recruiting players would be that difficult.
But the 26-year-old Evans, a former Hoover High standout and Arizona
All-American pitcher and Honda Sports Award winner for softball, said
that athletes these days are almost more concerned with failing than
playing for one of the best teams in the nation.
"I considered it a privilege to be recruited and to play at Arizona
and that's the concept I try to sell to recruits. To be the best, you
have to play with and against the best players,"Evans said from her home
"Some embrace that philosophy and really want that kind of a challenge
as a student-athlete.
"Others would rather not play in that kind of environment and opt for
a school with less expectations to do well which will put less pressure
on them as athletes."
The fact that Evans is on the other side of recruiting is a new
wrinkle as she just completed her third year as a Wildcat assistant after
finishing her playing career at Arizona in 1998.
That was the season that she finished 36-2 for the second-consecutive
year and led Arizona to the 1998 NCAA championship game, a 1-0 loss to
That loss was one of the few that Evans suffered as a collegian, as
she finished her career as the NCAA record holder with a winning
percentage of .939 and a career record of 124-8.
She also had an career earned-run average of 1.28 and pitched five
no-hitters. Evans knew what to do with a bat as well, finishing with a
career batting average of .339 with 17 home runs and 176 runs batted in.
In four years (1994, 1995, 1997 and 1998), Evans helped pitch the
Wildcats to NCAA titles in 1994 and 1997. Arizona also won in 1996, but
Evans was sidelined as a medical redshirt.
Coaching is almost the next best thing to playing. As an athlete at
Hoover, Evans played volleyball and basketball when it was clear that as
one of the best high school players in the nation. Softball was going to
be her ticket to college.
After her collegiate career ended and she graduated from Arizona in
1998, she could have left the sport gracefully and never looked back. But
she jumped at the chance to be an unpaid Wildcat volunteer assistant