Pac-12 Teams Begin Postseason

Eight Pac-12 teams earned NCAA Tournament bids, including No. 1 overall seed and Conference champion California. The Pac-12 last had eight teams in the postseason in 2007.

Cal, along with Arizona State (No. 3), Oregon (No. 11), UCLA (No. 12), Arizona (No. 13) and Washington (No. 16) will host regionals. Oregon State and Stanford will be on the road.

The road to the Women's College World Series begins Friday, May 18, for all teams except Oregon, whose regional starts Thursday, May 17.

The most successful conference in NCAA softball, Pac-12 teams have won 23 championships, including the last six.

Cal defeated Arizona State twice in the final weekend series of league play to secure the Pac-12 title. It is just the Golden Bears' second outright Conference championship and their first since 1987. Cal shared the Pac-10 crown in 2005. The team also finished the regular season as the unanimous No. 1 in both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls.

The Pac-12 announced its annual softball awards and the All-Conference and All-Freshman teams on Wednesday. Cal SR UTIL Valerie Arioto was named Player of the Year and her teammate, JR Jolene Henderson earned Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season. UCLA 3B Stephany LaRosa was named Freshman of the Year, Stanford SR SS Ashley Hansen was selected Defensive Player of the Year and Cal head coach Diane Ninemire garnered Coach of the Year. ASU SR SS Katelyn Boyd was named Pac-12 Batting Champion after leading all players with a .457 batting average.

Three Pac-12 players are among the 11 finalists for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. Arioto, Boyd and Henderson are in consideration for the most prestigious honor in collegiate softball. Boyd was one of the three finalists last season while Arioto made the list of 10 student-athletes in 2010.

Pac-12 athletes have received the honor four times, with Hansen winning the award last year. Other Conference recipients are UCLA catcher Stacey Nuveman (2002) and Washington pitcher Danielle Lawrie (2009, 2010).

Arizona SR OF Karissa Buchanan was named Pac-12 Player of the Week, and Cal's Arioto was named Pitcher of the Week in the final honors of the season. Arioto also earned USA Softball National Player of the Week.

UPCOMING NCAA SCHEDULE

Eugene Regional (Eugene, Ore.)
Thursday, May 17

BYU vs. Mississippi State 3 p.m. PT
Portland State at No. 11 Oregon 6 p.m. PT

Tucson Regional (Tucson, Ariz.)
Friday, May 18

Hawaii vs. Notre Dame 2:30 p.m. PT
North Dakota State at No. 13 Arizona 5 p.m. PT

Tempe Regional (Tempe, Ariz.)
Friday, May 18

Long Beach State vs. Syracuse 3:30 p.m. PT
LIU Brooklyn at No. 3 Arizona State 6:30 p.m. PT

Berkeley Regional (Berkeley, Calif.)
Friday, May 18

Boston University vs. Arkansas 5 p.m. PT
Iona at No. 1 California 7 p.m. PT

Norman Regional (Norman, Okla.)
Friday, May 18

Oregon State vs. Tulsa 5 p.m. CT
Lehigh at No. 4 Oklahoma 7:30 p.m. CT

Lafayette Regional (Lafayette, La.)
Friday, May 18

Stanford vs. Baylor 3:30 p.m. CT
Mississippi Valley State at No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette 6 p.m. CT

Los Angeles Regional (Los Angeles)
Friday, May 18

San Diego State vs. Florida State 3 p.m. PT
Hofstra at No. 12 UCLA 5:30 p.m. PT

Seattle Regional (Seattle)
Friday, May 18

Maryland vs. Texas Tech 3:30 p.m. PT
Harvard at No. 16 Washington 6 p.m. PT

All game times local to site and subject to change.

Regionals will take place May 18-20, with the exception of the Eugene Regional, which will be held May 17-19. Four teams will participate at each of 16 regional sites in a double-elimination tournament.

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