This week in Pac-12 softball

Eric Evans

• Seven Pac-12 softball teams head to the 2015 NCAA Softball Championship, seeking the Pac-12’s 24th national title in the sport. OREGON, UCLA and ARIZONA all earned top-16 seeds and will host Regional action, with UO at No. 2, UCLA at No. 7 and UA at No. 12. ARIZONA STATE, CALIFORNIA, UTAH and WASHINGTON will hit the road for their respective Regional games, with ASU, UW and Utah heading to the Eastern time zone and Cal playing in Michigan. 

• It marks the 19th-straight season that the Pac-12 has had five or more teams advancing to the NCAA tournament. The seven selections were tied for the second-most of any conference in the nation. 

• Only 12 schools have been crowned the NCAA Division I softball champion since the tournament started in 1982, and 11 will compete in this year’s bracket, with five of them coming from the Pac-12. With 23 national titles since the sport was initially sponsored in 1987, more than any other conference in the nation, all nine Pac-12 teams have made appearances in the Women’s College World Series in the past three years. 

• Oregon clinched the Pac-12 title in the final day of the regular season, besting Arizona while Arizona State upset UCLA. It marked UO’s third-consecutive Pac-12 title.


Eugene Regional - Howe Field, Eugene, Ore. 
Thursday, May 14
No. 2 OREGON vs. BYU, 5 p.m. PT
North Dakota State vs. Fresno State, 2 p.m. PT

Los Angeles Regional - Easton Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif. 
Friday, May 15
No. 7 UCLA vs. CSUN (ESPN3), 5:30 p.m. PT
San Diego State vs. Texas, 4 p.m. PT 

Tucson Regional - Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium, Tucson, Ariz. 
Friday, May 15
No. 12 ARIZONA vs. St. John’s, 7 p.m. PT
Minnesota vs. New Mexico State, 4:30 p.m. PT

Knoxville Regional - Sherri Parker Lee Stadium, Knoxville, Tenn. 
Friday, May 15
UTAH vs. Virginia Tech, 3:30 p.m. ET
No. 8 Tennessee vs. Longwood, 6 p.m. ET

Baton Rouge Regional - Tiger Park, Baton Rouge, La. 
Friday, May 15
ARIZONA STATE vs. Nebraska (ESPN3), 4:30 p.m. ET
No. 5 LSU vs. Texas Southern, 7 p.m. ET

Ann Arbor Regional - Wilpon Complex, Ann Arbor, Mich. 
Friday, May 15
CALIFORNIA vs. Pitt (ESPNU), 2:30 p.m. CT
No. 3 Michigan vs. Oakland, 5 p.m. CT 

Tuscaloosa Regional - Rhoads Stadium, Tuscalossa, Ala. 
Friday, May 15
WASHINGTON vs. S.C. Upstate (ESPNU), 1:30 p.m. ET
No. 6 Alabama vs. Fairfield, 4 p.m. ET

NCAA Regionals: May 15-17 (double elimination)
NCAA Super Regionals: May 22-24 (best of three series) 
Women’s College World Series: May 28-June 3 (double elimination in bracket play)

• The Pac-12 has had at least three teams in the NCAA Tournament every year since the Conference began sponsoring softball in 1987.
• UCLA’s 31 appearances are the most of all teams in the 64-squad field, followed by Arizona’s 28, Florida State’s 26 and Arizona State’s 26. 
• All nine Pac-12 teams have made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament within the last three years. The Pac-12 has a combined total of 202 appearances at the WCWS with a combined record of 755-377.
• There have only been 11 different teams to win a National Title in softball with five of those teams from the Pac-12. The Pac-12 has won the title an astounding 23 times, the most of any conference in the nation. There have been 12 occasions when the NCAA Championship series featured two Conference schools.

• ARIZONA: The Wildcats will participate in the postseason for the 29th-consecutive season, dating back to 1987, head coach Mike Candrea’s second year in Tucson. Candrea’s teams have won 25 regionals and eight national championships. Arizona, which will host the opening regional featuring Minnesota, New Mexico State and St. John’s, has been an initial-rounds host 18 times, and has hosted Super Regionals six times. 

• ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils travel to Baton Rouge for their 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, marking the 27th appearance overall and 11th-consecutive. ASU is 55-17 since 2006 in postseason play, with an 85-51 overall record in the tournament. Opening against Nebraska, Arizona State is 22-10 against the Cornhuskers all-time. 

• CALIFORNIA: The Golden Bears return to the postseason after missing the tournament last season, marking their 29th appearance in the championship. Cal will open play in Ann Arbor, Mich., where it also began the postseason in 2013. The Bears have appeared in all but five NCAA Softball Championships since the NCAA began sponsoring softball in 1982. 

• OREGON: The Ducks wil host the Eugene Regional for the fourth-straight year starting Thursday, and will have every game streamed live for free at UO has advanced to the NCAA Tournament every year under head coach Mike White, now in his sixth season. His teams have a 15-0 record in NCAA Regional games. 

• OREGON STATE: The Beavers missed out on the postseason despite finishing with a .500 record. Oregon State last saw NCAA Tournament action in 2013. OSU posted upset wins over then-No. 17 California, then-No. 21 Arizona State and then-No. 20 Washington this season. 

• STANFORD: The Cardinal finished with a 17-37 record under first-year head coach Rachel Hanson. Despite the record, junior Kayla Bonstrom had a tremendous season, finishing in the top-11 in multiple single-season records in Stanford history, including the top slugging percentage (.806). 

• UCLA: The Bruins earned the No. 7 seed for the tournament and will host the Los Angeles Regional that includes CSUN, Texas and San Diego State. UCLA has played all three teams this season, defeating SDSU and CSUN but losing to Texas. All four teams also finished second or better in their respective conferences. 

• UTAH: The Utes will make their 13th appearance and first since 2006 in the NCAA Tournament. Utah’s 34 regular-season wins are the most since that 2006 season when Utah tallied 35 victories, while the 12 Conference wins are the most since Utah joined the league in the 2012 softball season. The Utes are 16-27 all-time in the postseason. 

• WASHINGTON: The Huskies are making their 22nd-consecutive appearance in the tournament, and have advanced to the postseason in each of head coach Heather Tarr’s 11 seasons at the helm. UW has won nine Regionals. Washington last faced S.C. Upstate in 2011’s Husky Classic in Seattle, with UW winning both contests. 

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