Pac-12 Softball Weekly Release - Feb. 16, 2022
SAN FRANCISCO - The second week of 2022 Pac-12 softball will be highlighted by seven top-25 matchups.
THIS WEEK AHEAD: Six tournaments are set to take place this week that will feature at least one Pac-12 team, starting with the Stanford Invitational, which begins Thursday, Feb. 17, in Stanford, Calif. A total of 45 Pac-12 games will be played over four days this week, with 30 games set to be televised on ESPN, ESPNU, ESPN+, in addition to those available through livestream outlets.
On Friday, No. 6 Washington will face off against No. 18 Tennessee at the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational at 9:30 a.m. PT on SEC Network. Later that evening, the Huskies will match up with No. 21 LSU at 4 p.m. PT on ESPN+.
On Saturday, No. 3 UCLA and No. 11 Texas will meet at the same tournament in Florida, which is being played at the Eddie C. Moore Complex, at 1 p.m. PT on ESPNU, while Washington will take on No. 7 Oklahoma State at 3 p.m. PT on ESPN+. At 3:30 p.m. PT, No. 16 Kentucky will travel to Tucson to face No. 9 Arizona in the Hillenbrand Invitational, which will be available via an Arizona Live Stream.
On Sunday, Washington will faced another ranked foe in No. 15 Clemson at 7 a.m. PT on ESPNU. The weekend will end with a top-5 matchup between No. 3 UCLA and No. 5 Florida State at 4 p.m. PT on the final day of the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational on ESPN.
IN THE RANKINGS: UCLA leads five ranked Pac-12 teams in this week's USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Coaches Poll at No. 3. The Pac-12 had the second-most teams in the top-25 (SEC - 8), as No. 6 Washington and No. 9 Arizona join the Bruins in the top-10. No. 12 Oregon and No. 23 Arizona State are also in the rankings while Stanford is receiving votes.
Five teams are also ranked in this week's ESPN.com/USA Softball Rankings: UCLA is No. 3, Washington is No. 5, Arizona is No. 11, Oregon is No. 13, Arizona State is No. 21, while Stanford and Oregon State are receiving votes.
NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Washington's Olivia Johnson claimed the first D1 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player of the Week honor after bursting onto the scene last week in Mexico.
She was named MVP of the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge as she reached base safely in her first 14 plate appearances, going 7-for-7 with three home runs, eight RBIs and drawing seven walks (five intentional). The freshman marked the best start to a season or career by any Husky, as she was the first Husky freshman to hit back-to-back home runs in first two plate appearances, as well as the first to start a season or career going 7-for-7. Johnson finished the tournament with a .700 average, five runs scored, 1.800 slugging percentage and a .833 on-base percentage.
PRESEASON COACHES POLL: Defending Pac-12 Champion UCLA was voted by the Conference's softball head coaches as the league's preseason favorite for the second consecutive season as the Bruins collected a total of 63 points. The Bruins finished the 2021 season with a record of 47-7 (19-2 in Pac-12), a No. 5 ranking in the final USA Today/NFCA poll and made their sixth-straight appearance to the Women's College World Series. UCLA returns 10 student-athletes who appeared in at least 40 games and 17 total letterwinners who accounted for 63 percent of its hits and 82 percent of its runs from a season ago.
Washington came in second (55), while Arizona (45) and Oregon (45) are tied for third. Arizona State totaled 37 points to finish fifth, and Stanford (31), Oregon State (25), California (12) and Utah (11) rounded out the poll.
RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS: Eight NFCA DI All-America team members are returning for the 2022 season, including Arizona’s 2021 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and Batting Champion Janelle Meoño, Oregon’s fifth-year senior Brooke Yanez, UCLA’s Megan Faraimo, Maya Brady, Aaliyah Jordan and Briana Perez, and Washington's fifth-year senior Gabbie Plain and senior Baylee Klingler.
WATCH LISTS: Nine Pac-12 student-athletes appear on the USA Softball Top 50 Collegiate Player of the Year watch list. Arizona’s Janelle Meoño, Oregon’s Brooke Yanez, Stanford's Alana Vawter, UCLA’s Megan Faraimo and Aaliyah Jordan, Briana Perez, Utah’s Alyssa Barrera, Washington’s Baylee Klingler and Gabbie Plain.
OLYMPIANS MADE HERE: The Pac-12 boasted 20 Olympians on the rosters of five different countries at last summer’s Tokyo Games, including eight of the 15 on Team USA. Returning Olympians on campus this season include Arizona's Giulia Koutsoyanopulos (Italy), Washington's Gabbie Plain (Australia) and Oregon State's Tarni Stepto (Australia).
Oregon State head coach Laura Berg and Washington head coach Heather Tarr were Team USA assistants in Tokyo and in October, Tarr was named the new leader of the 2022 U.S. National Team. Since becoming UW's head coach in 2005, Tarr has become the winningest coach of any sport in Huskies' history.
UPCOMING SCHEDULE (Full Schedule)
|Thursday, Feb. 17|
|No. 12 Oregon vs. Texas State||2 p.m. PT|
|BYU vs. Stanford (2)||Stanford Live Stream||3:30 p.m. PT|
|Minnesota vs. No. 23 Arizona State (3)||Arizona State Live Stream||5 p.m. PT|
|Friday, Feb. 18|
|California vs. Illinois State (3)||8 a.m. PT|
|Oregon State vs. South Dakota State (5)||9 a.m. PT|
|No. 6 Washington vs. No. 18 Tennessee (1)||SEC Network||9:30 a.m PT|
|No. 3 UCLA vs. Northwestern (1)||ESPN+||10 a.m. PT|
|Utah vs. Saint Mary's (6)||11 a.m. PT|
|Oregon State vs. UC Riverside (5)||11:30 a.m. PT|
|No. 12 Oregon vs. Baylor||ESPN+||12:30 p.m. PT|
|California vs. Portland State (3)||1 p.m. PT|
|Utah vs. Sacramento State (6)||1:30 p.m. PT|
|UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 9 Arizona (4)||Arizona Live Stream||2 p.m. PT|
|Illinois-Chicago vs. Stanford (2)||Stanford Live Stream||2:30 p.m. PT|
|No. 12 Oregon vs. Baylor||ESPN+||3 p.m. PT|
|No. 6 Washington vs. No. 21 LSU (1)||ESPN+||4 p.m. PT|
|Long Beach State vs. No. 9 Arizona (4)||Arizona Live Stream||4 p.m. Pt|
|Seattle vs. Stanford (2)||Stanford Live Stream||5 p.m. PT|
|Portland State vs. No. 23 Arizona State (3)||Arizona State Live Stream||6 p.m. PT|
|Saturday, Feb. 19|
|No. 3 UCLA vs. Auburn (1)||ESPNU||7 a.m. PT|
|Oregon State vs. DePaul (5)||9 a.m. PT|
|No. 12 Oregon vs. Baylor||ESPN+||10 a.m. PT|
|California vs. Portland State (3)||10:30 a.m. PT|
|Utah vs. Sacramento State (6)||11 a.m. PT|
|No. 6 Washington vs. Texas Tech (1)||ESPN+||11:30 a.m. PT|
|No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 11 Texas (1)||ESPNU||1 p.m. PT|
|Loyola Marymount vs. No. 9 Arizona (4)||Arizona Live Stream||2 p.m. PT|
|No. 6 Washington vs. No. 7 Oklahoma State (1)||ESPN+||3 p.m. PT|
|Illinois State vs. No. 23 Arizona State (3)||Arizona State Live State||3:30 p.m. PT|
|No. 16 Kentucky vs. No. 9 Arizona (4)||Arizona Live Stream||4 p.m. PT|
|Utah vs. UC San Diego (6)||ESPN+||4:30 p.m. PT|
|Illinois-Chicago vs. Stanford (2)||Stanford Live Stream||6 p.m. PT|
|Minnesota vs. No. 23 Arizona State (3)||Arizona State Live Stream||6 p.m. PT|
|Sunday, Feb. 20|
|No. 6 Washington vs. No. 15 Clemson (1)||ESPNU||7 a.m. PT|
|Oregon State vs. Iowa (5)||9 a.m. PT|
|No. 3 UCLA vs. Wisconsin (1)||ESPNU||9 a.m. PT|
|California vs. Minnesota (3)||9:30 a.m. PT|
|Seattle vs. Stanford (2)||Stanford Live Stream||11:45 a.m. PT|
|California vs. UTEP (3)||12 p.m. PT|
|Utah vs. Saint Mary's||12:30 p.m. PT|
|Long Beach State vs. No. 9 Arizona (4)||Arizona Live Stream||1 p.m. PT|
|San Jose State vs. Stanford (2)||Stanford Live Stream||2 p.m. PT|
|Oregon State vs. San Diego (5)||2 p.m. PT|
|UTEP vs. No. 23 Arizona State (3)||Arizona State Live Stream||2:30 p.m. PT|
|No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 5 Florida State (1)||ESPN||4 p.m. PT|
- (1) - St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational, Clearwater, FL.
- (2) - Stanford Invitational, Sanford, Calif.
- (3) - Litteword Classic, Tempe, Ariz.
- (4) - Hillenbrand Invitational, Tucson, Ariz.
- (5) - USD Tournament, San Diego, Calif.
- (6) - La Jolla Invitational, La Jolla, Calif.
CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)
|Teams||Pac-12 Record||Overall Record|
|#23 Arizona State||0-0||3-2|
PAC-12 SOFTBALL WEEKLY AWARDS
|Player of the Week||Pitcher of the Week||Freshman of the Week|
|Feb. 15||Frankie Hammoude, Oregon State||Gabbie Plain, Washington||Olivia Johnson, Washington|