UCLA Softball begins Pac 12 Conference Play

Entering Pac 12 Softball conference play, Softball America ranked 5 Pac -12 teams in the Top 10. Whoever emerges on top of the Pac-12 should be the favorite at the College World Series. #2 UCLA (15-1) and #3 Oregon (16-1) are behind Oklahoma after they split two games in February.

The Bruins begin conference play against #6 ASU (17-2). The Sun Devils losses were to #1 Oklahoma (22-0) and Baylor (15-4). In 2019, the Bruins swept ASU with 3 run rule victories in 16 innings outscoring the Sun Devils 35-5.

All 9 ASU starters are batting over .300 led by the Hackbarth twins Maddi (.491) and Kindra (.450). The Sun Devil’s rely on a trio of pitchers Lindsay Lopez, (6-1, 1.65 ERA), Allison Royalty (5-1, 2.67 ERA), and Cielo Meza (6-0, 3.58 ERA) while they wait for Marissa Schuld (UA 2019/2020 2-0, 17.2 innings, 0.40 ERA, .318 BA) to clear enrollment.

UCLA appears to be in mid-season form last week (.409 BA, 0.00 ERA). All 9 projected starters are batting over .300 and 5 are batting over .400 for the season. 8/15 games to date are run rule victories. Rachel Garcia (.509 BA, .889 SLG, 3 HR, 2-0, 0.00 ERA) appears fully recovered from injury suffered in early this season. Megan Faraimo (8-1, 0.76 ERA) has not allowed an earned run in her last four games. Briana Perez is having the best season of her career (.479 BA (2), 23 H (1), 21 R (1) 6 HR (1), 7-7 SB (1), .526 OB% (2), 1.021 SLG% (1)) leading in almost every offensive categories.

With the new conference play format only 3 (Friday, Saturday game 1, Sunday) games will count towards conference records. Saturday game 2 will count if one of the other games is cancelled otherwise it will count as a non-conference game. It will be interesting to see how Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez manages the starting pitching.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.

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