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Arizona softball recap: Wildcats beat UCLA, win first Pac-12 championship since 2007

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The 11th Pac-12 title in program history

Photo via @UA_Softball on Twitter

The Arizona Wildcats are Pac-12 champions for the first time since 2007.

Arizona softball beat No. 12 UCLA 7-2 in its regular season finale in Los Angeles, clinching its 11th Pac-12 title in program history.

Danielle O’Toole tossed a complete game and Jessie Harper drove in five runs as the Wildcats finished the regular season 48-7 overall and 18-6 in the Pac-12.

Sunday was senior day for the Bruins, leading them to start senior left-hander Paige McDuffee, who had only started six games all season.

Arizona took advantage.

The Wildcats led off the game with three straight singles followed by a grand slam by Harper, putting them up 4-0 in the early going — it was the freshman’s 19th homer of the season.

McDuffee was replaced by Selina Ta'amilo to start the second inning, but the Wildcats continued to add to their lead, bringing three runs across in the fourth.

With runners on first and second, Mandie Perez singled to shortstop and a throwing error allowed Reyna Carranco, who singled in the inning, to score from second.

Harper then drove in Perez with an RBI double down the left field line for her fifth RBI of the game, extending UA’s lead to 7-0.

O’Toole (27-4) surrendered a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth and a solo homer in the sixth, but that’s all UCLA’s offense could generate.

O’Toole allowed just four hits and only needed 74 pitches to get through seven innings.

The Wildcats, who dropped the first two games to UCLA, have a bye week next week before postseason play begins.

Arizona was ranked No. 3 in the NCAA Championship Committee’s latest top-10 ranking, meaning it’s on track to host a Regional and likely a Super Regional if it advances that far.

The postseason bracket will be announced on Sunday, May 14 at 7 p.m. PST on ESPN2.

Arizona has not reached the Women’s College World Series since 2010.


You can follow this author on Twitter at @RKelapire