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Pac-12 earns seven bids to 2024 NCAA Division I Softball Tournament

May 12, 2024
Photo by Brandon Vallance

NCAA Bracket

Seven Pac-12 softball programs will compete in the 2024 NCAA Division I Softball Tournament, as announced by the NCAA Division I Softball Committee on Sunday. It’s the 28th-straight season that the Pac-12 has had five or more teams advance to the NCAA Tournament, and the second time in the last three seasons the Conference has had seven teams earn bids (also 2022).

Thirty-two teams received automatic qualification to the tournament, while 32 programs were selected as at-large bids by the Division I Softball Committee. Regional action takes place from May 17-19 on 16 campus sites, where a four-team, double-elimination tournament will be conducted and 16 teams will advance to the Super Regionals to be held May 23-26. Eight Super Regional winners will advance to the Women's College World Series to take place between May 30-June 6/7 in Oklahoma City, Okla. 

No. 6 seed UCLA (37-10), who earned the Conference’s automatic bid after winning the Pac-12 Tournament on Saturday, is hosting its 10th straight NCAA Regional and making its tournament-record 39th NCAA Tournament appearance. The Bruins open up play against Grand Canyon on Friday, May 17 at 5:30 p.m. PT on ESPN+, marking the second straight regional they begin NCAA Tournament action against the Antelopes. UCLA is led by Pac-12 Player of the Year Maya Brady, who is hitting .403 this season with 61 RBI and 15 home runs.

No. 8 Seed Stanford (43-13) is making its 21st NCAA Tournament appearance and is hosting a NCAA Regional for the second consecutive season. The Cardinal won 17 league games this year, tying a program record from 1998, and are led by Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year NiJaree Canady who leads the country with a 0.50 ERA. The Cardinal ranks second nationally with a 4.06 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and also ranks fifth with a 1.68 team ERA. Stanford is set to take on WCC Champion Saint Mary’s on Friday at 7 p.m. PT on ESPN2. 

Representing the Pac-12 in the Fayetteville Regional, Arizona (34-16-1) is set to take on Big East Tournament Champion Villanova on Friday at 3 p.m. PT on ESPN+. The Wildcats return to the NCAA Tournament for the 36th time in program history and boast a 184-67 all-time record in the event. Arizona showcases one of the best defenses in the nation, posting a .982 fielding percentage which is the second-best mark in NCAA DI. Regan Shockey, who was named to the Tucci/NFCA Division I Freshman of the Year Top 10 List, ranks third in the Pac-12 with a .413 batting average.

Making its 34th NCAA Tournament appearance, California (36-17) heads to the Baton Rouge Regional to face Southern Illinois on Friday at 12:30 p.m. PT on ESPN+. The Golden Bears paced the Pac-12 with 77 home runs this season, and are led by Elon Butler and Lagi Quiroga who are both tied for the Conference lead with 16 homers. Cal also leads the league with a program-record 83 doubles. Tatum Anzaldo was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team, one of seven All-Pac-12 postseason honors for the Bears which is their most since the 2014 season.

Oregon (28-19) is making its 24th NCAA Tournament appearance including its fourth straight. The Ducks finished fourth in the Pac-12 after going 13-10 in league action, winning five Pac-12 series and recording six NFCA top-25 wins in Conference play. Paige Sinicki was named the 2024 Pac-12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year, and Ariel Carlson and Kai Luschar both earned All-Pac-12 First Team recognition. Oregon is set to face Boston University on Friday at 2:30 p.m. PT on ESPN+ in the Norman Regional.

Utah (34-20) is making consecutive NCAA appearances for the first time since 2016 and 2017 after reaching the Women’s College World Series a season ago. Utah is led by Pac-12 Batting Champion Abby Dayton, who hit .444 in the regular season, and is the only Pac-12 team to have two players hit over .400 (Dayton - .438 and Haley Denning - .411). The Utes will take on South Carolina on Friday at 9 a.m. PT / 10 a.m MT on ESPNU, and enter the Tournament having won 13 of their last 16 games.

Washington (31-13) locked in its 12th consecutive NCAA Tournament bid, and its 30th overall. The Huskies went 18-2 in regular-season non-conference action this year, with both their losses coming to NFCA top-10 teams, and rattled off 10 victories over NFCA top-25 foes in 2024. All-Pac-12 First Team honoree Ruby Meylan ranks third in the league in ERA (2.25) and in strikeouts per seven innings (8.16), and tossed a team-high nine complete games this season. Washington is set to face Indiana in the Columbia Regional on Friday at 12 p.m. PT on ESPN+.

Regional Schedule (subject to change)

Durham Regional
Utah vs. South Carolina - Friday, May 17 at 9 a.m. PT / 10 a.m MT on ESPNU

Columbia Regional
Washington vs. Indiana - Friday, May 17 at 12 p.m. PT on ESPN+

Baton Rouge Regional
California vs. Southern Illinois - Friday, May 17 at 12:30 p.m. PT on ESPN+

Fayetteville Regional
Arizona vs. Villanova - Friday, May 17 at 3 p.m. PT on ESPN+

Norman Regional
Oregon vs. Boston University - Friday, May 17 at 2:30 PT on ESPN+

Los Angeles Regional
No. 6 UCLA vs. Grand Canyon - Friday, May 17 at 5:30 p.m. PT on ESPN+

Stanford Regional
No. 8 Stanford vs. Saint Mary’s - Friday, May 17 at 7 p.m. PT on ESPN2