Friday, September 21

Around the League: Conference play continues for Pac-12 softball, baseball teams


The Pac-12 is now in the middle of intraconference play, and three of the nations top five teams come from the Bruins' home conference. (Alice Naland/Daily Bruin)

The Pac-12 is now in the middle of intraconference play, and three of the nations top five teams come from the Bruins' home conference. (Alice Naland/Daily Bruin)


Softball
Nicholas Yekikian, assistant Sports editor

With conference play in full swing, the No. 1 Washington Huskies are leading the nation and the Pac-12 with a 39-2 overall record and a 10-2 conference record.

The Huskies have recorded 20 shutouts over the course of the season, and have averaged 6.98 runs per game – second only to the No. 3 Bruins who have averaged 7.14 runs per game this year.

Washington is carrying a 10-game win streak going into its weekend matchup with No. 24 California, which has gone just 1-8 against teams from its home conference, and has seen its ranking drop from 22nd to 24th in recent weeks.

A fifth of the top-25 teams in the country hail from the Pac-12, and two of Cal’s three conference series matchups have come against Arizona and Arizona State, two teams that are ranked ninth and seventh, respectively.

The Golden Bears were unable to put together a single win against either team from the Grand Canyon State.

The Sun Devils and Wildcats have yet to face each other, but both hold records of .500 or better in conference play.

The Pac-12 matchups will continue until the postseason arrives May 18.

(Isabelle Roy/Daily Bruin senior staff)
(Isabelle Roy/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Baseball
Ryan Smith, assistant Sports editor

Only three Pac-12 schools sit in the top 25 after three weeks of conference play.

Despite dropping two of three contests to then-No. 21 UCLA baseball (19-8, 8-4 Pac-12) over the weekend, No. 2 Stanford (23-5, 6-3) retained its spot in the newest rankings released Monday afternoon. The Cardinal surrendered 26 runs to the Bruins in the series, more than they had given up in their previous 10 games combined.

Stanford will head back to the Bay Area for a Tuesday matchup with UC Davis followed by a three-game weekend series against unranked Arizona State (14-18, 6-6).

No. 9 Oregon State also stumbled over the weekend, losing two of three to unranked Arizona (19-11, 4-5). The Beavers were outscored 21-9 in the pair of losses to the Wildcats.

Oregon State has the week off before it starts a three-game series with Missouri State this weekend.

Washington (14-14, 6-3) is the only other Pac-12 school with a positive conference record, but remains unranked.

(Daniel Leibowitz/Daily Bruin staff)
(Daniel Leibowitz/Daily Bruin staff)

Gymnastics
Gabriel McCarthy, Daily Bruin contributor

No. 3 UCLA gymnastics is joined by three other Pac-12 teams in the NCAA championship semifinal round.

The Bruins will compete in the first round in St. Louis on April 20. UCLA comes off a 197.650 in the regional match, where it claimed the top rank in its field.

No. 5 Utah advanced to the semifinal round by coming first in its field with a 197.475. The Utes also had sophomore MyKayla Skinner advance in the all-around competition and bars, with a 9.9 in the latter. Skinner was the runner-up in the all-around contest and floor champion in her freshman year.

Utah is in the same field as No. 9 California, who advanced to the semifinal with a score of 196.725. The score was its best result in an NCAA regional in school history.

No. 11 Washington came second in its region, narrowly making the cut to the semifinal field, only 0.415 points ahead of fellow Pac-12 team No. 23 Arizona State. The Huskies are competing in the national championships for the second straight year.

Despite the Sun Devils not advancing to the competition, they will be represented by freshman Cairo Leonard-Baker in the all-around contest.

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