Pac-12 Softball set for 2018 season

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Pac-12 softball teams are set to start the 2018 season this week. ARIZONA STATE hosts the annual Kajikawa Classic starting Thursday and will be televised on Pac-12 Networks. Twenty-eight teams, including six Pac-12 teams will play over four days and on five separate fields, continuing the tradition of being one of the largest preseason tournaments in the nation.

Pac-12 Networks will televise 17 games of the Kajikawa Classic live, including Pac-12 Arizona, Pac-12 Bay Area, Pac-12 Oregon and Pac-12 Mountain. STANFORD kicks off the event on the Pac-12 Network against BYU.

Six teams are ranked in the USA Today/NFCA preseason poll and seven teams are ranked in the ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason poll with Oregon leading the league at No. 3 in both. The Ducks were voted the favorite to win the Pac-12 regular season by the league’s coaches.

The 2018 season is highlighted by top-returning talent in 2017 NFCA Freshman of the Year and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year UCLA’s Rachel Garcia and three NFCA All-Americans. 13 Pac-12 student-athletes appear on the USA Softball Top 50 Collegiate Player of the Year watch list, as well.

Last season, Oregon, UCLA and Washington advanced to Oklahoma City for the NCAA Women’s College World Series. UCLA was eliminated by Washington (1-0) on June 3rd while the Bruins and Ducks made it to the semifinal games where UO fell to LSU, 4-1, and the Huskies fell to eventual NCAA Champion Oklahoma, 3-1.

IN THE RANKINGS: Oregon leads six ranked Pac-12 teams in the USA Today/NFCA preseason poll at No. 3. The Pac-12 leads all conferences for the most teams in the top-10 as No. 4 Washington, No. 5 UCLA and No. 7 Arizona join the Ducks in the top-10. Utah (No. 15) and Arizona State (No. 23) are also ranked with California receiving votes.

Seven teams are ranked in the ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason poll: Oregon is No. 3, UCLA is No. 4, Washington is No. 5, Arizona is No. 7, Utah is tied for No. 16 and Arizona State is No. 19. California is receiving 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 Rachel Garcia. Arizona’s Jessie Harper returns as a sophomore after being selected first team last year. Along with Harper, Oregon’s Megan Kleist and UCLA’s Rachel 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. 24.

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


UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Thursday, Feb. 8    
#19/22 BYU vs. STANFORD (1) P12N 1:30 p.m. PT
#3/3 OREGON vs. #25/25 Georgia (1) P12N 4 p.m. PT
San Diego State vs. STANFORD (1)   6:15 p.m. PT
#12/11 Tennessee at #23/19 ARIZONA STATE (1) P12A 6:30 p.m. PT
Friday, Feb. 9    
Fresno State vs. #3/3 OREGON (1) P12N 8 a.m. PT
#24/21 Oklahoma State vs. OREGON STATE (1)   8 a.m. PT
New Mexico vs. #15/16 UTAH (1)   8:15 a.m. PT
Saint Louis vs.#4/5  WASHINGTON (2)   9:30 a.m. PT
#25/25 Georgia vs. #15/16 UTAH (1)   10:30 a.m. PT
Northwestern vs. #7/7 ARIZONA (1) P12N 10:30 a.m. PT
Bradley vs. #4/5 WASHINGTON (2)   12 p.m. PT
UC Santa Barbara vs. CALIFORNIA (3)   12:30 p.m. PT
Indiana vs. OREGON STATE (1) P12N 1 p.m. PT
CSUN vs. #3/3 OREGON (1)   1 p.m. PT
#23/19 ARIZONA STATE vs. Purdue (1)   1 p.m. PT
Maryland vs. #5/4 UCLA (4)   3:30 p.m. PT
Seattle vs. STANFORD (1)   4 p.m. PT
#7/7 ARIZONA vs. #24/21 Oklahoma State (1) P12A 4 p.m. PT
Middle Tennessee vs. #5/4 UCLA (4)   6 p.m. PT
Nebraska at #23/19 ARIZONA STATE (1) P12A 6:30 p.m. PT
Saturday, Feb. 10    
Miamai (OH) vs. #4/5 WASHINGTON (2)   7 a.m. PT
Fresno State vs. STANFORD (1) P12N 8 a.m. PT
Nebraska vs. #15/16 UTAH (1)   8 a.m. PT
#19/22 BYU vs. OREGON STATE (1)   8:15 a.m. PT
Missouri vs. #3/3 OREGON (1) P12N 10:30 a.m. PT
UC Davis vs. #7/7 ARIZONA (1)   10:45 a.m. PT
Cal Poly vs. #5/4 UCLA (4)   12 p.m. PT
Western Illinois vs. #4/5 WASHINGTON (2)   12 p.m. PT
#12/11 Tennessee vs. #15/16 UTAH (1) P12N 1 p.m. PT
Santa Clara vs. CALIFORNIA (3)   1:10 p.m. PT
CSUN vs. STANFORD (1)   1:15 p.m. PT
CALIFORNIA at Sacramento State (3)   3:15 p.m. PT
#25/25 Georgia vs. OREGON STATE (1) P12O 4 p.m. PT
Fresno State vs. #7/7 ARIZONA (1)   4 p.m. PT
Notre Dame at #23/19 ARIZONA STATE (1) P12A 6:30 p.m. PT
Sunday, Feb. 11    
Bradley vs. #4/5 WASHINGTON (2)   7 a.m. PT
OREGON STATE vs. Missouri (1) P12N 8 a.m. PT
Indiana at #23/19 ARIZONA STATE (1) P12A 10:30 a.m. PT
New Mexico vs. #3/3 OREGON (1)   10:30 a.m. PT
Santa Clara vs. CALIFORNIA (3)   12 p.m. PT
Boise State vs. STANFORD (1)   1 p.m. PT
Saint Mary's (CA) vs. #15/16 UTAH (1) P12M 1 p.m. PT
New Mexico vs. #7/7 ARIZONA (1)   1 p.m. PT
Cal Poly vs. #5/4 UCLA (4)   2 p.m. PT
CALIFORNIA at Sacramento State (3)   2:30 p.m. PT
Saint Mary's (CA) at #23/19 ARIZONA STATE (1) P12A 3:30 p.m. PT
UC Riverside vs. #5/4 UCLA (4)   4:30 p.m. PT

(1) - Kajikawa Classic, Tempe, Ariz.
(2) - Bradley Tournament, Peoria, Ill.
(3) - Sacramento State Tournament, Sacramento, Calif.
(4) - Stacey Winsberg Memorial Tournament, Los Angeles, Calif.


CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)

Teams Pac-12 Record Overall Record
Arizona 0-0 0-0
Arizona State 0-0 0-0
California 0-0 0-0
Oregon 0-0 0-0
Oregon State 0-0 0-0
Stanford 0-0 0-0
UCLA 0-0 0-0
Utah 0-0 0-0
Washington 0-0 0-0
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