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NCAA Softball: Arizona vs Oregon State game thread

Arizona catcher Sharlize Palacios (18) looks to the dugout at the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla on June 2, 2022.
Photo by Mike Christy / Arizona Athletics

OKLAHOMA CITY — It’s all about the Pac-12 in this one. The Arizona Wildcats weren’t expected to be here this year. The Oregon State Beavers haven’t been here since 2006. Which one gets to stay and who goes home after two games? Let’s talk about it!

Arizona Wildcats (38-21, 8-16 Pac-12) vs. Oregon State Beavers (39-21, 9-15 Pac-12)

When and where: The game will start at 6:30 p.m. MST at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla.

TV: The game will air on ESPN2.

Streaming: The game will stream on Watch ESPN.

How they got here: Arizona has not been home in over two weeks. The Wildcats were the No. 3 seed in the Columbia Regional where they went 3-0 by defeating Illinois once and Missouri twice. They also swept the Starkville Super Regional, dismissing Mississippi State in two games. Arizona had not faced a team seeded higher than 15 until it played No. 7 Oklahoma State to open the WCWS. The Wildcats lost a close one to the Cowgirls by a score of 4-2.

Like Arizona, Oregon State has been on the road throughout the postseason. The Beavers went 4-1 at the Knoxville Regional, eliminating host Tennessee. Stanford’s win in the Tuscaloosa Regional set up another Super Regional of unseeded teams. It was played at Stanford, and the Beavers eliminated another host to advance to the WCWS for the first time in 16 years and only the second time in program history.

The Beavers struggled against the Florida Gators in their first game. The SEC’s only representative defeated Oregon State 7-1 to knock the Beavers into the elimination rounds.

Probable starters: Arizona has followed a pattern of starting Bowen in the first game, then following up with Netz in the second. That’s likely to be the path they follow here. Will we see Bowen and, if so, how soon?

It’s an even bigger question for the Beavers. With Mazon’s status up in the air, the safe bet is that Haendiges takes the circle again. Without knowing why Mazon missed the first game, though, that’s no guarantee.