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It's 'Fiesta' time for UA softball

By Kate Longworth
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 12, 1999
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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Jennie Finch The Freshman pitcher went 3-0 last weekend. The UA softball team plays in the Fiesta Bowl Tournament in Phoenix this weekend.

The UA softball team will try to improve its 5-0 record this weekend in the Fiesta Bowl Tournament in Phoenix.

The No. 2-ranked Wildcats swept the Pepsi Softball Classic last weekend and home beating Illinois-Chicago 5-0 and 14-1 Friday, New Mexico State 11-1 and 8-0 Saturday and No. 3 Washington 3-2 Sunday.

"It was a very good start," UA head coach Mike Candrea said of the team's play last weekend. "But we're still not where we want to be."

Players commented that this week, prior to the Fiesta Tournament, they practiced on their defense in the game and hitting tactics.

"We need to focus more on hitting, we're not as aggressive as we need to be," sophomore third baseman Tony Mascarenas said.

Both Candrea and the players commented the team out there this year is not the back-to-back Pacific 10 Conference championships team from last year which rested on the shoulders of All-Americans Nancy Evans, Leah Braatz, Leticia Pineda and Alison McCutcheon, who combined for a lot more power than is on this year's team. But Candrea said it would not be a problem to draw on different strengths with this new team.

"We are making things happen out there when we're up," he said.

Freshman pitcher Jennie Finch, who went 3-0 last weekend, was quick to point out the high points of this season's team.

"We play good defense," she said. "We are quick and speedy. We have the power, now we just have to work on some routine stuff. We have to get our timing down and perfect our hitting."

The Wildcats will have a chance to put their words and practice into reality, beginning this evening at 5:30 when they take on South Carolina, followed by games tomorrow afternoon at 1 and 3:30 against No. 10 Massachusetts and Maryland, respectively. The final test will be at noon Sunday when the Wildcats play No. 13 Long Beach State.