Pac-12 Softball Recap: NCAA Regionals Begin, Oregon Advances to Finals

The 2012 NCAA Division 1 Softball Championship began this Thursday, May 17 with regional play in 16 different locations. As mentioned in this previous article, eight Pac-12 teams are playing for the championship. Below is a round-up of the first two days (May 17-18).

No. 11 Oregon 7, Portland State 3 (GAME ONE): May 17

The Oregon Ducks scored six runs in the first inning and added their final in the fourth to beat Portland State 7-3 in the opening round in Eugene on Thursday, May 17. With the win Oregon advanced to play BYU on Friday, May 18.

Samantha Pappas started the game with a single and rounded the bases on a Kaylan Howard double down left but was thrown out at the plate. The Ducks scored their first run on a hit-by-pitch with bases loaded. Then Alexa Peterson and Jessica Moore had two-and one-run singles to right and freshman Janie Takeda had a two-run single down right for Oregon's final runs in the first.

In the fourth, Peterson hit an RBI on an error by Portland State's second baseman.

On the mound for Oregon, Moore threw a complete game and allowed three earned runs on six hits. She grabbed seven strikeouts.

No. 11 Oregon 6, BYU 4 (GAME TWO): May 18

Oregon advanced to its third consecutive regional final after beating BYU 6-4 on Friday, May 18 at Howe Field in Eugene.

The Ducks exploded with a five-run lead in the bottom of the third. Samantha Pappas scored on a Kailee Cuico single down left and then Christie Nieto homered to right-center for a grand slam, her second of the season and ninth homer. Oregon followed with another run in the fourth. BYU scored twice in both the top of the fourth and fifth and had bases loaded in the fifth before Oregon's Jessica Moore got a strikeout to end the inning.

Moore pitched her second complete game of the regional and allowed two earned runs on five hits and had five walks. She recorded 10 strikeouts.

BYU's Hannah Howell started in the circle for the first 4.0 innings and let six earned runs on 10 hits while throwing two strikeouts. Caroline Umphlett came in for 1.0 inning and had two walks before Tori Almond relieved for 1.0 inning.

In Friday's second game, Portland State shutout Mississippi State 2-0 to advance to play BYU later that day in elimination. BYU then shutout Portland State 2-0 to advance to Saturday's regional final against Oregon, which starts at 12 p.m. PT.

If BYU wins, a second game would be played immediately after at 3 p.m. PT to determine who advances to play the winner of the Austin regional next weekend.

No. 1 California 8, Iona 0 (five innings): May 18

In Cal's first postseason hosting duties since 1993 and first home night game in program history, 1,059 fans came out to Levine-Flicke Field in Berkeley on Friday, May 18 to watch the Golden Bears shutout and run-rule Iona 8-0.

Cal will move on to the winner's bracket at 3 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 19 and play Arkansas. BU and Iona will face-off in the elimination game at 5 p.m. PT and at 7 p.m. PT the loser of the Cal/Arkansas game will play the winner of the BU/Iona game.

The Golden Bears put three runs on the board in the bottom of the first when Britt Vonk scored from third on a wild pitch and Breana Kostreba knocked a two-run homer to plate herself and Jace Williams from first.

Cal added five more runs in the bottom of the fifth for the run-rule over the Gaels. They ran home on four hits, one Gael error, two walks and one hit batter.

Frani Echavarria scored from first on a wild throw, Jamia Reid scored from third on a Vonk single, Kostreba singled to center to plate Vonk, Danielle Henderson was hit to score Cal's seventh run and Echavarria grabbed the game-ending single to second with loaded bases to score Williams.

Cal's Jolene Henderson threw a complete 5.0 innings, allowing two hits and striking out seven.

Iona's Allyssa James had both of the Gaels' two hits. On the mound, Sarah Jackson started, going 4.0 innings, allowing six earned runs on four hits and four walks. Alyssa Maiese closed the final 0.2 innings, allowing one earned run on two hits.

No. 16 Washington 2, Harvard 0: May 18

Washington freshman Kimberlee Souza and sophomore pitcher Kaitlin Inglesby helped their Huskies to a 2-0 blanking of Harvard. Souza hit a two-RBI double with two outs in the fourth and in the seventh with Harvard with a go-ahead run Inglesby finished the game.

The Huskies advanced to the winner's bracket at 1 p.m. PT on Saturday to play Texas Tech who defeated Maryland 6-1 in game one of the Seattle regional. Maryland and Harvard will meet in the elimination game at 3:30 p.m. PT.

Jerrin Fa'asua bunt singled, Shawna Wright followed with a single to left, Hooch Fagaly hit a sac bunt and then Souza plated the winning runs.

Inglesby pitched a complete game, allowing just three hits and striking out seven.

Washington had seven hits in the game. Nikia Williams and Fa'asua led with two apiece. Harvard totaled three.

Hofstra 7, No. 12 UCLA 2: May 18

In a surprising upset for UCLA, Hofstra scored seven runs on 12 hits to put UCLA in the loser bracket of the Los Angeles regional.

UCLA senior Andrea Harrison and freshman Stephany LaRosa each homered, while sophomore pitcher Jessica Hall struck out nine, but it wasn't enough and the Bruins will play Florida State to stay alive at 3:30 p.m. PT on Saturday. Hofstra will face San Diego State at 1 p.m. PT in the winner's bracket.

The Pride opened the scoring in the third inning when Michelle Lavagnino scored on a double and Becca Bigler reached on a wild pitch. In the fourth Hofstra loaded on straight one-out singles and one out later Rachael Senatore doubled to left-center to bring home Erin Trippi and Courtney Crews. Two more runs were added in the sixth when Crews and Lavagnino crossed home.

UCLA plated two in the sixth when LaRosa nailed her 17th homer of the year and four pitches later Harrison hit the Bruins' second home run of the game and her 15th of the season for a 6-2 score.

Hofstra added its seventh in the seventh on a two-out home run by Krista Thorn for the 7-2 score. UCLA had bases loaded in the bottom but were unable to capitalize.

Olivia Galati pitched a complete game for Hofstra and allowed two earned runs on nine hits while striking out 14.

No. 13 Arizona 11, North Dakota State 0 (five innings): May 18

Arizona had two-run, five-run and four-run innings to run-rule North Dakota State 11-0 in the opening round of the Tucson regional. The Wildcats move on to the winner's bracket to play Notre Dame at 3 p.m. MST on Saturday. North Dakota State will face Hawaii at 5 p.m. MST in the elimination game.

The Cats took a two-run lead in the bottom of the first frame with unearned runs. Karissa Buchanan was hit and she stole second and advanced to third on a catcher's throwing error. Brigette Del Ponte was also hit and she stole second. Lini Koria's sac bunt scored Buchanan and then Shelby Pendley walked and a double steal allowed for UA's second run.

NDSU had runners in scoring position in the top of the second and the third but Shelby Babcock threw strikeouts to end the rallies.

In the third Arizona's Del Ponte led off to score and Kristen Arriola followed by smacking a grand-slam, her third and ninth homer of the year. Then the Cats added four in the fourth.

Arriola matched a career-high six RBI from March 2009. Arizona's margin of victory was its sixth-largest out of 149 NCAA tournament wins.

NDSU's Krista Menke had two runs on one hit and Whitney Johnson allowed four earned runs, nine total, on four hits.

Tulsa 9, Oregon State 7 (11 innings): May 18

Opening round in Norman, Okla. between Tulsa and Oregon State lasted three hours and 32 minutes. 415 pitches were thrown over 11 innings and Tulsa outlasted the Beavers 9-7 to advance to the winner's bracket.

Tulsa and Oklahoma will play at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday and OSU will face Lehigh in the elimination game at 3:30 p.m. CT.

OSU came back from trailing 6-3 in the sixth to score four on five hits in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings. Erin Guzy drove home the first two with a single to left-center and Desiree Beltran scored Elizabeth Santana and Guzy for the 7-all tie.

The eighth, ninth and 10th were scoreless and it wasn't until the top of the 11th that the game was decided. Tulsa's Jessica Stoelke hit an RBI double for the 9-7 lead.

OSU's Dani Gilmore led the Beavers with two runs. Hannah Bouska, Madison Bundy and Maggie Doremus had one apiece.

No. 3 Arizona State 9, LIU Brooklyn 0 (five innings): May 18

The Arizona State Sun Devils took down Long Island University Brooklyn in the opening round at Tempe to secure a spot in the winner's bracket. ASU will take on Syracuse at 1 p.m. PT on Saturday while LIU Brooklyn will face Long Beach State at 4 p.m. PT.

Amber Freeman got the ball rolling in the bottom of the second with a solo homer to center in her first ever postseason at-bat. It was Freeman's 11th home run of the season. The Sun Devils increased their lead to 4-0 in the third when Katelyn Boyd and Alix Johnson scored on an Elizabeth Caporuscio (2 runs, 3 RBI) double and Freeman's hit to right-center plated Caporuscio.

In the bottom of the fourth ASU scored two more before Haley Steele blasted a three-run homer over the center field wall, her ninth of the season, for a 9-0 Arizona State lead.

No. 16 Stanford 1, Baylor 0: May 18

The Stanford Cardinal earned a spot in the winner's bracket after taking down Baylor 1-0 in the opening round in the Lafayette regional. Stanford improves to 39-17 overall, while the Bears fall to 33-21 overall.

Stanford will play the winner of the Louisiana-Lafayette/Mississippi Valley State game at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday.

The game was scoreless through the first four and a half innings. Five of the first six outs recorded by Stanford were strikeouts by junior pitcher Teagan Gerhart, who earned the win and improves to 31-11 overall. Gerhart had seven strikeouts and her ninth shutout of the season.

Stanford put the lone run on the board in the bottom of the fifth starting when freshman Hanna Winter led off with a single and freshman Leah White hit a sac bunt to get Winter in scoring position. Baylor then intentionally walked Jenna Rich and freshman Cassandra Roulund plated Winter with a single to shortstop.

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