SOFTBALL NEARLY COMES FROM BEHIND, FALLS 2-1 TO NO. 1 UCLA
May 3, 2002
EUGENE -- Rallying behind consecutive base hits in the seventh inning, the University of Oregon softball team made a case for defeating the top-ranked UCLA Bruins in front of 348 fans at Howe Field Friday afternoon. But Bruin pitcher Keira Goerl eventually prevailed as the Bruins held on to win 2-1 for their 12th-consecutive Pac-10 win. With the loss, Oregon drops to 23-26 overall, 1-15 Pac-10 while UCLA improves to 45-6, 13-3.
'This was just a great softball game,' Oregon head coach Brent Rincon said. 'Obviously you always want to pick up the win, but I really thought the girls played a tremendous game and we were in it until the end. I'm very pleased with how we played.'
The game was evenly matched both offensively - both teams had six hits - and defensively - Oregon senior Connie McMurren struck out eight Bruin batters while Goerl struck out seven. UCLA had the lone error on the day, but a home run by Tairia Mims in the top of the third inning proved to be the game winner.
Oregon had its first chance to score in the fifth inning when junior Andrea Vidlund led off the inning with a single down the right field line. Janell Bergstrom, who finished the day 2-for-3 and scored Oregon's lone run, then advanced Vidlund to second base with a single to right field. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice by Rachel Tommasini, but were unable to score as Amber Hutchison grounded out to third base for the final out.
In the seventh inning, Oregon struck again when Bergstrom doubled to right center field with one out. MariLyn Petrick, who was pinch hitting for senior Kristi Hall, then singled to center field to advance Bergstrom to third. Petrick then advanced to third and Bergstrom scored on a passed ball by UCLA. Tommasini had her second sacrifice of the game, advancing Petrick to third, but also accounting for the second out. That was as close as the Ducks would come as Goerl fielded a ground ball by Hutchison for the final out of the game.
Oregon hosts No. 6 Washington Saturday at 2 p.m. at Howe Field.