Pac-12 earns 7 bids to 2022 NCAA Division I Softball Tournament
SAN FRANCISCO — Seven Pac-12 softball programs punch their tickets to the 2022 NCAA Division I Softball Tournament, as announced by the NCAA Division I Softball Committee on Sunday evening.
The Regionals for the Championship will be held during May 20-22 on 16 campus sites, where a four-team, double-elimination tournament will be conducted and 16 teams will advance to the Super Regionals to be held May 26-29. Eight Super Regional winners will advance to the Women's College World Series to take place between June 2-9/10 in Oklahoma City, Okla. 32 teams received automatic qualification to the tournament, while 32 programs were selected as at-large bids by the Division I Softball Committee.
UCLA (43-8), led by Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year Megan Faraimo and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Briana Perez, enters the postseason as the No. 5 overall seed and one of 16 national seeds in the field of 64 teams. The Bruins have now made their 23rd consecutive NCAA appearance and will face the Western Athletic Conference champions Grand Canyon (39-14) in the Los Angeles Regional matchup, which will also feature Ole Miss (39-17) and Loyola Marymount (36-15). The Bruins, who finished second in the Conference, lead the nation in NCAA titles (12) and NCAA Tournament wins (234).
Arizona State (39-9) earned one of the 32 automatic bids and the No. 8 overall seed after claiming the Conference championship for the first time since 2011. The Sun Devils look to repeat history as the last time they won the Conference title, they also went on to win the 2011 NCAA Championship. Led by Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Cydney Sanders and Pac-12 Coach of the Year Trisha Ford, the Sun Devils are making their 16th straight NCAA appearance. Arizona State will begin postseason play against Big West Champions Cal State Fullerton (36-20), along with LSU (34-21) and San Diego State (37-14).
Washington (35-15), led by Pac-12 Player of the Year Baylee Klingler, will be the No. 13 overall seed in the Seattle Regional. The Huskies’ regional will feature the Patriot League champion Lehigh (30-18-1), along with Texas (38-17-1) and Weber State (38-10). Making their 27th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, the Huskies also are tied for the third-most all-time NCAA Tournament wins and currently have the third-most WCWS appearances.
Arizona (33-20) will face Illinois (34-20) in the Columbia Regional, along with No.15 Missouri (32-14) and Missouri State (27-18), after earning their 35th consecutive appearance with an at-large selection for the NCAA Tournament. Arizona's 35 straight NCAA selections is the longest active streak in the nation and an NCAA softball record. The Wildcats look to make a deep run in the postseason as they currently have the second-most NCAA Tournament wins (178) and hold the second-most NCAA titles (8).
Oregon (31-17) will take on Wichita State (33-16) in the Fayetteville Regional along with No. 4 Arkansas (44-9) and Princeton (27-15-2). The Ducks, who currently have the 15th-most NCAA Tournament wins (74) in the nation, will have the chance to add to that all-time total.
Oregon State (33-19) earned its 15th NCAA Tournament appearance and first time since 2018 with an at-large bid. The Beavers will head to the Knoxville Regional to take on Ohio State (35-15), which will also features No. 11 Tennessee and Campbell (37-17).
Stanford (36-19) will travel to take on the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament champion Murray State (40-16-1) in the Tuscaloosa Regional, which will feature No. 6 Alabama (41-11) and Chattanooga (29-25). The Cardinal finished with its most wins in a single season since 2013. Stanford, which finished fourth in the Pac-12, will be making its 19th NCAA Tournament appearance and third-straight trip to the postseason.
Historically, Pac-12 softball has dominated the NCAA Tournament, winning 24 of a possible 39 NCAA Softball championships. The 24 total titles are 19 more than any other conference in the nation.