Pac-12 Softball holds strong at the top

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Washington (18-0) and UCLA (15-0) remain unbeaten through the first three weeks of the season, warranting a No. 1 ranking by both USA Today/NFCA and USA Softball/ESPN.com for the Huskies and a No. 3 ranking for the Bruins. Four teams appear in the top 10 of the polls. Joining UW and UCLA is Oregon at No. 6/4 and Arizona at No. 9/8.

Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington picked up wins against ranked opponents at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic last week. The weekend was highlighted by unranked Oregon State beating then-No. 18/16 Oklahoma State (4-2). This week, the Pac-12 travels to seven different tournaments across six different states.

Washington’s Kirstyn Thomas picked up her second Pac-12 Player of the Week nod and UCLA’s Aaliyah Jordan received her second-straight Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honor. UCLA has received the freshman award all three weeks of the season. Arizona’s Taylor McQuillin was the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week.

The Pac-12 tops the NCAA statistics in 12 categories, including one team and 11 individual categories. Washington and UCLA are tied for first in WL percentage (1.000). The Pac-12 Player of the Week, UW’s Thomas, tops the leaders in five categories: hits (33), home runs (10), RBIs (26), slugging pct (1.281) and total bases (73).

IN THE RANKINGS: Six teams are ranked in the USA Today/NFCA poll, including four in the top 10 with Washington at No. 1, UCLA No. 3, Oregon No. 6 and Arizona No. 9. Also featured in the poll is California (No. 15) and Arizona State (No. 16). Oregon State and Utah received votes.

Six teams are ranked in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll: Washington is No. 1, UCLA is No. 3, Oregon is No. 4, Arizona is No. 8, Arizona State is No. 15 and California is No. 16. Oregon State and Utah received votes.

PRESEASON COACHES POLL: Oregon was voted first in the Pac-12 softball preseason coaches poll. The Ducks garnered 63 points and seven first place votes to top the polling. UCLA was second with 55 points and two first place votes, while Washington was voted third with 51 points.

RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS: Three NFCA DI All-America team members are returning for the 2018 season, including the NFCA Freshman of the Year UCLA’s P Rachel Garcia. Arizona’s INF Jessie Harper returns as a sophomore after being selected first team last year. Along with Harper, Oregon’s P Megan Kleist and UCLA’s P Garcia return from the second team.

RANKED NEWCOMERS: All nine teams appear in the top 34 of FloSoftball’s top 2018 recruiting classes. UCLA leads the league at No. 2 with five incoming freshman, followed by Oregon at No. 10, Washington at No. 14, Oregon State at No. 21 and Arizona State at No. 23. California is No. 26, Arizona is No. 32, and Stanford is No. 34.

WATCH LISTS: 13 Pac-12 student-athletes appear on the USA Softball Top 50 Collegiate Player of the Year watch list. Arizona’s OF Aleah Craighton, INF Jessie Harper, P Taylor McQuillin, and C Dejah Mulipola, Oregon’s P Maggie Balint, P Megan Kleist, OF Alexis Mack, and INF DJ Sanders, UCLA’s P Rachel Garcia and INF Kylee Perez, Utah’s OF Alyssa Barrera, Washington’s P Taran Alvelo and INF Taylor Van Zee.


UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Wednesday, Feb. 28    
#15/16 CALIFORNIA vs. Hawaii (1)   6 p.m. PT
Thursday, Mar. 1    
#6/4 OREGON vs. South Florida   12 p.m. PT
UTEP vs. #15/16 CALIFORNIA (1)   1 p.m. PT
#6/4 OREGON vs. South Florida   2:30 p.m. PT
Charlotte vs. STANFORD (2)   7:30 p.m. PT
Friday, Mar. 2    
Texas State vs. UTAH (3)   8 a.m. PT
#RV/RV OREGON STATE vs. #RV/RV Colorado State (4)   9 a.m. PT
#RV/RV James Madison vs. #15/16 CALIFORNIA (1)   11 a.m. PT
#6/4 OREGON vs. #13/13 Florida State (5)   12 p.m. PT
Iowa vs. STANFORD (2)   12:30 p.m. PT
#RV/RV OREGON STATE vs. #20/21 Minnesota (4)   2 p.m. PT
#9/8 ARIZONA at Texas Long Horn Network 2:30 p.m. PT
Florida Gulf Coast vs. #6/4 OREGON (5)   2:30 p.m. PT
#RV/RV UTAH vs. #7/6 Texas A&M (3) Live Stream 3:15 p.m. PT
#11/11 Alabama vs. #1/1 WASHINGTON (6) Live Stream 3:45 p.m. PT
STANFORD vs. Cal State Fullerton (2)   5 p.m. PT
Coastal Carolina vs. #16/15 ARIZONA STATE (7) Live Stream 6 p.m. PT
Northwestern vs. #1/1 WASHINGTON (6) Live Stream 6 p.m. PT
UCF vs. #3/3 UCLA (8)   7 p.m. PT
Saturday, Mar. 3    
Hofstra vs. #6/4 OREGON (5)   7 a.m. PT
#9/8 ARIZONA at Texas Long Horn Network 9 a.m. PT
East Carolina vs. #15/16 CALIFORNIA (1)   11 a.m. PT
LMU vs. STANFORD (2)   12:30 p.m. PT
#RV/RV UTAH vs. #7/6 Texas A&M (3) Live Stream 1 p.m. PT
#21/20 Minnesota vs. #3/3 UCLA (8)   2 p.m. PT
Florida Gulf Coast vs. #6/4 OREGON (5)   2:30 p.m. PT
Michigan State vs. STANFORD (2)   3 p.m. PT
Louisiana Tech vs. #RV/RV UTAH (3)   3:15 p.m. PT
Coastal Carolina vs. #16/15 ARIZONA STATE (7)   3:30 p.m. PT
Long Beach State vs. #RV/RV OREGON STATE (4)   4:30 p.m. PT
#11/11 Alabama vs. #1/1 WASHINGTON (6) Live Stream 5 p.m. PT
New Mexico State vs. #16/15 ARIZONA STATE (7)   6 p.m. PT
#3/3 UCLA vs. San Diego (8)   7 p.m. PT
BYU vs. #1/1 WASHINGTON (6) Live Stream 7:15 p.m. PT
Sunday, Mar. 4    
Texas State vs. #RV/RV UTAH (3)   7 a.m. PT
#6/4 OREGON vs. #13/13 Florida State (5)   8:30 a.m. PT
Longwood vs. #15/16 CALIFORNIA (1)   9 a.m. PT
#9/8 ARIZONA at Texas Long Horn Network 9 a.m. PT
Boston U vs. #RV/RV OREGON STATE (4)   10 a.m. PT
Santa Clara vs. #3/3 UCLA (8)   11:30 a.m. PT
Portland State vs. #1/1 WASHINGTON (6) Live Stream 12:15 p.m. PT
#RV/RV OREGON STATE vs. San Diego (4)   12:30 p.m. PT
#3/3 UCLA vs. San Diego State (4)   2 p.m. PT
Tuesday, Mar. 6    
South Dakota at #16/15 ARIZONA STATE Live Stream 5 p.m. PT

(1) - Hawaii Tournament; Honolulu, HI
(2) - Judi Garman Classic; Fullerton, CA
(3) - Texas A&M Tournament; College Station TX
(4) - San Diego Classic; San Diego, Calif.
(5) - Unconquered Tournament; Tallahassee, FL
(6) - Husky Classic; Seattle, WA
(7) - Devil Classic; Tempe, AZ


CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)

Teams Pac-12 Record Overall Record
Washington 0-0 18-0
UCLA 0-0 15-0
California 0-0 15-1
Arizona 0-0 13-1
Arizona State 0-0 13-2
Oregon 0-0 12-3
Oregon State 0-0 10-6
Stanford 0-0 10-7
Utah 0-0 6-5

PAC-12 SOFTBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

  Player of the Week Pitcher of the Week Freshman of the Week
Feb. 27 Kirstyn Thomas, WASH Taylor McQuillin, ARIZ Aaliyah Jordan, UCLA
Feb. 20 Taylor Van Zee, WASH Megan Kleist, ORE Aaliyah Jordan, UCLA
Feb. 13 Kirstyn Thomas, WASH Taran Alvelo, WASH Briana Perez, UCLA
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