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NCAA Softball Tournament recap: All 7 Pac-12 teams advance to Regional Finals

May 21, 2022

All seven Pac-12 teams in the NCAA Tournament have advanced to their respective Regional Finals, setting up an exciting Sunday of softball as they try to punch their ticket to Super Regionals.

But before we get there, let's recap the wins they picked up Saturday to get to this point.

Vawter outduels Fouts as Stanford snaps No. 6 Alabama's Regional winning streak

Alana Vawter twirled a two-out shutout, leading the Cardinal to a historic 6-0 win over No. 6 Alabama in front of 2,878 in Tuscaloosa. The victory snapped the Crimson Tide's 44-game Regional winning streak dating back to 2007. It was also the first time Alabama has ever been shut out in a home Regional.

Vawter pitched to contact and let her dazzling defense go to work, with only four of her 21 outs via the strikeout.

It helped that Stanford's offense gave her some early breathing room, plating three runs in the first inning on a fielder's choice by Sydnee Huff, a bases-loaded walk by Emily Young and a sacrifice fly by Dani Hayes.

The Cardinal played a selfless brand of softball, with only one of its six runs — an RBI single by Aly Kaneshiro in the fifth — coming via a base hit.

Stanford added two runs in the fifth and another in the seventh, more than enough for Vawter, who has only allowed one run in 14 innings in the postseason.

Alabama's Montana Fouts, the 2021 NFCA National Pitcher of the Year, was knocked around for five runs on seven hits before exiting in the sixth.

Stanford will rematch Alabama on Sunday at 8:05 a.m. PT, one win away from reaching Supers for the first time since 2011.

Bowen battles, shuts out No. 15 Missouri to lead Arizona into Columbia Regional Final

A day after throwing a 126 pitches in a win over Illinois, Hanah Bowen was back in the circle Saturday, hurling 118 pitches in a 2-0 win over No. 15 Missouri.

Bowen allowed just four hits and two walks while striking out six in a gritty complete-game effort.

Her postseason experience helped her traverse some dicey moments, including in the sixth when she induced a pop out and fly out to strand two runners in scoring position.

Carlie Scupin delivered the game-winning hit in the fifth inning, pulling a two-run homer to right center.

The Tigers will get another crack at the Cats on Sunday after topping Missouri State in an elimination game on Saturday night. The rematch is set for 1 p.m. PT on the ESPN Family of Networks. If Arizona wins, it will mark its 17th trip to Supers in the last 18 seasons.

No. 8 Arizona State outslugs San Diego State 11-8 to reach Tempe Regional Final

The Sun Devils were caught in a pitcher's duel in their Regional opener on Friday night. Game two couldn't have gone any differently.

ASU scored eight runs on seven hits in the first inning and the Aztecs countered with five runs the bottom half of the frame. (The Sun Devils were the designated road team.)

ASU is known for the long ball, but didn't need it in Saturday's win, scoring all 11 runs without a homer.

Jazmine Hill led the charge, driving in five runs with a trio of hits, including a two-run single to jumpstart the eight-run first inning and another two-run single in the third after the Aztecs had trimmed the lead to 8-6.

Yannira Acuña capped the inning with an RBI double to left center and also drove in the final run of the contest, ripping an RBI single up the middle in the fifth. That was the only run scored after the third inning.

ASU's Marissa Schuld was dominant in relief of Lindsay Lopez, allowing a pair of runs in 5.2 innings.

The Aztecs rallied to beat Cal State Fullerton later in the day, setting up a rematch with ASU on Sunday in the Tempe Regional Final. With one more win, the Sun Devils will advance to their first Super Regional since 2018.

Oregon State falls to No. 11 Tennessee, but bounces back vs. Ohio State

The Beavers were blanked by Tennessee's Ashley Rogers 3-0 to open Saturday's action in Knoxville, but responded well by beating Ohio State again — this time, 5-1 — in an elimination game.

Mariah Mazon and Frankie Hammoude each launched two-run homers and Savannah Watley added an RBI double.

Less than 24 hours after a gusty save, freshman Sarah Haendiges made her first postseason start and tossed five innings of one-run ball before Mazon closed it out with two scoreless frames.

The Beavers will need to beat Tennessee twice Sunday to advance to Super Regionals for the first time since 2006, where they would face No. 6 Alabama or Stanford. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. PT, with the if-necessary game following shortly after.

No. 5 UCLA surges late to beat Loyola Marymount, 7-1 

Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year Megan Faraimo surrendered a first-inning solo homer, but was spotless from there, allowing just the one run on four hits in a 7-1 victory over LMU.

Faraimo immediately made amends for conceding the early long ball by drawing a game-tying bases-loaded walk in the next half inning.

The score remained 1-1 until the Bruins broke it open with five runs in the sixth. Kinsley Washington coaxed a bases-loaded walk, Briana Perez ripped a two-run single to center, and Washington scored on a wild pitch before Delanie Wisz plated Perez with a sac fly to right.

The speedy Kelli Godin went 3-for-3 in the No. 9 spot, laying down two bunt singles, a microcosm of the small-ball approach that served the Bruins well Saturday.

Of UCLA's 11 hits, only one — a first-inning triple by Perez that didn't lead to any runs — went for extra bases.

Now one win away from its eighth straight trip to Supers, UCLA will face Ole Miss on Sunday in the Los Angeles Regional Final. First pitch is at 3 p.m. PT.

 No. 13 Washington falls to Texas, but powers past Lehigh

The Huskies lost to Texas 8-2 to open their Saturday slate, but powered by Lehigh 6-1 in the nightcap to advance to the Seattle Regional Final.

Solo homers by Madison Huskey, Sarah Willis, Kinsey Fiedler and Kelley Lynch provided plenty of support for Brooke Nelson, who carried a no-hitter into the fifth and allowed one run in six innings. Willis relieved her in the seventh and recorded a scoreless frame after Fiedler (RBI triple) and Baylee Klingler (RBI single) drove in two more runs.

Klingler launched her 24th of the season against Texas earlier in the day, a two-run shot that gave UW a first-inning lead.

Unfortunately it did not hold, as Texas scored three runs in the sixth to take the lead, then five more in the seventh to break it open.

The Huskies will get a chance to avenge that loss, needing to beat Texas twice Sunday to advance to Super Regionals for the sixth straight season. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. PT.

Oregon dominates Wichita State after loss to No. 4 Arkansas

The Ducks went toe-to-toe with No. 4 Arkansas for five innings before the Razorbacks belted two homers and a two-run double in the sixth to come away with a 6-2 win to open Saturday's action in Fayetteville.

Tehya Bird responded with a two-run homer for Oregon in the seventh, and while it was not enough to complete the comeback, it seemed to give the Ducks some momentum heading into their elimination game against Wichita State later in the night.

Oregon scored two runs in the first inning and never looked back in an 8-1 victory. Ariel Carlson homered for the second straight day, launching a two-run homer to right in the third to extend the lead to 4-1.

A clutch two-out, two-run single by Allee Bunker in the fourth made it 7-1 and Carlson drove in her career-high fourth run of the night with an RBI groundout in the sixth to make it 8-1.

Stevie Hansen and Makenna Kliethermes combined to quiet one of the best offenses in the country for the second straight day, holding the Shockers to seven hits, all singles.

The Ducks will get another shot at No. 4 Arkansas on Sunday at 11 a.m. PT, needing two wins to reach Super Regionals.