Oregon pitcher Stevie Hansen pitched a great game today and did well in holding off Cal’s rally attempt in the late innings. Bears pitcher Haylei Archer had control issues all game and the Ducks did not pass up the opportunity to make Cal pay dearly for Archer’s mistakes.
The Bears jumped out to an early 2-0 lead off a couple of home runs in the first inning, but Oregon responded by loading the bases off three singles, and then Ariel Carlson knocked a single to center to bring two base runners home. An Archer wild pitch - the first of many on the day for Archer - allowed Hannah Delgado to get to third base while Carlson advanced to second. Vallery Wong hit a single to right field and Delgado came home, but Carlson was out when she came home on a perfect throw from right fielder Sona Halajian. That would be it for scoring in the inning, with Oregon up 3-2.
After retiring the Cal lineup in the second inning, Gabby Herrera reached first base on the first of two Cal errors on the day. Kedree Luschar advanced Herrera with a sacrifice bunt. An Allee Bunker double scored Herrera, and Bunker went to third on a Delgado ground out. Bunker then scored on another Archer wild pitch, and the Ducks ended the inning with a 5-2 edge.
The Bears made some noise with a home run in the third, and that was the last we’d hear from the California offense until the late innings. Meanwhile, Oregon could not take advantage of a Cal error and went scoreless in the inning. In the fourth inning, Oregon loaded the bases and picked up a run off yet another wild pitch by Archer.
In the fifth inning, Jordan Dail pitched in relief of Stevie Hansen and California went three up and three down. In the bottom, Rachel Cid and Herrera stroked singles to get on base and they advanced to second and third base on a ground out. Cid then scored on - you guessed it - a wild Archer pitch. That would do it for the Ducks and they ended the fifth up 7-3.
The Cal bats fired up again in the sixth and were able to capitalize on having two of their batters get hit by Dail pitches. Makenna Kliethermes came in to relieve Dail, only to hit another batter in a bases loaded situation and the Bears scored a run. A fielder’s choice followed by a Bears single scored the other two Cal runs in the inning, and Oregon stopped the bloodletting by bringing Stevie Hansen back in the game. Hansen struck out the rest of the Cal batting order and the Ducks went to the bottom of the inning up 7-6. Ari Carlson walked and then went to second on a wild pitch. A fly ball to right field brought Carlson to third, where Carlson then scored on a wild pitch. Yes, Oregon was gifted an insurance run off a wild pitch.
Stevie Hansen allowed a hit in the top of the seventh inning, but took care of business to end the game early by the final count of 8-6. Hansen got the win on the day, and I suppose she got the save, too. It was a fitting end to a very strange game.
The hitting leader today was Ariel Carlson who went 2-2 on the day with 2 RBIs. Allee Bunker also went 2-2 with 1 RBI and scored two of Oregon’s eight runs on the day.