5 newcomers to know for the 2022 Pac-12 softball season
The 2022 Pac-12 softball season is quickly approaching, with first pitch set for Feb. 10. To prepare for what should be another exciting year, Pac-12.com is highlighting some of the top student-athletes across the conference. Next up? Five of the Pac-12's top newcomers.
Blaise Biringer, IF — Arizona
The Ole Miss transfer will replenish an Arizona infield that has to replace three all-conference players — Reyna Carranco, Malia Martinez and Jessie Harper.
Biringer was super productive in her lone season with the Rebels, starting at second base and making the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2021 after hitting .337 with five triples, the third-most in the conference. Her 64 hits were the ninth-most in the conference.
No matter which infield position Biringer plays, she will find herself at home in Tucson. She was a three-time All-State player at Cienega High School, about 25 miles southeast of the UA campus.
Mac Morgan, RHP — Arizona State
The Sun Devils allowed 192 runs last season, the second-most in the Pac-12. A lack of depth in the circle was the main culprit. Allison Royalty and Lindsay Lopez combined for 139.2 of Arizona State's 146 innings in conference play.
Morgan should lighten the load for those two in 2022, joining the Sun Devils after an illustrious career at Sherwood High School in Creighton, Missouri.
Morgan was named the Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year in 2019 after posting a 0.12 ERA on the way to a Class 2 state championship. Morgan fanned 366 batters in just 175.1 innings while only permitting 29 hits and 34 walks. The 5-foot-8 right-hander throws in the high 60s and can touch the low 70s.
Extra Inning Softball ranked Morgan as the No. 4 recruit in her class, so the buzz surrounding her arrival is palpable.
Acacia Anders, IF — California
The Golden Bears didn't get much offensive production from their middle infield last season, but that could change in a big way with the addition of Anders, a top-50 recruit, according to Extra Inning Softball.
From nearby Vacaville, Anders flashed all five tools as a senior at Vacaville High School, hitting .528 with four homers, five doubles, two triples and five stolen bases in just 13 games.
Her sweet left-handed swing should boost a Cal offense that finished last in the Pac-12 in runs scored last season.
KK Humphreys, IF — Oregon
The Cal State Fullerton transfer should shore up Oregon's middle infield. Humphreys made the Big West All-Freshman Team team last season after hitting .366 with nine homers, 10 doubles, 35 RBI and 15 stolen bases.
Humphreys mostly played second base at CSUF, but also made a dozen starts at shortstop. She improved drastically as the year went on, hitting .441 in Big West play with six homers, six doubles and 25 RBI.
That kind of production will be a welcomed addition to an Oregon lineup that finished fifth in the Pac-12 in runs scored last season.
Olivia Johnson, C — Washington
The Huskies have to replace Morganne Flores, their former all-conference catcher who was a .333 hitter, a steady backstop and finished third in program history in career homers (60). That sounds like a daunting task, but head coach Heather Tarr said Johnson is "more than capable of it."
Regarded as one of the top young catchers in the country, Johnson hit .399 with an OBP over .500 during her career at Dawson High School in Pearland, Texas.
Then this winter, she won a gold medal with Team USA at the Junior Pan American Games and the WBSC U-18 World Cup. She hit .312 in that tournament, drove in three runs, scored five times, and coaxed four walks.
For more Pac-12 softball coverage, check out earlier installations of our season preview series: