(This is a weekly series focused on previewing and discussing Oregon Softball. Feel free to use this as a game thread for the upcoming series against the Washington huskies.)
The No. 2 Oregon Ducks will take on the No. 4 Washington huskies this weekend in a three-game series that will determine the fate of the PAC-12, the world of college softball, and the known universe (channeling my inner Bill Walton).
Last week saw the Ducks make the Stanford Cardinal and the Oklahoma Sooners look silly in Eugene. Let’s hope they can do the same to the sundodgers in Seattle.
DUCKS SNAP SOONERS’ 30-GAME WIN STREAK
Jane Sanders Stadium felt a lot like Autzen Stadium during the Chip era when the then-no. 2 Oklahoma Sooners came to town. The crowd was raucous as master pitcher Megan Kleist allowed only one hit by the two-time defending national champions, earning her 14th win of the season and snapping the longest win streak in the nation at 30.
The one-sided 5-0 win came in large part due to DJ Sanders. She struggled to find her swing this season but gave the Ducks huge momentum in the first this game by hitting a two-run homer.
In the third, Mary Iakopo continued her impressive run with a solo homer. In the next inning, Jenna Lilley singled in Mia Camuso before being brought home herself by a Sanders single. The Ducks solid infield play (particularly that of Sanders) and near perfect pitching held the high scoring Sooners, who average 7.22 runs per game, scoreless for the first time this season.
STANFORD SWEEP BECOMES TRADITION FOR OREGON
Duck Softball hasn’t always been this good, but they’ve always been this good against the Cardinal! Oregon had beaten Stanford for the last six years; that’s 19 games in a row. The first game of this series featured an Offensive explosion with a six-run second inning led by the hot bat of DJ Sanders, Ducks 8 - Cardinal 4.
The rest of the series all went according to plan. The Duck Faithful witnessed two 4-1 victories by the home team. Many were worried that the win over the Sooners, and the upcoming top 5 match-up between the Ducks and the huskies would cause Oregon to drop a game to the clearly inferior Stanford, but Oregon took care of business. Now, the hated huskies await...
UP NEXT: No. 4 WASHINGTON huskies
- Washington is 41-5, coming off a hysterical three-game sweeping at the hands of the Bruins (it seems they intentionally sucked right before playing us just so they can rob us of the satisfaction of beating No. 1)
- The Huskies are undefeated at home (15-0).
- Their best wins are against Texas A & M, Alabama, California, and BYU.
- Their worst and only losses are dropped series against UCLA and Arizona State.
- After the series against Oregon, the Huskies will travel to Corvallis to wrap up their season in a three-game series against the Beavers.
- The huskies have hogged the first place spot in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll for nearly every week this season.
- Washington is ranked top 10 in ERA (0.97), fielding percentage (.982), and runs per game (6.52).
- The huskies lead the all-time series 52-28, and have a 24-14 record against the Ducks in Seattle.
- Ted Bundy was a husky.
- Washington will be honoring six seniors.
The Conference of Champions continues its dominance in the world of softball by placing five teams in the top 10. The three highest rated teams from the PAC remain Washington, UCLA, and Oregon, though the hierarchy shuffled after the Bruins’ sweep of the huskies.
The Bruins took the top spot from the huskies after humiliating them in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the Ducks knocked the then-no. 2 Sooners down a peg and will enter the Washington series as the second best team in the country, the huskies will be 4th.
This last weekend was a situation in which No. 10 Arizona won the battle (by winning the series against rival No. 9 Arizona State), but lost the war, trailing their rival in national rankings and in the conference standings.
1 UCLA (15-3) 40-3
2 OREGON (12-3) 38-7
3 WASHINGTON (12-5) 41-5
4 ARIZONA STATE (9-6) 35-9
5 OREGON STATE (7-8) 26-19
6 ARIZONA (8-10) 32-13
7 CALIFORNIA (4-10) 30-13
8 STANFORD (2-13) 22-23
9 UTAH (2-13) 20-22
WASHINGTON huskies - FRIDAY, 4/27, 5 PM, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON LIVE STREAM
WASHINGTON huskies - SATURDAY, 4/28, 1 PM, SEATTLE, ESPN 2
WASHINGTON huskies - SUNDAY, 4/29, 1 PM, SEATTLE, ESPN 2