Stevie Hansen started in the circle today for the Ducks, going against the Cardinal’s Alana Vawter. As has been the case this year, Hansen game up a home run each in the second and third innings, and the Ducks found themselves in a hole that they could not bat out of.
The line on Vawter is that she doesn’t walk batters, and that was certainly the case tonight, as she did not walk any of the Oregon bats. She shook off whatever was ailing her against Washington last weekend. Oregon was held to two hits in five shutout innings. The closest the Ducks would get would be in the fourth inning, where - with one out - Terra McGowan was called out at home on a clearly blown call by the home umpire.
Stanford added another run in the the sixth inning off a double, and that would be our final score in Palo Alto, with the Cardinal taking the first game of the series 3-0.
As has been the case of late for the Ducks, they will need runs to win games. If they can’t manufacture runs, it will be a long weekend in the Bay Area.
Oregon softball next faces off against Stanford tomorrow, 5/7/22, at 2:00 pm PT. The game can be seen on the Pac-12 Network.
Tonight’s game was delayed and hour and ten minutes due to rain. RJ Gordon took the start vs. Cooper Hjerpe.
Both pitchers started the game tight, and no one picked up a hit in the first inning. In the second, Oregon went down 1-2-3, and OSU struck first; after a walk and a single, a sacrifice ground out scored the first run of the game.
Oregon responded in the third. Gavin Grant’s patience at the plate was rewarded with a walk, and then a Tanner Smith single put Grant on third. That left Drew Cowley for the sacrifice out.
Hjerpe and Gordon took care of their respective opponents in the bottom of the third and top of the fourth innings. In the bottom of the fourth, Gordon had some control problems that could be attributed to rain, and loaded the bases before the game was delayed for 15 minutes because of rain. Christian Ciuffetelli came in for relief and pitched better, but walked a couple of batters to put OSU up 3-1.
Both sides remained scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings. Hjerpe continued with excellent pitching by the Beavers, and Ciuffetelli pitched well before being relieved by Logan Mercado in the sixth inning. Mercado pitched a flawless inning.
In the seventh inning, the Ducks loaded the bases but stranded everyone. Hjere was relieved by Ben Ferrer, and Ferrer held the Ducks to zip for the rest of the game. Mercado then went a hitless bottom of the 7th.
The Ducks were retired in quick fashion in the eighth, and when Matt Dallas came in the bottom, he was dinked off a 2-RBI double that sealed the game, 5-1. Oregon could generate nothing.
OSU showed what is a truth in NCAA, minor league ball, and MLB - pitching wins games. The Beavers have outstanding pitching and that’s why they are #2 in the country. If the Ducks want to compete against the Beavers, they’ll have to show it with their bats.