This year in Pac-12 Softball
• Oregon, UCLA and Washington ended their postseason run in Oklahoma City. UCLA fell to Washington, 1-0, on June 3rd while the Bruins and Ducks made it to the semifinal matches where Oregon fell to LSU, 4-1, and Washington fell to the eventual National Champions Oklahoma 3-1.
• Eight league teams earned berths to the NCAA Tournament, marking the 21st-straight season that the Pac-12 has had five or more teams advance to the postseason. The eight selections are tied for the most in league history each being accomplished in 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2016, and 2017.
• Washington’s Ali Aguilar and Oregon’s Alexis Mack and Mia Camuso were named to the 2017 Women’s College World Series All-Tournament Team
• Arizona took the regular season title totaling its 11th conference championship in program history, and first since 2007. Arizona closed out the season with a 52-9 (18-6 Pac-12) record, 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.
• Utah’s Hannah Flippen and Arizona’s Katiyana Mauga were named the 2017 Pac-12 Softball Co-Players of the Year. Arizona senior Danielle O’Toole was voted Pitcher of the Year. Flippen also garnered Defensive Player of the Year honors and was crowned the Pac-12 Softball Batting Champion. UCLA’s Rachel Garcia was tabbed Freshman of the Year and Arizona head coach Mike Candrea was voted Coach of the Year.
• Ten Pac-12 softball players earned NFCA Division I All-American recognition. First team honorees were Arizona’s Danielle O’Toole and Jessie Harper, Utah’s Hannah Flippen, and Oregon’s Nikki Udria. Second team honorees were Oregon’s Megan Kleist, Arizona’s Katiyana Mauga and Mo Mercado, and UCLA’s Rachel Garcia. Third team honorees were Oregon’s Danica Mercado and Washington’s Ali Aguilar.
• The NFCA announced the 2017 DI All-Region squads with Arizona being only one of two programs to have all eight of their nominations gain recognition. The first team all-region includes Oregon’s Megan Kleist, Mia Camuso, Nikki Udria, Alexis Mack, and Danica Mercado, Utah’s Hannah Flippen, Washington’s Casey Stangel and California’s Jazmyn Jackson.
• UCLA’s Rachel Garcia was named the 2017 Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award. Garcia becomes the first winner to represent both UCLA and the Pac-12 Conference.
• The Pac-12 finished the season with six teams both the USA Today/NFCA and the USA Softball/ESPN.com rankings, including three in the top five. Washington came in at No. 3/4, Oregon finished at No. 4/3, and UCLA was at No. 5 in both final polls. Arizona finished at No. 9, Utah at No. 14/16, Arizona State finished at No. 23 and California received votes in both pools.
• Arizona head coach Mike Candrea became the first coach to reach 1,500 Division I softball wins and the fastest coach in NCAA history, in any sport, in any division, to reach 1,500 career wins trailing only Michigan’s Carol Hutchins 1,506-485-5 (.756), who spent time in Division II, in NCAA history.
• UCLA hit the 40-win mark in May, making the Bruins the fourth team in the Pac-12 to reach that mark this season. It is the 20th- straight year that at least four league teams have reached 40 wins.
• Utah was ranked No. 14 in the nation as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association released its final poll of the 2017 season. This is the highest final ranking in program history since the NCAA began keeping records in 1995. Utah finished 37-16, its best record since 1997, and also had its best mark in Pac-12 play (13-9) since joining the Conference in 2012.
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