Pac-12 Softball Recap: Cal No. 1 Again, Utah Earns First Ever Pac-12 Win

The No. 1 California Golden Bears -- for the sixth straight week in the USA Today/NFCA Poll released May 1, 2012 -- won all three against in-state rival UCLA this past weekend, earning its sixth Pac-12 series win of the season and its third sweep. Cal took down UCLA 3-0, 8-0 in six and 10-3.

In the 10-3 show, Cal had 10 runs on eight hits, 11 walks against UCLA pitchers Jessica Hall and Ally Carda and eight RBI's. Jace Williams led with three RBI's, while Cheyenne Cordes and Jolene Henderson each had two.

UCLA held a 2-0 lead in the top of the first after Andrea Harrison's 2-RBI home run, her 15th of the year. But Cal's bats were heating up as the Golden Bears scored three in the bottom when Jamia Reid stole home and Cordes's single to left plated Ashley Decker and Valerie Arioto.

Cal upped its advantage to 7-2 in the bottom of the second. UCLA then plated in the top of the third. But in the bottom Cal added its eighth run and in the bottom of the sixth earned the 10-3 win.

Next California is set to play at Oregon State May 4 to 6.

Arizona State jumped one spot behind Cal as the No. 2 team. The Sun Devils received one first-place vote. Last weekend they smoked Washington on the road, going 18-1 in five, 6-3 and 5-4.

In ASU's 18-1 win, Sun Devil Katelyn Boyd became ASU's all-time leader in RBI's after plating six of her teammates. She has 231 total. Boyd also nabbed two home runs, which in single-season records tie her with 19 total - a personal best. One of those homers was a grand slam - her second of the season and her fifth multiple home run game of her career.

ASU plated four apiece in the top of the second and third. Washington followed with its single run in the bottom of the fourth on a Kaitlin Inglesby single. But ASU answered with 10 runs in the top of the fifth for the blowout. Boyd scored her grand slam in the inning and 12 runners reached base.

The Sun Devils had 18 runs on 13 hits, 18 RBI's and nine walks. Boyd and Sam Parlich each tallied three runs. In addition to Boyd's six RBI's, Alix Johnson and Annie Lockwood each had three.

Dallas Escobedo earned her 15th win of the season and allowed only one hit and one run while earning one strikeout.

Next Arizona State is scheduled to host Utah from May 4 to 6.

Oregon improved three to No. 13 after winning two of three at Arizona, beating the eight-time national champions 11-7 and 12-7 before falling in the final 5-4.

In Oregon's loss, the game was tied 2-all after the first complete inning. Kaille Cuico opened with her eighth home run of the season, a two-out, two-run shot, before Arizona answered in the bottom.

Cuico and Samantha Pappas upped Oregon's advantage to 4-2 in the top of the third after Alexa Peterson's double scored them both. But again Arizona answered with two more in the bottom, this time on a Lini Koria homer, double by Jessica Spigner and singles by Chelsea Goodacre and Nicole Bryan.

Tied 4-all going into the bottom of the eighth, Arizona scored its winning run on singles by Goodacre, Alex Lavine and Hallie Wilson.

Allie Burger (3-for-3) recorded a season-high in hits and Alexa Peterson (2-for-4, 2 RBI) earned her ninth multi-hit game of the season and her seventh in April. Kaylan Howard extended her hitting streak to 11 games, with one in the meeting.

Arizona's Kenzie Fowler earned her 14th win of the season. In 5.0 innings Fowler allowed four hits, zero runs, two walks and earned five strikeouts.

Next Oregon is set to host non-conference Seattle in a double-header on May 2. On May 4 and 5 the Ducks will also play a non-conference series against Missouri.

In their final regular-season home game series, the No. 14 Washington Huskies, falling three, lost all three against Arizona State April 27 to 29. The Dawgs fell 18-1 in five, 6-3 and 5-4.

Seniors Jenna Clifton, Kimi Pohlman, Taylor Smith and Nikia Williams all played in their last game as a UW student-athlete at Husky Softball Stadium and were celebrated in on senior day.

UW came back in the bottom of the first inning from a 3-0 deficit to make it a 3-2 game. Victoria Hayward and Williams walked with two outs, Hayward stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch by Arizona State's Dallas Escobedo, Shawna Wright was hit to load the bases and Kylee Lahners singled up the middle to score two.

Arizona State answered by adding its fourth run in the top of the second and its fifth in the top of the fifth. Then the Dawgs made it a 5-3 game in the bottom of the sixth when Wright hit her fifth homer of the season. In the bottom of the seventh Pohlman hit a leadoff single and eventually scored, but Arizona State grabbed the final out for the 5-4 score.

Next Washington will play its final regular-season Pac-12 series at Stanford May 4 to 6.

The No. 15 Arizona Wildcats, down two, lost the first two games against Oregon 11-7 and 12-7 before taking the final meeting 5-4 in eight innings with a walk-off.

Hallie Wilson broke the 4-4 tie in the bottom of the eighth with a two-out single to center that scored Chelsea Goodacre from third. With the win, the Wildcats got back to .500 in conference play, where they stand 9-9.

Wilson's hit was Arizona's second walk-off, extra inning win of the season - the first being an 8-6 win over San Diego State on March 28 when Shelby Pendley smacked a homer.

Arizona had five runs on 12 hits and five RBI. Wilson, Chelsea Suitos, Lini Koria, Jessica Spigner and Goodacre all scored. Koria led Arizona with two RBI's.

Next Arizona is set to play May 4 to 6 at UCLA.

For the second time this season the No. 17 UCLA Bruins, down two, lost a Pac-12 series. They were knocked by California from April 27 to 29, 3-0, 8-0 in six and 10-3.

Despite the fact that the Bears were blanked for the first time all season in the 3-0 shutout, sophomore pitcher Jessica Hall tied a personal high with 11 strikeouts, her third career double-figure strikeout game.

Hall had 1-2-3 innings in the first and fourth. She fell to 16-8 on the season and with her 11 strikeouts she allowed three hits, three runs (two earned), three walks, two wild pitches and one hit-by-pitch in 6.0 innings.

Cal scored two runs off one hit in the third as Ashley Decker singled up the middle to plate Frani Echavarria and Jamia Reid from third and second, respectively. In the sixth Valerie Arioto added Cal's third and final run after singling to left, moving to third on a Jace Williams double and scoring on a sac fly to right by Cheyenne Cordes.

Next UCLA is set to host Arizona from May 4 to 6.

No. 19 Stanford had a non-conference game scheduled against UC Davis on April 25 that was cancelled. The Cardinal are set to host Santa Clara on May 1 for a non-conference match. They will get back in Pac-12 play this weekend when they host Washington from May 4 to 6 in their final regular-season home game series.

Oregon State won a pair against Portland State on April 24 and followed by going 2-for-3 against Utah to earn its second conference road win of the season, an accomplishment OSU hadn't done since 2008. The Beavers won 10-2 with four homers, lost 8-6 and won the final 5-4.

OSU not only won the 10-2 meeting, but also along the way earned a handful of other milestones.

Oregon State's 10 runs were the most in a conference game since the Beaver's scored the same number in a 10-8 victory over Stanford on April 11, 2010. Including this win, the Beavers have only scored 10 or more runs in conference games five times since 1994. In all games this season, OSU has reached double-digits in runs eight times, which is second in team history to the 1978 roster that had 11 double-digit games. OSU's highest scoring game this season so far has been a 22-5 (five inning) win against BYU in its season opener on Feb. 9.

Desiree Beltran tied the game 1-all in the top of second with OSU's team-leading seventh home run of the season. The Beavers added its second run in the top of the fifth when Elizabeth Santana hit a solo home run for her fifth on the season and fourth in Pac-12 play. Ally Kutz increased OSU's lead to 3-1 in the top of the sixth with an RBI double.

OSU broke open in the top of the seventh inning and took off running, literally, for seven runs, including freshman Dani Gilmore's seventh homer of the season that brought home Santana from third for a 6-1 lead. Erin Guzy walked, Paige Hall and Kutz both singled for a 7-1 game and then Lea Cavestany smacked a three-run homer off the scoreboard in right-center, her fourth of the year.

Utah added its final run in the bottom of the seventh but it wasn't enough and OSU took it 10-2.

Next Oregon State is scheduled to host California May 4 to 6.

The Utah Utes earned their first ever Pac-12 victory this past weekend in an 8-6 win over Oregon State. Utah announced its joining of the Pac-10 expansion to the Pac-12 on June 17, 2010. The 2011-12 year is Utah's inaugural season playing in the Pac-12. The Utes lost their other two games 10-2 and 5-4.

"It's nice to finally have the monkey off our back and get that first Pac-12 win," Utah head coach Amy Hogue said. "We earned this victory by making just enough plays to win. Having two big innings on the scoreboard is also a big deal for us. We haven't done that much yet [in Pac-12 play], so to have two big innings was great for us."

When polled in last week's Pac-12 softball recap whether Utah would earn a Pac-12 win this season, 16 of 21 voters, 76%, answered that Utah would not. But, little did everyone know, the Utes did.

Utah scored in the first inning for the fourth straight game. Kelsi Hoopiiaina crossed home plate on Whitney Holm's double to center, a sac fly scored Katelyn Elliott, and Kate Dickman hit her first career home run, a two-run shot over the center field wall, to lift Utah 4-1.

A Utah run in the bottom of the second increased the team's lead to 5-1 before Oregon State answered with one in the top of the third frame and two in the top of the fourth. But Utah retaliated with three runs in the bottom of the fourth when Tia Palauni smacked her sixth homer of the season to center field for three runs.

OSU came back with a run in the top of the fifth and seventh but it wasn't enough.

Next Utah will play at Arizona State May 4 to 6.

Standings: Conference, Overall

California: 16-2, 45-3

Arizona State: 14-2, 42-5

Oregon: 11-8, 34-12

Arizona: 9-9, 32-14

UCLA: 9-9, 33-15

Oregon State: 8-9, 33-16

Washington: 7-13, 36-14

Stanford: 6-12, 32-16

Utah: 1-17, 26-23

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