NCAA Softball Regionals: Katiyana Mauga breaks Pac-12 home run record

All eight Pac-12 teams that were selected for the NCAA Softball Regionals will hit the diamond on Saturday around the country. Seven Pac-12 squads won their contests on Friday and advanced to Saturday's winners' bracket. Here's a running recap of the Conference of Champions results from the day.

[Related: NCAA Softball Regionals bracket (NCAA.com)]

Arizona

Arizona - 5, South Carolina, 0 (Tucson, Arizona)

History was made at Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium. Wildcat Senior Katiyana Mauga hit her 91st career home run (24th on the season) to overtake Stacey Nuveman of UCLA for the all-time Pac-12 home run record.

Behind Mauga’s historic moment, Danielle O’ Toole was spinning a gem. She had a no-hitter running until South Carolina's Victoria Williams broke it up with a one-out double in the seventh inning.

It was no matter, though. Arizona went on to defeat the Gamecocks 5-0.

Mauga’s historic homer stood alone as the ‘Cats only run until they rallied in the fifth. Dejah Mulipola and Reyna Carranco notched singles and Hughes walked to load the bases for Hillary Edior, who reached on a fielding error and knocked in Mulipola. Mandie Perez and Mauga kept it running, knocking a pair of RBI singles to put Arizona up 5-0.

The Wildcats will play in the regional final Sunday at 6:30 p.m. PT.

Oregon

Oregon - 6, Wisconsin - 5 (Eugene, Oregon)

The Ducks were down three runs heading into the sixth inning on their home field.  They relinquished a two-run first-inning lead when Wisconsin rallied for three in the second and the Badgers’s Sara Novak cracked a two-run bomb to give her team a 5-2 lead.

But Oregon wasn’t up for a trip to the elimination bracket. Nikki Udria and Shannon Rhodes rallied for RBI hits in the seventh to tie the game up at 5-5. 

Danica Mercado completed the comeback in extras, knocking an RBI single up the middle.

Megan Kleist tossed 3.2 innings and gave up three runs, striking out seven. Maggie Balint gave up the two-run bomb, but struck out six through 4.1 innings to keep her Ducks in it.

Oregon will play in the regional final Sunday at 6:30 p.m. PT.  

Utah

Utah 14, BYU - 0 (6 inn., Salt Lake City)

The 11-seeded Utah Utes became the first Pac-12 team to punch its ticket to the Super Regionals after defeating BYU, 14-0. They did so in historic fashion as the Utes recorded their largest margin of victory in an NCAA contest. 

The Utes came in and scored steadily throughout the game starting with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first. Utah freshman Kelly Martinez came into the top of the second and homered off of the BYU pitcher to put the Utes up, 3-0.

Utah senior Anissa Urtez did not go quietly in what could be her last home game, as she recorded 5 RBI going 3-of-4 on the day.

Urtez doubled to left field in the top of the sixth, scoring Pac-12 Co-Player of the Year Hannah Flippen and Alyssa Barerra.

Utah would put up a staggering eight runs in the sixth inning to complete the 14-0 win and claim the Salt Lake City Regional.

Washington

Washington 12, Michigan - 4 (5 inn., Seattle Regional)

Julia DePonte’s 3-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning sealed the run-rule win for the 6-seeded Huskies, 12-4.

Taran Alvelo came back in the circle for the Huskies coming off her first-career no-hitter, however the Wolverines broke up any chances of a repeat performance with a solo shot in the first inning.

Senior Husky Ali Aguilar followed suit, hitting one of her own in the bottom of the first inning to tie the game, 1-1.  UW would score two more runs in the first inning before a dominant third.

The Dawgs put up five runs in the third, paced by a Kirstyn Thomas 2 RBI double to plate Julia DePonte and Taylor Van Zee. The Huskies would wrap up the third inning with an 8-1 lead.

Michigan would homer once again, this time scoring three Wolverine runs in the fourth inning to cut the lead to 8-4.

UW headed to the fifth to seal the win, as Taylor Van Zee knocked an RBI single to score Aguilar. Julia DePonte, junior out of Vacaville, Calif., ended the contest with a 3-run bomb to earn the victory.

The Huskies remain in the winners bracket and will await their next competitor for May 21st at 6:30 p.m. PT. Michigan falls to the elimination bracket to face the winner of Montana/Fresno State. 

UCLA

UCLA 10, San Jose State - 2 (6 inn., Los Angeles Regional)

UCLA used its momentum coming off Rachel Garcia’s no-hitter from Friday to down San Jose State, 10-2, in six innings. Four Bruins homered, including Delaney Spaulding, Brianna Tautalafua, Madeline Jelenicki and Rachel Garcia.

Spaulding hit her homer in the top of the second for the 2 RBI. Going into the fifth inning, the Bruins led the Spartans, 4-1. Madeline Jelenicki led the Bruins with a 2-run homer. Not to be outdone, Garcia followed up with a solo homer of her own to increase the lead to 7-1.

Tautalafua’s homer in the top of the sixth increased the lead to 9-1, and the Bruins would record their final run of the evening with an unearned run. The Spartans closed the frame with a run off a wild pitch.

UCLA remains in the winners’ bracket and will play on May 21 at 4 p.m. PT.

California

California - 4, Notre Dame - 3 (5 inn. delay, Auburn, Alabama)

California and Notre Dame will resume their game on Sunday at 8 a.m. PT due to lightning strikes.

Auburn 4, California - 3 (Auburn, Alabama)

After Cal's Zoe Conley and Auburn's Kaylee Carlson started the first two innings in a pitching duel, Cal got on the board first in the third inning. With Jazmyn Jackson on second base and Krysten McCue on third, McCue scored thanks to a wild pitch from the Tigers. Lindsay Rood then knocked a single down left field, which plated Jackson to put the Golden Bears up, 2-0.

The lead didn't last too long, as the Tigers hit a solo homer to open up scoring for Auburn in the bottom of the third. The Tigers would tie the game at 2-2 with an RBI single in the same frame.

Cal senior Kylie Reed would break the tie in the top of the fifth, as she singled to center field and advanced to second on the throw to score Octavia Bond and take the lead, 3-2. 

Mystery would ensue in the bottom of the sixth, as catcher Alleah Laxamana appeared to tag the Tiger runner out at home plate. Despite holding the ball in her bare hand, the play was ruled as a bobble and Auburn tied the game at 3-3. 

Auburn claimed the win in the bottom of the ninth with an RBI single to win, 4-3.

The Golden Bears fall to the elimination bracket and will play the loser of the East Tennessee State/Notre Dame matchup. The game is scheduled for Saturday, May 20 at 2 p.m. PT, with Cal needing a win to stay alive in the double-elimination tournament. 

Arizona State

ASU - 0, Ole Miss - 2 (Oxford, Miss.)

The Sun Devils fell to the elimination bracket after a 2-0 loss to 12-seed Ole Miss Saturday morning.

Ole Miss starter Kaitlin Lee held ASU to three hits over seven shutout innings, striking out three and walking just one.

Dale Ryndak held Ole Miss scoreless through five innings, but something had to give. The home team rallied in the sixth on a pair of triples to lead the inning off and an RBI double to give Ole Miss their 2-0 lead.

ASU will play the winner of a Southern Illinois/North Carolina game at 4:30 p.m. PT with a chance to play Ole Miss again Sunday.

ASU - 2, North Carolina - 3 (Oxford, Miss.)

Arizona State saw its season come to a close with a 3-2 loss to North Carolina in the elimination bracket on Saturday.

North Carolina opened up scoring with an RBI single in the bottom of the third. The Tar Heels went on to score an unearned run in the fourth and an RBI single in the fifth and kept ASU scoreless at 3-0.

The Sun Devils fought back in the seventh, as ASU scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Chelsea Gonzales and cut the deficit to 3-1. Sashel Palacios stepped up and hit a single to plate Brynley Steele at 3-2. UNC caught the ASU pop up for the third out.

Arizona State finishes its season at 31-22.

Oregon State

Kent State 2, Oregon State - 1 (Waco Regional)

Oregon State fell, 2-1, to Kent State on Saturday and was eliminated from the NCAA Championship.Senior Taylor Cotton pitched a career-high 11 strikeouts on the 20 batters she faced.

OSU’s Shelby Weeks put the Beavs on the board first, knocking an RBI single to left field to score M. Sass in the bottom of the third.

Kent State would score the tying run in the top of the first off of a throwing error in center field to lead the Flash to the tying run. The final Kent State run came in off of an RBI single to plate in the winning run.

The Beavers finish the season 28-27 overall.

 

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