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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pac-10 softball breakdown

ASU (33-2)

Coach: Clint Myers, sixth year

MVP: Dallas Escobedo

Why they’ll go far: ASU has the combined experience of junior pitcher Hillary Bach and the power of freshman Escobedo, who is currently third in the conference with a 1.25 ERA. ASU also has an explosive offense.

What Candrea says: “”I tell you right now, I think Arizona State has a very solid staff. I think you look at the numbers, they’re shutting out a lot of people and doing a pretty good job.””

California (21-3)

Coach: Diane Ninemire, 24th year

MVP: Jolene Henderson

Why they’ll go far: The Golden Bears have the lowest team ERA at just 1.23 and the lowest opponent batting average at .176. An injury to Valerie Arioto could play a factor, though.

What Candrea says: “”Arioto got hurt, which really hurts them. She was big for them on the mound and as a hitter.””

Oregon (28-4)

Coach: Mike White, second year

MVP: Monique Fuiava

Why they’ll go far: The Ducks have struck out 268 batters so far this season, with almost 30 percent of the batters caught looking. With leadership from senior first baseman Fuiava and a youthful team that made a run in the NCAA postseason last year, the Ducks are in good shape.

What Candrea says: “”Oregon pitchers have come a long way and are throwing much better right now. That team is playing with a lot more confidence. They’re playing like winners.””

Oregon State (16-8)

Coach: Kirk Walker, 17th year

MVP: Nikki Chandler

Why they’ll go far: Although Oregon State gives up a lot of hits, the Beaver fielders have the fewest number of errors and the highest fielding percentage in the Pac-10.

What Candrea says: “”I think Oregon State is still trying to find their way. I think they’ve got some pieces missing.””

Stanford (23-4)

Coach: John Rittman, 15th year

MVP: Ashley Hansen

Why they’ll go far: With the combination of pitchers Ashley Chinn and Teagan Gerhart, Stanford brings a solid pitching staff to the circle. Ashley Hansen is leading the conference with a .556 batting average and has a .607 on base percentage.

What Candrea says: “”I think Stanford is a team that’s better than last year. I think their pitching last year was very young. Gerheart will be back and healthy.””

UCLA (23-5)

Coach: Kelly Inouye-Perez, fifth year

MVP: GiOnna DiSalvatore

Why they’ll go far: UCLA’s bats propelled the 2010 team through the Women’s College World Series to the program’s 11th softball national championship, and the Bruins have most of those players returning in 2011.

What Candrea says: “”UCLA pitching is about where we’re at. They’re all offensively very strong.””

Washington (25-2)

Coach: Heather Tarr, seventh year

MVP: Kimi Pohlman

Why they’ll go far: Veterans Kimi Pohlman and Niki Williams give Washington experience and power at the dish. The Huskies are leading the conference in slugging percentage and are second in runs scored, hits, on base percentage, batting average and RBIs.

What Candrea says: “”I think Washington has a very explosive team. They can put a lot of runs on the board, but I think they’re going to give up a lot of runs.””

 

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