This year in Pac-12 Softball
After leading the nation for nine-straight weeks from Feb. 17-Apr. 17, WASHINGTON was the final remaining Pac-12 team in the NCAA Women’s College World Series, advancing to the Championship series for the fourth time in program history. This marks the 29th time at least one Pac-12 team was in the championship series. UW finished the season second in both the USA Today/NFCA and USA Softball/ESPN poll.
Half of the eight team Women’s College World Series field was made up of Pac-12 teams. Joining Washington was ARIZONA STATE, OREGON and UCLA. Arizona State made its 11th WCWS appearance and the first since 2013. Oregon made its second-straight and sixth all-time appearance in the WCWS. UCLA made its fourth-straight and 29th all-time appearance in the WCWS
All four Pac-12 teams in the WCWS hosted and won their super regionals. Joining the four WCWS teams in the NCAA Tournament was ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA and OREGON STATE. UCLA eliminated fellow Pac-12 team No. 14-seed ARIZONA (2-0) in the Los Angeles Super Regional final. Oregon State and California ended their postseason journeys in the regionals, going 2-2 and 1-2 in postseason, respectively.
UCLA’s Bubba Nickles, Rachel Garcia and Taylor Pack and Washington’s Sis Bates, Gabbie Plain and Trysten Melhart were named to the 2018 Women’s College World Series All-Tournament Team.
Seven league teams earned berths to the NCAA Tournament, marking the 23rd-straight season that the Pac-12 has had five or more teams advance to the postseason and the fifth time in seven years that seven Conference teams earned bids.
Oregon claimed the Pac-12 title on the final weekend of the reagular season, picking up its fourth title in six years. The Ducks swept their final series of the season, breaking a tie with UCLA at the top of the Pac-12 standings.
UCLA’s Rachel Garcia was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Oregon junior Megan Kleist was voted Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year. Washington’s Sis Bates garnered Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, while UCLA’s Aaliyah Jordan was tabbed Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and also was the Pac-12 Batting Champion. Arizona State head coach Trisha Ford was voted Pac-12 Coach of the Year.
12 Pac-12 student-athletes appear on the NFCA Division I All-America teams, seven are on the first team, three are on the second team and two are on the third team. UCLA’s Rachel Garcia, a first team All-American, was named the NFCA National Player of the Year. Oregon senior Gwen Svekis, also a first team All-American, was named the NFCA Catcher of the Year. Oregon and Arizona State were named the NFCA Regional Staff of the Year for the Pacific and West regions, respectively.
UCLA’s Garcia was also named the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. She was among 13 Pac-12 athletes on the watch list announced on Jan. 31 and the seven Pac-12 athletes on the finalists list announced on Apr. 25.
The Pac-12 finished the season with five teams in both the USA Today/NFCA and the USA Softball/ESPN rankings, including four in the top 10. Washington came in at No. 2/2, UCLA is No. 3/3, Oregon is No. 6/5 and Arizona State is No. 11/12. Also in the polls is No. 11/12 Arizona. California received votes in both polls and Oregon State received votes in the USA Softball/ESPN poll.
CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)
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