UA looks for revenge against Beavers
Eric M. Jukelevics
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Freshman pitcher and first baseman Jennie Fench(27) holds at second base during a game against Notre Dame. The softball team will play Oregon State this Saturday at Hillenbrand Stadium.
The No. 2-ranked UA softball team heads out to the Hillenbrand Stadium with a double motive in mind this weekend.
On one hand, the Wildcats want to make a strong start in the Pacific 10 Conference and on the other, they're looking for sweet revenge against Oregon State.
The Wildcats (27-3 overall) will host the Oregon schools in doubleheaders tonight and tomorrow night at 6, coming off two losses last week at the Kia Klassic in Fullerton, Calif., to DePaul 2-0 and OSU 3-2.
"The loss to DePaul was a basic indication of lack of intensity and effort in the game," UA head coach Mike Candrea said. "We didn't control what we needed to control - our attitude and effort.
"We just went through the motions."
The Wildcats began the tournament by beating Cal State Northridge, 3-1. That game was followed by the DePaul loss, and then again they cushioned their victory record with a win against San Diego State, 10-5.
They dropped to the consolation round of the tournament after the OSU loss, and finished with a 6-0 shutout against Florida. Although the OSU loss did drop the Wildcats out of playing for the tournament championship, Candrea was more impressed with his team's style of play and how much it differed from the play in the DePaul loss.
"The kids fought hard," he said. "There were mistakes on my part. I'll take the blame for that game."
Candrea was referring to some hitting and run sending decisions he made for the team.
"But those are behind us," he said. "Now it's time to focus on the Pac-10 play."
And in doing so, the team is learning from its performance against DePaul.
"Mentally, we were not all out there on the field," sophomore shortstop/third baseman Toni Mascarenas said. "Our intensity was not at its best.
"At practice this week, we've been talking more. We're not just going through the motions, we're getting at the heart of the game."
The Wildcats are averaging 6.4 runs per game, with sophomore left fielder Lauren Bauer in the leading the team with a .506 average. Last week, sophomore leadoff hitter Nicole Giordano had eight hits in her 18 at-bats.
"We're excited to open up our season at home," Candrea said. "We're anxious to put in our practice and previous game skills into action to see if what we've done will pay off.
"The ability is there, we just need to step up for a big performance."
The No. 16-ranked Oregon Ducks (23-8) are coming off a 40-victory season a year ago. OSU (24-7) is ranked No. 12, with two big wins in the Fullerton tournament against UA and Texas. All rankings are of last week's NFCA poll.
The Wildcats first encounter the Ducks (23-8) tonight at 6.