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Athlete of the Week: Out-Fox-ing the competition

CLAIRE C. LAURENCE/Arizona Daily Wildcat
After being named USA Softball national player of the week, sophomore shortstop Kristie Fox earned the Wildcat's Athlete of the Week honors. Fox is hitting .542 on the season with four long balls and 16 RBIs.
By Tom Knauer
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
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Sophomore shortstop Kristie Fox has been phenomenal this season for the No. 1 Arizona softball team. The San Diego native leads the Wildcats in batting average, home runs and RBIs, and has produced often in the clutch. Her sacrifice fly in the eighth inning of game two of Arizona's doubleheader against Hawaii gave the team a 2-1 win. Fox stopped with the Arizona Daily Wildcat after practice to talk about big hits, helping her teammates score and a career with the FBI.

Wildcat: Bottom of the eighth against Hawaii. What are you looking to do?

Fox: Well, I'm trying to hit it hard on the ground or get up in air in the outfield, because (center fielder) Caitlin (Lowe) is so fast. I knew if I put the ball in play at all, that she'd definitely score.

Wildcat: You're leading the team in many offensive categories. Has the hot start surprised you?

Fox: I worked really hard in the fall to get my swing together, and coming out strong was really nice. But I don't know if I can say I was surprised by it.

Wildcat: You've said that having coach (Mike) Candrea here is a big reason why you decided to come to Arizona. What is your impression of him this year so far?

Fox: He's a great coach. He's taught me so much already in the short time that I've been here. I've learned a lot. (Editor's note: Candrea took a leave of absence last season to coach the USA National team in the Olympics.)

Wildcat: Would you say it's fair for someone to look at all the close games Arizona has had this year and say, "Well, what's going on here? I thought Arizona was the No. 1 team in the nation?"

Fox: Right now, it doesn't mean anything. We're winning the games - that's what counts. Look at us last year. We won every game (in) blowouts, and we didn't come through in the end. I think a big thing for us right now is to peak at the right time, and now's not when we need to peak, so that's OK.

Wildcat: Last year, you hit a home run off (former Arizona pitcher) Jennie Finch and the USA National team. Was that the biggest hit of your career so far?

Fox: I think it's been a hit that I've gotten the most recognition for, it being on TV and so many people seeing that game, and it being played over and over. It was a big hit in my career, but I don't know if I really think it was the biggest hit.

Wildcat: What would you say is your biggest hit?

Fox: (Pause) You know, I've played so many games and been in a lot of really important situations. I don't think I could just name one.

Wildcat: Who's harder to hit off, Finch or (junior) Alicia Hollowell?

Fox: Wow. Going right for the jugular (laughs). You know what, they both pitch differently. It just depends. They're both great pitchers, and they're both very hard to hit off of. I can't name one.

Wildcat: Is it true you want to work for the FBI?

Fox: Yes.

Wildcat: What would you like to investigate?

Fox: I'm not really sure what field in the FBI I want to go into yet. I guess I want to go into the academy and just see everything and just choose from there.

Wildcat: You hold the single-season records at Mount Carmel High School in batting average, hits, runs, stolen bases and doubles. Is that a goal you have for Arizona this year?

Fox: The stats don't really mean much to me. I just want to get my job done. We've got two great hitters in Caitlin and (junior outfielder) Autumn (Champion). I just want to score them and win games.

Wildcat: When do you think we'll start seeing some doubles?

Fox: I'm working on it.

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