Editor's note: This summer, Star columnist Greg Hansen is counting down the top 10 of just about everything related to Tucson sports.
Today's list: The top 10 hits in UA softball history:
UCLA had forever been the recognized force of college softball, the New York Yankees of the sport, when Mike Candrea steered Arizona to the 1991 championship game.
To beat the Bruins, Arizona would have to beat feared pitcher Heather Compton, who had an ERA of 0.20, which is exactly a fifth of a run per game.
You need a little luck, right?
A day or two before the title game in Oklahoma City, Candrea stopped at Whataburger to eat. A man of many superstitions born from his baseball-playing days, Candrea noticed that his receipt order was No 1.
"They were giving out No. 265, No. 286," he would recall. "When mine came out, it was No. 1. I’ve got all these things with a No. 1 on them."
It was the omen of a coach’s lifetime.
In the third inning of a scoreless championship game, UA first baseman Julie Jones, a transfer from Arizona Western College, was at bat with the bases loaded. Two outs. She lined a triple to right-center field off the almost unhittable Compton.
Arizona won 5-1, its first of eight softball national championships.
"You knew it could happen, you want it to happen, but to make it happen is more than I could hope for," said Candrea, whose team beat the 56-7 Bruins in what some contend is the top game in UA softball history. It opened the gates for so much more.
Jones’ triple to bring down the Bruins is our choice as the No. 1 hit in UA softball history. Here’s the list: