Mowatt knew she would be a Wildcat

When Taryne Mowatt received notice that Arizona head coach Mike Candrea was interested in recruiting her, she knew she would end up in a Wildcat uniform. Mowatt, a standout pitcher/infielder for Corona (Santiago), Calif., is the newest addition in the long line of Arizona's extremely talented pitchers and will arrive at the UA as arguably the nation's top pitching prospect.

Arizona was not the only school to knock on her door. UCLA, Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma and Cal also came calling.

"I was considering UCLA, Texas and Arizona most," Mowatt said. "But as it got later in the recruiting process I knew Arizona was where I wanted to go, so that was the only place I was considering. The (UA) coaches seemed more honest and straight up on everything, good or bad. And just their relationships with the players was so personal, like it was a family."

Mowatt had plenty of help choosing a school, but the decision was really hers to make.

"Nobody really influenced me except my parents," Mowatt said. "And even then it was mostly me who wanted to go to Arizona, my parents would have been happy no matter where I went."

Mowatt made her decision during her sophomore year, but it was her official campus visit during her junior season that was something special.

"I got to Tucson Thursday and all the girls were in my room and the room was all decorated," Mowatt said. "And when I stepped into the room, they all started singing the Arizona Fight Song. Then on Friday I did all my meetings with the athletic and academic advisors and the doctor at the school. Then we went to lunch and at night we went out to Old Chicago for Coach Candrea's son's birthday. After dinner I went out with the girls, and on Saturday we went to brunch and to the football game. I got to go on the field for the kickoff and we all got on the big screen."

Mowatt earned numerous trophies during her high school career. She was named CIF Southern Section honors and was a three-time League MVP, 1st team all-League selection and CalHiSports All-State each of her first three seasons. As a sophomore and junior Mowatt was named Student Sports All-American and led the CIF Southern Section in strikeouts. She went 25-4 as a junior with a 0.16 ERA. She also pitched 88 consecutive scoreless inning during that stretch. She was not only the top pitcher in the CIF Southern Section but considered one of the top four pitchers in the country. Now, Mowatt is anxious to step it up to the next level.

"I am looking forward to getting to a higher level of competition," Mowatt said. "And playing with a group of great girls because they were all great when I met them. I like the fact Tucson is a college town and I liked the coaches and how they interacted with their players."

When asked who has helped her become the player she is today, Mowatt gives credit to her parents.

"My parents have always helped me," Mowatt said. "Making me practice, my dad was one of my coaches throughout most of the beginning when I started playing softball."

Then she mentions Doug Finch, the father and coach of Jenny Finch, one of Arizona's greatest players.

"Doug Finch was a big part because I have been taking pitching lessons with him since I was eight years old," Mowatt said. "Since I've taken pitching lessons from dad and she was always great, I looked up to Jennie Finch all of my life."

Like many of the best, Mowatt does not lack confidence in her ability as a pitcher. She also knows her strengths and weaknesses.

"I know how to get the job done when it counts and I don't fold under pressure," Mowatt said. "And I have a variety of different pitches that all work well. I would say one of my weaknesses is my height and size. But I don't feel that is a huge weakness, because it's something I have had to deal with my whole life and it hasn't really affected me yet."

When Mowatt puts on her UA uniform as a freshman, she will likely step in as a backup to Alicia Hollowell. She will also play first and third base. At first base, Mowatt will be behind junior Shelly Schultz. At third, she will play behind senior Jackie Coburn and she could also start some games as the DH (designated hitter).

"I would like to step right in through my pitching, fielding and batting to help win a national championship," Mowatt said.

She would also like to step in as a starter on the mound.

"Obviously Alicia (Hollowell) has proven herself," Mowatt said. "But hopefully I can go in and give her some competition."

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