For the first time since 1989, Oregon is headed to the Women's College World Series. It wasn't easy, but the Ducks pulled out an extra innings thriller early in the afternoon, and then beat Texas 10-6 in the evening to get to the biggest stage possible.
It wasn't an easy road for the Ducks. This was the third straight trip to the Super Regional for Mike White's team. But in both previous cases, the Ducks failed to win a game, despite sweeping in Regional each year. After losing 4-2 last night, there was legitimate fear that could happen again.
Saturday started out strong, as the Ducks scored three runs in the first. But Texas scored 4 over the next 3 innings to take a 4-3 lead, which held up for most of the day. Oregon battled over the next few innings, but runs would not come easy. The Ducks were thrown out at home in the 4th, but got a run across in the 5th to tie it up. It would stay contentious until the 8th, when the Ducks got a walk-off sacrifice fly to take the second game of super regionals. In a game with a mini-fight and some ejections, the Ducks proved they could get it done against Texas, and took that knowledge into the next game.
In Game 2, it was all Oregon. Jessica Moore retired the first 10 batters, and even had an RBI bunt in the 2nd inning, when the Ducks took a commanding 6-0 lead. Texas tried to make it a game, dinking their way to three runs in the 3rd. But Oregon would not let it get close. Samantha Pappas (who started the series 0-9) hit a two-run home run to give the Ducks an 8-3 lead, and they'd stretch that to 10-3. Texas would add 3 meaningless runs in the 7th, but Oregon got the final three outs that they needed, and are headed to the Women's College World Series.
It's been an absolutely fantastic spring for Oregon sports, and it is so great to see the softball team achieving something that hasn't been done in over 20 years. They've been on the brink for the last few years, but finally got over the hump, and are headed to Oklahoma City to go for a national championship.