#12 Arizona Softball 2019 Preview

Arizona Wildcats
Overall Rank: #12
Conference Rank: #3 Pac-12
 Arizona Logo
Arizona put together another solid season by their standards as they won 43 games and went back to the Los Angeles Super Regional before falling to rival UCLA in two games. The Wildcats will have a new state of the art version of Rita Hillenbrand Stadium, which should catch the program back up with programs nationwide as Arizona had fallen too far behind in the softball stadium arms race. Head Coach Mike Candrea and his staff will bring back a team that is hungry to get back to Oklahoma City for the first time since 2010.
2018: 43-16, 13-11
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mike Candrea
Key Departed Players:
Ashleigh Hughes, UTIL, .273 BA, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 15 SB, 15 SB
Aleah Creighton, OF, .252 BA, 8 HR, 32 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza, OF, .363 BA, 19 HR, 42 RBI
Jessie Harper, INF, .340 BA, 18 HR, 51 RBI
Reyna Carranco, INF, .335 BA, 2 HR, 28 RBI
Dejah Mulipola, C, .313 BA, 12 HR, 36 RBI
Carli Campbell, OF, .300 BA, 0 HR, 7 RBI
Jenna Kean, OF, .271 BA, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 7 SB
Malia Martinez, INF, .262 BA, 4 HR, 23 RBI
Taylor McQuillin, P, 1.68 ERA, 28-12 W/L, 242.0 IP, 82 BB, 287 SO
Alyssa Denham, P, 1.85 ERA, 11-3 W/L, 106.0 IP, 26 BB, 72 SO
Arizona has the right recipe to attack a loaded schedule as they have plenty of experience returning in the everyday lineup and in the circle. Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza hit .363 with 19 homeruns and should be in position to potentially surpass those numbers. Jessie Harper is another big-time power threat as Harper belted 18 homeruns and drove in 51 runs last season. Dejah Mulipola just recently made the national team in a recent tryout and will be primed for very dominant season once again in 2019. Mulipola hit .313 last season with 12 homeruns, 39 runs batted in and was a rock defensively behind the plate at catcher. Taylor McQuillin is the type of player that is capable of putting a team on her back if necessary. McQuillin threw 242 innings and struck out 287 batters while only issuing 82 walks. Alyssa Denham is a quality number two starter who put together a strong 2018 season with 11 wins and a 1.85 earned run average. The season opens in Tampa at the USF Opening Weekend Invitational and will have games with the likes of Michigan, USF, and Florida. Alabama visits the following weekend as part of the Hillenbrand Invitational. The Mary Nutter tournament will include games with Oklahoma, Long Beach State, and Oklahoma State. Florida State also visits for a three game weekend series prior to conference play. If the Wildcats can stay consistent and win more away from Tucson, then they will contend for a Pac-12 title with a great chance to win it as they have Washington and UCLA back to back to end the regular season. Overall, look for Arizona to be at minimum a Super Regional team with a great shot to finally get back to Oklahoma City.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament