Seven Pac-12 Softball teams headed to the NCAA Championship

SAN FRANCISCO – SEVEN Pac-12 softball teams will compete in the 2018 NCAA Softball Championship, as announced this evening by the NCAA Division I Softball Committee. Five teams earned top-16 seeds – No. 1 OREGON, No. 3 UCLA, NO. 5 WASHINGTON, No. 8 ARIZONA STATE and No. 14 ARIZONA – and are joined by OREGON STATE and CALIFORNIA in the 64-team field. It marks the 23rd-straight season that the Pac-12 has had five or more teams advance to the NCAA Tournament and the fifth time in seven years that seven Conference teams earned bids.

Only 12 schools have been crowned the NCAA Division I softball champion since the tournament started in 1982, and all 12 will compete in this year’s bracket, with five of them coming from the Pac-12. With 23 national titles 1987, more than any other conference in the nation, all nine Pac-12 teams have made appearances in the NCAA Women’s College World Series. UCLA, Arizona and California lead the nation in all-time WCWS appearances and wins, while UCLA has the most NCAA titles in history with 11. Arizona is second with eight, while Arizona State has won two and Cal and Washington have one apiece.

Oregon (21-3, 47-7) earns the No. 1 overall seed after clinching the Pac-12 title in the final week of the regular season, its fifth title all-time. UO will sever host to its regional. The Ducks make their 20th appearance and eighth-consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, and play Albany (13-4, 30-14). Oregon is led by junior right handed pitcher and Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year Megan Kleist.

UCLA (20-4, 50-4) is tabbed the No. 3 seed and plays host to Sacramento State (14-7, 31-18). The Bruins make their 34th all-time NCAA appearance, including 20th-straight after finishing second in the Conference. UCLA spent the last three weeks of the regular season at No. 1 in the USA Today/NFCA and USA Softball/ESPN polls. It leads the nation in all-time WCWs appearances (27) and NCAA Championships (11). UCLA is led by Pac-12 Player of the Year Rachel Garcia and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and Batting Champion Aaliyah Jordan.

Arizona State (16-8, 43-11) makes its 30th NCAA Tournament appearance as the No. 8 seed, hosting New Mexico State (11-4, 29-22) in the first round. ASU finished third in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils worked their way from not being ranked at the being of the season to spending the last seven weeks in the top 10 of the USA Today/NFCA polls. ASU is led by Pac-12 Coach of the Year Trisha Ford.

Washington (15-8, 44-8) is the No. 5 seed and plays host to Boise State (18-6, 40-14). UW finished fourth in the Pac-12. The Huskies spent nine-consecutive weeks at No. 1 in the USA Today/NFCA poll and has been in the top 10 the entire season. UW makes its 25th all-time and 25th-straight in the NCAA Tournament. Washington is led by Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Sis Bates.

Arizona (13-11, 40-14) earns the No. 14 seed in its 32nd-consecutive appearance in the postseason. The Wildcats host St. Francis (PA) (16-0, 39-17). Arizona spent the entire season in the top 13 of the USA Today/NFCA poll. The Wildcats are led by three first team All-Conference selections in Jessie Harper, Taylor McQuillin and Alyssa Palomino.

California (7-16, 34-19) plays Northwestern (14-8, 36-17) in the Athens Regional. The Bears spent the entire season either in the top 25 or receiving votes in the national polls. Cal makes its 33rd all-time and fourth-straight NCAA appearance, and are led by First Team All-Conference selections Jazmyn Jackson and Lindsay Rood.

Oregon State (9-14, 28-26) rounds out the Conference teams in the NCAA Tournament, facing Wisconsin (11-9, 28-21) in the Tuscaloosa Regional. The Beavers make their 14th all-time and third-straight NCAA appearance. The Beavers are led by three Third Team All-Conference selections in Hope Brandner, Alysha Everett and Mariah Mazon.

The championship will be three weekends of competition. Four teams participate at each of 16 campus sites in a double-elimination tournament. Regionals for the NCAA Division I Softball Championship will be held May 18-20 on 16 campus sites. At each campus site, a four-team, double-elimination tournament will be conducted and the 16 winning teams advance to the Super Regionals. Super Regionals for the championship will be held May 24-27 on eight campus sites. At each site, two teams play in a best-of-three tournament format. The winners from each site advance to the NCAA women’s College World Series to be held May 31-6 at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium – OGE Energy Field in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Pac-12 NCAA Softball Selections
Eugene Regional – May 17-19 at Eugene, Oregon
No. 1 seed OREGON* (47-7) vs. Albany (NY) (32-14)
BYU (35-20) vs. Drake (43-10)

Lexington Regional – May 18-20 at Lexington, Kentucky
Michigan (43-11) vs. Notre Dame (32-21)
Ill.-Chicago (33-19) vs. No. 16 seed Kentucky* (31-19)

Columbia Regional – May 18-20 at Columbia, South Carolina
No. 9 seed South Carolina* (45-14) vs. UNCG (46-11)
Liberty (47-12) vs. Hofstra (40-12)

Tempe Regional – May 18-20 at Tempe, Arizona
Long Beach St. (42-12) vs. Ole Miss (30-23)
New Mexico St. (29-22) vs. No. 8 seed ARIZONA STATE* (43-11)

Seattle Regional – May 18-20 at Seattle, Washington
No. 5 seed WASHINGTON* (44-8) vs. Boise St. (40-14)
Texas (32-24) vs. Minnesota (39-15)

Tuscaloosa Regional – May 18-20 at Tuscaloosa, Alabama
OREGON STATE (28-26) vs. Wisconsin (28-21)
Middle Tenn. (39-20) vs. No. 12 seed Alabama* (33-18)

Fayetteville Regional – May 18-20 at Fayetteville, Arkansas
No. 13 seed Arkansas* (39-15) vs. DePaul (35-15)
Wichita St. (30-21) vs. Oklahoma St. (38-20)

Norman Regional – May 18-20 at Norman, Oklahoma
Missouri (28-27) vs. Tulsa (33-23)
Boston U. (39-18) vs. No. 4 seed Oklahoma* (50-3)

Los Angeles Regional – May 18-20 at Los Angeles, California
No. 3 seed UCLA* (50-4) vs. Sacramento St. (31-18)
Cal St. Fullerton (33-23) vs. Texas St. (42-14)

Tucson Regional – May 18-20 at Tucson, Arizona
Mississippi St. (36-21) vs. North Dakota St. (33-17)
St. Francis (PA) (39-17) vs. No. 14 seed ARIZONA* (40-14)

Baton Rouge Regional – May 18-20 at Baton Rouge, Louisiana
No. 11 seed LSU* (41-14) vs. Fordham (33-21)
Houston (36-20) vs. Louisiana (38-14)

Tallahassee Regional – May 18-20 at Tallahassee, Florida
Auburn (40-15) vs. Kennesaw St. (39-15)
Jacksonville St. (33-23) vs. No. 6 seed Florida St.* (47-10)

Athens Regional – May 18-20 at Athens, Georgia
No. 7 seed Georgia* (43-11) vs. Harvard (23-16)
Northwestern (36-17) vs. CALIFORNIA (34-19)

Knoxville Regional – May 18-20 at Knoxville, Tennessee
James Madison (42-12) vs. Ohio (38-15)
Monmouth (32-14) vs. No. 10 seed Tennessee* (45-12)

College Station Regional – May 18-20 at College Station, Texas
No. 15 seed Texas A&M* (40-16) vs. Prairie View (20-21)
McNeese (40-19) vs. Baylor (36-16)

Gainesville Regional – May 18-20 at Gainesville, Florida
Ohio St. (34-14) vs. South Fla. (38-21)
Bethune-Cookman (31-24) vs. No. 2 seed Florida* (50-8)

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