Saturday, February 16

Around the League: Pac-12 teams deliver strong showings in softball, women’s golf, baseball


Arizona only took one game off UCLA in the weekend’s series at Easton Stadium, but it was enough for the Wildcats to clinch their first Pac-12 regular season title since 2007. The Wildcats will now wait for the postseason while the Bruins have one more series left. (Amy Dixon/Daily Bruin)

Arizona only took one game off UCLA in the weekend’s series at Easton Stadium, but it was enough for the Wildcats to clinch their first Pac-12 regular season title since 2007. The Wildcats will now wait for the postseason while the Bruins have one more series left. (Amy Dixon/Daily Bruin)


While Bruin athletes continue competing in Westwood, here’s a look at some of the biggest news from the rest of the Pac-12 and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Softball
TuAnh Dam, Sports editor

It was a big weekend for Pac-12 softball, and it wasn’t just because then-No. 12 Arizona was squaring off with then-No. 3 UCLA.

The Bruins took the first two games, shutting out the visiting Wildcats 14-0 on Friday and Saturday.

But the eight-time national champions took game three at Easton Stadium to clinch the Pac-12 title for the first time since 2007.

Meanwhile, the four-time defending conference champion Oregon had just capped a three-game sweep of then-No. 2 Florida State. The Ducks entered the series ranked 7th in the country before run-ruling the Seminoles 11-0 in Saturday’s opener and squeaking 3-1 and 2-1 wins Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

All three programs now have top-five RPIs according to the NCAA, led by Oregon at second place. UCLA and Arizona follow at fourth and fifth respectively.

The Wildcats now await the postseason while the Ducks and Bruins each have one series left before the selection show Sunday night.

UCLA will travel to Tempe, Arizona, to face the Arizona State Sun Devils while Oregon will battle Stanford in Palo Alto.

Women’s golf
TuAnh Dam, Sports editor

The 2017 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Regionals are underway, and the Pac-12 had a strong first day.

In the Lubbock regional, UCLA ended the day tied for third with host Texas Tech. Arizona and Oregon were just ahead at three and two strokes respectively. No team was under-par, although Bruin Lilia Vu leads the field individually by one shot at 4-under 68.

The sophomore had seven birdies on holes two, four, six, nine, 12, 14 and 18 to go with three bogeys in the first day of competition.

Just one stroke behind Vu is the Ducks’ Cathleen Santoso who finished the day at minus-3.

California, Washington and USC are all tied for third in the Albuquerque region at 7-over-par while last year’s NCAA runner-up Stanford is in second at plus-2.

Cardinal freshman Albane Valenzuela was one-under par to finish just two strokes out of first place behind North Carolina State’s Laura Kowohl and Pepperdine’s Tatiana Wijaya.

Teams will play again Tuesday and Wednesday with the top six teams from each regional advancing to the NCAA finals.

Men’s volleyball
TuAnh Dam, Sports editor

UCLA’s season ended in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament, but three teams from the conference made it to Columbus, Ohio, for the NCAA Tournament.

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Hawai’i was one of three MPSF teams to make the 2017 NCAA Tournament along with BYU and Long Beach State. The Rainbow Warriors won 3-2 in a tight first-round match against Penn State before falling to eventual NCAA champions Ohio State 3-0 in the semifinals. (Farida Saleh/Daily Bruin)

None left with the championship trophy.

No. 2 Long Beach State lost in straight sets in the semifinal to BYU, which had also swept Barton in the first round.

The Cougars returned to the championship match for the second straight year looking for revenge against host Ohio State Buckeyes.

Last year, BYU lost in three sets to Ohio State which had dispatched UCLA in five sets.

But the Buckeyes, who did not drop a set all tournament, defended their national title, winning in front of their home crowd.

Before making the championship match, Ohio State ran by Hawai’i 3-0.

The Rainbow Warriors had won a tight 3-2 first round match against Penn State but could not upset the Buckeyes.

Baseball
TuAnh Dam, Sports editor

Oregon State baseball (38-4, 21-3 Pac-12) continued its dominance this weekend with a home sweep of the California Golden Bears.

After outscoring the Bears 29-12 over the three-game series, the Beavers are just four games away from setting the record for the best regular season in program history.

The No. 1 team in the nation has not dropped a conference series this season, sweeping five of eight three-game sets.

Their last loss was 7-5 to USC on April 29 and they haven’t dropped a conference series since last season, to Oregon in mid-May.

With just three weeks left until the postseason, Oregon State needs to win just two of their six games against Oregon and Washington State to secure the regular season title, with Stanford and UCLA 6 1/2 games behind.

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