This week in Pac-12 softball

UCLA Athletics

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• The ever-competitive Pac-12 softball season continues this week with a three-game series between two top-25 opponents as No. 8 UCLA hosts No. 18 CALIFORNIA. Top-ranked OREGON travels for a three-game series at STANFORD, while No. 16 ARIZONA heads to play at Utah and No. 21 ARIZONA STATE plays OREGON STATE at home.

• Seven Pac-12 players were named USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 26 Finalists last week. For a full list of national honors and watch lists, see page three of the PDF release. 

• Oregon’s Janelle Lindvall was voted Pac-12 Player of the Week, while fellow Duck Cheridan Hawkins took home her 10th-career Pitcher of the Week honor. Utah’s Heather Bowen was selected as Pac-12 Freshman of the Week. 

• HOT BATS: League play has largely been a showcase of some of the heaviest hitters in the nation. League teams are averaging a combined 12.36 runs per game in Pac-12 play (729 runs scored in 59 total games), with a scorching 15.97 hits per game average (942 hits total) and 2.59 home runs per game (153 home runs total).  

• NATIONAL LEADERS: Pac-12 teams account for five of the top-25 team batting averages in the nation, more than any other conference in the nation. League teams also have five of the top-25 team slugging percentages, which is tied for the best of any conference nationally, and five of the top-25 on-base percentages, which is the second-most of any conference.  

• WINNING MINDSETS: Eight of the league’s nine teams have won-lost percentages above .500 after the 10th week of the season. It continues a streak of winning percentages at this point in the season, as at least seven of the nine teams have had a mark above .500 the past three years, and at least seven of the eight Pac-10-era teams have stood at .500 or better every year since 1996, including a streak from 2002-08 when all eight teams were at .500 or better after 10 weeks of play. 

• POLL WATCHING: The Pac-12 has six teams in both polls for the ninth-straight week. Oregon took over No. 1 in the NFCA polling and remained at No. 2 in the USA Softball poll. The Ducks are followed by No. 8/8 UCLA, No. 16/15 Arizona, No. 18/19 California, No. 19/18 Washington and No. 21/21 Arizona State. The Pac-12 has had at least five teams ranked in both polls dating back 159 weeks to the first USA Softball poll in 2006. 

• COACHING MILESTONES: The Washington softball program hit its 1,000th win all-time this season. Arizona head coach Mike Candrea picked up his 1,400th win at the helm of the UA softball program. Arizona State head coach Craig Nicholson saw his 300th career victory with ASU’s win over Binghamton. California head coach Diane Ninemire picked up her 1,200th career win, coaching all 28 years at Cal. Utah coach Amy Hogue reached her 200th career win in eight years as Utah’s head coach. 

UPCOMING PAC-12 SOFTBALL SCHEDULE

Tuesday, Apr. 14
Santa Clara at #18 California, 3 p.m. PT

Wednesday, Apr. 15
St. Mary’s (CA) at Stanford, 6 p.m. PT

Friday, Apr. 17
#18 California at #8 UCLA * , 2 p.m. PT (P12N)
#16 Arizona at Utah * , 5 p.m. MT (P12N)
Oregon State at #21 Arizona State *, 7 p.m. PT

Saturday, Apr. 18
#2 Oregon at Stanford * , 3:30 p.m. PT (P12N)
#16 Arizona at Utah * , 4:30 p.m. MT (P12N)
#18 California at #8 UCLA * , 3:30 p.m. PT (P12N)
Oregon State at #21 Arizona State *, 7 p.m. PT

Sunday, Apr. 19
#16 Arizona at Utah * , 12 p.m. MT (P12N)
#18 California at #8 UCLA * , 11 a.m. PT (P12N)
Oregon State at #21 Arizona State *, 12 p.m. PT
#2 Oregon at Stanford * , 12 p.m. PT (ESPNU)

Monday, Apr. 20
#2 Oregon at Stanford * , 7 p.m. PT (P12N)

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