Pac-12 Softball Weekly Release - Feb. 23, 2022
SAN FRANCISCO - The third week of 2022 Pac-12 softball will be highlighted by nine top-25 matchups.
THIS WEEK AHEAD: Three tournaments are set to take place that will feature at least one Pac-12 team, starting with the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, which begins Thursday, Feb. 24 in Cathedral City, Calif. A total of 43 Pac-12 games will be played over five days this week, with 36 games set to be televised on FloSoftball, in addition to those available through livestream outlets.
On Friday, No. 9 Oregon will meet No. 18 Northwestern at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at 10 a.m. PT on FloSoftball. The Ducks will also take on No. 16 Missouri at 12:30 p.m. PT at the same tournament. At the University of Texas Tournament, No. 22 Arizona State will match up with No. 23 Texas at 12 p.m. PT in Austin.
On Saturday, No. 8 Arizona and No. 1 Oklahoma will meet at Mary Nutter, which is being played at the Big League Dreams Complex, at 10 a.m. PT on FloSoftball, while No. 5 Washington will take on No. 16 Missouri at 12 p.m. PT. The Huskies will then take on No. 18 Northwestern at 2:30 p.m. PT. Later on, No. 6 UCLA will face off against No. 17 Tennessee at 3 p.m. PT also in Cathedral City.
On Sunday, No. 22 Arizona State will end their weekend against No. 23 Texas in Austin at the University of Texas Tournament at 10:30 a.m. PT. Later that morning, the Huskies will face off against No. 16 Missouri for their final game of the week for a matchup that will be aired on FloSoftball at 11:30 p.m. PT.
IN THE RANKINGS: After a shuffle in this week's rankings, Washington now leads five ranked Pac-12 teams in this week's USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Coaches Poll at No. 5. The Pac-12 had the second-most teams in the top-25 (SEC - 9), as No. 6 UCLA, No. 8 Arizona and No. 9 Oregon join the Huskies in the top-10. No. 22 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: Washington is No. 5, UCLA is No. 6, Arizona is No. 10, Oregon is No. 11, Arizona State is No. 22, 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 of the season (Feb. 15) after bursting onto the scene during opening 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)
|Wednesday, Feb. 23|
|Saint Mary's vs. California||Pac-12 Network/Pac-12 Bay Area||2 p.m. PT|
|Thursday, Feb. 24|
|No. 8 Arizona vs. California Baptist (1)||FloSoftball||12:30 p.m. PT|
|Cal State Fullerton vs No. 8 Arizona (1)||FloSoftball||3 p.m. PT|
|Saint Mary's vs. Stanford||Stanford Live Stream||6 p.m. PT|
|Friday, Feb. 25|
|No. 9 Oregon vs. No. 18 Northwestern (1)||FloSoftball||10 a.m. PT|
|Bethune-Cookman vs, No. 8 Arizona (1)||FloSoftball||10:30 a.m. PT|
|San Diego vs. Utah (1)||FloSoftball||10:30 a.m. PT|
|No. 23 Texas vs. No. 22 Arizona State (3)||12 p.m. PT|
|No. 9 Oregon vs. No. 16 Missouri (1)||FloSoftball||12:30 p.m. PT|
|UC Davis vs. No. 10 Arizona (1)||FloSoftball||1 p.m. PT|
|Tulsa vs. No. 22 Arizona State (3)||2:30 p.m. PT|
|UC Riverside vs. Utah (1)||FloSoftball||3:30 p.m. PT|
|No.17 Tennessee vs. Oregon State (1)||FloSoftball||3:30 p.m. PT|
|Fresno State vs. California (2)||3:30 p.m. PT|
|No. 6 UCLA vs. Iowa State (1)||FloSoftball||5:30 p.m. PT|
|No. 5 Washington vs. San Diego State (1)||FloSoftball||6 p.m. PT|
|Stanford vs. Mount St. Mary's(2)||Stanford Live Stream||6 p.m. PT|
|Baylor vs. Baylor (1)||FloSoftball||8 p.m. Pt|
|No. 6 UCLA vs. Texas State (1)||FloSoftball||8 p.m. PT|
|LMU vs. No. 5 Washington||FloSoftball||8:30 p.m. PT|
|Saturday, Feb. 26|
|California vs. Fresno State (2)||Cancelled||10 a.m. PT|
|No. 8 Arizona vs. No. 1 Oklahoma (1)||FloSoftball||10 a.m. PT|
|No. 16 Missouri vs. No. 5 Washington (1)||FloSoftball||12 p.m. PT|
|CSUN vs. Utah(1)||FloSoftball||12 p.m. PT|
|Texas State vs. No. 22 Arizona State(3)||12 p.m. PT|
|Mount St. Mary's vs. California (2)||12:30 p.m. PT|
|No. 18 Northwestern vs. No. 5 Washington (1)||FloSoftball||2:30 p.m. PT|
|CSUN vs. Oregon State (1)||FloSoftball||3 p.m. PT|
|No. 6 UCLA vs. No. 17 Tennesse (1)||FloSoftball||3 p.m. PT|
|Fresno State vs. Stanford (2)||Stanford Live Stream||3:30 p.m PT|
|No. 22 Arizona State vs. USTA (3)||5 p.m. PT|
|No. 9 Oregon vs. Seattle (1)||FloSoftball||5 p.m. PT|
|UC Davis vs. Utah (1)||FloSoftball||5:30 p.m. PT|
|Baylor vs. No. 6 UCLA (1)||FloSoftball||5:30 p.m. PT|
|Mount St. Mary's vs. Stanford (2)||Stanford Live Stream||6 p.m. PT|
|Cal State Fullerton vs. No. 9 Oregon||FloSoftball||7:30 p.m. PT|
|Southern Utah vs. Oregon State (1)||FloSoftball||7:30 p.m. PT|
|Sunday, Feb. 27|
|Iowa State vs. No. 5 Washington (1)||FloSoftball||9 a.m. PT|
|No. 1 Oklahoma vs. Utah (1)||FloSoftball||9 a.m PT|
|No. 22 Arizona State vs. No. 23 Texas (3)||10:30 a.m. PT|
|UC San Diego vs. Oregon State (1)||FloSoftball||11:30 p.m. PT|
|No. 9 Oregon vs. Long Beach State (1)||FloSoftball||11:30 a.m. PT|
|No. 6 UCLA vs. No. 16 Missouri (1)||FloSoftball||11:30 a.m. PT|
|Fresno State vs. Stanford (2)||Stanford Live Stream||12:30 p.m. PT|
- (1) - Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, Cathedral City/Palm Springs, Calf.
- (2) - DeMarini Invitational, Sanford, Calif.
- (3) - University of Texas Tournament, Austin, Texas
CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)
|Teams||Pac-12 Record||Overall Record|
|#22 Arizona State||0-0||7-3|
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|
|Feb. 22||Baylee Klingler, Washington||Gabbie Plain, Washington||Kiki Escobar, Oregon State|