During the third week of Pac-12 play, all teams besides Arizona State competed in both mid-week and weekend series so there's a lot of softball to talk about. No. 7 Oregon and No. 14 Washington had big weeks, while ASU was ranked No. 2 for the fifth straight week in the April 9 USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll. Previously No. 24 Oregon State dropped out of the rankings.
April 2 and 3 games:
(7) OREGON vs. UTAH: Oregon 11-3 (6), 11-1 (6), 5-2
Oregon hit a season-high 18 hits in its 11-3 six-inning win over Utah, following with 12 more in the second of the double-header.
Ending the series, Alexa Peterson, last week's leader in the Pac-12 in batting and on-base percentage, led Oregon starters in hitting (.500, 5 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI). Janie Takeda (.455, 5 H, 2B, 3 RBI, SB), Kaylan Howard (.455, 5 H, 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI), Courtney Ceo (.444, 4 H, 2 RBI, SB), freshman Janelle Lindvall (.429, 3 H, HR, 3 RBI) and Koral Costa (.400, 2 H) all topped .400 in the series in hitting.
Jessica Moore earned two wins, striking out six, walking none and allowing nine hits in her 10 innings on the mound. Moore was drafted sixth overall in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) College Draft held on April 1.
Freshman Cheridan Hawkins earned the other win, striking out nine, walking one and allowing seven hits in six innings.
Utah's Chalese Fankhauser and Jackie Sweet hit back-to-back solo home runs in the Ute's 5-2 loss.
(9) CALIFORNIA vs. (17) ARIZONA: California 6-2, 5-1, Arizona 7-3
California took the double-header over Arizona with the work of six home runs and Jolene Henderson's 12 strikeouts. The senior pitcher allowed 13 hits but just three runs and three walks in 14 innings. At-bat, Henderson was 2-for-6, hitting a home run in each game and nabbing three RBI. Senior Lindsey Ziegenhirt homered twice as well and hit a triple, finishing 3-for-7. Danielle Henderson and Victoria Jones also homered.
Arizona's 7-3 series finale win cost Cal its first Pac-12 loss of the season. Shelby Babcock (12-5) earned the win, tossing 4.1 innings for six strikeouts, two walks and four hits with one earned run.
(14) WASHINGTON vs. (19) UCLA: Washington 1-0, 5-4 (9), 6-0
Washington made history as the school won a true road series at UCLA for the first time. In game one, Kylee Lahners hit a solo home run for Washington's 1-0 win. In game two, Washington caught up to tie the game 4-all in the third before Missy Taukeiaho's RBI double scored Victoria Hayward for the nine-inning 5-4 win. In Washington's 6-0 finale win, the Huskies earned their first Pac-12 sweep since taking all three at Utah in last year's Pac-12 opener. Washington's Kaitlin Inglesby pitched two complete shutout wins.
(16) STANFORD vs. OREGON STATE: Stanford 7-0, 8-6, Oregon State 4-3
Stanford's Teagan Gerhart earned her fifth shutout of the season in the complete game, striking out six and allowing just three hits and one walk in Stanford's 7-0 win over Oregon State. Freshman Kelsey Stevens earned her 10th win of the season in the second game, fanning four in 5.1 innings, with Gerhart totaling her fourth save. Oregon State's Natalie Hampton led the Beavers 3-for-3 with three RBI in OSU's 4-3 win.
April 6 and 7 games:
(2) ARIZONA STATE vs. (16) STANFORD: Arizona State 12-6, 11-2 (6), Stanford 4-3
With six homers this past weekend, Arizona State (36-4, 7-2) continued its homerun frenzy to 12-straight games with a long ball. The Sun Devils homered in all three first innings for their first runs at Stanford (27-12, 5-7). Cheyenne Coyle homered in the opening frame of game one and Haley Steele hit in the top of the seventh. Amber Freeman, who finished the double-header day with four hits and nine RBI, smacked two in game two, while Lucy Aubrecht hit one. Coyle added her second homer of the weekend in ASU's 4-3 loss.
Cassandra Roulund notched a triple to put the Cardinal ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the third and Stanford eventually won 4-3.
Mackenzie Popescue dominated on the mound in ASU's 11-2 mercy rule win to improve to 16-0. Dallas Escobedo (19-4) earned the win in game one after striking out seven in four innings, but took the loss on Sunday, striking out nine in six innings.
Next, Arizona State will host Washington April 12-14.
Stanford is set to play two non-conference games against San Jose State (April 10) and Saint Mary's (April 17) before playing at Washington April 19-21.
(7) OREGON vs. (9) CALIFORNIA: Oregon 5-1, California 3-1, Oregon 9-3
Oregon (33-6, 10-2) won its fourth straight Pac-12 series and captured its first victory at Cal (30-6, 6-3) since 2007. Kaylan Howard helped in the 5-1 win with her Oregon-leading fifth game-winning RBI of the season, with a solo homer in the fourth.
Cal won the second meeting with Danielle Henderson hitting home in the second and fifth and Jolene Henderson almost had a shutout until Oregon scored in the fifth. Oregon freshman Cheridan Hawkins earned 10 strikeouts in the loss, her third complete game of the season.
Close to its season-high 18 hits in a game against Utah earlier in the week, Oregon had 15 against Henderson in the series finale.
Next, Oregon will host Arizona April 12-14.
California is set to host Saint Mary's on April 10 in a non-conference game before competing at UCLA April 11-13.
(14) WASHINGTON vs. OREGON STATE: Washington 14-2 (5), 8-6, 4-3
Earning its second-straight Pac-12 series sweep, Washington (31-10, 9-3) was hot against Oregon State (24-14, 1-8) despite two rain delays in game one. Missy Taukeiaho (2-for-3) was big once more after hitting a three-run home run in the second and Hooch Fagaly (2-for-4) batted a two-RBI triple in the fourth. Taukeiaho led with four RBI, while Fagaly had three. Washington tallied 10 hits against Oregon State's four. The Huskies rallied in game two from 4-0 down as Kaitlin Inglesby went 2-for-3 with two RBI and earned the win on the mound. Kelli Suguro hit her first career homer in the fifth to give the Huskies a 5-4 lead. Fagaly pulled it out in game three with the game-winning single on two outs in the bottom of the seventh.
Next, Washington will play at Arizona State April 12-14.
Oregon State is scheduled to host Utah April 12-14.
(19) UCLA vs. UTAH: UCLA 6-4, Utah 7-4, 8-3
UCLA's (26-13, 3-9) Ally Carda, while earning the 6-4 win over Utah (16-20-1, 3-9), struggled on the mound, allowing four runs, six hits and three walks in four innings. Jessica Hall came on for relief in the fifth and threw three innings of shutout for her second save of the season. B.B. Bates led UCLA with four RBI but went 1-for-4. Carda (2-for-3) finished with two RBI. Utah's Kate Dickman had all four RBI. In game two Dickman (2-for-2) and Chalese Fankhauser (1-for-3) led with two RBI and two runs apiece and in Utah's 8-3 win the Utes tallied 14 hits off UCLA pitchers Paige McDuffee (1.0 inning pitched), Jessica Hall (4.1) and Ally Carda (0.2).
Next, UCLA will host California April 11-13.
Utah is set to host non-conference Weber State on April 10 and then play at Oregon State April 12-14.
(17) ARIZONA (26-13, 4-5) played UC Santa Barbara in a two-game non-conference series April 6 and 7, winning 12-2 and 9-0 in five innings each. In game one, freshman Lauren Young led with seven RBI, the most so far this season, with six of those coming off of two three-run home runs. Arizona also recorded a season-high 15 hits. Arizona tallied 10 hits in the series finale and Young scored once, with Chelsea Suitos leading with two runs.
Next, Arizona will play at non-conference New Mexico State on April 9. The Wildcats will resume Pac-12 competition at Oregon April 12-14.