Oklahoma City - The Oregon Ducks fell to the Florida State Seminoles Saturday in the Women’s College World Series. Oregon allowed nine hits, committed four errors, and never mustered the energy or precision to mount a comeback. Although the last two losses suffered by the Ducks have been painful, it’s worthwhile for Duck fans to revisit the success this team has had this year.
Oregon Softball won its fifth PAC-12 championship in six years, but that doesn’t fully describe how dominant they were in conference play. The Ducks were 21-3 and won every series against the rest of the PAC. Their three losses were to UCLA, Arizona State and Oregon State- the former two were WCWS participants. The Ducks outscored their conference opponents 137 to 43 during the regular season.
The cherry on top of a successful season was the Ducks sweep of Washington in Seattle. Oregon ran through its conference schedule with relative ease, which is what made the 6-2 loss to the huskies in the Women’s College World Series so unexpected- not that the Ducks lost in general, because the series was closer than the scoreboard would suggest, but that Oregon would have such a hard time taking advantage of their scoring opportunities and that their experienced infield would have such a disastrous couple of innings.
The 2018 season ultimately becomes a question of half full or half empty for Duck fans. This is Oregon’s fifth appearance in the WCWS in seven years- it’s also the fifth time in as many years they’ve failed to make the finals. Promising young players like Lauren Burke and Mary Iakopo are developing nicely, and there is plenty of returning talent like Alexis Mack, Megan Kleist and Miranda Elish- unfortunately, seniors Jenna Lilley, Lauren Lindvall, Gwen Svekis, and DJ Sanders ended their spectacular college careers with a couple of uninspired losses.
The Oklahoma City curse continues, as does the regular season success of the Oregon Softball team.