Pac-12 Softball led by four teams ranked in top-10

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Washington (23-0) and UCLA (19-0) remain unbeaten through the first four weeks of the season, and for the second week in a row the Huskies earned a No. 1 ranking by both USA Today/NFCA and USA Softball/ESPN.com polls. The Bruins stayed at No. 3 in both polls, and No. 6/5 Oregon (18-4) and No. 9/9 Arizona (15-2) rounded out the top-10 rankings for the conference.

Oregon, Utah, UCLA, and Washington picked up wins against ranked opponents, highlighted by unranked Utah earning a win against #7/6 Texas A&M.

Washington accumulated a pair of Pac-12 weekly honors with Julia DePonte receiving Player of the Week and Gabbie Plain winning Freshman of the Week. Plain was also named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA DI National Player of the Week. To wrap up the Pac-12 honors, Oregon’s Miranda Elish earned the title of Pac-12 Pitcher of the week.

The Pac-12 tops the NCAA statistics in 10 categories, including one team and 11 individual categories. Washington and UCLA are tied for first in W/L percentage (1.000).

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 for the second-straight week. Also featured in the poll is Arizona State (No. 14) and California (No. 17). The Pac-12’s six teams is the second-most of any conference in the rankings, only behind the SEC’s nine selections.

The same six teams earned rankings in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll: Washington is No. 1, UCLA is No. 3, Oregon is No. 5, Arizona is No. 9, Arizona State is No. 14 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, Mar. 7    
Georgetown at #14/14 ARIZONA STATE Live Stream 5 p.m. PT
Thursday, Mar. 8    
Miami (OH) vs. UTAH (1)   11 a.m. PT
UTAH vs. Maryland (1) Live Stream 1:30 p.m. PT
South Dakota vs. #9/9 ARIZONA (2) Live Stream 5 p.m. PT
Toledo vs. #6/5 OREGON (3) Live Stream 5:30 p.m. PT
Friday, Mar. 9    
Michigan State vs. #3/3 UCLA (4)   9 a.m. PT
Seattle vs. OREGON STATE (5)   10:30 a.m. PT
San Jose State vs. #3/3 UCLA (4)   11:30 a.m. PT
Wisconsin vs. #9/9 ARIZONA (2) Live Stream 12 p.m. PT
Monmouth vs. #17/16 CALIFORNIA (6)   12 p.m. PT
#1/1 WASHINGTON vs. New Mexico State (7)   1:30 p.m. PT
San Diego vs. #9/9 ARIZONA (2) Live Stream 2 p.m. PT
UC Santa Barbara vs. #17/16 CALIFORNIA (6)   2:30 p.m. PT
OREGON STATE vs. CSUN (5)   3 p.m. PT
Wagner vs. STANFORD (8) Live Stream 3:30 p.m. PT
Weber State vs. #6/5 OREGON (3) Live Stream 5:30 p.m. PT
CSU Bakersfield vs. STANFORD (8) Live Stream 6 p.m. PT
Minnesota at #14/14 ARIZONA STATE Live Stream 6 p.m. PT
#1/1 WASHINGTON vs. UNLV (7)   6 p.m. PT
Saturday, Mar. 10    
SC Upstate vs #9/9 ARIZONA (2) Live Stream 8 a.m. PT
Seattle vs. OREGON STATE (5)   8 a.m. PT
#1/1 WASHINGTON vs. DePaul (7)   9 a.m. PT
Cleveland State vs. #17/16 CALIFORNIA (6)   9 a.m. PT
UTAH vs. Maryland (1) Live Stream 9:30 a.m. PT
Wisconsin vs. #9/9 ARIZONA (2) Live Stream 10 a.m. PT
Texas Tech vs. OREGON STATE (5)   10:30 a.m. PT
#1/1 WASHINGTON vs. New Mexico State (7)   11:15 a.m. PT
Wagner vs. STANFORD (8) Live Stream 12 p.m. PT
Boston U vs. #3/3 UCLA (4)   2 p.m. PT
CSU Bakersfield vs. STANFORD (8) Live Stream 2:30 p.m. PT
Yale vs. UTAH (1)   2:30 p.m. PT
Weber State vs. #6/5 OREGON (3) Live Stream 5 p.m. PT
#17/16 CALIFORNIA vs. Fresno State (6)   5 p.m. PT
Montana vs. #6/5 OREGON (3) Live Stream 7 p.m. PT
Sunday, Mar. 11    
Texas Tech vs. OREGON STATE (5)   8 a.m. PT
#1/1 WASHINGTON vs. Portland State (7)   9 a.m. PT
Ohio State vs. #3/3 UCLA (4)   10 a.m. PT
Wagner vs. STANFORD (8) Live Stream 11 a.m. PT
Monmouth vs. #17/16 CALIFORNIA (6)   11:30 a.m. PT
Montana vs. #6/5 OREGON (3) Live Stream 12 p.m. PT
#3/3 UCLA vs. Long Beach State (4)   12:30 p.m. PT
SC Upstate vs. #9/9 ARIZONA (2) Live Stream 1 p.m. PT
CSU Bakersfield vs. STANFORD (8) Live Stream 1:30 p.m. PT
Minnesota at #14/14 ARIZONA STATE  Live Stream 2 p.m. PT
Bryant vs. #6/5 OREGON (3) Live Stream 2:30 p.m. PT
Minnesota at #14/14 ARIZONA STATE Live Stream 4 p.m. PT

(1) - Maryland Tournament; College Park, MD
(2) - Wildcat Invitational; Tucson, AZ
(3) - Oregon Invitational; Eugene, OR
(4) - Louisville Slugger Invitational; Long Beach, CA
(5) - CSUN Tournament, Northridge, CA
(6) - Fresno State Tournament; Fresno, CA
(7) - Rebel Classic; Las Vegas, NV
(8) - Stanford Easton Classis; Stanford, CA


CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)

Teams Pac-12 Record Overall Record
Washington 0-0 23-0
UCLA 0-0 19-0
Arizona State 0-0 17-2
Arizona 0-0 15-2
California 0-0 18-3
Oregon 0-0 18-4
Oregon State 0-0 13-8
Stanford 0-0 13-8
Utah 0-0 9-7

PAC-12 SOFTBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

  Player of the Week Pitcher of the Week Freshman of the Week
Mar. 6 Julia DePonte, WASH Miranda Elish, ORE Gabbie Plain, WASH
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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