Arizona and Villanova both familiar with playing at Bogle Park

By Jason Pattyson
on 2024-05-16 23:55 PM


FAYETTEVILLE – Arizona and Villanova enter the Fayetteville Regional with focus but, they also feel a sense of familiarity facing each other and playing Bogle Park. 

Villanova head softball Coach Bridget Orchard and her Wildcats (31-22) roll into Fayetteville after capturing the Big East Tourney title last weekend. They were winners of two of their last three league series before last weekend. 

“I think they have a lot of confidence. I think they love winning,” Orchard said about the team’s confidence. “They love the confidence, they trust themselves, they trust each other, I think, more importantly.”

No. 16 Arizona enters this regional with a (34-16-1) as the two seed. They fell to No. 6 UCLA in the final PAC 12 softball tourney. The Wildcats fell short of making the tourney in 2023 and, this team went to work soon after making sure that didn’t happen in 2024.

“Man, it kinda felt like the day after, they went to work, Arizona head coach Caitlin Lowe said. “I went to the office for the exit meetings and, I saw a ton of them coming into the weight room the day after we didn’t get in which is crazy. They didn’t take any time off and just went right to work. You can see the determination in their eyes throughout the fall.” 

Nova made their first-ever NCAA Regional appearance in program history in 2021 and Coach Orchard remembered it well. Arizona hosted but, Nova didn’t get a chance to face them that year. 

It’s hard to think about but, the fifth-year Villanova seniors on this team actually played in the Woo Pig Classic in the 2020 season and, they loved it here when they last visited. 

“I think then when it came up, when we were like, oh wow, we’re going, and, we’ve played at Bogle and, we loved it here,” Orchard said. 

Arizona also feels that the friendly confines of Bogle Park are great as they faced Arkansas in 2022 with the Razorback Invitational. 

“It’s awesome to come back here, we love playing in this ballpark.,” Lowe said. “As far as the energy, it’s a great softball town and I think that it’s going to be a packed house all weekend.

“It’s awesome to come back here, we love playing in this ballpark. As far as the energy, it’s a great softball town and I think that it’s going to be a packed house all weekend.”

Photo by John D. James

(Last updated: 2024-05-16 23:55 PM)