The No. 3 Oregon Softball Team makes its much awaited return this Thursday at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona. The Ducks hope to continue their successful run in the tournament under Head Coach Mike White. Last year the Ducks started their season by going undefeated (6-0) in the Kajikawa, highlighted by wins over No.24 Fresno State and forcing the mercy rule against Creighton and San Jose State in the sixth inning. Under Coach White's reign Oregon is 37-9 in this highly respected tournament.
The Ducks will play six games over the next four days (one of the best parts about softball- the quantity of games), starting with the No.25 Georgia Bulldogs. Then on Friday, the Eugene Sluggers will play back-to-back matches against Fresno State and CSUN. After that, Missouri and Utep will test their luck against the Ducks on Saturday before they wrap up the tournament on Sunday against New Mexico.
Unfortunately, only three of the Ducks' six games will be televised, and what's worse is that they will be on the dreaded PAC-12 network. Both Bulldog teams will be broadcasted on PAC-12 Oregon; Georgia at 4pm, Thursday and Fresno State at 8am on Friday. Each team ended last season with 35-23 record. Sunday's matchup against Missouri will also be shown at 10:30am.
The Ducks had a very successful 2017 season in which they went 54-8 and were one game away from playing in the National Championship, losing 4-2 to the eventual champion Oklahoma. Oregon has many reasons to be optimistic about another deep run in the Women's College World Series.
The Ducks should have a great pitching rotation since they return sophomores Maggie Balint and Miranda Elish, as well as First Team All-PAC-12 Pitcher Megan Kleist who led the PAC-12 with nine shutouts last year. Junior Alexis Mack, who lead the conference with 28 stolen bases and a .424 batting average, also returns. The clutch hitting Sophomore Mia "Moose" Camuso returns to the delight of all Duck fans and Coach White has done an excellent job filling the void that Shortstop Nikki Udria left by adding All-American DJ Sanders. The transfer posted excellent numbers as a Ragin' Cajun, leading the NCAA with 29 homers, a 1,013 slugging percentage, and 82 RBIs.
This has the potential to be a historic season, so don't miss the Ducks' first televised game at 4pm, Thursday against the No.25 Georgia Bulldogs on PAC-12 Oregon.