Oregon softball has played the Stanford Cardinal four times this season, and all of the games have been closely contested, with one game having a two-run margin and the other three having been won by one run. Last night’s game was also won by one run, with the Stanford Cardinal getting the walk-off run in the seventh inning to advance in the Pac-12 Tournament, 3-4.
Truth be told, the game was not so much won by Stanford as it was lost by Oregon. The Ducks made a couple of crucial errors in this loss. The first was keeping pitcher Morgan Scott in for the entire game when she should have been relieved in the seventh inning, and the second was an uncharacteristic fielding error that ended the game, and the Ducks’ regular season.
The bats on both sides were silent in the first inning, and Oregon was first on the scoreboard in the second inning. Terra McGowan walked and Alyssa Daniell brought her across the plate with this two-run homer:
The Ducks held the 2-0 lead through the six inning, even getting out of a bases-loaded fifth inning that stranded the Cardinal runners. Stanford struck in the sixth inning instead, starting with a two-out home run to get on the board.
The Cardinal hit a single, and then a double, to tie the game at 2-2.
In the top of the seventh inning, Ariel Carlson hit a single and stole second base, priming Tehya Bird for the RBI single that put the Ducks back in the lead.
Oregon had the lead in the seventh inning, and could advance in the tournament if only they could get three outs and keep Stanford off the plate.
Morgan Scott had pitched well up to the sixth inning, even though the sixth was where the cracks in her pitching began to show. She was fortunate to get out of a bases loaded situation in the sixth, and the Ducks probably should have brought in Stevie Hansen to try and save the game. That’s not what happened; instead, Stanford hit a home run to tie the game 3-3 with no outs. The Cardinal hit a single and then brought the runner home for the walk-off victory, courtesy of some botched defense that gifted Stanford the win.
Oregon Ducks softball ends the regular season with the loss. It will be noteworthy to see where their 35-14 record places them in the NCAA Tournament on Selection Sunday. With the streak of four losses going into postseason play, however, it’s difficult to imagine anything other than a repeat of last season’s tournament play, where Oregon went home in the first weekend.