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2022 Arizona softball media day observations

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Screenshot of Arizona softball head coach Caitlin Lowe (left) and Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke (right) during Lowe's introductory press conference in McKale Center on June 9, 2021.

Arizona softball is ready to start a new chapter

The Arizona softball softball team comes into the 2022 season with the usual high expectations for the program, but also with a few question marks. Still, the expectations remain high, as they are ranked No. 15 to start the season. 

The biggest question mark is that it will be the first season since 1986 where Arizona will have a new head coach. Caitlin Lowe replaces the legendary Mike Candrea as head coach after being on the staff full-time since 2015. Lowe was hand-picked by Candrea, and this move was something that seemed to be in motion ever since she joined the staff seven years ago. 

Lowe talked about the support she has been given by Candrea.

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“He was here early and at every game in the fall, and he’s just a big supporter, and even this past week he said, ‘Okay let me see your starting lineup," Lowe said. "I love bouncing things off of him, and I love having his perspective on things, especially maybe even more now because he’s an outsider to it. I love anything he can give me as far as insight. Overall, I’m very excited, and regardless, he will be a big part of this season too.”

Lowe’s playing career is legendary. She’s a former gold medal Olympian in 2008, as well as a four-time first-team All-American and a winner of back-to-back College World Series championships in 2006 and 2007.

Lowe’s coaching staff is also full of talent, including Taryne Mowatt-McKinney staying in place as the pitching coach. Lauren Lappin is a newcomer to the staff after having previous head coaching experience for the Chicago Bandits, and then also as an assistant coach for the University of Missouri-St. Louis softball program. Ray Camacho returns as a volunteer assistant coach and Stacy Iveson will also continue as director of recruiting and operations.

RELATED: Arizona WBB’s Sam Thomas named a finalist for Senior CLASS Award

Other quick notes

Redshirt sophomore catcher Sharlize Palacios spoke about the pitchers she will play with this coming season and was feeling hopeful. 

“We know what we are going to get with [Hannah Bowen]. She’s a competitor, she’s awesome and I think our pitchers are doing a really great job of stepping into the role of trying to help out this pitching staff," Palacios said. "I think Coach T has done a really good job of just getting them ready and having them ready to go whenever we need them."

Redshirt senior pitcher, Hannah Bowen spoke about her leadership and what she will bring to the team. 

“I’m a quieter type of a leader, I’m not the one that’s going to be talking, I like to lead by example," Bowen said. "With having such a young team, I don’t need to worry about leading that much about leading the team, because they know our common goal and they know what we want to be at the end of the year.”

Redshirt sophomore outfielder Janelle Meoño spoke about the expectations on the season for both herself and the team.

 “The expectations come with a bit of mental preparation, I try not to let these expectations get too big and put so much pressure on myself, even though I know pressure is a good thing sometimes," Meoño said. "I can’t allow it to get to my head, I just need to go out there and play my game, I know what I can do and just need to have fun with it.”

All three players also mentioned how they believe Lowe is more than ready for this job and that the differences between her and Candrea aren’t as many as some might think.


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