Oregon certainly has the talent to contend with any team in the country. But to win the Women's College World Series, you need to limit mistakes, play above your weaknesses, and catch some lucky breaks. The Ducks had none of those going for them Thursday night. Some key moments in the game:
- Sam Pappas led off the game with a double. After being sacrificed to third, she scored on a sacrifice fly by Kelsey Chambers. Or so we thought. The Sun Devils appealed to third, and Pappas was called out for leaving third base too early. Replays showed it to be very close. The objective side of me thought it should have been called safe because it wasn't clearly leaving early. The homer in me thinks the ref blew it.
- A one-out walk issued by Jessica Moore in the bottom of the first came around to score on a double by ASU's Amber Freeman. Moore's glaring weakness as a pitcher is her control, and she walked four in six innings of work.
- Oregon's stout defense is what got them through the Super Regional, but an error by Kelsey Chambers, albiet on a hard-hit ball, led to two third-inning runs.
- With Oregon mounting a seventh-inning comeback, Sara Goodrum hit a laser down the third base line. Unfortunately, it was hit right at ASU third baseman Haley Steele, who stepped on third to double off Alexa Peterson. Suddenly, a two on, no out situation became two outs.
Jessica Moore pitched extremely well, allowing only three hits to one of the best offenses in the country and allowing only one earned run. The problem was, ASU's Dallas Escobedo was masterful, striking out five (including Hannah Melick to end the game) and allowing only one run and five hits.
For the Ducks, it is now "win or go home" time. The winner's bracket plays tomorrow, and Oregon returns to action Saturday at 11:30 PDT against Tennessee.