10 Years Later, Taryne Mowatt Looking To Bring Arizona Back WCWS Glory

Arizona Softball was one game away from returning to the Women's College World Series and looking to compete for the 2017 national title.

After a dominant regular season, the Wildcats earned the No. 2 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament. They carried that domination into the Regionals, easily advancing to the Super Regionals on their home field. Then the Cats ran into the Bears, and despite Arizona taking game one Baylor strung together late rallies to win games two and three, punching their ticket to OKC.

The loss was a crushing end to the year, but it also led to offseason introspection and eventually some changes for 2018.

Enter Taryne Mowatt, the legendary Arizona softball star and former WCWS MVP, who was recently named new pitching coach.

Mowatt is replacing Stacy Iveson, who moved into an administrative role to help Arizona's recruiting efforts. Head coach Mike Candrea was pleased with the move, shifting Iveson to an important role overseeing operations while Mowatt took over pitching duties.

"After a search, it was a foregone conclusion that Taryne Mowatt was very qualified and ready to come back and lead the pitchers," Candrea said in an announcement. "I think she'll bring great energy and passion for the program and a face that the kids we're recruiting can still relate to."

Why Is Taryne Mowatt So Important for Arizona Softball?

The importance of having Taryne Mowatt on the Arizona Softball staff cannot be understated. She is the visible link to the last WCWS title success for this proud softball program.

For Arizona, what once was a common occurrence has now eluded two cycles of Wildcats players.

Arizona has won eight national titles in their program history, second only to UCLA in college softball history. However, the Cats' last national championship was in 2007 when Mowatt was the WCWS MVP.

Since then, Arizona has not tasted title success. Arizona lost the WCWS championship to UCLA in 2010, then chief rival Arizona State won the title in 2011. Ouch.

Now, Taryne Mowatt has returned to Arizona looking to make things right again. What kind of juice can she offer this group of Wildcats who were just kids when Mowatt was dominating in the circle?

Mowatt Bringing Ole Miss Magic To Arizona

Prior to returning to Arizona this offseason, Taryne Mowatt was the pitching coach at Ole Miss.

That included helping Ole Miss pull off one of the most magical, improbable conference tournament victories in recent memory when the Rebels shut down four straight SEC opponents en route to winning the conference.

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No one will forget Rebels start Kaitlin Lee pitching 28 straight innings of amazing softball to lead her team to a conference title and the NCAA Tournament. There is no doubt that she got some of that magic working with Mowatt.

"Taryne is a fierce competitor," Candrea said. "She pitched with a chip on her shoulder. She's the type of coach that will develop our pitchers to be the same competitive athlete that she was.

"She's gained great experience the last three years in the SEC facing good competition each every week, which will help her in the Pac-12. She has a great vision on what needs to be done; now it's about getting the kids to buy in to the approach that it takes to get things done. I'm thrilled to have her. She's a hard worker and has matured a lot since I had her as a player. She's got a passion for coaching."

After making the NCAA Tournament, Ole Miss made it through Regionals before losing two excruciating one-run games to UCLA in the Supers. Now, coach Mowatt is returning to the Pac-12 for more battles with UCLA, plus elite programs like Oregon and Washington.

How long will it take for Arizona to get back in the WCWS championship? Will they finally end the decade-long drought of not capturing another title under Candrea?

We'll see if Taryne Mowatt is the missing piece of the coaching staff to bring Arizona back to national prominence.

THE Spring Games Weekly Viewing Guide

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THE Spring Games is back. With almost 400 college softball teams participating, THE Spring Games is undoubtedly the largest college softball event in the world.

Heart Over Height, Julie Graf Makes Her Mark At St. Olaf

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Even though she grew up in Sammamish, Washington, St. Olaf College righthander Julie Graf was an avid New York Yankees fan. It had more to do with her parents, Paul and Barb, being East Coast transplants and lifelong fans themselves than anything else (with all due respect to the major league team 30 minutes away).

Will Norco Softball Dominate & Capture Another CIF Title?

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Heading into last weekend’s Dave Kops Tournament of Champions in the Arizona desert, the consensus No. 1 team in the nation, the Norco HS Cougars, had previously returned home to Riverside County with the tournament championship three times.

No. 24 Indianapolis Shuts Out Urbana & Minnesota Duluth

The No. 24 UIndy softball team (17-5) had a particularly memorable pitching day Wednesday, as sophomore Halie Waters and freshman Amy Kaniewski combined to allow just four hits in a pair of shutout wins at THE Spring Games. In their final day of competition in the Sunshine State, the Greyhounds topped both Urbana and Minnesota Duluth by identical scores of 3-0.

No. 22 Southern New Hampshire Sweeps Molloy At THE Spring Games

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No. 22 Southern New Hampshire sweeps Molloy.

No. 2 Illinois Wesleyan Takes Down Amherst & Millsaps

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The No. 2-ranked Illinois Wesleyan softball team defeated Millsaps College, 2-1, and downed Amherst, 8-0, on the team's second day of action at THE Spring Games in Clermont, Fla., on Wednesday, March 13.

Moving Up In The Rankings, Augustana Finishes Strong At THE Spring Games

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Playing for the final time during their spring break trip in Florida, the No. 18 Augustana softball team made a significant statement on the diamond. The Vikings picked up a pair of wins, starting with an 8-0 win over Nyack (NY), and closing out the day with a 12-0 no-hitter over Millersville (PA). Augustana picks up their eighth straight win and moves to 16-4 (0-0 NSIC) on the year.

What To Watch: Illinois Wesleyan vs. Rowan Rematch At THE Spring Games

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This week’s action at the Spring Games in Clermont, Florida will feature a Saturday evening matchup between last season’s NCAA Division III Runner-up Illinois Wesleyan and reigning New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Champion Rowan.

What To Watch For At The Easton Invitational

College Softball Is Here

March 14-17 the Easton Invitational kicks off with Cal State Fullerton headlining the bill along with Boston University, DePaul, Iowa State, Harvard, Charleston, and Long Beach State LIVE on FloSoftball. 

No. 3 UT Tyler Edges Out DII No. 22 Augustana

Augustana vs. Texas-Tyler

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CLERMONT, Fla.—Division III No. 3 University of Texas at Tyler Softball (13-1) defeated NCAA Division II opponent No. 22 Augustana University (8-5) with a 7-6 score Saturday evening at THE Spring Games.