UCLA clinches 2021 Pac-12 softball title, fourth since 2006
SAN FRANCISCO — The 2019 NCAA Softball champions took the first step to defending their title as UCLA captured the 2021 Pac-12 Softball championship, following a Stanford victory over Washington on Friday evening. As Pac-12 regular-season champions, the Bruins will receive the Conference’s automatic bid to the 2021 NCAA Division I Softball Tournament.
With one Conference game remaining and a (.900) win percentage, UCLA (40-3, 18-2 Pac-12) cannot be caught in the league standings and has secured a second straight league crown after sharing the 2019 title with Washington. It marks the Bruins’ 11th all-time Conference championship, including the program’s fourth since 2006, to surpass Arizona (10) for the most in league history.
In the most recent update, UCLA ranked No. 2 in the USA Today/NFCA DI Coaches Poll, just behind No. 1 Oklahoma. In 2019, the Bruins defeated the Sooners in the Women’s College World Series to secure their 12th national title in program history. Two-way star Rachel Garcia, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2019 WCWS, currently leads the Pac-12 in earned run average and ranks in the top-10 in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and opponent’s batting average surrendered. Teammate Megan Faraimo ranks fourth in strikeouts and fifth in wins on the season. Prior to its final series of the 2021 regular season, UCLA’s lineup sat atop the Conference in on-base percentage (.424) and stolen bases (58), while the rotation led the Pac-12 in earned run average (1.15), opposing batting average (.163) and earned runs allowed (43).
The Pac-12 currently features five programs ranked in the top-12 — No. 2 UCLA, No. 5 WASHINGTON, No. 8 ARIZONA, No. 11 OREGON and No. 12 ARIZONA STATE. Historically, the Pac-12 has won 24 of a possible 38 Women’s College World Series titles.
The 2021 NCAA selection show will take place at 6 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. MT on Sunday, May 16 on ESPN2. NCAA Regionals will begin on Friday, May 21, with Super Regionals kicking off on Thursday, May 27, and the Women’s College World Series on Thursday, June 3.