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Oregon Softball Bears Down On Montana In Run Rule Victory

Ducks bounce back after a Sunday shutout drubbing by the Beavers

ATQ-EXCLUSIVE Softball Morgan L. Blackwell

Sunday 4/2 -

Syndication: The Register Guard Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK

Raegan Breedlove started in the circle against the Oregon State Beavers. No sooner had she picked up her first strikeout then the game was postponed with a 21 minute rain delay. Despite incurring just one earned run, Breedlove picked up the loss in the final contest of this series. Oregon would have to be content with their first Pac-12 series win of the season, as the Beavers avoided the sweep by shutting out the Ducks, 0-4.

Breedlove and reliever Stevie Hansen pitched well enough on the game; it was Oregon’s anemic batting that let the series sweep get away. The Ducks could only produce two hits on the game, one in the fifth inning, and the other in the seventh inning.

Regardless, Oregon picks up an important series win as they enter the bye week of Pac-12 play, as they play a Monday game vs. the Montana Grizzlies before hosting Lindenwood on Thursday and Friday.

Monday 4/3 -

Stevie Hansen (14-4) pitched for the entire game in a mercy rule victory against the Montana Grizzlies, 9-1 (6). Hansen pitched five innings of shutout ball before the Grizzlies dinked her for their lone run in the sixth inning.

Meanwhile, Oregon’s bats stayed with it in the first two innings, scoring runs with two outs in each inning.

Alyssa Daniell walked in the first, and then reached second on a wild pitch. KK Humphreys then stepped up to the plate and sent Daniell home for Oregon’s first run of the game.

Several batter later, Ariel Carlson scored the RBI walk that sent Humphreys home and the Ducks ended the inning up 2-0.

In the second inning, Oregon picked up another run. Hannah Delgado singled and then stole second. Daniell reached base on a Grizzly error, scoring Delgado, and the Ducks closed the inning with the 3-0 lead.

Throughout these innings, Hansen was dominating the Montana lineup:

Oregon’s bats were quiet in the third and fourth inning, and picked up two quick outs in the fifth. A Kai Luschar single was followed with an Ariel Carlson double to put runners on second and third; again, with the two outs looming. Tehya Bird came up to bat, and thus far had been struggling at the plate, going 4-26 before she killed the 2 RBI single that brought Luschar and Carlson home.

Montana’s sole run came off a home run in the top of the sixth:

That was Montana’s last gasp, however, as the Ducks would bear down on the Grizzlies in the bottom of the sixth inning to end this game early.

Allee Bunker started the bottom of the sixth with a double, and then Karissa Ornelas pinch hit and sent her first homer of the season over the center field wall.

Katelyn Howard pinch hit for Vallery Wong and popped a double down the left field line. Wong returned to second to do the base running. Kai Luschar singled and put runners on first and third. Then, a nifty little double-steal scored Wong, and Oregon was up 8-1.

Montana then hit the next two Oregon batters with pitches, loading the bases. A Hannah Delgado single brought the run rule victory to a close for the Ducks.

Oregon found the clutch hitting that had been lacking in the last game of the OSU series, getting runs in the first, second, and fifth innings with two outs in each inning.

Stevie Hansen pitched the entire six innings, only giving up the singular home run. Otherwise, she pitched for three hits, and struck out six with three walks.

Tehya Bird can enjoy her batting resurgence, going 1-3 with the 2 RBIs. Kai Luschar went 3-4 today, and crossed the plate twice. All in all, it was refreshing to see the Oregon bats come back to life.

Coach Melyssa Lombardi was understandably all smiles after the game:

But really, no one could out-smile Kai Luschar, who had a tremendous all around game:

Later on this week, Oregon hosts Lindenwood University, which is a private college out of Missouri. They compete in the Ohio Valley Conference and are currently in the middle of the pack with a 5-6 conference record. Oregon can expect to see Amanda Weyh (5-6) pitching on Thursday; she is the Lions’ best pitcher; 3.53 ERA in 72 innings, with 50 SOs and 17 walks. Lindenwood has two batters with some respectable stats: Irelynn West sports a .373 average with 14 RBIs, and Mya Bethany bats .305 with 11 RBIs. The Lions will be playing small ball - as a team, they only have four HRs on the season.

Oregon hosts the Lindenwood Lions on Thursday, 4/6/23, at 6:00 pm PT. The game can be watched on Oregon Live Stream-2.