Pac-12 Softball Weekly Release - March 10, 2022
SAN FRANCISCO - 2022 Pac-12 softball continues its hot start as week five of action is underway.
THIS WEEK AHEAD: Six tournaments are set to take place that will feature at least one Pac-12 team, starting with the Rainbow Wahine Classic, which began Wednesday, March 9 in Honolulu, Hawaii. A total of 39 Pac-12 games will be played this week, with 17 games set to be available through livestream outlets.
IN THE RANKINGS: UCLA continues to lead five ranked Pac-12 teams in this week's USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Coaches Poll at No. 5, followed closely with No. 7 Washington and No. 8 Arizona as both teams stay put to in the top-10. No. 11 Oregon and No. 23 Arizona State are also in the rankings while Stanford and Oregon State is receiving votes.
Six teams are now ranked in this week's ESPN.com/USA Softball Rankings: UCLA is No. 5, Washington is No. 7, Oregon is No. 14, Arizona is No. 16, Arizona State is No. 23, Oregon State is No. 24, while Stanford is receiving votes.
RPI REPORT: In the NCAA's most recent RPI report the Pac-12 has five programs in the top-20, which is tied for the most among all leagues (ACC and SEC). UCLA leads the conference at No. 4, Oregon is No. 5, Washington is No. 10, Oregon State is No.17 and Arizona rounds out at No. 20.
UCLA (13-3) and Oregon (13-3) are among three teams (Oklahoma, 16-0) with at least 10 wins against top-100 opponents, which is the most in the league.
Oregon State currently has the third-longest active winning streak in the league (16), only behind Alabama (20) and Oklahoma (18).
ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS: UCLA's Briana Perez is first among among active players in at bats (727) and runs scored (227). Perez ranks third in hits per game (0.376), fifth in total bases (438), seventh in games played (223), ninth in triples (14) and 11th in runs batted in (165). UCLA's Aaliyah Jordan is ranked second among active players in doubles (60), fourth in runs batted in (197), eighth in hits per game (0.389) and total bases (419). UCLA's Megan Faraimo ranks second in ERA (1.24) and third in strikeouts per seven innings (10.14).
Washington's Olympian Gabbie Plain is first among active players in victory percentage (0.850) and shutouts (41), second in games started (110) and strikeouts (934), third in innings pitched (715.3), fourth in pitching appearances (145), ERA (1.42), and completed games (73). Plain ranks eighth in strikeouts per seven innings (9.14) and 14th in saves (9).
Oregon State's Mariah Mazon ranks second in completed games (77) and innings pitched (751.7), sixth in strikeouts (738), seventh in games started (98), eighth in saves (10), and ninth in pitching appearances (136).
Stanford's Taylor Gindlesperger ranks fifth among active players in the league with five triples.
IN THE RANKINGS: Through five weeks of action, Arizona ranks fifth in the league in batting average (0.369), sixth in slugging percentage (0.609), and eighth in scoring (7.53). Stanford in tied for third in triples per game (0.55), 11th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.27) and 12th in ERA (1.39). Oregon State ranks first in strikeout-to-walk ratio (11.59), while UCLA follows closely in the same category at third (7.08). Washington ranks fifth in the league in walks (89).
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, March. 9|
|Baylor vs. California (1)||5:30 p.m. PT|
|Thursday, March 10|
|BYU vs. No. 23 Arizona State (6)||Arizona State Live Stream||5 p.m. PT|
|No. 5 UCLA vs. Pennsylvania (3)||7 p.m. PT|
|California vs. Hawai'i (1)||8 p.m. PT|
|Friday, March 11|
|North Dakota State vs. Oregon State (2)||1:30 p.m. PT|
|California vs. Baylor (1)||2:30 p.m. PT|
|Ball State vs. No. 23 Arizona State (6)||Arizona State Live Stream||3 p.m. PT|
|Portland State vs. No. 11 Oregon (2)||Oregon Live Stream||4 p.m. PT|
|No. 5 UCLA vs. CSU Bakersfield (3)||4:30 p.m. PT|
|No. 8 Arizona vs. Yale (5)||5 p.m. PT|
|California vs. No. 1 Oklahoma (1)||5:30 p.m. PT|
|UMKC vs. No. 23 Arizona State (6)||Arizona State Live Stream||5:30 p.m. PT|
|No. 5 UCLA vs. Fresno State (3)||7 p.m. PT|
|Saturday, March 12|
|No. 7 Washington vs. Northern Colorado (4)||9 a.m. PT|
|North Dakota State vs. No. 11 Oregon (2)||Oregon Live Stream||11 a.m PT|
|Portland State vs. Oregon State (2)||Oregon State Live Stream||1 p.m. PT|
|North Dakota State vs. No. 11 Oregon (2)||Oregon Live Stream||1:30 p.m. PT|
|Rutgers vs. No. 23 Arizona State (6)||Arizona State Live Stream||1:30 p.m. PT|
|No. 5 UCLA vs. Fresno State (3)||UCLA Live Stream||2 p.m. PT|
|No. 7 Washington vs. Colorado State (4)||2 p.m. PT|
|No. 8 Arizona vs. UNLV (5)||Arizona Live Stream||3 p.m. PT|
|Portland State vs. Oregon State (2)||Oregon State Live Stream||3:30 p.m. PT|
|New Mexico State vs. No. 23 Arizona State (5)||Arizona State Live Stream||4 p.m. PT|
|California vs. Hawai'i (1)||4 p.m. PT|
|No. 5 UCLA vs. CUS Bakersfield (3)||UCLA Live Stream||4:30 p.m. PT|
|No. 8 Arizona vs. Marist (5)||Arizona Live Stream||5 p.m. PT|
|Sunday, March 13|
|Northern Colorado vs. No. 7 Washington (4)||8:15 a.m. PT|
|New Mexico State vs. No. 23 Arizona State (6)||Arizona State Live Stream||9 a.m. PT|
|No. 8 Arizona vs. Marist (5)||Arizona Live Stream||11 a.m. PT|
|North Dakota State vs. Oregon State (2)||Oregon State Live Stream||1:30 p.m. PT|
- (1) - Rainbow Wahine Classic, Honolulu, HI.
- (2) - Oregon State/Oregon tournament, Eugene, Ore.
- (3) - Stacy Winsberg Tournament, Los Angeles, Calif.
- (4) - Colorado State Invite, Fort Collins, Co.
- (5) - Bear Down Fiesta, Tucson, Ariz.
- (6) - Sun Devil Classic, Tempe, Ariz.
CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)
|Teams||Pac-12 Record||Overall Record|
|#23 Arizona State||0-0||13-5|
PAC-12 SOFTBALL WEEKLY AWARDS