Arizona to host inaugural Pac-12 softball championship in 2023
The country’s most successful softball conference is bringing its championship to one of the country’s most successful softball programs next year.
The Pac-12 announced on Monday that Arizona’s Hillenbrand Stadium will serve as the host site for the inaugural Pac-12 Softball Championship, set to take place from May 10-13 next year. Arizona, fresh off a memorable run to the Women’s College World Series, attracted more than 74,000 fans during the 2022 season, the second-best total in the nation according to a release from the league.
𝑵𝒐 𝒃𝒆𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕
The inaugural Pac-12 Softball Tournament will be coming to Hillenbrand Stadium in 2023!#BearDown pic.twitter.com/Wi23vEa3z9
— Arizona Softball (@ArizonaSoftball) June 13, 2022
Teams will play once per day at the 2023 Pac-12 Softball Championship. The four-day event will begin with a play-in game between the eighth and ninth-place teams in the regular-season standings. That winner will advance to an eight-team, single-elimination bracket with the quarterfinals, semifinals and championship being contested on the following three days. The winner of the Pac-12 Softball Championship will receive the Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
An eight-time national champion, Arizona proved again this past season what makes the program so special. In Caitlin Lowe’s first year in charge of the program, the Wildcats got off to a rocky start. Conference play began with an 0-8 record and a three-game sweep at the hands of Arizona State that saw the Cats outscored 28-2.
But Arizona won 12 of 18 to close out the regular season and then turned it up in the postseason. The Cats won the Columbia Regional by outscoring their opponents 11-3, then ended Mississippi State’s season in the Starkville Super Regional with back-to-back wins. The pitching staff for the Wildcats gave up a combined six runs in the five tournament games prior to the WCWS.