The Oregon Ducks (47-7, 21-3) earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA softball tournament. Oregon will host Albany (31-14, 13-4) in the Eugene regional where they’ll be supported by a frenzied crowd at Jane Sanders Stadium. Then, the Ducks will face either Drake (43-10, 24-1) or BYU (35-20, 13-1) depending on the results of Thursday. Oregon will only be allotted one loss before being eliminated, luckily, they are 19-1 at home and are riding a 13 game win-streak.
On paper, Oregon fans should not have expected the overall top seed. Their 44-7 record doesn’t appear to be more deserving than UCLA (50-4, 20-4) or Oklahoma (50-3, 18-0), but it is much easier to look past their seven losses when you take a closer look at the names in the win column.
Oregon has beaten eight teams that are in the current top ten, including a series win over UCLA and a win over Oklahoma in their one meeting of the regular season, snapping the Sooners’ 30-game win-streak. The Ducks have not lost a series all season and are champions of the PAC-12, possibly the Nation’s best conference.
Oregon has five players that were selected to the PAC-12 All-Conference First Team. Megan Kleist is the PAC-12 pitcher of the year- one of the only players in the country that can take playing time from hotshot Miranda Elish. Gwen Svekis continues to show the pros why she has garnered so much praise as a catcher and home run machine, and Jenna Lilley provided the speed and consistency that makes Coach Mike White’s offense so intimidating.
And although transfer DJ Sanders didn’t make first team, her play on offense and defense could be the difference maker against elite competition.
For those unfortunate few who have missed out on this already historic season, here are a few highlights of their greatest accomplishments, so far...
OREGON BEATS PREVIOUSLY-UNBEATEN BRUINS TWICE! TAKE THE SERIES WITH A SHANNON RHODES WALK-OFF THREE-RUN HOMER
OREGON AVENGES LAST SEASON’S LOSS WITH 5-0 WIN OVER DEFENDING CHAMPION SOONERS
THE DUCKS SWEEP NO. 2 WASHINGTON IN SEATTLE THANKS TO THE STUPENDOUS PLAY OF DJ SANDERS
Be sure to root for the Ducks this Thursday at 8:30 PM on ESPN 3!