Arizona softball was well-represented on the Pac-12 all-conference teams that were announced Monday morning.
Let’s start with the big honors:
Arizona senior third baseman Katiyana Mauga was chosen the co-Player of the Year with Utah’s Hannah Flippen. Mauga leads the Pac-12 with 22 homers and a .869 slugging percentage. Flippen is tops in the league with a .436 batting average and a .527 on-base percentage.
UA senior pitcher Danielle O’Toole was chosen the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year. She is 27-4 with a conference-low 1.08 ERA. She is Arizona’s first Pac-12 (or Pac-10) Pitcher of the Year since Alicia Hollowell in 2004.
The Wildcats’ last conference Player of the Year was outfielder Caitlin Lowe (now an assistant coach) in 2005.
Mike Candrea, who has led Arizona to a No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, is the Pac-12 Coach of the Year. He was won or shared conference coach of the year honors 12 times since joining the Wildcats in 1986. This is his first such award since 2007.
Plenty of other stuff to get to …
Five Wildcats are on the 20-player All-Pac-12 first team: Mauga, O’Toole, freshman first baseman Jessie Harper, senior shortstop Mo Mercado and senior outfielder Mandie Perez.
Three Wildcats made the 11-player second-team: junior outfielder Ashleigh Hughes, sophomore pitcher Taylor McQuillin and freshman outfielder Alyssa Palomino.
Freshman second baseman Reyna Carranco was chosen to the 10-player third team.
Mercado and O’Toole added to their honors by being on the Pac-12 All-Defensive team, deemed the best at their positions for the second consecutive season.
Harper, Palomino, Carranco and catcher Dejan Mulipola made the league’s All-Freshman Team. Harper is one of 11 finalists for national Freshman of the Year, but that league award went to UCLA pitcher Rachel Garcia.