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O'Toole, Mauga & Coach Candrea Honored by Pac-12 - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

O'Toole, Mauga & Coach Candrea Honored by Pac-12

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As the Arizona softball squad gears up for the NCAA Regionals (set to begin against border southwest rival New Mexico State on Friday) here's more from Arizona Athletics with a look at the post-season awards:

Arizona softball's Danielle O'Toole was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year, Katiyana Mauga was selected as Co-Pac-12 Player of the Year and Mike Candrea was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year, highlighting Arizona's representation on the annual Pac-12 softball awards.
 
In all, 10 Wildcats were honored by the conference, including a league-leading five first-team selections. Arizona's selections are below.
 
Coach of the Year: Mike Candrea

Co-Player of the Year: Katiyana Mauga
 
Pitcher of the Year: Danielle O'Toole
 
All-Pac-12 First Team: Jessie HarperKatiyana MaugaMo MercadoDanielle O'TooleMandie Perez
 
All-Pac-12 Second Team: Ashleigh HughesTaylor McQuillinAlyssa Palomino
 
All-Pac-12 Third Team: Reyna Carranco
 
Pac-12 All-Freshman Team: Reyna CarrancoJessie HarperDejah MulipolaAlyssa Palomino
 
Pac-12 All-Defensive Team: Mo MercadoDanielle O'Toole
 
O'Toole becomes the first pitcher since Alicia Hollowell to win Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year while Mauga is Arizona's first conference player of the year since Caitlin Lowe in 2005. This is the first year in which Arizona has had both the pitcher and player of the year.
 
The two seniors are two of 10 finalists for USA Softball Player of the Year and one of only two pitcher/hitter duos with more than 20 victories and 20 home runs.
 
O'Toole is earning her second first-team all-Pac-12 recognition as well as second all-defensive team nod in as many years. The senior leads the Pac-12 in ERA (1.08), victories (27) and strikeouts (191). The senior has thrown eight shutouts this season, including five vs. ranked opponents and her first career no-hitter vs. No. 6 Washington. O'Toole was a two-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week and swept national player of the week honors for her no-no vs. the Huskies. O'Toole is one of six pitchers on the list.
 
Mauga is receiving her third first-team all-conference nod; the senior has been on the all-Pac-12 first or second team in all four years. Arizona's all-time leader in career home runs (89), Mauga leads the Pac-12 in homers and is second nationally with 22, currently tied for 13th most in a season in Arizona history. Mauga is first in the conference in slugging percentage as well, slugging .869 in 137 at-bats. The senior leads the league with four Pac-12 Player of the Week honors. She's hitting .343 with a team-high 55 RBI on the year.

Candrea is earning his 12th conference coach of the year honor and first since 2007. Candrea, who became the fastest coach in NCAA history, any sport, any level, to 1,500 career wins in 2017. The skipper guided his program back to a league title this season, the 11th in program history and first in a decade. The Wildcats saw a 12-win increase from their regular season total from a year ago and have posted the most regular season wins since 2004.
 
Jessie Harper is one of three freshmen on the first-team all-conference list and becomes UA's first first-team all-conference freshman since Mauga in 2014. Harper, one of 11 finalists for NFCA/Schutt Sports DI Freshman of the Year, is tied for the freshman lead in home runs in the NCAA this season with 19, two shy of the Arizona freshman record. The three-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week and two-time Pac-12 Player of the Week is hitting .354 and has started every game this season for the Wildcats. Harper ranks second in the Pac-12 with a .793 slugging percentage, currently second highest by a UA freshman. Harper ranks in the top-10 in the Pac-12 in homers (2nd – 19), RBI (5th – 52), slugging percentage (2nd – .793) and total bases (1st – 139).
 
Mercado is making her first appearance on the all-conference first team after being a second-team selection last season and receiving honorable mention as a freshman and sophomore. This marks her second straight year on the all-defensive team. Mercado leads the team with a .391 average in 55 starts at shortstop. The senior has 13 doubles, 10 homers and 49 RBI on the year.
 
Perez is earning her second straight all-conference first-team nod after two years on the honorable mention. Perez leads the Pac-12 with 60 runs scored and is second with 63 hits. Perez leads the Wildcats with a .488 on-base percentage thanks to 31 walks and a team-high eight hit-by-pitches. Perez is hitting .375 with eight doubles, four homers and 33 RBI.
 
Hughes is receiving her first career all-conference selection with her second-team citation. Hughes is second on the team with a .378 average in 51 starts. The junior outfielder is fourth in the league, hitting .387 in Pac-12 play. Hughes is tied for the team lead with five steals in five attempts.
 
McQuillin is also receiving her first career all-conference selection as a member of the second team. The sophomore is 15-3 on the season in 22 appearances. Her 1.87 ERA is seventh in the Pac-12 while her 143 strikeouts are fourth in the conference. McQuillin has five shutouts this season, including a two-hitter vs. No. 6 Washington.
 
Palomino was named second team all-conference and an all-freshman performer. Palomino is third in the Pac-12 with 16 home runs and 54 RBI. Her 16 homers rank eighth in Arizona history in homers for a freshman, her 54 RBI rank eighth in UA freshman history while her .711 slugging percentage ranks sixth.
 
Carranco, a member of the third team as well as the all-freshman team, has been one of Arizona's most consistent bats down the stretch, hitting .309 on the season, but .419 in Pac-12 play, second best average in the conference.
 
Mulipola, a Pac-12 all-freshman performer, is hitting .333 with 11 doubles, 11 homers and 46 RBI. Mulipola has caught all but one game for the Wildcats this season, posting a .997 fielding percentage in 360 chances behind the plate.
 
Follow Arizona Softball: For further coverage of Arizona softball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and follow the team's Twitter and Instagram accounts (@UA_Softball).
 

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