Some notable information on unseeded Arizona (38-20) and No. 7 Oklahoma State (46-12) heading into their opening round game of the Women’s College World Series at Oklahoma City (6:30 p.m., Tucson time, ESPN):
— Arizona is the only unseeded team to go undefeated in the postseason on the road in the Super Regional era.
— Series record with Oklahoma State: Arizona has faced Oklahoma State 30 times and holds a 20-10 record. The last time Arizona faced the Cowgirls was in 2019 at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic where Arizona beat Oklahoma State 3-0.
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— Even though Arizona has made three consecutive appearances at the WCWS, only six of Arizona’s 18 players (1/3 of the roster) have played in a game in the Women’s College World Series — Hanah Bowen, Giulia Koutsoyanopulos, Hannah “Peanut” Martinez, Janelle Meoño, Sharlize Palacios and Carlie Scupin.
— Arizona is heading to its 35th straight NCAA tournament. The Wildcats hold the NCAA record for most consecutive tournament appearances, which began in former head coach Mike Candrea’s second year at Arizona in 1987. Arizona’s 25 WCWS appearances and eight national championships are second most in NCAA history.
— Arizona legend Caitlin Lowe is coaching her alma mater in the WCWS in her first season at her alma mater. Oklahoma State is coached by Kenny Gajewski, who is in his seventh season with the Cowgirls after serving as an assistant at Florida. Gajewski coached in the Women’s College World Series on six occasions (2013, 2014, 2015, 2019, 2021, 2022) and won two national championships (2014 and 2015) withn the Gators.
— Arizona Softball (@ArizonaSoftball) June 2, 2022
— In 2019, he led Oklahoma State to its first WCWS appearance in eight seasons. Gajewski’s team has played in the NCAA postseason every season since his arrival, including three WCWS trips, six NCAA Regionals and three NCAA Super Regionals. He coached Oklahoma State to its first conference title of the Big 12 era when the Cowgirls upset No. 1 Oklahoma in the championship game of the 2022 Big 12 tournament.
— Of the eight teams in the WCWS, Arizona is tied with UCLA for second in batting average (324), only behind Okahoma who is hitting .369.
— Bowen has pitched three compete games and Devyn Netz two in the postseason. They are a combined 5-0 with a 1.17 ERA, allowing only six runs across 36 pitched. Netz has a 0.50 ERA and has only allowed one run across 14 innings this postseason. Only one batter has reached third base against her.
— Oklahoma State has three pitchers who have tallied a triple-digit single-season strikeout total for the first time in program history: Kelly Maxwell (279), Miranda Elish (128) and Morgan Day (104). Maxwell, Elish and Day have combined for 519 strikeouts this season, the second-highest single-season strikeout total in team history; the trio is the second OSU pitching staff to total 500 or more. Maxwell leads the Big 12 and ranks second nationally with 11.6 strikeouts per seven innings. She also ranks in the top 10 nationally in shutouts (fourth – 11) and fewest hits per seven innings (fifth – 3.44).
UA grads Ryan Radtke (play-by-play) & Leah O’Brien-Amico (analyst) will work WCWS starting today for @WestwoodOne national radio. O’Brien-Amico at UA 1993–97, winning three national titles. She earned gold medals at 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics with Team USA & @CoachCandreaUA. pic.twitter.com/n6TPnoHOuW
— Javier Morales (@JavierJMorales) June 2, 2022
— Conversely, Arizona’s offense is one of the best in the nation. The Wildcats lead the Pac-12 in batting average (.324) and hits (484). Arizona is second in the conference in RBI (335) and third in runs scored (355). Arizona ranks ninth nationally in home runs (95), 10th in home runs per game (1.61), 11th in slugging percentage (.565), and 12th in batting average.
— Arizona is the only team with three players in the top-6 in the conference in home runs and RBI. Allie Skaggs is first with 24 homers, Palacios and Scupin are fourth with 19 home runs each. Palacios is third with 62 RBIs, Skaggs is fourth with 58 RBIs and Scupin is sixth with 56 RBIs.
— Skaggs leads Arizona and the Pac-12, and is tied for fourth in the NCAA with her 24 home runs. She currently ranks 12th in Arizona history for home runs in a single season, tied with Chelsea Goodacre (who had 24 in 2015). She is presently tied for the Pac-12 lead with Washington’s Baylee Klingler, whose team was eliminated two weeks ago by Texas in the Seattle Regional.
ARIZONA SINGLE SEASON HOME RUN LEADERSWith one more home run, Allie Skaggs will become the Pac-12's leader this season and will join a five-way tie for the seventh-most in Arizona history.
|7 (tie)||Jenny Dalton||25||1996|
|7 (tie)||Leah Braatz||25||1998|
|7 (tie)||Toni Mascarenas||25||2001|
|7 (tie)||Lovieanne Jung||25||2003|
|7 (tie)||Katiyana Mauga||25||2017|
|12 (tie)||Chelsea Goodacre||24||2015|
|12 (tie)||Allie Skaggs||24||2022|
— Through five NCAA postseason games, two Oklaoma State starters are averaging above .350 at the plate led by former Oregon player Miranda Elish (.385) and Katelynn Carwile (.357). Julia Cottrill leads the team in NCAA postseason slugging percentage (.833). Elish, a graduate transfer who also played at Texas, is the older sister of Arizona freshman pitcher Madi Elish.
— The Cowgirls’ stolen-base percentage of .820 (64 of 78) ranks ninth in program history. They will test Arizona’s pitchers, infielders and Palacios at catcher. Chelsea Alexander has a team-high 20 stolen bases (in 22 attempts) followed by Brianna Evans (14 of 16) and Kiley Naomi (13 of 15).
— Both defenses are strong. Arizona has only one error in five postseason games (.991 team fielding percentage) while Oklahoma State boasts a .981 fielding percentage this season, which leads the Big 12 and ranks third nationally.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.