Biggest surprise this past week? Non-ranked Utah taking the series against No. 5 Arizona State, which dropped three spots in the USA Today/NFCA Division 1 Top 25 Poll from April 23. ASU had previously stood behind No. 1 Oklahoma for six weeks.
(5) ARIZONA STATE vs. UTAH: Utah 5-4 (8), 6-5, Arizona State 6-4
Utah (21-24-1, 6-12) won its second-straight Pac-12 home series after taking down No. 5 Arizona State. The Utes walked-off with its game one win, taking a 2-0 lead in the first, climbing back to tie 4-all in the seventh and earning the 5-4 win over Arizona State (39-7, 10-5) when freshman catcher Shelby Pacheco hit a walk-off double to plate sophomore Shelbi Everett.
"(Shelby) didn't have a hit on the day, but faced the same pitcher two innings before and hit the ball hard," Utah Head Coach Amy Hogue said. "...Early in the at-bat, she barely hung in there and barely got a piece of the ball for a foul tip then realized that she was above the ball. She made an adjustment with her swing that won the ball game for us. To be able to understand how to make adjustments like that as a freshman in a situation like that is impressive."
Utah clinched the series with its 6-5 win in game two. The Utes tallied four runs in the first and two in the second. Jackie Sweet (1-for-2, 1 RBI) led with two runs, while Kate Dickman, Chalese Fankhauser, Kristen Stewart and Katelyn Elliot all scored once.
"This team has elevated our program after winning series against UCLA and Arizona State," Hogue said. "They have proven that this is not a fluke and we're not a team to look past."
Arizona State saved itself from being swept when Sam Parlich, with ASU down 4-3, hit a three-run homer in the top of the seventh of the final game.
Next, Utah will take on non-conference Southern Utah in a doubleheader April 24 before playing at Stanford April 26-28.
Arizona State will face California April 26-28.
(10) CALIFORNIA vs. OREGON STATE: Cal 8-0 (5), 3-1, Oregon State 1-0
California (35-9, 9-6) opened the series against Oregon State (27-17, 4-11) with its 15th shutout of the season and eventually won after taking game two as well. Cheyenne Cordes (2-for-3, 2 R) knocked a two-RBI walk-off homer in the fifth to give the Golden Bears the 8-0 win. Cal scored three in the bottom of the second and three in the fourth. Breana Kostreba hit two doubles and finished 2-for-3 with one run and two RBI. Cal's bats were hot in game two too, as Kostreba (1-for-2, 1 RBI) and Victoria Jones (1-for-1, 1 RBI) each hit a solo home run, with Jones scoring the third run on an RBI single by Cordes (1-for-3).
Throwing two complete games and 6.2 in the final, Henderson (29-8) pitched well in all three meetings, holding the Beavers to just nine total hits and striking out 18, six in each. Henderson won the first two but took the loss to Oregon State senior Tina Andreana (6-5) in game three.
Andreana held Cal to just two hits for OSU's shutout and first road win against a top-10 team in six years. The senior fanned seven and walked six in the complete effort. Ashley Sanchez scored the lone run.
Next, Cal plays at Arizona State April 26-28.
Oregon State will host Arizona April 26-28.
(13) WASHINGTON vs. (17) STANFORD: Washington 6-5, Stanford 6-4, Washington 7-1
This series was packed with home runs in player's back pockets.
In games one and two, Stanford's (29-15, 6-9) Jenna Rich hit two solo home runs to give the Cardinal a 1-0 lead. Also in game two Stanford's Kayla Bonstrom and Washington's (34-13, 12-6) Victoria Hayward and Hooch Fagaly hit long balls. Hayward hit two solo home runs in game two alone - the first to even the game 1-all and the second to tie it 3-all. Fagaly hit for back-to-back after Hayward's first shot in the opening frame.
In the series finale, in which Washington was able to escape the close scoring, Fagaly hit her second solo homer of the day, Kaitlin Inglesby knocked a three-run hit and junior Whitney Jones hit her first career home run in the sixth.
Inglesby also won on the mound, striking out seven in game one and five in game three in both complete matches. Stanford's Kelsey Stevens struck out seven in 6.1 innings in game two.
Next, Washington will play at Utah May 3-5.
Stanford will play non-conference Pacific on April 24 before hosting Utah April 26-28.
(16) UCLA vs (23) ARIZONA: Arizona 8-6 (10), UCLA 13-3, 9-1 (6)
Arizona's Hallie Wilson helped the Wildcats (28-19, 5-10) earn the series opening win against UCLA (30-15, 7-11) after hitting the first pitch of her at-bat. Arizona was down one run on the last out in the bottom of the 10th with runners on first and second when Wilson hit her sixth home run of the season to propel Arizona. The Wildcats scored five runs in the bottom of the second before UCLA charged back with five of its own in the top of the fourth. Five scoreless innings occurred before extra innings were brought on. Arizona starter Shelby Babcock recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts in the complete game while UCLA's Ally Carda earned 11 in eight innings.
In UCLA's 13-3 victory the Bruins tied a school record with seven homers and plated 13 runs on 16 hits - the most hits allowed by Arizona's pitchers all year. Carda (2-for-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI), Mysha Sataraka (3-for-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI) and Stephany LaRosa (3-for-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI) led the Bruins and Jessica Hall struck out eight in 7.0 innings. In the finale Sataraka and LaRosa homered once more and Carda earned her 20th win on the mound, striking out a batter in every inning but the first.
Next, UCLA hosts non-conference UC Santa Barbara on April 24 before competing against Oregon April 26-28.
Arizona will play at Oregon State April 26-28.
Since starting Pac-12 competition on March 23, No. 6 OREGON (38-6, 13-2) is 15-2 overall, with its only losses to Washington and California. On April 16 the Ducks improved to a six-game win streak after shutting out non-conference Portland State (15-24) 5-0 and 8-0 (5).
Oregon tallied 11 hits in game one, with Courtney Ceo and Samantha Pappas each going 3-for-3 with two runs apiece. Ceo opened Oregon's scoring in the first inning after a single, stealing second and third, and plating on a ground-out by Kaylan Howard. In game two, the Ducks totaled seven hits with Pappas leading with two, while on the mound All-American senior Jessica Moore (20-3) earned her 20th win of the year after striking out eight, walking none and allowing two hits in four innings.
Next, Oregon returns to Pac-12 play April 26-28 at UCLA.