Ducks Lacrosse opened the season at home against the Youngstown State Penguins, delivering a first win for head coach Jessica Drummond, who was hired as Oregon’s new coach at the conclusion of the 2023 season.
It took a little over three minutes for the Ducks to jump to a 3-0 lead, and they held the lead for the rest of the match.
The Penguins pulled up to being down by just one at 4-3, but the Ducks popped off a couple of quick scores to take a 6-3 lead into the second period.
The sides traded points in the second period before Oregon rattled off four in a row. The run was capped by a Haley Cummins shot from distance to take the 12-6 lead. (This video isn’t the greatest, but Cummins is #18 and has the ball from midfield on, hitting the score just before the end of the period).
The third period was all Oregon, as the Ducks went 4-1 to take a 16-6 lead into the fourth period.
The fourth period was more of the same, with goals from Emma Ing, Riley Taylor, and Madysyn Sweeney to bring us to the final score of 19-8.
Anna Simmons, Rachel Pallo and Haley Cummins each scored three times tonight. Lauren Rismani had two goals with three assists and Morgan McCarthy had two goals with two assists. Madysyn Sweeney and Emma Ing also scored twice, with Avery Young and Riley Taylor scoring one goal each.
After a welcome start to the new season, the Ducks have a week before they again defend Papé Field, next Friday at 5:00 pm PT against St. Francis.
After stumbling yesterday against Indiana, Oregon softball looked to correct the list with games against Kansas and Liberty.
This was the lineup for the first game, with Raegan Breedlove taking the start against the Jayhawks.
Day 2 of the NFCA Leadoff Classic about to get underway!— Oregon Softball (@OregonSB) February 9, 2024
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After a 0-0 first inning, Breedlove ran into some pitching trouble and freshman pitcher Taylour Spencer was brought in. Spencer pitched very solid through the beginning of the seventh inning.
Meanwhile, the Ducks scored first blood in the bottom of the second, when Kai Luschar hit an RBI single with two outs, aided by the Kansas bobble:
The game became a defensive battle, with neither side scoring over the next 2.5 innings. In the bottom of the fifth inning, however, the Ducks picked things up when an Emma Kauf single scored Kai Luschar.
The speed of @kaileeee___ strikes again— Oregon Softball (@OregonSB) February 9, 2024
She scores on the RBI fielder's choice by @EmmaKauf after opening B5 with a single and stolen base.
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Subsequent SAC flies by Ariel Carlson and Alyssa Daniell brought Hannah Delgado and Emma Kauf home, and Oregon was up 4-0.
The Jayhawks were blanked again in the sixth, and Kai Luschar hit a ground-out RBI to bring the score to 5-0.
Taylour Spencer finally ran into pitching trouble in the seventh and Morgan Scott was brought in to close the game. A Kansas RBI single and a two-run homer was not going to be enough to win the game, and the Ducks got their first win of the season, 5-3.
The second-game lineup against Liberty took Morgan Scott to the circle for the start.
Morgan Scott gets a swinging 3rd strike to end the top of the first as we are underway against Liberty.— Oregon Softball (@OregonSB) February 10, 2024
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After some rather shaky entrances in relief during the previous two games, Scott returned to her masterful self with a complete game shutout of the Flames.
While Scott was snuffing out the flames of the opposition, Oregon bats hit early with an Alyssa Daniell double that scored the first run for the Ducks.
The Ducks were up 1-0, and in the bottom of the second inning they blew the game wide open. A Tehya Bird RBI single began the bloodletting.
K.K. Humphreys followed two batters later with a 2-RBI single, and Oregon was up 4-0.
Then, after Humphrey reached home on a wild pitch, Ariel Carlson belted a two-run homer right down the middle.
The 7-0 lead was not quite enough for a run rule Oregon win, but they got that out of the way in the fifth inning with an Ariel Carlson walk-off home run.
Morgan Scott was fantastic in this game, and did what you hope one of your aces does when you’re playing two games in one day - pitch a dominant complete game. Scott allowed only two hits with 2 Ks, 0 walks, and 1 hit by pitcher. Really, you could not ask for a better performance from your Oregon starter.
The entire lineup got into the scoring picture in one way or another. The Ducks were led by Ariel Carlson going 2-2 with 2 HRs and 3 RBIs. K.K. Humphreys hit 1-2 with 2 RBIs. Oregon’s defense was also outstanding, and the zero errors only serves to underscore how well they did today, because they helped with far more than keeping from fumbling the ball.
Oregon softball has arguably a much more challenging day on Saturday. They first face Missouri State at 10:00 am PT, then follow with #5 Clemson at 4:00 pm PT. The Missouri State game is on the Game Changer App, but the game against Clemson will be part of the first NCAA softball broadcast ever on the MLB Network.
It gets increasingly more difficult to try to parse the way that Oregon women’s basketball loses in much the same way, game after game. The Ducks do well on defense, but not on offense.
Or perhaps “Did do well...” on defense might be more accurate; the reason being that their best defender, Sofia Bell, is out for the rest of the season.
The Oregon Ducks Maserati has run into problems. The compression is low on all cylinders, a handful of pistons aren’t firing, and every time you take it out on the road it gets a flat tire.
You got the feeling at the end of the first quarter that maaaybe the Ducks might be in it? They were only down by six points, 16-22, so they might be able to hang for awhile against the #4 Colorado Buffaloes, right? Maybe?
The Buffaloes lit up Oregon from the middle of the second quarter on, and the Ducks were helplessly flailing.
The second half was a wash; more (and then some) of the same, Grace VanSlooten got banged up and left the game early, and Oregon suffered their 6th straight Pac-12 loss.
The difference between this game and the Oregon 61-48 loss two weeks ago is that Colorado did not have the scoring slump this game that they did in Eugene. They shot over 52% on the game. They were hitting the shots, and the Ducks were defensively hapless.
As such, the game reached its inevitable conclusion of a 90-57 rout by Colorado. Five Buffaloes scored in the double digits, led by Maddie Nolan with 19 points. Quay Miller picked up a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Colorado controlled the paint, with 15 more total rebounds and 40 points in the paint to 14 for Oregon.
In spite of being knocked out early, Grace VanSlooten was the scoring leader for the Ducks with 16 points.
On Sunday, Oregon travels to Salt Lake City for a match with #20 Utah. That game is at 11:00 am PT and is shown on Pac-12 Mountain.