Arizona softball coach Candrea signs another stellar recruiting classby Anthony Gimino on Nov. 12, 2010, under Sports
Arizona Wildcats softball coach Mike Candrea signed four players to national letters-of-intent this week, including a trio who play for the U.S. Junior Women’s National Team.
Those three are outfielder/first baseman Hallie Wilson, shortstop Shelby Pendley and catcher Chelsea Goodacre. They helped Team USA win the 18-under Pan American championship in August.
Candrea also added third baseman/outfielder Samantha Davis from Scottsdale Chaparral High School.
Wilson, from North Tustin, Calif., hit .432 as a junior at Foothill High School — the school that produced former UA All-American Caitlin Lowe — after batting .526 as a sophomore. The left-handed hitter has a well-rounded offensive game, with the ability to bunt, slap and take the ball out of the yard.
“She is definitely prepared to make an impact at this level,” Candrea said.
Pendley is a left-handed power hitter who hit .586 last season with 12 home runs at Rio Rancho (N.M.) High School — both marks ranked second in the New Mexico’s 5A classification. “She’s a big, strong hitter,” Candrea said. “She is definitely the best player out of Albuquerque in a long time.”
Goodacre, is another left-handed hitter with some pop. Goodacre, from Temecula, Calif., missed about six weeks of her junior season because of injury, but hit .507 in 21 games. “She has a strong arm and is very active vocally,” Candrea said. “She really enjoys playing the game. If she was a basketball player, they’d say she was a gym rat.”
Arizona has to replace four seniors after the 2011 season, including outfielder Brittany Lastrapes, outfielder Lauren Schutzler and catcher Stacie Chambers.
In addition to bringing in another excellent class, Candrea said he and his coaching staff already have filled their next recruiting class. The early commitment has become a recent trend in college softball.
“I don’t know if that’s a good thing,” he said.
“It can be good if you get the right people and they continue to grow and develop, but it can be bad if you get a kid who bottoms out and doesn’t get any better. This is fairly new to the softball world.
“I feel good that the kids that we have are in the upper pyramid. For the bottom to fall out, they would really have to crash hard.”
Candrea can’t talk about the players in the next recruiting class, but among those committed are pitcher Nancy Bowling from Royal High in Simi Valley, Calif., and shortstop Amanda Perez from Whittier (Calif.) Christian.
Arizona also has a known commitment from a high school sophomore — shortstop Alexis “Mo” Mercado, who is from Temecula, Calif.