UA softball transfer Kellie Fox follows in sister's footsteps
After attempting to forge her own path at UCLA, Kellie Fox chose to follow in her sister’s footsteps.
Fox, the newest Arizona softball player, transferred to the UA this month after two years at UCLA. The 2011 All-Pac-10 selection will replace Shelby Pendley after the All-Pac-12 shortstop left the team right before her sophomore season.
“It was just not the right fit for me and ultimately I just wanted to follow in my sister’s footsteps,” Fox said. “She had an amazing experience here and I just want to have the same experience she did, so I’m excited for the change.”
In 2012, Fox started all 56 games for the Bruins and was second on the team in steals. Fox will redshirt this year and start playing for Arizona in 2014.
“Kellie comes to us as a good player,” head coach Mike Candrea said. “She had an outstanding freshman year at UCLA, numbers went down a little bit her sophomore year, but I know who she is and where she comes from and she’ll be a very competitive player that will add a lot to this program.”
Fox is the younger sister of former Arizona star Kristie Fox. In June, Kristie was named head coach at the University of Texas at Arlington.
At Arizona, Kristie set the Women’s College World Series record for hits and won the national championship in 2006 and 2007, while playing with current Arizona assistant coach Alicia Hollowell and current director of operations Caitlin Lowe.
Fox said she considered Arlington, but found the lure of the Pac-12 too tempting.
““It’s [Texas Arlington] one of my other options,” Fox said, “but I kinda wanted to keep it in the Pac-12 because it was an awesome opportunity. I just had to go for it.”
In 2011, Fox was named to the All-Pac-10 First Team and the All-Freshman Team. She started all 55 games and was second on the team in home runs, second in RBIs and third in batting average.
Candrea said Fox is the first UCLA player to transfer to Arizona or vice versa.
“Unfortunately in this day and age you maybe see more of that, for one reason or another, but yes, it’s kind of an unusual thing,” Candrea said.
UCLA and Arizona have met in the championship round eight times, most recently in 2010. The Bruins have 11 NCAA championships; Arizona has eight.
“It’s definitely weird,” Fox said. “Since I’m redshirting this year — because I had an injury, I had a surgery — I’m hoping to get the feel of things, the hang of things. I have a little bit of time to get things under my belt.”
Candrea said that with the parity in college softball now, the UA is rivals with pretty much every Pac-12 team, but UCLA has always been a strong rival.
“Our rivalry goes back, back into the years when we kinda dominated, them or us, and they’re a quality team all the time and we look forward to the competition,” Candrea said. “I think that’s a health thing for our sport.”
Fox will replace Pendley starting next season. Last year, as a freshman, Pendley was Arizona’s only All-Pac-12 first team selection, leading the team with 19 home runs, two shy of the UA freshman record set by senior third baseman Brigette Del Ponte in 2010.
Pendley started all 57 games at shortstop. She was one of three Wildcats to start every game.
Pendley led the team in slugging (.703) and home runs and was second in batting average (.331), total bases (121) and runs (39).
Del Ponte, who practiced at short stop last week, is expected to replace Pendley this season, moving from third base.