Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea will have perhaps his largest roster ever when he opens practice Monday. In fact, it has grown by one since the fall.
Outfielder Carli Campbell, a CDO graduate who spent last semester at Pima Community College, will be joining the team.
That was the plan from the start, as Campbell had, as a high school senior, accepted an invitation to be a preferred walk-on before briefly detouring at Pima.
“The coaches talked to me at the end of my junior year and they liked me as an athlete,” Campbell told AllSportsTucson.com in November 2015. “They told me I would get a chance to run and play outfield and I could earn a scholarship. I’m so excited, this has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid!”
Campbell was selected to our All-Southern Arizona softball team after last season. She hit .501 in her high school career, according to MaxPreps.com, with 31 stolen bases in 34 attempts.
Candrea will have a 23-player team in 2017, when Arizona will be trying to return to the Women’s College World Series for the first time since 2010.
“I felt really good about the fall,” Candrea said after fall practice in late October. “This team has shown me it has all the ingredients to make a deep run.”
With a big roster and a loaded lineup, Campbell doesn’t seem likely to have a big role right away, but her quickness and athleticism should be a boost moving forward.