This year in Pac-12 softball
• OREGON and UCLA ended their postseason run in the double-elimination round of the 2015 Women’s College World Series. UO made its fourth appearance in the WCWS while the Bruins made their 26th all-time.
• Seven league teams earned berths to the NCAA Tournament, marking the 19th-straight season that the Pac-12 has had five or more teams advance to the postseason. The seven selections were tied for the second-most of any conference in the nation.
• The Ducks claimed the 2015 regular season title on the final day of the season. It was Oregon’s third-consecutive title, as UO racked up 21 league wins, the most in program history.
• UCLA’s Ally Carda repeated as Pac-12 Player of the Year, while UO’s Cheridan Hawkins also had a repeat performance as Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year. Hallie Wilson of ARIZONA was named Defensive Player of the Year, and Jenna Lilley of Oregon was named Freshman/Newcomer of the Year. UTAH head coach Amy Hogue earned Coach of the Year.
• All-Americans: Thirteen Pac-12 softball players earned NFCA Division I All-American recognition. First team honorees were Oregon’s Cheridan Hawkins, ARIZONA STATE’s Amber Freeman, and UCLA’s Ally Carda and Allexis Bennett. Seven players were named to the second team: STANFORD’s Kayla Bonstrom, Oregon’s Jenna Lilley and Janie Takeda, Arizona’s Chelsea Goodacre, CALIFORNIA’s Cheyenne Cordes, and UCLA’s Delaney Spaulding and Stephany LaRosa. Third team honorees were Arizona’s Kellie Fox and Katiyana Mauga.
• Pac-12 softball players were once again up for the highest honors in collegiate softball, as Oregon’s Cheridan Hawkins and UCLA’s Allexis Bennett were two of the top-10 finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. UO’s Jenna Lilley was also a top-three finalist for the NFCA Division I Freshman of the Year.
• All nine Pac-12 teams have made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament within the last three years. The Pac-12 has a combined total of 197 appearances in the tournament with a record of 775-392.
• Poll Watching: The Pac-12 finished the season with six teams in the NFCA poll for the 13th-straight week, while Utah remained in the USA Softball top 25 to give the Pac-12 seven teams in the USA Softball polling for the fourth-straight week. UCLA led at No. 5 in both polls. The Bruins are followed by No. 7/7 Oregon, No. 13/14 Arizona, No. 20/20 Arizona State, No. 21/21 Washington and No. 23/23 California. The Utes are No. 25 in the USA Softball poll while receiving votes in the NFCA polling. The Pac-12 has had at least five teams ranked in both polls dating back 163 weeks to the first USA Softball poll in 2006.
• Tough Competition: League teams stacked up a combined 217-62 record in non-conference play this season that included 15 wins over ranked opponents. Pac-12 teams have posted some major upset victories, with No. 14 Arizona knocking off then-No. 3 Oklahoma, followed by No. 21 California and unranked Utah both upsetting then-No. 10 Tennessee. Cal also upset then-No. 9 Florida State. Arizona State also upset No. 3 Michigan and No. 9 Baylor.
• 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.
• 40-Win Plateau: Arizona hit the 40-win mark in March, making UA the fourth team in the Pac-12 to reach that mark this season. It is the 18th-straight year that at least four league teams have reached 40 wins.
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