The national coaches have a very different view of the top players for Arizona softball than the Pac-12 coaches. That became apparent when the NFCA All-West Region teams were announced on Thursday. While only four Wildcats made All-Pac-12 teams, six made NFCA All-West teams, and the order was very different.
Allie Skaggs and Izzy Pacho were both named to the first team. The Pac-12 coaches placed Skaggs—who ended tied for the home-run lead in the conference with 22 and in the top five of several other offensive categories—on the conference's second team. She was first on the Wildcats in home runs, third in batting average (.370), first in on-base plus slugging (1.284), tied for third in hits (57), tied for first in RBI (56), first in total bases (127), first among qualifying players with a .825 slugging percentage, second in walks (24), and first in on-base percentage (.459).
The Pac-12 coaches didn’t put Pacho on any of the three all-conference teams despite being in the top 10 in the conference for batting average, No. 12 in OBP, and tied for seventh in hits with 59. She has hit .383 this season and has nine home runs. The converted catcher has also made some spectacular plays at third base this year, her first as the starter at the hot corner.
The omission of Skaggs from the all-conference first team puzzled her teammates and head coach. Head coach Caitlin Lowe said that she was probably more upset than the players. Sharlize Palacios, who made first team all-conference, said that Skaggs should have been first on the list.
“I’m super honored if my name gets out there at all,” Skaggs said. “So I thought...my name being on any team is amazing just because, I mean, I would have told you four years ago I wouldn’t be on a Pac-12 conference team. I would have said, ‘Yeah, no way. Like there’s no shot.’ But being honored at all, I mean, this whole year, I think has been huge.”
Palacios and Carlie Scupin were both named to the all-region second team. Scupin’s omission from the all-conference team might have been related to the dip in offensive production during conference play, but the national coaches seemed more impressed by the fact that she was able to maintain a .368 average and hit 17 home runs despite those struggles. She also finished strong, going 5-for-9 in the Wildcats’ final regular-season series.
Palacios was Arizona’s only all-conference first-teamer. She ended tied for first on the team in hits (59), tied for first in RBI (56), fourth with a .333 average, tied for second with 17 home runs, second in OBP (.454), first in walks (32), and third in OPS (1.168) when compared to the players who play regularly. She was fourth overall in OPS, but Amber Toven did not qualify for conference stats because she had just 14 at-bats.
Jasmine Perezchica and Paige Dimler both landed on the All-West third team. Perezchica was also third-team All-Pac-12 while Dimler was All-Freshman in the league.
Perezchica led the team with a .393 batting average and had almost half of the Wildcats’ 22 stolen bases, going 10 for 13. Dimler had 10 home runs and hit .311.
The six players are now eligible for the NFCA All-America teams. Those honors will be announced on Wed., June 1.