Oregon softball advances to Women's College World Series, UCLA takes Game 1 win
All three Pac-12 softball teams competing in the Super Regionals took the field today. Some fared better than others.
The Ducks finished off the NC State Wolfpack with a 9-3 win on Saturday in Eugene, pushing No. 2 Oregon into the Women's College World Series for the fourth time in team history; the third time in four years. Starter Karissa Hovinga tamed the Pack – she pitched five innings, struck out five, and gave up just two runs on two hits – giving a strong Oregon offense ample room to score all over a tired Emiley Weiman, who pitched five innings on Friday. Oregon's bats, again, took some time to warm up. They broke free of a 1-1 tie game with a four-run fourth inning: Jenna Lilley got it all started with a leadoff single and advanced to third on some productive outs. Koral Costa, Danica Mercado, Alyssa Gillespie and Nikki Udria knocked consecutive RBI singles to put the Ducks up 5-1. Janelle Lindvall sealed the deal with a three-run homer off reliever Courtney Mirabella in the seventh. NC State couldn't gain any offensive momentum against Hovinga and Cheridan Hawkins, who pitched the last two innings; Renada Davis hit her second home run on the series off Hovinga in the fifth and Sara Lippard homered off Hawkins in the seventh for the Pack's third and final run.
No. 7 UCLA took Game 1 with a 7-4 win over No. 10 Missouri in Los Angeles on Saturday night. Ace Ally Carda pitched all seven innings and slipped up only in the fourth, when she gave up two home runs: a solo shot from Natalie Fleming and a Sami Fagan three-run homer. The Bruin bats rallied for eight hits and made every one of them count; four Bruins notched RBIs. Mysha Sataraka homered. The Bruins will try to take the series Sunday at 12 p.m. PT.
It took five innings for No. 5 LSU to topple No. 12 Arizona in a quick and easy 8-0 win on Saturday in Baton Rouge. The Tigers wasted no time at the plate, tallying four runs in the first and four more through the second and third off pitchers Trish Parks and Siera Phillips. LSU's Carley Hoover allowed just one hit in five innings to the 'Cats, a Mandie Perez leadoff single wasted with a force out and double play that followed. The Tigers have the 1-0 series lead, but the 'Cats can even the score Sunday at 2 p.m. PT.
Stay with Pac-12 Networks and Pac-12.com for continuing coverage of the NCAA softball postseason.