Softball to Tangle with No. 1 Arizona
U. of Arizona Softball Page
Freshman Rachel Folden has hits in nine of ten games this season.
Photo by Matt Riley
The Marshall softball team will have its work cut out for it this weekend when it takes on No. 1 Arizona in addition to Northern Iowa and Hawaii in the Worth Wildcat Invitational in Tucson, Ariz.
MU (6-4) dropped three games this weekend, including two to Southeastern Conference opponent Auburn, at the Tiger Invite. The Herd finished in the runner-up spot to the Tigers as Jessica and Amanda Williams (Powder Springs, Ga.) and Rachel Folden (Baldwin Park, Calif.) were all selected to the all-tournament team. Folden, a freshman, continues to pace Marshall in nearly every offensive statistical category including hits (16), RBIs (11), and batting average (.533). On the mound, sophomore Abigail Harter (Monmouth, Ore.) is 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA. As a team, the Herd is batting a steady .304.
Standing in Marshall’s way will be arguably the top program in collegiate softball annals, the Arizona Wildcats. Arizona (6-0) snagged the top spot in the USA Softball poll this week after tying fellow PAC-10 squad California for the top team in the country a week prior. Of the 32 weeks the poll has been in existence, the Wildcats have been ranked first in 19. Head coach Mike Candrea has compiled a 982-191 record in his 20 years in Tucson and picked up a gold medal this summer as head coach of the 2004 USA Softball Team. Kristie Fox, named USA Softball National Player of the Week two weeks ago, is batting .733 with 10 runs, 11 hits and 13 RBI. On the mound, Alicia Hollowell does most of the damage. Hollowell is 3-0, including a five-inning perfect game in her last outing (an 8-0 win over UT-Chattanooga), with a .58 ERA.
Northern Iowa (3-2) participated in the Metrodome Classic in Minneapolis last weekend. Senior Tracy Davis and Amanda Hess were named to the all-tournament team. Davis leads the Panther offense with a .438 batting average coupled with seven hits and seven RBI. Hess, a freshman, has been a dominant force on the mound, boasting a 0.00 ERA and a 2-0 record. The Panthers were picked to finish ninth in the Missouri Valley Conference this season.
Hawaii (4-3) saw most of its action in the UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic washed out last weekend. This season, the Rainbow Wahine has dropped games to Oregon, Oklahoma State and BYU but picked up a big win over #9 Washington. Hawaii will play Arizona State in Tempe on Wednesday before arriving to Tucson.
MU will battle Hawaii on Friday and Saturday at 2 p.m., Arizona on Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m. and Northern Iowa on Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m. All times are Mountain Standard Time. This will be the first meeting between the Herd and all three schools.
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