This week in Pac-12 softball
• With only a few weeks remaining in the regular season, Pac-12 softball teams continue to make a statement with seven teams ranked. This past week UCLA went perfect on the weekend against Cal, Washington swept No. 12 Alabama, Arizona took the series win over Oregon, Utah won the series against Arizona State and Stanford earned its first Conference win this season.
• Arizona’s Katiyana Mauga earned player of the week honors for the fourth time this season including the No. 88 in her career, setting the new Arizona career record. UCLA’s Rachel Garcia earned both pitcher and freshman of the week after not allowing an earned run in 14 2/3 innings, and striking out 16 in the Bruin’s two wins last week.
• Seven teams continue to be ranked by the USA Today/NFCA and the USA Softball/ESPN.com polls. At least six teams have been ranked since the start of the season. Arizona continues to be ranked No. 3/2, Oregon is at No. 6/6, Washington is at No. 8/9, Utah is at No. 10/11, UCLA is at No. 12/12, Arizona State is at No. 23 in both polls and California is at No. 24.
• Arizona and Washington continue to be No. 2 and 3 in the NCAA RPI. UCLA, Oregon and Utah are all in the top-15.
• The rivalries of Oregon and Oregon State and Arizona and Arizona State highlight the week. Washington visits California and UCLA is at Stanford to complete the week.
• Washington’s Ali Aguilar, Utah’s Hannah Flippen and UCLA’s Delaney Spaulding have been named finalists for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, student-athletes must be classified as NCAA Division I seniors and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. The finalists were chosen by national media from the list of 30 candidates announced earlier this month. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner, and fans are encouraged to submit votes online at the Senior CLASS Award website through May 9 and will be announced during the 2017 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, June 1-7.
• Nine Pac-12 softball athletes have been named finalists for the 2017 USA Softball Player of the Year honor. The list includes Oregon’s Maggie Balint and Nikki Udria, Utah’s Hannah Flippen, Arizona’s Katiyana Mauga with teammates Taylor McQuillin, Mo Mercado, Danielle O’Toole and Mandie Perez, and UCLA’s Delaney Spaulding.
• Washington swept non-conference foe and No. 12 Alabama. The sweep marked Washington’s (34-10) first over Alabama (37-11) since 2007 when they defeat them in two games at the NCAA Super Regionals.
• Arizona, the nation’s leader in home runs, won the series against No. 6 Oregon. The series victory is Arizona’s first vs. Oregon since 2010.
• Oregon gave Arizona its first loss 2017 and first in the last 26 games at Hillenbrand Stadium. Oregon hit three home runs off Arizona pitcher Danielle O’Toole, who had given up just five home runs all season coming into Sunday’s game. With her solo homer in the sixth, Nikki Udria has now reached base safely in 38 straight games.
• Stanford earned its first Conference win this season over Oregon State. This marked the first Pac-12 win since earned its first conference victory since May 3, 2015.
• CHASING HISTORY: Arizona’s Katiyana Mauga is on the verge of breaking the NCAA career home run record. She currently leaves the Conference in home runs this season with 21.
NCAA Softball Career Home Runs
1. Lauren Chamberlain, Oklahoma 2012-15 95
2. Stacey Nuveman, UCLA 1997, 99, 2001-02 90
3. Katiyana Mauga, Arizona 88
4. Stacie Chambers, Arizona 2008-11 87
5. Leah Braatz, Arizona 1994-95, 97-98 85
6. Laura Espinoza, Arizona 1992-95 85
7. Shelby Pendley, Oklahoma 2012-15 84
8. Danyele Gomez, Louisiana 2003-06 83