one will ever wear an Arizona softball uniform with the numbers 1 or 10 on the back.

The Wildcats are set to retire the first two numbers in the history of the program, one each before Pacific 10 Conference doubleheaders against UCLA tonight at 6 and third-ranked Washington tomorrow at 6 p.m.

All-America pitcher Susie Parra, now an assistant coach at Cal State-Fullerton, and left fielder Julie Reitan, who died last summer due to hypoglycemia, will have their numbers retired in a ceremony before the start of the games.

Parra's number will be retired tonight against the Bruins while Reitan's ceremony will be tomorrow against the Huskies.

Both ceremonies begin at 5:45 with the first pitch to follow.

Heading into what may prove to be the pivotal homestand of the season, the Arizona softball team has plenty of other things on its mind outside of UCLA, Washington and fourth-ranked Fresno State, who Arizona meets Tuesday night.

"Julie is constantly on our minds," senior pitcher Nancy Evans said. "It is still hard to believe she is gone."

A reminder of her always-cheery influence already adorns the Hillenbrand Stadium outfield.

A diamond-shaped sign with the number 10 in the middle is anchored appropriately to the wall in left field, a position she occupied for two years.

Meanwhile, Parra's ceremony will honor one of the greatest pitchers to ever don the cardinal and navy.

In her four seasons in the circle, Parra compiled a record of 101 wins against nine losses, while establishing a career ERA of 0.63. She struck out 874 batters, nearly five times the number she walked.

Her senior year, she also hit .342 with 14 home runs and 38 RBI.

The honor is one Parra said she will treasure for a long time.

"This means a great deal to me mostly because when I look back on my decision to attend Arizona, I am 100 percent glad I made the choice," Parra said. "The Arizona tradition is very impressive and I enjoyed playing there so much."

As for this weekend's games, the Wildcats will face a Bruin team struggling to survive the trials and tribulations of redshirting six of its nine starters from last year's national runner-up squad.

"It has been a real challenge this season," Bruin head coach Sue Enquist said. "As for this weekend, Arizona is extremely talented and we just hope to be competitive with them."

The Huskies, on the other hand, appear to be one of the few teams with a legitimate shot at dethroning the two-time defending National Champions.

Washington features the sister of Arizona freshman Nicole Giordano.

The Huskies' Jeanine, a junior catcher, will be competing against her younger sibling for the first time in opposing collegiate uniforms.

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