NCAA Softball Championships: Oregon one win away from advancing; 5 Pac-12 teams victorious

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Seven Pac-12 teams took the field Friday in the NCAA Softball Regionals, and five left victorious as the hunt for a national championship begins. 

Related: 2018 NCAA Softball Championships bracket (]

Athens Regional: Cal 2, Northwestern 3


Cal lost a heartbreaker to Northwestern, 3-2, Friday in the Athens Regional. The first four innings were scoreless on both sides, but the fifth inning produced two runs for each team. The 2-2 tie carried into the seventh inning, when the Bears had a golden opportunity to break the tie and win it — bases loaded with just one out — but failed to capitalize, resulting in extra innings. 

In the next frame, Northwestern got on the board again with a two-out RBI single, giving the Wildcats the 3-2 lead and the eventual win.

Cal faces Harvard at 11:30 a.m. PT. If the Bears lose this one, they are out of the tournament. If they win, they jump right back onto the field for a 2 p.m. PT matchup with seventh-seeded Georgia or Northwestern.

Tuscaloosa Regional: Oregon State 3, Wisconsin 9

Oregon State

The Beavers move into the elimination bracket after a 9-3 eight-inning loss to Wisconsin on Friday in the Tuscaloosa Regional. Oregon State led the Badgers 3-2 heading into the seventh frame, but with two outs on the board, Wisconsin’s Kelsey Jenkins sent home teammate Jordan Little with an RBI single to tie it up and send the game to extras. 

In the eighth, the Badger bats scored six runs Oregon State’s Mariah Mazon, who threw one inning of relief to follow Meehra Nelson’s 7.0 innings.

Oregon State faces Middle Tennessee State Saturday at 2 p.m. PT. A loss for the Beavers means an exit from the tournament, while a win would lead to another game at 4:30 p.m. PT against Wisconsin or No. 12 seed Alabama.

Eugene Regional: Oregon 5, Drake 0


Oregon is in good shape to get out of the Eugene Regional unscathed. The Ducks followed up Thursday’s 4-0 win over Albany in the regional lid-lifter with a 5-0 win over Drake on Friday. Junior pitcher Megan Kleist had a perfect game going through the seventh inning, needing one final out to complete the feat. Instead, Drake’s Macy Johnson hit a chopper to right-center to reach first base. Kleist retired the next hitter to end the game.

Oregon led Drake, 2-0, heading into the fifth inning, but exited the frame with a 5-0 advantage courtesy of freshmen Lauren Burke and Mary Iakopo. Watch how it happened:

The Ducks face Drake in a rematch on Saturday at 4 p.m. PT for the regional championship. If Oregon loses and a second game is needed, that will be played immediately following the first game. 

Tempe Regional: Arizona State 2, New Mexico State 0

Arizona State

No. 8 seed Arizona State is off to a promising start with a 2-0 victory over New Mexico State in the Tempe Regional. ASU’s star lefty G Juarez struck out 10 in her shutout outing and gave up just two hits along with two walks.

The Devils found all the offense they would need in the first inning of play with a Morgan Howe RBI-double, plating Taylor Becerra and Kindra Hackbarth. 

This video nicely encapsulates the excitement of the day:

ASU hosts Ole Miss Saturday at 2 p.m. PT. The Rebels put up nine runs on Long Beach State on Friday.

Los Angeles Regional: UCLA 3, Sacramento State 0


Third-seeded UCLA cruised to a 3-0 win over Sacramento State in the Los Angeles Regional on Friday. Rachel Garcia, who commanded the circle for the Bruins, worked a no-hitter into the seventh inning. But, much like Oregon’s Megan Kleist, Garcia’s no-no was broken up in the final frame of the game via a one-out double by Sacramento State’s Sydney Rasmussen. 

The Bruins plated all three of their runs in the fifth inning, starting with this Kylee Perez single to send Taylor Pack home:

Pack was soon joined by Perez and Kinsley Washington via a Briana Perez single. UCLA faces fellow SoCal squad Cal State Fullerton at 2 p.m. PT on Saturday.

Tucson Regional: Arizona 1, St. Francis (PA) 0


It wasn’t the flashiest win for the 14th-seeded Wildcats, but their 1-0 win over Saint Francis was just enough Friday in the Tucson Regional. Arizona’s only run came from Jesse Harper in the fourth inning, a solo shot to left field. 

Wildcat pitcher Taylor McQuillin struck out eight while allowing four hits and four walks. The shutout is her 14th of the season.

Arizona plays North Dakota State on Saturday at 2 p.m. PT.

Seattle Regional: Washington 8, Boise State 0


The Pac-12 wrapped up its first full night of regional play with a statement victory by the Washington Huskies. They run-ruled Boise State in the Seattle Regional, putting up eight runs over five innings. 

Things got started for UW in the second frame, when a bases-juiced walk resulted in Emma Helm jogging home for a 1-0 lead. In the fourth, four Dawgs scored: Taryn Atlee, Kelly Burdick, Taylor Van Zee and Julia DePonte. 

The party continued for Washington in the fifth, tacking on three more runs (Taryn Atlee, Kelly Burdick and Sis Bates) and getting eight batters in a row on base to wrap up the game in style.

Here’s a nice highlight reel to get you fully caught up:

Washington has Texas on Saturday at 2 p.m. PT.

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