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Former Arizona pitcher Hanah Bowen named San Diego softball’s pitching coach

arizona-wildcats-softball-hanah-bowen-san-diego-pitching-coach Photo by Mike Christy / Arizona Athletics

Hanah Bowen came to Arizona as a utility player. She became an integral part of the pitching staff that got the Wildcats to the Women’s College World Series twice after serving as a backup second baseman on the team that returned UA to Oklahoma City after a decade’s absence in 2018. That experience will now be used to mentor a new generation of pitchers at San Diego, which named Bowen its new pitching coach on Friday morning.

Bowen spent five seasons in a Wildcat uniform. She appeared in 128 games over her career, 77 as a pitcher and 51 in the field.

While she got limited playing time as a freshman in 2018, Bowen was called on to pitch and play second base her sophomore year. She pitched in just 10 games but appeared in the field 22 times as the Wildcats broke through to get back to the WCWS in 2019. She stepped into a starting role in the final 12 games of the season after an injury to starting second baseman Reyna Carranco.

The pandemic shortened Bowen’s true junior season, but she had the best offensive stats in a year when the team didn’t face any Pac-12 foes. Of her 14 appearances, 10 came in the field and she hit .346. In the circle, she went 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four appearances.

In 2021, the pitching staff was supposed to be led by Mariah Lopez and Alyssa Denham. Denham had a good year with a 1.95 ERA in 143.1 innings to lead the Wildcats, but it was Bowen who took over the role of No. 2 pitcher. Bowen went 10-4 with a 2.06 ERA. She led the staff in both WHIP (0.91) and batting average against (.199) in 102 IP. She threw a five-inning no-hitter against New Mexico on Feb. 20, 2021, the last no-hitter thrown in Hillenbrand Stadium by a Wildcat pitcher.

The 2021 season once again ended in Oklahoma City, where Bowen was the starter in Arizona’s opening game against Alabama.

Bowen returned for her fifth season in 2022. It was a difficult one for the Wildcats, who featured a lot of youth in key positions. Bowen dealt with injuries and was not with the team at times during the regular season. The team snuck into the postseason and then made a magical run to the program’s third straight WCWS. Bowen and fellow pitcher Devyn Netz were the major reasons why.

Bowen is from the San Deigo area.

“I am beyond excited to be back in my hometown representing San Diego and the opportunity to work alongside this coaching staff,” she was quoted in the program’s press release. “I am ready to get to work with the players and represent this prestigious university. I could not be more thrilled to be a Torero!”

She will not be the first Wildcat to serve as the Toreros’ pitching coach. Danielle O’Toole had the position in 2018 and 2019 when the volunteer assistant coaching position still existed.

The program is coming off a 23-29-1 season, including two losses to Arizona at the Bear Down Fiesta. The Toreros went 8-7 in WCC play.

The pitching staff had an ERA of 4.26, led by redshirt junior Courtney Rose with a 3.18 and redshirt senior Madison Earnshaw with a 3.23.