TUCSON, Arizona — Blaise Biringer remembers playing club softball games at Hillenbrand Stadium, as well as watching the Arizona Wildcats while growing up in Nogales.
"Especially with Carlie Scupin," said Biringer, referring to the Arizona first baseman who played for Tucson High. "We were close friends. We would always come here and watch them play. It's such a great team and a great program."
Biringer was a star for Cienega High School where she won two state championships. And, even though she was recruited by Arizona, she chose the SEC and Ole Miss.
"I just wanted to experience something different, especially the southern culture. I loved it over there."
As a freshman, Biringer, playing second base, was ninth in the SEC in hits. Last spring, by coincidence, Ole Miss happened to be selected to the NCAA Tucson Regional. Biringer got four hits in two games, but it was Arizona who moved on.
Afterwards, two Ole Miss coaches were accused of inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct. While they were cleared, it was one factor in her decision to transfer to Arizona.
"I just love what this program represents. It's bigger than itself. I just wanted to be closer to home and my family and represent my hometown. Ultimately, that's what it was."