Both Diamond Ducks teams came into Sunday’s matchups having sewed up their respective series with two straight wins and needing just one more for a sweep. So far in Conference, softball had yet to record a sweep but baseball swept Arizona two weeks ago. The desert has proven more beneficial for the Ducks than Eugene as softball completed their road series sweep of Arizona State, while baseball dropped a close third game at home to #7 Stanford.
The Ducks got off to another great start against the Cardinal on Sunday. Starting pitcher Leo Uelmen gave up three first-inning, one-out walks to load the bases, but then got an 8-pitch strikeout and a four-pitch strikeout to work his way out of the situation. Uelmen threw a huge number of pitches in the inning - his 3 walks came on 22 pitches - and given most program’s focus on total pitch count, pointed to a relatively early exit for Uelmen.
Oregon struck for 3 runs in its half of the first. With one out, Colby Shade bunted his way aboard and took second base on a throwing error on the play. Shade then went to third on a wild pitch and Drew Cowley walked on 4 straight pitches. Up next, Sabin Ceballos deposited a 3-run homer over the left-field wall and Oregon led 3-0 after one.
In the second, Bryce Boettcher would a solo shot over the left-field fence, giving the Ducks a 4 - 0 lead. Neither team could do anything until the top of the 3rd, when Stanford chased Uelmen after runners reached first and second on a throwing error and Uelmen issued a walk. Matt Dallas came on for Uelmen and struggled with control. It is fair to note that the first part of this game was played in a light rainstorm which undoubtedly had an impact on pitching statistics. Dallas walked the first two batters he faced, driving in Stanford’s first run but leaving the bases loaded. After a sacrifice fly scored another run the Cardinal closed to 4 - 3 on a double to left that plated two. Dallas got a strikeout and a flyout to end the inning.
Stanford would tie the game at 4 two innings later on a lead-off homer as Oregon struggled to get runners on base. The Cardinal struck again in the 7th inning, with the two runs that would ultimately seal their win. After a lead-off walk and then a single, Austin Anderson came on for Dallas and gave up a single and two more walks to allow Stanford to push in from 6 - 4. Anderson was relieved by Grayson Grinsell but the damage was done. Grinsell and later Josh Mollerus held the Cardinal scoreless for the rest of the game, but the Ducks had 9 straight outs in the 7th, 8th and 9th including 5 strikeouts and did not threaten.
Dallas ended up taking the loss for Oregon, his first of the season. The Ducks had only 5 hits and made two errors. Ceballos was 2 - 3 with the 3 RBIs. Shade, Cowley and Bryce Boettcher had the other 3 Duck hits.
Despite Sunday’s loss, it was an impressive series for Oregon. After two outstanding - if perhaps unrepeatable - pitching performances Friday and Saturday and solid hitting both days, both disciplines let the Ducks down a bit on Sunday. Oregon (24-10 overall, 9-6 Conference) sits at 4th place in the Pac-12 just behind Conference-leading Arizona State at 11-3.
Oregon has a road singleton this week against the Portland Pilots on the Bluff on Tuesday and then travels to Berkeley to play Cal next weekend.
Oregon completed a dominant 3-game sweep at Arizona State this afternoon, shutting out the Sun Devils 4 - 0. The Ducks pitching was good all weekend as Oregon starters Morgan Scott, Reagan Breedlove won Friday and Saturday and Stevie Hansen pitched 5 solid innings and got the win Sunday.
This afternoon, Oregon scored single runs in 4 separate innings. In the second, Oregon took a 1 - 0 lead as Alyssa Daniell led off with a walk and advanced to third on two groundouts. Tehya Bird then beat out a grounder to third allowing Daniell to score.
In the third inning, Oregon got on the board again. Kai Luschar reached based on an infield single and advanced to third on two following wild pitches. A walk and a fielder’s choice gave Oregon runners at first and third with two outs. Daniell beat out another infield hit, and Luschar scored to put Oregon up 2 - 0.
.@alyssamdaniell lines a base hit to first that scores @kaileeee___ from third! Daniell has an RBI in each game this series.— Oregon Softball (@OregonSB) April 16, 2023
M3 | Ducks 2, ASU 0
https://t.co/Z4Ag1BgoDE#GoDucks | #Version5 pic.twitter.com/9xUcxBDWty
The Ducks would score again in the 5th inning as KK Humphreys drew a two-out walk after a single and a pair of fielder’s choice plays, giving Oregon Ariel Carlson on first and Humphreys on second. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and then Carlson scored on yet another infield hit by Bird, giving Oregon a 3 - 0 lead.
Another two-out RBI for @tehyaabirdd!— Oregon Softball (@OregonSB) April 16, 2023
Line drive up the middle is smothered by the shortstop, but that's all she can do with it as @_ariel_carlson scores.
M5 | Ducks 3, ASU 0
https://t.co/Z4Ag1BgoDE#GoDucks | #Version5 pic.twitter.com/UaUDGV4izE
Oregon would add an unnecessary insurance run in the top of the 7th, as Daniell cracked a one-out, 0-1 pitch over the right field fence.
Hansen (16-4) went a comfortable 5 innings for the Ducks scattering 3 hits and striking out 3. Scott came on in relief for the final two innings, earning her fifth save of the season. Scott gave up just one hit and struck out one. Luschar was 2 - 3 at the plate and Daniell was also 2 - 3 with 2 RBIs. Bird picked up the other two Oregon RBI without hitting a ball out of the infield.
The Ducks (28 - 11 overall, 8 - 7 Pac-12) moved into a tie with Stanford for 4th in Conference with the sweep. Oregon is at home all week, playing mid-week games in Eugene against Portland State and then welcoming Arizona to the Jane next weekend.