Mike Candrea has never been in this position before: sitting in his office Tuesday, conducting year-end player interviews, while 16 teams across the country prepared for the NCAA tournament's super regional round.
Hallie Wilson and her Wildcats teammates were eliminated in regional play with two losses to Baylor in College Station, Texas.
The visiting Arizona Wildcats used a ninth-inning homer from Chelsea Goodacre and solid outings from pitchers Nancy Bowling and Estela Piñon on Saturday to win the regular-season finale and the series from No. 13 Stanford.
Their 27th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance all but guaranteed, the Arizona Wildcats nonetheless figure to find themselves in foreign territory when seeds are announced tonight at 7.
This year's tournament will be the last Wildcat hurrah for senior Brigette Del Ponte, being congratulated by coach Mike Candrea after a home run against Portland State in March.
They were two outs from making a good weekend remarkable.
Despite a three-hitter by starter Shelby Babcock on Sunday, the Arizona Wildcats softball team dropped its third consecutive 2-1 game to Oregon State in Corvallis, this time in extra innings.
Mike Candrea gathered his team down the left field line moments after the Arizona Wildcats' best win of the year Wednesday and told his players to remember what the last out felt like.
They matched the nation's best pitcher hit for hit, almost, but not run for run.
Cal's Khala Taylor steals second ahead of UA shortstop Brigette Del Ponte in the fifth inning of the second game. The Golden Bears beat Arizona 5-1 to sweep a doubleheader at the Wildcats' Hillenbrand Stadium.
Kenzie Fowler is pain-free and able to sleep at night now, her body feeling more normal after October back surgery.
When she returns as a fifth-year senior in 2014, Kenzie Fowler will be one of five pitchers. So the UA will likely be looking to use her at the plate.
When the Arizona Wildcats moved their Friday home game up to tonight, hoping to dodge rain, Chelsea Goodacre texted her parents.
UA's Chelsea Goodacre went 10 for 13 last weekend to move from seventh to second on the team in batting average.