#11 Oregon Ducks take care of business in today’s double header at Jane Sanders stadium today, 14-1 and 10-2.
Oregon softball bats nearly over-shadow excellent Ducks pitching in both games
The first game of today’s double header sported a show of bats that enforced softball’s run rule in the 5th inning, with the Ducks cruising to a 14-1 victory in Eugene off of a blistering 9-run fourth inning.
Starting pitchers for the first game were junior Makenna Kliethermes for the Ducks, against junior Lainey Lyle for the Bison.
Kliethermes struck out NDSU’s top of the order in the 1st inning. Oregon followed in the bottom with a hit by KK Humphreys, after a pair of ground outs by the Ducks. Humphreys would find herself stranded on base when Vallery Wong struck out to close the inning.
In the second inning, a hit by Bison infielder Carly Goetschius was wasted when Kliethermes struck out the surrounding batters to close the top of the inning. Oregon then began their offense down two outs in the bottom after Gabby Herrera singled to left field and Rachel Sid brought Herrera home on an RBI triple.
Kliethermes knocked down the next NDSU batters 1-2-3. In the bottom of the third, Hannah Delgado hit a double to center field but was book-ended by outs and again the Ducks were down two outs when their offense came to life. Vallery Wong bought Delgado home on a double and then Ariel Carlson hit a single before stealing second, putting runners on second and third base. A Paige Sinicki single sent both runners home and then she stole second base. A superbly placed hit by Herrera left the Bison committing an error and Sinicki scored. Rachel Sid grounded out, but the damage had been done and Oregon was up 5-0.
In the top of the fourth, Kliethermes let one get away from her and NDSU scored their only run of the game off a Dez Cardenas single followed by a Cameryn Maykut double that sent Cardenas home. The Bison rattled off a couple more hits, but the Ducks defense kept the Bison at one run for the inning.
Then, in the bottom of the fourth, Oregon’s offense exploded, with every Duck batter reaching base in the inning.
NDSU substituted pitcher Savy Williams for starter Lainey Lyle, and the bloodletting began. Hannah Galey opened up with a home run off the first pitch thrown at her and Allee Bunker followed with a double to left-center. Bunker came home on a Hannah Delgado double, who was caught stealing third while Williams walked a couple of Oregon batters. The Ducks then scored on an Ari Carlson triple, putting the Ducks up 9-1. A bunt single but Sinicki scored Carlson. After a few more batters, the Bison then found themselves with the bases loaded and Allee Bunker delivered a grand slam homer, taking the Ducks to a 14-1 margin, before NDSU was able to close the inning.
Oregon put Raegan Breedlove on the mound for Kliethermes, and Breedlove shut down the Bison on 1-2-3 strikeouts, thus closing the first game on a run rule victory.
Makenna Kliethermes (7-2) was this game’s winner, throwing 8 Ks in four innings, while allowing only one run off of four hits.
Game 2 of the double header pitted starting pitcher Paige Vargas for NDSU against Stevie Hansen for Oregon. What had been a relatively warm and pleasant morning gave way to clouds that would bring rain later in the game.
In the first inning, both teams knuckled down on the opposing batters in 1-2-3 fashion. Hansen was then able to dispatch the next three NDSU hitters. The bottom of the second saw Vallery Wong lead off with a home run. Ariel Carlson then knocked a single up the middle, and after Sinicki fouled out Gabby Herrera sent a double down the right field line that put runners on second and third base. Hannah Galey sent a single up the middle and both runners scored, putting Oregon up 3-0 before Vargas closed the inning.
In the top of the third, Hansen gave up a home run to Slylar Padgett, but Hansen’s pitching was otherwise spot-on, and the Bison bats could not connect. In the bottom, Delgado and Humphreys reached base on singles and a Vallery Wong sacrifice fly allowed Hannah Delgado to score. Bison pitcher Paige Vargas was then able to close out the inning and the Ducks were up 4-1.
The fourth inning was quiet, with pitchers on both teams dismissing the other side in 1-2-3 fashion.
The fifth inning was where the weather in Eugene began to be more disrupting, with swirling wind and rain. Stevie Hansen pitched very well considering the weather conditions, and the Bison batters again went down 1-2-3. Allee Bunker reached base on an NDSU error, and a Hannah Delgado double brought Bunker home. After a KK Humphreys single, Vallery Wong sent a single up the middle, scoring Delgado and Humphreys. Vargas was then able to close the inning on a couple of outs.
In the top of the sixth, while Stevie Hansen allowed a couple of hits - one leading to NDSU’s only other run of the game - the weather was brutal and Hansen responded better than Vargas in keeping the damage to a minimum. Vargas walked two Oregon batters and hit another with a pitch, showing how much she was struggling against the elements. With the bases loaded, Allee Bunker again pasted the hit that put a game away, sending all three runners home on a single that ended the game on a run rule.
Stevie Hansen (4-0) pitched a complete game in very challenging weather, allowing 2 runs off 3 hits in six innings for a 2.11 averages.
To be sure, the North Dakota State Bison were over-matched today, but Oregon did not show any letup and didn’t play down to their competition. The Ducks are showing that they can score and score often behind very good pitching. We’ll be seeing how good this team is entering the conference portion of their schedule, in a softball conference that is top-to-bottom probably the best in the nation.