This week in Pac-12 softball
• Five Pac-12 softball teams remain after a record eight made the 2017 NCAA tournament all in the hopes of brining home the Pac-12’s 24th national title, more than any other conference in the nation. Arizona won its own Tucson regional and will face Baylor, Oregon captured its own Eugene regional and will play Kentucky, UCLA took the Los Angeles regional and will play Ole Miss, Washington won the Seattle regional and faces Utah who won its own Salt Lake City regional.
• Pac-12 co-player of the year, Arizona’s Katiyana Mauga, broke the career home run Conference record with number 91 on Saturday. She passed UCLA’s Stacey Nuveman and is now only four away from tying the NCAA record set my Oklahoma’s Lauren Chamberlain.
• Arizona advanced to its fourth-straight Super Regionals and 11th of the last 12 years. All in all, Arizona has won 28 Regionals since 1988. The Wildcats will host their first Super Regional since 2011.
• Oregon has two run-rule victories in their regionals win. The Ducks are now 24-0 in NCAA Regional games under head coach Mike White. In his eight seasons as head coach in Eugene, the Ducks have advanced to the super regional round each year.
• UCLA advanced to its ninth Super Regional after taking wins over Lehigh, San Jose State and Cal State Fullerton. Pac-12 freshman of the year Rachel Garcia struck out nine in a complete-game, six-hitter, allowing a run and no walks in a 9-1 victory Sunday.
• Washington is headed to its 11th NCAA Super Regionals. Sophomore pitcher Taran Alvelo (31-6) threw three complete games to improve to 3-0 at the Seattle Regional, including a no-hitter vs. Montana.
• Utah capped the weekend off with its largest NCAA Tournament win in program history, 14-0, over BYU two days after setting a previous program mark in a 10-0 win over Fordham.
• The NFCA announced the 2017 DI All-American 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.
• Washington’s Ali Aguilar, Utah’s Hannah Flippen and UCLA’s Delaney Spaulding have been named finalists for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, student-athletes must be classified as NCAA Division I seniors and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. The finalists were chosen by national media from the list of 30 candidates announced earlier this month. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner, and fans are encouraged to submit votes online at the Senior CLASS Award website through May 9 and will be announced during the 2017 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, June 1-7.
• Nine Pac-12 softball athletes have been named finalists for the 2017 USA Softball Player of the Year honor. The list includes Oregon’s Maggie Balint and Nikki Udria, Utah’s Hannah Flippen, Arizona’s Katiyana Mauga with teammates Taylor McQuillin, Mo Mercado, Danielle O’Toole and Mandie Perez, and UCLA’s Delaney Spaulding.
• CHASING HISTORY: Arizona’s Katiyana Mauga is on the verge of breaking the NCAA career home run record. She currently leads the Conference in home runs this season with 24.
NCAA Softball Career Home Runs
1. Lauren Chamberlain, Oklahoma 2012-15 95
2. Katiyana Mauga, Arizona 91
3. Stacey Nuveman, UCLA 1997, 99, 2001-02 90
4. Stacie Chambers, Arizona 2008-11 87
5. Leah Braatz, Arizona 1994-95, 97-98 85
6. Laura Espinoza, Arizona 1992-95 85
7. Shelby Pendley, Oklahoma 2012-15 84
8. Danyele Gomez, Louisiana 2003-06 83