WILSON RESIGNS; OTHER UPDATES
June 26 2011
WILSON RESIGNS ARIZONA POST
Wilson was head coach for 21 years at four different Division I schools, before taking a job coaching Wildcat pitchers in 2009. She helped mentor newcomer Kenzie Fowler to back-to-back NFCA All-America honors in 2010 and this year.
“I’m more than pleased to have been part of Arizona Softball for three seasons, but I’d like to return to having my own program,” Wilson said, She was coach at Oregon from 1986-89, taking the Ducks to the 1989 College World Series. She then coached at Minnesota in 1990 and 1991, taking them to post-season play before starting the program at Washington and leading them to six Women’s College World Series in a stint from 1992-2003. She headed the Texas Tech program from 2005-08.
“Teresa has been a great asset to our program,” said Candrea. “Her passion, knowledge of the game and work ethic have been second to none, he said.
Wilson played at Missouri from 1980-83 and left with school pitching records in half a dozen categories. She earned her degree in secondary education and journalism in 1984.
She won 1989 NCAA Coach of the Year and Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors at Oregon, Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1992 at Minnesota, and repeated as Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1996/2000 at Washington. Her Washington club, in its fourth year of existence, lost to Candrea’s UA team in the 1996 NCAA WCWS title game in Columbus, Ga. The Huskies began NCAA play under Wilson in 1993, competed in two WCWS title games, and won league titles twice. She is one of only six coaches to have ever taken two programs to the WCWS.
Candrea said he expects to have a replacement for Wilson on UA’s staff by the end of July.
Report from Anthony Gimino, Tucson Citizen
Wilson was at Arizona for three years, helping the team navigate to the championship round of the Women’s College World Series behind freshman pitcher Kenzie Fowler in 2010. But offseason changes to Fowler’s pitching motion — designed in part to eliminate the illegal pitch calls that dogged her at the World Series — didn’t stick. Fowler reverted to her previous motion and was pitching well before suffering a late-season concussion that cost her playing time and conditioning at the critical part of the year.
When the Arizona Wildcats softball team was eliminated from an NCAA Super Regional, coach Mike Candrea promised change. In less than a month, he has added a power-hitting transfer and lost a backup infielder.
The transfer is Jessica Spigner, a corner infielder from Tennessee who projects into the middle of Arizona’s lineup for the 2012 season. Spigner will have one season of eligibility at UA after hitting 38 home runs with the Vols.
“I know Arizona was a place she was interested in; she had come to some of our camps,” Candrea said Thursday afternoon. “It just so happened that things did not work out (at Tennessee) and she was looking for a place. She has done a pretty good job of swinging the bat for Tennessee, so she brings great experience at this level. “We could have a kid who could hit 15, 20 home runs and drive in a lot of runs.”
Spigner, who is from Santa Clarita, Calif., had a career batting average of .332 at Tennessee, starting 175 of the 176 games in which she played. She had a two-run double against Arizona’s Kenzie Fowler in the teams’ opening game of the 2010 College World Series.
Her transfer was first reported by the Knoxville News, which wrote that late last season “Spigner started sharing time at third base with sophomore All-American Raven Chavanne.”
Meanwhile, Candrea said sophomore infielder Matte Haack, who hit .130 in 23 at-bats last season, has decided to not return.
Spy has received unofficial reports of two important hires at the assistant coaching level for two major programs, but, Spy does not yet have official confirmation and does not publish rumors. In that regard, a widely circulated rumor in this age of social media concerning a high profile coach on the West Coast are not true.
USA Softball Women’s National Team Program Debuts 2011 Team
PLANT CITY, Fla. — The 2011 USA Softball Women’s National Team made their first appearance Saturday in Plant City, Fla., in two controlled exhibition games against the 2010-11 USA Softball Junior Women’s National at Plant City Stadium. With both teams playing their compatriots for experience before heading into international play, the Women’s National Team defeated the Junior Women’s National Team 13-1 in Game 1 and 12-0 in Game 2.
For 11 members of the Women’s National Team, including NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) co-Most Outstanding Player Michelle Moultrie, the Plant City exhibitions marked their first time in a USA uniform. Other newcomers to the program are Whitney Canion, Lauren Gibson, Kelly Grieve, Taylor Hoagland, Stacey May-Johnson, Christi Orgeron, Keilani Ricketts, Brittany Schutte, Rhea Taylor and Chelsea Thomas.
“We are really a young team as we have had only one practice heading into tonight. I was pretty excited for our athleticism, that we had eight different people hit home runs and for the pitch counts of our pitchers,” said National Team Head Coach Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla.). We have some basic base running and defensive play we need to go over but as far as an assessment of the first game, I would give it a B. We have a long road to be really, really good but I am excited. These are some good ball players, 1-18, so it’s nice to see them start to come together as a unit. It just takes time to really start to gel and through our exhibitions and training, we will be able to do that before International play.”
Kaitlin Cochran, Ashley Holcombe and Jenae Leles were all members of the 2009 Women’s National Team while Cochran and Holcombe were also on the squad that won the 2010 International Softball Federation (ISF) Women’s World Championship. Valerie Arioto, Molly Johnson, Megan Langenfeld and Jordan Taylor have international experience as pick up players for previous tournaments in Canada, Japan, and Venezuela. Arioto, Johnson, Langenfeld, Leles and Taylor also played on the USA Softball Women’s Futures National Team at the 2010 World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City.
The Women’s National Team had no offensive shortage, taking advantage of a Junior Women’s National Team that tinkered with defensive lineups throughout the night. The juniors used all but two members of its pitching staff in Game 1, saving incoming Florida pitcher Lauren Haeger and Dallas Escobedo, the co-Most Outstanding Player of the WCWS, for Game 2. Haeger struck out a team high three batters while Ally Carda, Escobedo and Nyree White each had a pair of strikeouts.
“For me as a pitcher, it was all about learning how to hit your spots better and working more off the plate than I am used to. Hitting wise, it was a great learning experience facing some great pitchers at top level,” said Carda of her experience facing the National Team. “For us as a team to put the ball into play against these great pitchers was amazing. For me I would like to get ahead in the count as that was my struggle tonight. As a team, we have great chemistry. We just need to work on putting all our base hits together because we are spreading them throughout the game now.”
Cochran, Gibson and Holcombe all had home runs for the National Team in Game 1 while Arioto, Hoagland, Leles, Orgeron and Schutte had homers in Game 2. The National team hit 10 hits in the first game. In Game 2, they had a combined 12 hits.
For the juniors, Carda, Destinee Martinez and Hallie Wilson had a hit in Game 1 with Carda scoring Martinez on a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth. They improved to five hits in Game 2. Carda, Lauren Chamberlain and Cheyenne Cordes each had one while Chelsea Goodacre contributed a pair. The team had 11 runners left on base throughout the doubleheader.
“We learned that you can’t throw a fatty down the middle. These girls are no joke. They have power. We need to execute the little things. Individually I need to learn how to hit the ball,” said Cordes. “As a team we have the chemistry we just need to pull it together.”
The Junior Women’s National Team athletes have not competed as a unit since the III Pan American Championship (18-Under) last August in Bogota, Colombia, where they went 9-0 for the Gold Medal. With the Colombian event serving as a qualifier for the ISF IX Junior Women’s World Championship in December, their focus is on preparing for the competition in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Women’s National Team and the Junior Women’s National Team will hold exhibition doubleheaders in Salem, Va., on June 29, and Bowie, Md., on July 1 before heading separate ways. The Women’s National Team will continue on to the Canadian Open FastPitch International Championship, July 9-17, in Surrey, B.C., and then the World Cup of Softball VI, July 21-25, in Oklahoma City. Ticket information for upcoming appearances is available at USASoftball.com.
The USA Softball Women’s National Team will seek the program’s ninth Pan American Games title, Oct. 17-23, in Guadalajara, Mexico for the final competition of 2011. Two months later, the juniors head to South Africa to close out the year for USA Softball.