This week in Pac-12 softball

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Pac-12 softball teams went a collective 42-4, including a perfect 10-0 on day one to start the 2017 season. ARIZONA STATE, OREGON, UCLA, UTAH, ARIZONA, and OREGON STATE went without a loss in their respective tournaments, and WASHINGTON upset the top-two ranked teams in the nation in No. 2 Auburn, 2-1, and reigning NCAA Champion and No. 1 Oklahoma, 1-0... Arizona’s Katiyana Mauga was named the first Pac-12 Player of the Week after hitting four home runs in the Wildcats’ five games. Washington’s Taran Alvelo was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week and Stanford’s Teaghan Cowles was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week... All nine teams are headed to eight tournaments this week with both Oregon and UCLA headed to the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. Stanford, Arizona and Arizona State stay local, hosting their respective tournaments... Three teams are set to travel to Southern California as Utah competes at the Long Beach State Tournament, Washington is at the Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego, and California is at the Palm Springs Classic. Oregon State heads to Las Cruces, New Mexico, to compete in the Troy Cox Classic... Seven teams are ranked this week in the USA Softball/ poll as ARIZONA STATE enters the top 25 at No. 21 after going undefeated at the Kajikawa Classic. The other teams ranked are No. 5 UCLA, No. 7. Oregon, No. 9 Washington, No. 11 Arizona, No. 15 Utah and No. 22 California. 

• Score Big: League teams outscored their opponents by more than double in the opening weekend, recording 308 runs while holding opponents to just 102. Seven of the nine league teams outscored their opponents by double digits this week: Arizona: 39-6; Arizona State: 37-7; California: 31-19; Oregon: 38-10; Oregon State: 12-3; UCLA: 48-2 ; Utah: 47-5

• National Recognition: UCLA’s Delaney Spaulding has been named the National Field Player of the Week by College Sports Madness for her performances at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament that included multiple hits in four of her five games, and driving in a run in all five games with two home runs. The Bruins went a perfect 5-0 on the weekend.

• Poll Watching: The Pac-12 has five teams on the Softball poll this week, and seven on the USA Today/NFCA poll. Arizona State and California joined the top 25 in the USA Softball polling, coming in at No. 21 and No. 22 respectively. UCLA continues to lead both polls at No. 6/5, Washington is at No. 8/9, Oregon is at No. 9/7, Arizona is at No. 10/11 and Utah remains at No. 16/15.

• New Faces: According to FloSoftball, seven Pac-12 recruiting classes are ranked in the top 25 including Oregon bringing in the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation this year. Arizona has the third-ranked class, followed by Washington, UCLA and Arizona State with the No. 6, 8 and 12 classes. Utah brings in the 13th-ranked recruiting class and Stanford rounds out at No. 14. 

• Welcome Back to the Pac: Trisha Ford returns the Pac-12 in her first year at the helm of Arizona State’s program after spending the last four seasons at Fresno State and spending nine seasons at Stanford from 2004-2012. Hanson joins a rank of coaches that have a combined 112 years of Division I coaching experience and more than 4,000 victories with a .703 winning percentage (4,360-1,833-8). 

• Preseason Awards: The Pac-12 has five teams on both the USA Today/NFCA and Softball preseason polls. UCLA enters the season at No. 8/8, Oregon is No. 9/9, Arizona at No. 10/12, Washington No. 13/13, Utah No. 18/17. California received votes in the USA Today/NFCA ranking and tied for the 24th ranking in the ESPN/USA Softball polling. There have also been at least four league teams ranked in every preseason poll, with at least five every year since 1997. In the USA Softball poll, this marks the 12th-straight year that the Pac-12 has had at least five teams ranked in the Softball preseason poll.

2017 Watch List: Nine Pac-12 athletes were named to the ‘watch list’ for the 2017 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award. Arizona leads with three athletes including Katiyana Mauga, Danielle O’Toole, and Mandie Perez. Also included on the list are Oregon’s Kenna Lilley and Nikki Udria, Washington’s Ari Aguilar, Utah’s Hannah Flippen, California’s Jazmyn Jackson, and UCLA’s Nikki Udria. Previous USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award winners include UCLA catcher Stacey Nuveman (2002), Washington pitcher Danielle Lawrie (2009 and 2010), and Stanford shortstop Ashley Hansen (2011). 

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