#16 Arizona Softball 2015 Preview

Arizona Wildcats

Overall Rank: #16
Conference Rank: #5 Pac-12
#16 Arizona Softball 2015 Preview
Arizona Team Page


The Wildcats are one of the most storied programs in college softball and they showed that again last season by qualifying for the NCAA Tournament and working their way into the Super Regional round. Unfortunately for Arizona, they dropped two to Louisiana-Lafayette to end their season just short of the Women's College World Series.

2014: 44-16, 14-10
2014 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mike Candrea

Field Players:
Arizona had a ridiculously powerful lineup last season, with six players hitting double digit home runs and two hitting over 20. All six return. Chelsea Goodacre led the team with 22 home runs and 72 RBI. She also added 11 doubles. Katiyaga Mauga also hit 20 home runs and drove in 58. Kellie Fox had both 15 doubles and 15 home runs, while driving in 62 RBI and Hallie Wilson knocked 17 balls out of the yard, driving in 62 as well. Mo Mercado (11 home runs, 53 RBI) and Lauren Young (10 home runs and 27 RBI) were the other two with double-digit dingers.

As experienced as the offense is, the pitching is quite the opposite. Kenzie Fowler, Shelby Babcock and Estela Pinon all graduated, leaving Michelle Floyd and Nancy Bowling as the only two returnees. The Wildcats did add star pitcher Danielle O'Toole from San Diego State to help compete for a spot in the rotation and maybe even take the ace spot over. Trish Parks was also recruited as a pitcher, but as a freshman, and with the returnees, Arizona might not need to look to her to take up too much of a role.

Who to Watch:
The pitching staff. Bowling went 7-0 in 20 appearances and nine starts last season and Floyd went 4-0 in nine appearances and six starts. Neither has been an ace for the Wildcats so how they deal with the added time in the circle will be interesting to see. O'Toole is a huge pickup for the Wildcats. Last season, she was 31-10 with a 1.91 ERA and 196 strikeouts for the Aztecs. San Diego State is a good team and plays good competition, but the Mountain West isn't the Pac-12.

Final Projection:
The Wildcats will be crazy scary at the plate again. What's scary is that each of the players who had double digit home runs has seen their home run total rise every year. And Mauga and Mercado are only sophomores. The key will be the pitching. Arizona has always had stud pitching and the addition of O'Toole looks to help that tradition continue. The Wildcats will find out what type of team they are really fast. After starting with a weekend series with Oklahoma State and a home tournament, the Wildcats travel to the Mary Nutter Classic, where they'll face Kentucky, Oklahoma, LSU, Northwestern and Missouri. Two weeks later at the Judi Garman Classic, Arizona will face Florida, Auburn, Long Beach State, Baylor and Fresno State.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Mo Mercado, IF, 179
Hits: Hallie Wilson, UTL, 72
Home Runs: Chelsea Goodacre, C, 22
RBIs: Chelsea Goodacre, C, 72
Runs: Hallie Wilson, UTL, 73
Stolen Bases: Chelsea Suitos, UTL, 8

Wins: Nancy Bowling, P, 7
Innings Pitched: Nancy Bowling, P, 55
Strikeouts: Nancy Bowling, P, 65
Complete Games: Nancy Bowling, P, 3

Madness 2015 NPF Draft Rankings:
#3 Hallie Wilson
#12 Kellie Fox

Madness 2015 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#38 Ashleigh Hughes


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