Salling Homers Twice in Oregon's 4-0 Victory Over Penn State to Open Regionals
May 18, 2007
COLUMBIA, S.C. -Jenn Salling proved why she was named the Pacific-10 Conference Newcomer of the Year, hitting back-to-back home runs as 20th-ranked Oregon won its first game of the 2007 NCAA Regionals, defeating Penn State, 4-0, in Columbia, S.C on Friday afternoon at Beckham Field.
Oregon will play the winner of Friday's second game, No. 1 seed NC State and No. 4 seed South Carolina, at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Salling got Oregon (43-17) on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the third. The Port Coquitlam, BC native, blasted her 13th home run of the season to right center with Sari-Jane Jenkins on second.
The Ducks were able to add one more run in the inning, when senior Kristi Leiter snuck an RBI single through the right side, scoring freshman Neena Bryant from second. The Placentia, Calif., native reached base with a two-out double - her 12th of the season - to right field.
Salling then continued to add RBIs to her stats column, clubbing her 14th home run of the year, a solo shot dead to center field in the fourth. Salling, also a Pacific Region first team selection, now has 71 RBIs on the season to lead the team, obliterating the Ducks' previous record of 47. It was the first time an Oregon player had multiple home runs in a single game since Ann Marie Topps accomplished the feat on March 24 of this year against Idaho State.
In the circle, Alicia Cook held the Nittany Lions (26-24) scoreless, pitching her 10th complete-game shutout of the year and 15th of her career. Cook improves to 22-4 on the year, allowing just four hits, while striking out four.
Jenkins was 2-for-3 for Oregon with two stolen bases for the Ducks, improving her team-leading hit total to 77, her stolen base total to 36 and her hitting streak to seven games.
With a victory tomorrow, Oregon would automatically play in Sunday's finale, scheduled for a 10 a.m. start. With a loss tomorrow, the Ducks would have to play a must-win game scheduled for a 4 p.m. start on Saturday. The four-team bracket is double-elimination.
Quack Tracks: In Oregon's 10th postseason appearance, the Ducks have won their opening game six times...Oregon's 43 victories this year are the most for head coach Kathy Arendsen in her five-year tenure with the program...in the 2003 Regionals, Oregon also defeated Penn State, 10-8, in the Fullerton, Calif.