Undefeated UCLA leads five ranked Pac-12 Softball teams
Pac-12 Softball programs have combined for a 63-23 record (.732) for the second-best winning percentage of any power conference after two weeks of competition.
No. 2 UCLA paces the league with an impressive 9-0 start to remain one of only 10 undefeated teams in the country. The Bruins went 4-0 and outscored their opponents 32-4 at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament last week.
No. 17 OREGON, CALIFORNIA and UTAH played a total of 14 games at ESPN Event’s first-annual St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational, which featured nine ranked teams in the USA Today top-25. The Pac-12 pulled off two upsets in the tournament as Oregon knocked off No. 8 LSU (8-5) and receiving votes Cal upset No. 23 James Madison (7-2).
UPCOMING: National tournaments continue to headline the weekly schedule as seven Pac-12 teams hit the road this week for the annual Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs, California. Five ranked Pac-12 teams comprise nine total top-25 teams set to compete in the classic (No. 16 Kentucky, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 20 Oklahoma State, and No. 23 Texas Tech).
This week’s Pac-12 softball slate of 49 games includes 11 against ranked opponents and several marquee matchups for the second week in a row. No. 2 UCLA and No. 5 Washington both take on No. 16 Kentucky while the Bruins and No. 14 ARIZONA face No. 4 ranked and 2018 Women’s College World Series participant Oklahoma.
RECAP: Pac-12 star pitchers showed off last week as two underclassmen threw no-hitters. Oregon sophomore Jordan Dail went the distance versus Florida Atlantic (2-0), recording nine strikeouts in seven innings of work. Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Megan Faraimo of UCLA tossed the 110th no-hitter in program history in an 8-0 shutout against Fresno State on Saturday. Three pitchers rank in the top-10 for the most strikeouts in the country with UCLA’s Rachel Garcia at No. 4 (49), Oregon’s Jordan Dail at No. 7 (46) and ARIZONA’s Taylor McQuillin coming in at No. 9 (45).
No. 5 Washington wrapped up the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge with seven-straight wins and three versus ranked opponents- then No. 18 Baylor (8-2), No. 25 Mississippi State (7-5) and No. 12 Arkansas (3-2)- to improve to 8-1 overall. Pitcher Taran Alvelo won her 80th career game in Washington’s 3-1 victory over UCF, making her the eighth Husky to accomplish that feat.
UCLA’s Rachel Garcia was tabbed Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for the second consecutive week to begin the 2019 season after throwing two complete-game victories over Ole Miss (4-0) and LMU (3-1). Garcia struck out 27 batters in 14 innings without giving up a single walk to rank second nationally in strikeout-to-walk ratio (24.50) and fifth in strikeouts per seven innings (12.9).
No. 13 ARIZONA STATE’s Kindra Hackbarth, the Pac-12 Player of the Week, recorded 11 RBIs and hit three home runs to lead the Sun Devils to four wins in the Littlewood Classic, besting Illinois State (9-6), Central Michigan (8-2), Utah State (10-2) and San Diego (12-3).
PAC-12 SOFTBALL NOTES: Pac-12 teams rank in the top-five of seven different NCAA statistical categories. No. 14 ARIZONA ranks second in home runs per game (2.00), Arizona State is fourth in slugging percentage (.659) and on base percentage (.479) and third in runs scored (9.20). UCLA is second in strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.42) and tied for first in win-loss percentage (1.000). UCLA and Arizona State rank Nos. 3 and 10 in batting average at .386 and .369, respectively.
Oregon State’s Frankie Hammoude ranks second in home runs (6), third in RBIs (19), sixth in total bases (32) and 11th in slugging percentage (1.185). UCLA’s Megan Faraimo ranks fifth in hits allowed per seven innings (1.70) and Oregon State’s Nerissa Eason follows in seventh (2.27). Arizona’s Alyssa Palomino and Jessie Harper are tied for eight for the most home runs in the country. (5).
IN THE RANKINGS: Five Pac-12 teams are ranked in the USA Today/NFCA poll with No. 2 UCLA and No. 5 Washington in the top-10 for the third-straight week. No. 13 Arizona State, No. 14 Arizona and No. 17 Oregon are in the ranks with California and Oregon State receiving votes.
Five teams remain in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 with No. 2 UCLA, No. 5 Washington, No. 13 Arizona, No. 15 Arizona State and No. 17 Oregon while California and Oregon State are again receiving votes.
RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS: Six NFCA D-I All-America team members are returning for the 2019 season, including the NFCA Player of the Year in UCLA pitcher Rachel Garcia. Four first-team selections headline Pac-12 rosters with Arizona’s Alyssa Palomino, Washington’s Sis Bates, and the UCLA duo of Garcia and Aaliyah Jordan. The Huskies lead all league teams with three total returning All-Americans including second-team member Taran Alvelo and third-team honoree Gabbie Plain.
RANKED NEWCOMERS: All nine Pac-12 teams appear in the top-34 of FloSoftball’s 2019 recruiting class rankings. Oregon leads the league at No. 12 with five newcomers, followed by No. 15 California, No. 16 UCLA, No. 23 Oregon State, No. 25 Washington, No. 26 Arizona State, No. 27 Stanford, No. 31 Utah and No. 32 Arizona.
WATCH LISTS: Twelve Pac-12 student-athletes appear on the USA Softball Top 50 Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List for the second most of any Conference (SEC-13). Arizona and Washington lead all institutions with four representatives each, while UCLA is tied for the second most (Florida, Oklahoma) with three players on the Watch List. Reigning Player of the Year, UCLA pitcher Rachel Garcia, highlights the list.
Previous league recipients of the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award include Stacey Nuveman (UCLA, 2002), Danielle Lawrie (Washington, 2009 and 2010), Ashley Hansen (Stanford, 2011) and Rachel Garcia (UCLA, 2018).
|Thursday Feb. 21|
|New Mexico State vs. #17 OREGON (1)||10 a.m. PT|
|#20 Oklahoma State vs. #13 ARIZONA STATE (1)||10 a.m. PT|
|Bethune-Cookman vs. #17 OREGON (1)||12:30 p.m. PT|
|#23 Texas Tech vs #13 ARIZONA STATE (1)||1 p.m. PT|
|#14 ARIZONA vs. Missouri (1)||3:30 p.m. PT|
|#9 LSU vs. STANFORD (2)||4 p.m. PT|
|#14 ARIZONA vs UCSB (1)||6 p.m. PT|
|Texas A&M vs No. 2 UCLA (1)||8 p.m. PT|
|Colorado State vs UTAH (1)||8:30 p.m. PT|
|Friday, Feb. 22|
|CSUN vs. STANFORD (2)||10 a.m. PT|
|Nebraska vs. #13 ARIZONA STATE (1)||10 a.m. PT|
|Cal Poly vs. #5 WASHINGTON (1)||10:30 a.m. PT|
|Nevada vs. OREGON STATE (3)||11 a.m. PT|
|Army vs. #17 OREGON (1)||12:30 p.m. PT|
|Duke vs. CALIFORNIA (1)||12:30 p.m. PT|
|Michigan vs. STANFORD (2)||12:30 p.m. PT|
|#16 Kentucky vs. #5 WASHINGTON (1)||1 p.m. PT|
|#14 ARIZONA vs. #20 Oklahoma State (1)||3 p.m. PT|
|North Carolina vs. UTAH (1)||3 p.m. PT|
|Pacific vs. OREGON STATE (3)||3:30 p.m. PT|
|#14 ARIZONA vs. Long Beach State (1)||5:30 p.m. PT|
|Texas A&M vs. #13 ARIZONA STATE (1)||5:30 p.m. PT|
|UCSB vs. UTAH (1)||5:30 p.m. PT|
|#4 Oklahoma vs. #2 UCLA (1)||6 p.m. PT|
|Missouri vs. #2 UCLA (1)||8:30 p.m. PT|
|Saturday, Feb. 23|
|Memphis vs. STANFORD (2)||7:30 a.m. PT|
|Northwestern vs. UTAH (1)||9:30 a.m. PT|
|Texas A&M vs. #17 OREGON (1)||9:30 a.m. PT|
|#14 ARIZONA vs. #4 Oklahoma (1)||10 a.m. PT|
|Ohio State vs. UTAH (1)||12 p.m. PT|
|#23 Texas Tech vs. #17 OREGON (1)||12 p.m. PT|
|Cal St. Fullerton vs. #5 WASHINGTON (1)||2:30 p.m. PT|
|#16 Kentucky vs. CALIFORNIA(1)||2:30 p.m. PT|
|Nebraska vs. #2 UCLA (1)||3 p.m. PT|
|California Baptist vs. OREGON STATE (3)||3:30 p.m. PT|
|Missouri vs. #5 WASHINGTON (1)||5 p.m. PT|
|New Mexico State vs. CALIFORNIA (1)||5 p.m. PT|
|#16 Kentucky vs. #2 UCLA (1)||5:30 p.m. PT|
|Bethune-Cookman vs. #13 ARIZONA STATE (1)||8 p.m. PT|
|Sunday, Feb. 24|
|CSUN vs. STANFORD (2)||7 a.m. PT|
|Duke vs. UTAH (1)||9 a.m. PT|
|Northwestern vs. #5 WASHINGTON (1)||9 a.m. PT|
|UCSB vs. #17 OREGON (1)||9 a.m. PT|
|Pacific vs. OREGON STATE (3)||10 a.m. PT|
|Long Beach State vs. CALIFORNIA (1)||11:30 a.m. PT|
|#23 Texas Tech vs. #5 WASHINGTON (1)||11:30 a.m. PT|
|Cal Poly vs. #13 ARIZONA STATE (1)||2 p.m. PT|
|Cal St. Fullerton vs. CALIFORNIA (1)||2 p.m. PT|
|Colorado State vs. #2 UCLA (1)||2 p.m. PT|
(1) Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic
(2) LSU Invitational
(3) Libby Matson Tournament
CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)
|Teams||Pac-12 Record||Overall Record|
2019 PAC-12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
|Player of the Week||Pitcher of the Week||Freshman of the Week|
|Feb. 12||Missy Nunes, OSU||Rachel Garcia, UCLA||Rachel Cid, ORE|
|Feb. 19||Kindra Hackbarth, ASU||Rachel Garcia, UCLA||Megan Faraimo, UCLA|