Arizona Softball

They’re back: Arizona Wildcats return to NCAA tourney, heading to Fayetteville (Ark.) Regional

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The Arizona Wildcats are back in the NCAA softball tournament after last year’s hiatus that broke a 35-year run in the postseason.

Arizona (34-16-1) will open against the Villanova Wildcats (31-22) on Friday at 3 p.m. in the Fayetteville (Ark.) Regional, hosted by No. 12 seed Arkansas.

The Razorbacks (36-16) will host Southeast Missouri (28-24) at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

Arizona has a promising history in the regional round.
The Wildcats advanced out of 32 of the 35 regionals since 1987 and own a 101-12 record in the round overall.

Arizona has advanced to the super regional round in 16 of the 17 seasons since they began in 2005.

The Wildcats emerged from the Fayetteville Super Regional in 2021 by sweeping the Razorbacks in two games. Arkansas was the No. 5 seed of the NCAA tournament that year and Arizona was No. 11.

Arizona has one of the most dominant offenses in the nation which is ranked 12th in batting average (.330) and 19th in home runs (65). In the Pac-12, Arizona is first in batting average, hits (457), RBI (297), and runs (322).

Freshman centerfielder Regan Shockey leads the Wildcats and ranks third in the Pac-12 with a .413 batting average. She also leads the team and the conference with 76 hits. Her 76 hits is second among all NCAA freshmen and her batting average ranks fourth among NCAA freshmen.
The Wildcats also boast one of the best defenses in the nation that leads the Pac-12 and is ranked second in the NCAA with a .982 overall fielding percentage, currently the second-best fielding percentage by an Arizona team in program history. The Wildcats have four players who have a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage and placed four players on the Pac-12 All-Defensive team, the only team in the conference with multiple honorees.

Shortstop Tayler Biehl was named the Pac-12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year and first baseman Carlie Scupin (Tucson High grad) has recorded 1,128 career putouts which ranks 10th in Arizona history.

Villanova, which has only one player from west of Michigan, won the Big East title for the third time in four years this season.

Arizona has never played Villanova in softball.

The Wildcats have a 4-2 record against Big East teams DePaul and St. John’s in the NCAA tournament.

Arizona lost to DePaul in the 1999 College World Series but beat the Blue Demons in the 2007 CWS. They also beat the Blue Demons in two out of three games in the 2002 Minneapolis Regional.

Arizona beat St. John’s in the 2015 Tucson Regional.

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