National-best 4 Pac-12 softball teams advance to Super Regionals
SAN FRANCISCO - For the second consecutive season, Pac-12 softball is sending more teams to Super Regionals than any other conference. Oregon, Stanford, Utah and Washington were all regional winners on Sunday and will participate in best-of-three series next weekend to determine the eight-team Women's College World Series field.
The Pac-12's four Super Regional squads out of the six total NCAA berths it received paces all leagues, ahead of the ACC (3 in Super Regionals/6 NCAA Tournament berths), Big 12 (3 in Super Regionals/4 NCAA Tournament berths) and SEC (3 in Super Regionals/12 NCAA Tournament berths). The Big Ten (Northwestern), Mountain West (San Diego State) and Sun Belt (Louisiana) each still have one team remaining.
It's the second year in a row the Pac-12 has led the country in teams continuing after the first weekend of the postseason. In 2022, the Conference had five Super Regional participants, while the ACC, Big 12 and SEC again had three apiece. Prior to last season, the Pac-12 last led the country with five Super Regional teams in 2012. The SEC paced the NCAA in Super Regional participants from 2013-21.
It took an epic comeback by Washington to secure the Pac-12 its four in Super Regionals. Playing as the visitor at home, the Huskies plated seven in the top of the seventh to erase a 6-0 deficit and beat McNeese in a winner-take-all seventh game of the Seattle Regional. According to ESPN Stats & Info since 2000, teams were 5-903 when trailing by six or more runs in the NCAA Tournament and none had rallied from down six in the final inning. In making history, UW advanced to the 15th Super Regionals in program history.
No. 7 seed Washington will host Louisiana for Supers next weekend, beginning on Friday, May 26 at 7 p.m. PT on ESPN2. The Ragin' Cajuns won the Baton Rouge Regional, beating No. 10 seed LSU twice on Sunday.
Hosting its first regional at Smith Family Stadium in 12 years, Stanford produced a pair of four-run innings to rout Florida on Sunday, 11-2, and win the Stanford Regional. The No. 9 seed Cardinal will travel to No. 8 seed Duke next weekend, making its seventh NCAA Super Regional appearance overall and second consecutive, its first back-to-back since 2008-09. The series opener is scheduled for Friday, May 26 at 9 a.m. PT on ESPN2.
Utah is in Supers for the first time since 2017 after capping its sweep of its Salt Lake City Regional with a 4-1 victory over Mississippi on Sunday. The Utes have won 40 games in a season for the first time since 2006 and will host a Super Regional for the first time in program history. No. 15 seed Utah will welcome San Diego State, which won the Los Angeles Regional by beating Liberty on Sunday, 6-3. Game one is slated for Friday, May 26 at 7 p.m. PT on ESPNU.
Oregon laid waste to the Fayetteville Regional, beating host and No. 11 seed Arkansas twice in the past two days to move on to Super Regionals for the first time since 2018. On Saturday, it was a 10-4 romp, and on Sunday, the Ducks run-ruled the Razorbacks 14-4 in five, ending it with a walk-off grand slam by Ariel Carlson. Oregon scored a program postseason-record 14 runs in the clincher and advanced through regionals unseeded for the first time since 2011. UO is in Stillwater, Okla. for a Super Regional at No. 6 seed Oklahoma State beginning Thursday, May 25 at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN2.
The nation’s most successful softball conference, Pac-12 programs have combined to win 24 of the 40 NCAA softball championships all-time, 18 more than the next closest league, and all nine Pac-12 teams have made appearances in the Women’s College World Series. Of the 13 different programs to have won an NCAA softball championship, five are from the Pac-12: UCLA (12), Arizona (8), Arizona State (2), California (1) and Washington (1).