This week in Pac-12 softball

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• Arizona was crowned Pac-12 Champions after its victory over UCLA on Sunday. With a 18-6 (.750) Conference record and only one week remaining in the regular season, no other team can catch the Wildcats after capturing its first conference crown since 2007. Oregon swept non-conference rival and then-No. 2 ranked Florida State. UCLA, Arizona State and Oregon State each swept their opponents this weekend. 

• It was an Oregon sweep of the weekly awards. Jenna Lilley was named player of the week after going 5-for-7 (.714) in the sweep of No. 2 Florida State. Lilley did not strike out on the weekend and posted a .778 on-base percentage. Teammate Maggie Balint earned both pitcher and freshman of the week after allowing just one run on three hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts during game one. Balint owns a 19-3 record with a 1.13 ERA this season. She has 135 strikeouts and 33 walks in 111.2 innings pitched.

• Six teams continue to be ranked and no less than six have been ranked since the start of the season. Oregon moved up to No. 3/2 after sweeping then-No. 2 Florida State, Arizona is at No 5/5, Washington is at No. 7/8, UCLA is at No. 10 in both rankings, Utah is at No. 13/14, and Arizona State is at No. 22 in both pollings. 

• Four Pac-12 teams are in the top-10 of the NCAA RPI with Oregon at No. 2, UCLA at No. 4, Arizona at No. 5 and Washington at No. 6. Utah, Arizona State, and California are also in the top-25 at No. 16, No. 20 and No. 24 respectively. 

• The final week of the regular season culminates with UCLA visiting Arizona State, Oregon is at Stanford, Oregon State is at California and Washington visits Utah. The NCAA Softball selection show is Sunday, May 14.

• Arizona closed out its regular season with 7-2 victory over UCLA Sunday to clinch its 11th conference championship in program history, and first since 2007. With the victory, Arizona improved to 48-7 (18-6 Pac-12), its highest regular-season win total since 2004 (53). The 18 conference victories mark the most since 2003 (19). The Pac-12 Championship auto-bid clinched Arizona’s 31st straight NCAA Tournament appearance, a new NCAA record.

• Oregon completed a series sweep of No. 2 Florida State on Sunday. Saturday featured a double header that saw the Ducks securing a run-rule victory in game one. Oregon’s last run-rule win over a top-five team was on March 29, 2014, when the No. 2 Ducks beat No. 5 Washington, 8-0 in five innings — also in the opening game of a doubleheader.

• Stanford earned its second Conference win, 6-0 vs Washington, led by freshman pitcher Kiana Pancino. It is the Cardinal's (19-28, 2-18 Pac-12) first victory against a top-10 opponent since Feb. 14, 2015, when it defeated No. 3 Alabama, 4-1.

• Oregon State took the series victory over Utah for the first time since 2013 and its second Pac-12 series against a top-10 opponent.

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 22. 

    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    89
    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

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