Category: Sports

Pac-12 softball on TV viewer guide: April 25-27

Gracie Goulder

All five of the Pac-12 teams ranked in the top 11 of the latest USA Today/NFCA Poll can be found this weekend either on the Pac-12 Networks, ESPN U or via live stream.

No. 1 Oregon at Stanford

 

Friday: 7 p.m. PT, ESPNU

The top-ranked Ducks will be featured Friday under the lights on ESPNU when it visits Boyd & Jill Smith Family Stadium at Stanford. Oregon is the country’s No. 1 team in both polls for the third straight week and leads the all-time series over Stanford by a narrow 36-33 margin. The last time the teams met, both were nationally ranked at No. 10 and No. 15, respectively. Stanford has struggled of late losing seven of its last 10 games. The teams will face off at 1 p.m. PT on Saturday and noon on Sunday.

No. 2 UCLA at California

 

Sunday: noon PT, Pac-12 Networks

UCLA will take their No. 2 ranking upstate to Berkeley this weekend to take on Cal. The first game be will at 3 p.m. PT on Friday with Saturday’s game at 1 p.m. The Bruins have been on fire as of late, but can’t get close to the Ducks. Winners of its past eight games as well as sweeping the Pac-12 Pitcher and Player of the Week awards, UCLA should have no problem with the Bears who have lost five of its past six conference games.

No. 11 Washington at Oregon State

 

Kasey Stanchek

Kasey Stanchek

Friday: 4 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks

Sunday: noon PT, Pac-12 Networks

The Huskies will try to get more than one day of softball in this weekend in Corvallis. Rainy weather in Seattle last weekend prevented games from being played on Friday and Sunday. Washington was able to split Saturday’s doubleheader while Oregon State is looking to break its six-game losing streak. Friday’s game will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks at 4 p.m. PT with Sunday’s first pitch airing at noon PT.

Southern Mississippi at No. 5 Arizona State

 

Friday: 7 p.m. PT, Live Stream

Saturday: 7 p.m. PT, Live Stream

Sunday: noon PT, Live Stream

Arizona State is taking a break from conference play as it hosts Southern Mississippi at Farrington Stadium this weekend. The Sun Devils lost a heartbreaking 10th-inning marathon in Seattle in the second half of Saturday’s doubleheader snapping its six-game winning streak. Arizona State has won 12 of its past 14 games and entered the top five of the USA Today/NFCA Poll this week. Southern Miss (22-25, 10-11 C-USA) makes its second trip to Arizona after being swept by the Wildcats on opening weekend. Friday and Saturday night’s games will be at 7 p.m. PT with Sunday’s game at noon.

Utah at No. 10 Arizona

 

Friday: 6 p.m. PT, Live Stream

Saturday: 6 p.m. PT, Live Stream

Sunday: noon PT, Live Stream

The Wildcats are happy to be back home in Tucson. After going 5-6 on the road in the past month, Arizona played a doubleheader on Wednesday and scored 26 runs, sweeping New Mexico State. The ‘Cats are 24-0 at home this season, with a jaw-dropping 21 run-rule victories. Utah has won seven of its last nine games including two from conference foe Stanford. Friday and Saturday night’s games will be at 6 p.m. PT with Sunday’s game at noon.

Pac-12 Softball Once Again Claims 3 of Top 5 Spots

Cheridan HawkinsThe Oregon Ducks and UCLA Bruins kept to their winning ways with sweeps over California and Oregon State last weekend. The teams kept the top spots in the latest USA Today/NFCA Poll released on April 22 with Arizona State joining the top five after splitting its series in Seattle.

No. 1 Oregon (40-5, 14-1 Pac-12)

 

Oregon had little problem defending their unanimous No. 1 ranking after sweeping California (22-20, 4-9 Pac-12) over the weekend. The Ducks exploded for 31 runs in only 17 innings played. Thursday’s and Friday’s games were run-rule victories while the Ducks needed the full seven innings to complete the sweep.

Sophomore pitcher Cheridan Hawkins picked up two victories to advance her record to 24-3 and senior right fielder Alexa Peterson hit 3-of-7 with six RBI and three runs scored. The highlight of the weekend was Friday’s 15-run fourth inning in which three players homered including a grand slam from Sammie Puentes.

The Ducks host Portland State on Tuesday night and travel to Stanford this weekend.

No. 2 UCLA (41-4, 12-3 Pac-12)

 

The No.2 Bruins hosted Cal State Northridge on Tuesday, Oregon State (13-26, 3-13 Pac-12) over the weekend and then traveled for a doubleheader at Long Beach State on Monday. UCLA breezed through its opponents and have won eight straight since dropping the series to Oregon. Bruins’ senior pitcher Jessica Hall and junior catcher Stephany LaRosa swept the Pac-12 Players of the Week awards announced on Monday.

Hall won all three games that she pitched in starting on Tuesday and Friday and in relief on Saturday. Hall fanned 21 batters in 15 innings including 11 against CS Northridge. LaRosa was a tour de force at the plate hitting 6-of-11 in four games including a pair of home runs, eight RBI and four runs scored. The Bruins travel to Berkeley to take on Cal this weekend.

No. 5 Arizona State (39-7, 13-4 Pac-12)

Freeman and Teammates

Freeman and Teammates

The Sun Devils traveled to Seattle over the weekend and were met with rain, a lot of it. The Thursday game was cancelled and a doubleheader on Friday was scheduled. The first game was an epic pitchers’ duel between Arizona State senior pitcher Dallas Escobedo and the Huskies’ Kaitlin Inglesby.

The Huskies took a 1-0 lead into the top of the seventh inning on an Inglesby home run in the fourth inning. Amber Freeman and Haley Steele had the only two hits of the game for Arizona State—and they were both home runs, giving the Devils a narrow 3-1 victory.

The second game saw the Devils’ bats wake up with 14 hits including Haley Steele’s 4-of-5 performance. Unfortunately, Arizona State also left 15 runners on base including the bases loaded for three consecutive innings.

The Devils looked to the seventh inning to once again play spoiler taking a 2-1 lead and needing only three outs to secure the win. It was Washington, however, that spoiled the Devils’ sweep when it scored once in the seventh and won in the 10th inning. Saturday’s game was delayed after an inning was played and was cancelled altogether.

No. 10 Arizona (34-9, 9-6 Pac-12)

 

Arizona was idle over the weekend but maintained its No. 10 ranking. The Wildcats face New Mexico State in a doubleheader on Wednesday and Utah (20-20, 5-12 Pac-12) this weekend in Tucson.

No. 11 Washington (25-12, 5-8 Pac-12)

Inglesby

The Huskies split the series with Arizona State over the weekend and maintained its’ current ranking at the No. 11 spot.

The Huskies have won four of its past six games and senior pitcher Kaitlin Inglesby had a perfect game in the first game of the double dip heading into the seventh inning.

Inglesby looked to do it all by retiring the first 18 batters she faced as well as scoring the only run on a solo home run in the fourth inning. Senior first baseman Hooch Fagaly secured the series split in the second game with a walk-off lead-off solo home run in the 10th inning.

Softball on Pac-12 Networks – April 17 – 18

Husky SoftballThree matchups featuring three ranked teams will hit the Pac-12 Network airwaves on Thursday and Friday with two games made available via live stream on Saturday.

Channel Finder

 

California at No. 1 Oregon (April 17-18 on Pac-12 Networks)

The Ducks are fresh off their clean sweep of all first place votes in both national polls and are home defending their top ranking for a three-game set. The Bears have lost back-to-back conference series at home to the Arizona schools but have won seven of its last eight on the road. The games will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Bay Area and Pac-12 Oregon at 4 p.m. PT on Thursday and Friday while Saturday’s 12 p.m. PT game will be on live stream.

 

CalNo. 6 Arizona State at No. 11 Washington (April 17-18 on Pac-12 Networks)

Arizona State is coming off two straight strong weeks in which it swept California and Utah. Washington took the series last weekend at Stanford and swept the Player of the Week awards. Senior pitchers Dallas Escobedo for Arizona State and Kaitlin Inglesby, arguably two of the best pitchers in the conference will go head-to-head on Thursday. The epic matchup of top-ranked teams takes center stage on the Pac-12 Networks at 4 p.m. PT on Thursday and Friday with Krista Blunk and Tammy Blackburn on the call.

Stanford at Utah (April 17 & 18 on Pac-12 Networks)

The matinee of games will kick off in Salt Lake City at 2 p.m. PT with both teams looking to rebound in the conference standings. The Utes and Cardinal are coming off conference losing streaks although Utah took two non-conference games over Utah Valley earlier in the week. Friday’s game will also be broadcast live at 2 p.m. PT with Anne Marie Anderson and Teri Goldberg calling the action. Saturday’s 11 a.m. PT game will be streaming live on the Internet.

Pac-12 softball on TV viewer guide: April 10-14

Cheyenne CoyleWith the Pac-12 Conference season in the heart of conference play, four top-10 ranked teams will have television coverage from Thursday to Monday.

Channel Finder

 

No. 1 Oregon at Oregon State (April 13-14 on Pac-12 Networks)

The Civil War comes to Pac-12 Networks as the Ducks look to defend their first ever No. 1 ranking. The Ducks took two of three from UCLA at home last weekend and travel to Corvallis for a Saturday-Monday series. Sunday’s game time is set for 2 p.m. PT and Monday’s game will be at 3 p.m. PT. Ann Schatz and Amanda Freed will provide coverage for the Pac-12 Networks.

Utah at No. 7 Arizona State (April 10-11 on Pac-12 Networks)

Arizona State is coming off a monster week in which it swept Cal in Berkeley. The visiting Utah Utes have won four of its past five games including a series win over Oregon State who took the series from Arizona State earlier this year. Thursday night’s broadcast will be at 7 p.m. PT and Friday’s game will be at 5 p.m. PT with Jim Watson and Amanda Freed on the call. Saturday’s 12 p.m. PT game will be provided via live internet feed.

Arizona Softball

Arizona Softball

No. 9 Arizona at California (April 11 & 13 on Pac-12 Networks)

The Bears will host another Arizona this weekend when the ninth-ranked Wildcats come to town. Fresh off the sweep of Stanford in Tucson, Arizona also brings USA Softball and NFCA Player of the Week Katiyana Mauga to Levine-Fricke Field. The Bears are in the midst of a five-game losing streak but had won the 10 games prior. Friday’s game will air at 3 p.m. PT with Sunday’s game at 12 p.m. PT with Krista Blunk and Tammy Blackburn covering.

No. 10 Washington at Stanford (April 10 & 12 on ESPN U)

The 10th-ranked Huskies are back in action this weekend after its bye week and an 11-0 victory over Seattle University. Washington will travel to take on Stanford who was swept in Tucson and fell out of the national rankings. Beth Mowins and Jessica Mendoza will be at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium in Stanford for Thursday night’s 8 p.m. PT game and Saturday night’s 7 p.m. PT nightcap.

Oregon Softball Takes Series from UCLA; Steals Top Spot in Rankings

Kailee CuicoThe Ducks took two of three from the Bruins and took over the top spot with 30 of the 32 first place votes in this week’s USA Today/NFCA Coaches’ Poll released on April 8. Three more Pac-12 teams make up the top 10.

No. 1 Oregon (35-5, 8-1 Pac-12)

 

The Ducks hosted UCLA over the weekend in a marquee matchup of top ranked teams and went to work on the then-No. 1 ranked Bruins. Catcher Janelle Lindvall and centerfielder Koral Costa were a perfect 6-of-6 for the Ducks and knocked in six RBI on two home runs on Friday.

Senior Kailee Cuico did them one better by knocking in a team-high seven RBI on two home runs on Saturday. Cuico was named Pac-12 Player of the Week with three HRs and 12 RBI in five games played last week.

No. 2 UCLA (34-4, 9-3 Pac-12)

 

The Bruins were not ready for the offensive prowess shown by the Ducks in Eugene but were able to rebound and capture the final game on Sunday to avoid the sweep. UCLA fell only one spot in the rankings due to Tennessee losing two of three to LSU.

Junior pitcher Ally Carda (20-2) was the do-it-all girl for the Bruins with two hits, an RBI and pitching 5.2 innings of relief to earn the win. Last week’s hero for the Bruins, Stephany LaRosa, also chipped in with a three-run home to secure the 6-1 victory.

No. 7 Arizona State (35-56 9-3 Pac-12)

Dallas Escobedo

Dallas Escobedo

The Sun Devils traveled to Berkeley and dispatched the Bears with little effort. Arizona State outscored California 27-4 in the three-game series with two run-rule victories to cap the weekend.

Senior pitcher Dallas Escobedo (16-5) garnered wins on Friday and Sunday striking out 23 batters over 12 inning earning the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week. Offensive firepower was on display as Elizabeth Caporuscio knocked a grand slam on Friday followed two each by Haley Steele, Bethany Kemp and Alix Johnson over the weekend.

No. 9 Arizona (32-8, 7-5 Pac-12)

 

The Wildcats hosted the Cardinal over the weekend and were faced with a true challenge on Friday night with a wild 18-12 victory. Freshmen Katiyana Mauga and Mo Mercado combined for five hits, 12 RBI and four runs scored—on Friday night alone.

Saturday’s game saw Mauga maintain a hot hand going 2-for-2 with three RBI and two runs scored. First baseman Hallie Wilson was instrumental with her 3-of-4 performance with three RBI in the 12-3 run-rule victory. Stanford took Arizona to extra innings on Sunday but Mauga’s walk-off two-run homer in the eighth secured the sweep and earned her USA Softball and NFCA Player of the Week honors.

No. 10 Washington (22-10, 2-6 Pac-12)

Bryana Walker

Bryana Walker

The Huskies were idle last weekend and swapped spots with Arizona. Washington traveled to cross-town Seattle University and defeated the Redhawks 11-0 in five innings.

Bryanna Walker earned her 14th win of the season through four innings of shutout ball while Kaitlin Inglesby closed out the final frame. Victoria Howard and Hooch Fagaly combined for five hits, seven RBI and two runs scored.

Pac-12 softball on Pac-12 Networks viewer guide for April 4-6

Wild ThingApril is here and spring has sprung across most of the region and three series will be broadcast on various outlets this weekend across the family of Pac-12 Networks.

Here is a handy, easy-to-use resource guide for the upcoming games.

Channel Finder

UCLA at Oregon

  • Gracie Goulder

    Gracie Goulder

    April 4 3:00 p.m. PT – Pac-12 Los Angeles, Pac-12 Oregon, Pac-12 Washington

  • April 5 3:00 p.m. PT – Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Los Angeles, Pac-12 Oregon, Pac-12 Washington
  • April 6 1:00 p.m. PT – Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Arizona, Pac-12 Los Angeles, Pac-12 Oregon, Pac-12 Washington

The marquee matchup of the weekend featuring the top two teams in the conference. The Bruins are the No. 1 team in the country for the second straight week and the host Ducks are hot on their heels at No. 3. The Ducks and Bruins have swapped player and pitcher of the week honors for the past two weeks so this series will be sure to have its share of fireworks.

Ann Schatz and Amanda Freed will call the games for Pac-12 Networks.

 

Arizona State at California

  • April 4 3:00 p.m. PT – Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Arizona, Pac-12 Bay Area, Pac-12 Mountain
  • April 5 3:00 p.m. PT – Pac-12 Arizona, Pac-12 Bay Area, Pac-12 Mountain
  • April 6 11:00 a.m. PT – Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Arizona, Pac-12 Los Angeles, Pac-12 Bay Area

The Sun Devils are fresh off a series win over in-state rival Arizona and moved four spots in the polls to No. 7 on the strength of the victory. Arizona State, however, has only played three true away games and has lost two of them. The Devils are 6-2 away from Farrington Stadium while Cal is undefeated at home.

Rich Cellini and Tammy Blackburn will be on the call in Berkeley.

 

Oregon State at Utah

  • April 4 5:00 p.m. PT – Pac-12 Network
  • April 5 5:00 p.m. PT – Pac-12 Network
  • April 6 11:00 a.m. PT – Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Mountain, Pac-12 Oregon, Pac-12 Washington

Rain is forecasted for this weekend’s series in Salt Lake City with temperatures barely breaking into the 50s. Although it isn’t optimal softball weather, the entire network will be broadcasting this matchup between the Beavers and Utes. With only three conference wins combined between the two teams, this series is an early must-win for both squads in order to keep abreast in such a strong conference.

Anne Marie Anderson and Teri Goldberg will be in Salt Lake City for Pac-12 Networks.

 

BONUS COVERAGE

 

Arizona Softball

Arizona Softball

Stanford at Arizona

Another battle of top 25 teams will take place in Tucson over the weekend when the No. 10 Arizona Wildcats host No. 24 Stanford. Arizona is glad to be back home where they have won 19 straight this year, 16 of them by run-rule. The Cardinal have only played once in the past week and struggled in conference play losing their past five games.

UCLA Softball Remains on Top, 4 More Pac-12 Teams in Top 10

Stephany LaRosaThe UCLA softball team swept Utah over the weekend and nearly swept the voters in the latest USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll released on Tuesday. The Bruins (33-2, 8-1 Pac-12), collected 31 of 32 first place votes with No. 2 Tennessee receiving the lone standout. Oregon, Arizona State, Washington and Arizona filled out the top 10 and here is a rundown how the Pac-12 teams fared over the past week.

UCLA hosted UC Santa Barbara for a doubleheader on Wednesday and made quick work of the Gauchos winning 5-1 and 9-1 in a five-inning game. Jessica Hall pitched eight innings in both games and surrendered only two hits and one run while striking out nine. Utah visited over the weekend and the Bruins had little trouble dispatching the Utes (12-14, 1-6 Pac-12) in the three-game set. Pitching ace Ally Carda won her 18th and 19th games on Friday and Sunday as well as pitching the final frame on Saturday.

Junior catcher/utility player Stephany LaRosa was awarded Pac-12 Player of the Week honors after knocking three home runs and finished the week witting 8-of-13 with eight RBI and four runs scored. The Bruins travel to Eugene this weekend to take on the rival Oregon Ducks.

Cheridan Hawkins

Cheridan Hawkins

The Ducks began the week with a double dip in Provo, Utah with an 8-0 run-rule game and were shocked in the late game taking a 6-5 loss to BYU. The Cougars took a big 6-0 and the Ducks rallied in the seventh with four runs but fell short. The loss dropped the Ducks (32-4, 6-0 Pac-12) to the No. 3 spot in the rankings. A top five showdown awaited the Ducks on their return to Eugene with the Huskies visiting Howe Field.

The teams would have to wait an extra day as Mother Nature rained out Friday’s matchup. Sophomore pitcher Cheridan Hawkins was lights out against the Huskies with back-to-back shutouts in Saturday’s doubleheader. Hawkins pitched 12 innings and recorded 11 strikeouts. Hawkins received her sixth career Pitcher of the Week award for her efforts.

Arizona State hosted in-state rival Arizona over the weekend in a Territorial Cup Series and took the series and a point in the year-long standings. The Sun Devils (32-6, 6-3 Pac-12) took the first two games over the Wildcats and jumped four spots to the No. 7 spot.

Arizona State senior pitcher Dallas Escobedo (14-5) won a nail-biting 2-1 victory on Friday and dropped a marathon 10-inning matchup on Sunday. Escobedo fanned 30 batters over the weekend and was drafted No. 1 overall in the National Pro Fastpitch League draft held on Monday. Senior righthanded pitcher Mackenzie Popescue went the distance and earned Saturday’s victory and advanced her record to 16-1.

Washington softball has fallen on hard times since Pac-12 Conference played has started. The Huskies were 20-4 and were ranked as high as No. 5 in the national rankings. Fortunately, for the Huskies (22-10, 2-6 Pac-12), the losses were to top-ranked teams in UCLA and Oregon.

Mo Mercado

Mo Mercado

Washington fell four spots to the No. 9 spot after being swept in Eugene. The Huskies hung tough on Sunday taking a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning before surrendering runs in the final frame. The Huskies are off this weekend and travel to Stanford for a Thursday-Saturday set April 10-12.

Arizona traveled to Tempe over the weekend and lost two heartbreakers before breaking the Sun Devils’ hearts on Sunday. The Wildcats (29-8, 4-5 Pac-12) dropped two spots to No. 10 after playing Arizona State with only a three-run scoring deficit over the series. Freshman second baseman Mo Mercado came up big on three separate with four go-ahead RBI including the eventual game-winning groundout in the 10th inning.

Mercado knocked what she thought would be the game winner with a two-run home run in the eighth inning but the Sun Devils responded with two runs of their own. Mercado and the Wildcats would get revenge in the 10th inning. The Wildcats host Stanford this weekend in Tucson.

Softball Earns Split; Baseball Drops Pair in Tucson

BaseballRams softball and baseball teams have seen better weeks.

The softball team (9-6, 1-1) won in convincing fashion at home with a 17-2 win over Horizon Honors then traveled to Salpointe Catholic in Tucson and was shut out 10-0.

The baseball team (6-6, 1-3) made back-to-back trips to Tucson last week and left both times empty handed losing 16-4 to Catalina Foothills and 8-7 to Salpointe Catholic.

The week began on an overcast, windy day in Tucson on Tuesday when Coach Andrew Pollak’s varsity squad took the field against the Catalina Foothills Falcons (13-3). The game got off to a rocky start for senior pitcher Dallas Speer (3-1) who was shelled for nine runs in the first inning. Speer came back in the second inning and gave up consecutive walks to begin the inning before being pulled by Pollak.

“It just wasn’t his day,” Pollak said after the game. “Dallas is a great pitcher, but he couldn’t throw a fastball for a strike today.”

Bernardo Juarez

Bernardo Juarez

Speer was replaced by Bernardo Juarez and was handed his second straight loss. The Falcons were no kinder to Juarez who surrendered seven runs over the next three innings, although the first two were charged to Speer.

Maricopa’s bats showed up a little too late as senior Tristan Hartley notched two hits and two RBI as the Rams would score four runs in the final two innings.

“We’re not a 16-4 team,” Pollak said during a post-game interview. “Our goal is to come back on Thursday and even the series.”

Senior Dillon Moran (1-2) took the mound against Salpointe Catholic (10-2) and stymied the Lancers in the first inning. The Rams would take a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the second before giving up four runs to the home team.

The Rams responded with big innings in the third and fourth innings and took a 7-6 lead into the fifth inning. Hartley again led the offense with 3-of-4 hitting with a double and three runs scored. Junior Nick Diaz and Moran each drive home two RBIs.

Moran was replaced in the fifth inning by Hartley after allowing two men on base before recording the first out. Hartley went on to pitch 1.2 innings of one-hit baseball but that hit was enough to put Salpointe up 8-7 and secure the victory for the Lancers.

Maricopa hosts Seton Catholic (6-9) from Chandler at 3:45 p.m. today. The Sentinels are 2-3 on the road, while the Rams are 1-1 at home.

Chelsea Trejo & Madi Moncel w/ Coach Ansley

Chelsea Trejo & Madi Moncel w/ Coach Ansley

The softball team hosted Horizon Honors (2-6) on Wednesday and showed no mercy on the Eagles opening up with three runs in the first and nine in the second. Sophomore pitcher Yasmin Santa Cruz earned her third straight victory and moved to 3-1 on the season.

Senior catcher Madi Moncel fueled the offense on Wednesday with two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored. Isabel McCloskey, Sydnee Akers and Rosie Naranjo drove in nine runs with three RBIs apiece. The ladies had a knack of getting on base through unconventional ways with seven walks, four errors and three hit batters.

Coach Chris Ansley’s varsity squad was also at Salpointe Catholic in Tucson on Thursday to take on the 5-6 Lancers. Junior pitcher Victoria Andrade, the star of the Kristyn Diehl Tournament, struggled once again from the circle.

Andrade (3-5) gave up five runs in the first, four in the third and one in the fourth before the game was called due to the mercy rule in the fifth. The Rams managed only four hits in the game and were charged with a season-high eight fielding errors.

The ladies travel to take on Seton Catholic (7-11) 4 p.m. today. The Sentinels are 4-2 at home and the Rams are 1-2 in true away games.

Pac-12 Softball: Bruins and Ducks Claim Top 2 Spots

Week SixNot a bad time for UCLA and Oregon this past week: Not only did the Bruins (28-2, 5-1 Pac-12) and the Ducks (26-3, 3-0 Pac-12) take the top two spots in the newest USA Today/NFCA rankings, but both teams had representatives for Pac-12 Pitcher and Player of the Week. Here’s how the Pac-12 fared in the latest release of the USA Today/NFCA Division I softball poll:

UCLA jumped into the top spot even with a loss to Washington on Sunday. The Bruins won the series with a 4-2 victory on Saturday and a 4-0 shutout on Monday in Seattle. Junior pitcher Ally Carda (17-1) was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week, her second of the year. In four games and 22 and 2/3 innings, Carda recorded 27 strikeouts, two wins and a save.

The Bruins host a doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday and welcome Utah (11-12, 1-4 Pac-12) for a three-game set this weekend.

Oregon moved into the No. 2 spot vacated by UCLA via its sweep of Utah in Salt Lake City over the weekend. Senior outfielder and Pac-12 Player of the Week Alexa Peterson electrified crowds and stymied Utah pitchers, going 6-for-7 against Utah. Her 13 RBI included two doubles, a triple and a grand slam home run in the first inning on Sunday.

Ducks ace pitcher Cheridan Hawkins (15-2) won on Saturday and Monday while Jasmine Smithson-Willett increased her win total to three. The Ducks travel to nearby Provo, Utah on Tuesday to play Southern Utah and BYU and will host Washington this weekend.

courtesy Washington Athletics

courtesy Washington Athletics

Despite losing two of three to the top-ranked Bruins, Washington remained at the No. 5 spot in the weekly rankings. The Huskies (21-7, 2-3 Pac-12) dominated the Bruins on the second game of the series with a 10-2 run-rule victory on Sunday. Pitcher Bryana Walker (13-3) went the distance, giving up only two hits and two runs while striking out seven.

The Huskies jumped all over Bruins starter Jessica Hall (9-1) with nine runs, who was pulled before recording an out. Next up for the Huskies is a top-five matchup in Eugene to take on the Ducks.

The Arizona Wildcats decimated the visiting Oregon State Beavers (11-17, 2-4 Pac-12) with three straight run-rule victories. The pollsters, however, didn’t think much of the feat as they dropped the Wildcats (28-6, 3-3 Pac-12) a spot to No. 8. Arizona now has won 19 straight games at home, with 16 of them being of the mercy-rule variety.

Arizona dominated the three-game series, outscoring the Beavers 36-2 overall. Arizona leads the NCAA with 54 home runs on the year, and junior catcher Chelsea Goodacre hit two home runs on Monday to bring her into a tie for most in the NCAA with 13. The Wildcats travel to Tempe this weekend to take on in-state rival Arizona State.

courtesy Arizona State Athletics

courtesy Arizona State Athletics

Arizona State swept the weekend series against Stanford and stayed put at No. 11 in the polls this week. A marathon nine-inning hit fest started the series on Saturday with the Sun Devils (30-5, 4-2) defeating the Cardinal 16-15. Dallas Escobedo (12-4) went 6.2 innings and advanced her record to 12-4. Second baseman Chelsea Gonzales paced the Devils on 3-of-6 hitting with three RBI, a home run and two runs scored while third baseman Haley Steele went 2-for-4, including a double and a home run to notch three RBI of her own.

Sunday’s matchup was an easy 9-0 run-rule victory for Mackenzie Popescue (15-1) as three Sun Devils homered in the third inning. Monday’s game had a flair for the dramatic with senior Cheyenne Coyle’s one-out, three-run, walk-off home run to secure the 7-5 victory. Pitcher Dallas Escobedo went the distance and earned her 13th victory of the season. The Sun Devils host the Wildcats this weekend in the Territorial Cup Series.

Stanford remained at the No. 24 spot in the polls despite being swept at ASU. The Cardinal (23-11, 1-5 Pac-12) scored 20 runs over the three-game stretch, including home runs from Kylie Sorenson and Erin Ashby on Saturday. Jessica Plaza homered on Sunday and Monday, but the Cardinal could not gain the elusive W in Tempe. Stanford will be absent from conference action this weekend with only one game at University of Pacific in Stockton, Calif., on Friday.

Pac-12 Softball: UCLA Continues to Dominate in Conference Play

UCLA SlamConference play began last weekend and No. 2 UCLA put on exclamation point on Sunday’s game against No. 7 Arizona with a walk-off grand slam by junior Gracie Goulder. The Bruins swept the Wildcats and took sole possession of first place in the Conference.

The latest USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll was released on Tuesday and here is how the teams fared over the week.

The Bruins (26-1, 3-0 Pac-12) jumped a spot to No. 2 and also collected nine first-place votes from the panel. UCLA swept then No. 6 Arizona, with two shutouts and outscoring the Wildcats 11-4. Junior pitcher Ally Carda (15-1) started on Saturday afternoon and came in for relief of Jessica Hall on Sunday afternoon and Monday night.

Carda walked away with two wins and a save in 12.2 innings, delivering 12 strikeouts and surrendering only six hits. Sophomore infielder Mysha Sataraka was voted Pac-12 Player of the Week after her 5-of-7 performance including her eighth home run.

Oregon (23-3) was the odd team out for opening conference play and their consolation prize was a trip to Hawaii to participate in the Rainbow Wahine Classic. The No. 3 Ducks won the first five games of the four-game tournament but dropped the championship game to James Madison, 3-0.

Alyssa Gillespie Photo: Geoff Thurmer

Alyssa Gillespie
Photo: Geoff Thurmer

The loss allowed the Bruins to leap-frog the Ducks and take over the No. 2 spot. Sophomore outfielder Alyssa Gillespie was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament while sophomore left-handed pitcher Cheridan Hawkins was name Co-Most Valuable Pitcher. The Ducks travel to Salt Lake City to begin conference play this weekend against the Utes.

Washington (20-4, 1-1 Pac-12) stayed put at No. 5 in the rankings after splitting a pair against Utah. Sunday’s matchup was rained out and no makeup game has yet to be scheduled. The Huskies’ star pitcher Bryana Walker (12-3) pitched six innings on Friday giving up two runs on four hits.

Junior third baseman Kylee Lahners went 2-for-3 with her 10th home run of the season. Walker would take the loss on Saturday after relieving Kaitlin Inglesby in an extra-inning matchup.

Arizona (23-6, 0-3 Pac-12) lost three games over the weekend but only fell one spot to No. 7 as they were swept by a tough UCLA team. The ‘Cats played the Bruins close losing a pair of pitchers’ duels, 1-0 and 2-0 on Saturday and Monday.

Arizona led on Sunday 4-3 going into the final three outs of the game before giving up five runs. Estela Pinon (6-3) gave up only five hits and one run on Saturday and Kenzie Fowler (3-2) surrendered two hits and two runs in her complete game on Monday.

The Arizona State Sun Devils (27-5, 1-2 Pac-12) tumbled four spots to No. 11 after losing two of three to Oregon State in Corvallis over the weekend. Beavers’ senior pitcher Amanda Najdek (7-8) dominated the Sun Devils in two complete games on Friday and Sunday. Sun Devil pitcher Dallas Escobedo (11-4) took both losses.

Mackenzie Popescue Photo: ASU Athletics

Mackenzie Popescue
Photo: ASU Athletics

Mackenzie Popescue (14-1) was once again unstoppable in the circle pitching five runs of shutout baseball allowing only two hits in the run-rule, 11-0 victory. Alix Johnson and Bethany Kemp both homered in the fifth inning to end the game.

Stanford (23-8, 1-2 Pac-12) also had a tough weekend dropping two of three to California at home. The Cardinal fell three spots to No. 24 and will face Arizona State this weekend in Tempe, hoping to climb back up the polls.

The Bears and Cardinal put on a hitting clinic in the opener with Stanford winning 14-13. The Bears led 9-8 heading in to the final inning and scored four more before Stanford scored six to end the game. The Cardinal were outscored 13-6 in the next two games suffering two straight losses.