Five Pac-12 softball teams are headed to NCAA Super Regionals
SAN FRANCISCO - Five Pac-12 softball teams are locked and loaded for the 2022 NCAA Super Regionals, which features No. 5 seeded UCLA, No. 8 seeded Arizona State, Arizona, Stanford and Oregon State.
After seven Pac-12 programs were selected to the 2022 NCAA Softball Tournament, five teams have now advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals which is the most of any conference. Since the format change in 2015, this is the 11th time in Conference history that at least five Pac-12 teams have advance to the NCAA Super Regionals in the same season (2005 - 5, 2006 - 7, 2008 - 5, 2009 - 6, 2010 - 6, 2011 - 6, 2012 - 5, 2016 - 5, 2017 - 5, 2018 - 5, 2022 - 5). For the first time in NCAA Softball Tournament history, there will be five unseeded teams playing in this week's Super Regionals, with three of them being Pac-12 teams. In the Super Regional matchups, the two teams will go head-to-head in a best-of-three series with the winner advancing to the 2022 Women's College World Series.
TOP OF THE PAC: After a stellar regular season, No. 8 Arizona State claimed the outright 2022 Pac-12 Championship, as they received the Conference's automatic bid the the 2022 NCAA Division I Softball Tournament. The Sun Devils finished atop of the Conference standing with a 20-4 record, after a series-clinching win over No. 8 Washington (5-2) on Sunday, May 14. Their 20 conference victories are the most in program history, as they claimed the title for the first time since 2011, and third time overall. When they were crowned league champions in 2011, the Sun Devils went on to win the national championship a few weeks later.
2022 ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS: On Wednesday, May 11, the Pac-12 announced the 2022 softball award winners, which includes this season's yearly award recipients. Washington's Baylee Klingler was voted Pac-12 Player of the Year, UCLA's Megan Faraimo earned Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year, while fellow Bruin Briana Perez was selected Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Arizona State's Cydney Sanders was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and Sun Devil head coach Trisha Ford received Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors.
WILDCATS ON THE PROWL: After last week's upset over No. 15 Missouri, Arizona is heading to its eighth-consecutive Super Regional appearance and 16th overall. The Wildcats currently have the second-most NCAA tournament wins (181), while holding a Super Regional record of 18-17. Arizona was one of the five unseeded teams that have advanced to the Super Regionals, as they are two wins away from making their 25th Women's College World Series appearance. Arizona will face off against Mississippi State in Starkville, with the first game scheduled for Friday, May 27 at 9 a.m. PT, which will be televised on ESPNU.
SUN DEVILS STAY HOT: No. 8 Arizona State continues their postseason run after a 3-0 record in their Regional matchups. The Sun Devils will welcome No. 9 Northwestern to Farrington Stadium, as No. 8 Arizona State will serve as host for the Tempe Super Regional matchup. This is the Sun Devils' 11th Super Regional appearance, as they will have the opportunity to earn a trip to the Women's College World Series for the 13th time in program history. No. 8 Arizona State holds the advantage in the all-time series against No. 9 Northwestern (11-5), with the last meeting at the 2020 Kajikawa Classic where the Sun Devils came out on top (6-5). The first game of the matchup is schedule for Friday, May 27 at 5 p.m. PT, which will be aired on ESPNU.
CONFERENCE FOES BATTLE FOR A TRIP TO WCWS: After both Stanford and Oregon Sate pulled off massive upsets in their their respective Regional matchups, they now prepare to face off against one another in a Conference filled Super Regional matchup, as at least one Pac-12 team will advance to the 2022 Women's College World Series.
Stanford prevailed to their first NCAA Super Regional appearance since 2011 after stunning No. 6 Alabama twice in the Tuscaloosa Regional. The Cardinal started off strong by defeating Murray State (3-1) and shutting out No. 6 Alabama (6-0). The Crimson Tide made it tough for the Cardinal as they forced Stanford to an if necessary elimination game. In the Regional final, Stanford pulled off the upset (6-0) as the Cardinal shutout Alabama for the second time on the weekend. With the win, Stanford ended Alabama's Super Regional appearance streak that dates back to 2005, when NCAA moved to the current format. The Cardinal will now serve as Super Regional host as they will face off against Conference foe, Oregon State.
Oregon State is making their first trip to the NCAA Super Regionals since 2006 after surviving the Knoxville Regional. After falling to the elimination bracket with a loss to No. 11 Tennessee (0-3), the Beavers were able to avoid elimination by picking up three straight wins against Ohio State (5-1) and Tennessee (8-3, 3-1) to pull of the upset against the regions top-seeded team, No. 11 Tennessee, to advance to their second NCAA Super Regional appearance in program history. The Beavers are headed to face a familiar opponent as Oregon State has faced Stanford for a total of 95 times ahead of this week's matchup. The Cardinal holds the advantage in the all time series (55-40), while the Beavers are 17-9 under head coach Laura Berg. The two teams faced off in a three-game series against one another in the regular-season, where the Beavers claimed the series victory (2-to-1). The first game of the matchup is set for Friday, May 27 at 7:30 p.m. PT, which will be aired on ESPNU.
BRUINS REMAIN UNFAZED: No. 5 UCLA showed why they are one of the top teams in the nation after recording two mercy-rule victories in three of their regional outings. The Bruins went unbeaten in Regional play, while only giving up a total of three runs and notching 28 runs in return across all three games. No. 5 UCLA will invite No. 12 Duke to Easton Stadium, as the Bruins will host Super Regionals for the eighth straight time. This will be the first-ever matchup between the two teams, as UCLA is looking to advance to the Women's College World Series for the seventh-consecutive postseason. This will be UCLA's 13th Super Regional appearance and eighth in a row, as the Bruins currently hold a 22-7 record in the Super Regional play. The first game of the matchup is scheduled for Friday, May 27 at 8 p.m. PT, which will be aired on ESPN2.
2022 DI ALL-REGION TEAMS (Complete List)
NFCA Pacific All-Region
|Mariah Mazon||P||Oregon State|
|Sarah Haendiges||P||Oregon State|
|Frankie Hammoude||1B||Oregon State|
|Kiki Escobar||2B||Oregon State|
NFCA West All-Region
|Lindsay Lopez||P||Arizona State|
|Cydney Sanders||1B||Arizona State|
|Yannira Acuña||OF||Arizona State|
|Jazmine Hill||OF||Arizona State|
|Alynah Torres||SS||Arizona State|
NATIONAL WATCH LISTS: On Wednesday, May 18, USA Softball announced the Top Three Finalists for the 2022 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. Washington's Baylee Klingler was named among the three finalist. This is the second consecutive year a Husky has been named as a top three finalist (Gabbie Plain - 2021). Klingler finished the regular season leading the Conference in batting average (.433), home runs (22) and RBI (65), as she was among the nation leaders in both home runs and runs batted in. Klingler was also named the Pac-12 Player of the Year after a monster season.
On Thursday, May 26, NFCA announced the Top Three Finalists for the 2022 Schutt Sports/NFCA DI National Freshman of the Year. Arizona State's Cydney Sanders was named among the three finalists. Sanders was tabbed the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year as she currently leads all freshmen in the conference in batting average (.424), slugging percentage (.978), on-base percentage (.565), runs scored (51), RBI (63), home runs (21), total bases (136) and walks (39). She also leads the Sun Devils in home runs, hits (59), RBI and slugging percentage.
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.
SUPER REGIONAL SCHEDULE (Full Schedule)
|Friday, May 27|
|Arizona vs. Mississippi State||ESPNU||9 a.m. PT|
|No. 9 Northwestern vs. No. 8 Arizona State||EPNNU||5 p.m. PT|
|Oregon State vs. Stanford||ESPNU||7:30 p.m. PT|
|No. 12 Duke vs. No. 5 UCLA||ESPN2||8 p.m. PT|
|Saturday, May 28|
|Arizona vs. Mississippi State||ESPNU||1 p.m. PT|
|Oregon State vs. Stanford||ESPNU||3 p.m. PT|
|No. 12 Duke vs. No. 5 UCLA||ESPN2||5:30 p.m. PT|
|No. 9 Northwestern vs. No 8 Arizona State||ESPN2||8 p.m. PT|
|Sunday, May 29|
|No. 9 Northwestern vs. No. 9 Arizona State (If necessary)|
|No. 12 Duke vs. No. 5 UCLA (If necessary)|
|Oregon State vs. Stanford (if necessary)|
|Arizona vs. Mississippi State (if necessary)|
CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)
|Teams||Pac-12 Record||Overall Record|