Former Wildcat athletes engaged on campus

Rebecca Marie Sasnett | Arizona Daily Wildcat

Former softball catcher Callista Balko (left) and former defensive end Ricky Elmore (right) became engaged on Friday at Hillenbrand Stadium after seven years of dating.

Former Arizona football defensive end Ricky Elmore became engaged to former Arizona softball catcher Callista Balko at Hillenbrand Stadium on Friday.

Balko, a member of the 2006 and 2007 NCAA champion Arizona softball teams, played four years of softball at Arizona and is among the program leaders in career fielding percentage and her 2,173 putouts are the most in program history.

Elmore, who was drafted 197th overall by the Green Bay Packers in the 2011 NFL Draft, said he planned his creative proposal well in advance and hoped Balko wouldn’t find out beforehand.

“She told me, ‘After seven and a half years, I can’t wait to see what you do to ask me to marry you.’.” Elmore said.

The lead up to the proposal had Balko stop at four different locations: the McKale Center computer lab, the visitor locker room at Arizona Stadium, Frog and Firkin and finally Hillenbrand Stadium.

Each spot held significance for their relationship.

Elmore proposed to Balko at the spot he first saw her at Hillenbrand Stadium. Balko was warming up in the home bullpen when he first laid eyes on her.

“As soon as I walked in (to the stadium), she was warming up in the bullpen.” Elmore said.

He added that he almost didn’t go to the softball game but was persuaded by a friend to go.

“He was like, ‘Come on bro, I’ll take you to dinner.” Elmore said.

Balko, now the director of regional development for Arizona Athletics, and Elmore met in December of their freshman year right before winter break.

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