NCAA Softball: Oregon on to WCWS; Arizona, Utah and Washington to play Game 3's
Oregon joined UCLA by punching a ticket to the Women's College World Series Saturday, while Arizona, Utah and Washington will play in decisive Game 3's Sunday in NCAA Softball Super Regional action.
NCAA Eugene Super Regional: No. 3 seed Oregon 6, No. 14 seed Kentucky 5
Mia Camuso's one-out, two-run go-ahead single highlighted a four-run seventh inning as Oregon roared back from two three-run deficits to defeat Kentucky 6-5 and advance to its fourth Women's College World Series in six years.
Oregon trailed 3-0 in the fifth inning and 5-2 in the seventh before storming ahead of the Wildcats, who went down in order in the bottom of the seventh.
The Ducks squandered numerous chances in earlier innings to get on the board, putting multiple runners on base in three of the first four innings but did not cash in on any of those opportunities. Down 3-0, Oregon finally broke through with two runs in the fifth inning on an illegal pitch from Kentucky starter Erin Rethlake and RBI groundout by Shannon Rhodes.
Oregon quickly loaded the bases in the decisive seventh and inched to within 5-4 on a two-run single from Nikki Udria. After a Rhodes sacrifice bunt moved runners to second and third with one out, Mia Camuso lined a 2-2 pitch down the left field line to score Udria and Gwen Svekis. Oregon reliever Miranda Elish struck out two in the bottom of the seventh and coaxed a game-ending groundout to send the Ducks to Oklahoma City.
Head coach Mike White got big production out of the top of the order, as No. 1 and 2 hitters Danica Mercado and Alexis Mack both had three-hit days for the Ducks. Elish came on in relief of Maggie Balint and picked up the win in the circle, going three innings and giving up two runs while striking out five Wildcats.
A late insert into the starting lineup, Rethlake went 4.1 innings in the circle for Kentucky, giving up two runs on six hits and five walks, and also hit a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth to give Kentucky a 5-2 lead. Second baseman Alex Martens went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI for Kentucky, while Abbey Cheek's solo home run in the fourth gave the Wildcats a 3-0 lead.
Now making its fifth all-time WCWS appearance, Oregon will begin its quest for its national championship against the survivor of the Utah-Washington super regional.
— GoDucks (@GoDucks) May 28, 2017
NCAA Tucson Super Regional: No. 15 seed Baylor 6, No. 2 seed Arizona 4
No. 9 hitter Taylor Ellis' two-out, two-run double keyed a four-run bottom of the sixth for Baylor as the Lady Bears defeated Arizona 6-4 Saturday night in Tucson, setting up a do-or-die Game 3 Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. PT. The winner of Sunday's game will begin its stay in Oklahoma City against 10th-seeded and defending-champion Oklahoma.
Two-out RBI singles from Mandie Perez and Mo Mercado in the top of the sixth gave Arizona a 4-2 lead, putting the Wildcats six outs away from Oklahoma City before Baylor's big bottom half of the frame.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 28, 2017
Arizona scored two runs apiece in the fifth and sixth innings after falling behind 2-0 in the fourth, when Baylor was aided by two Arizona errors and went ahead on an RBI single from Jessie Scroggins that plated two Lady Bears. Jessie Harper tied the game for Arizona in the fifth on a one-out, two-run single before the Wildcats went ahead in the sixth.
Ellis and Scroggins both went 2-for-3 with two RBI for the Lady Bears, who got a complete game out of righty Kelsee Selman. The Baylor senior gave up three earned runs on eight hits and six walks while striking out five.
Pac-12 career home-run record-holder Katiyana Mauga drew three intentional walks and walked four times overall, thus not recording an official at bat. Perez, the leadoff hitter, went 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored.
Sophomore Taylor McQuillin drew a nice round of applause from the fans in Tucson when she was taken out of the circle with one out in the bottom of the sixth, allowing just two earned runs on six hits and only one walk. Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year Danielle O'Toole came on in relief to try to get the final five outs but ended up conceding three runs on two infield singles and two doubles.
— Baylor Softball (@BaylorSoftball) May 28, 2017
NCAA Seattle Super Regional: No. 11 seed Utah 9, No. 6 seed Washington 8
A seven-run third was just enough for Utah in a wild 9-8 win over Washington Saturday night in Seattle to set the table for a Sunday night Game 3 with the Huskies as the Utes nearly gave up a 9-4 lead.
The Utes live to fight another day! pic.twitter.com/hcwUlEaYVC
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 28, 2017
The big third inning was part of a stretch that saw at least two runs scored in four consecutive half-innings. The Utes went ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the second on a two-run home run from Kelly Martinez before the Huskies struck for four runs in the top of the third on two two-run homers from Morganne Flores and Julia DePonte. Washington tacked on two more in the fourth after Utah’s seven-run third, which was highlighted by a BreOnna Castaneda three-run homer.
The Huskies loaded the bases in the sixth and tacked on a run thanks to a slow-tapper back to the pitcher by Kirstyn Thomas. The Dawgs then tacked on another in the seventh on a long fly ball to left field off the bat of Casey Stangel that led to a sacrifice fly, but Washington couldn’t threaten any further.
Katie Donovan got the start and win in the circle for Utah, eventually pitching 4.2 innings and giving up seven runs. She returned to the circle in the seventh inning after Miranda Viramontes finished up a 2.1-inning stint in which she scattered four hits and gave up one run. Left fielder Kay Kay Fronda had a big game for the Utes, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and run and making a running catch to start the top of the seventh.
Taran Alvelo picked up the loss for Washington, giving up four unearned runs and seven runs total in 2.2 innings. Flores was 3-for-4 with her third home run of the super regional – she hit two in a 10-4 win over the Utes Friday – and two RBIs, while Stangel and Taylor Van Zee both went 2-for-3. First pitch for Game 3 Sunday night is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MT. The winner of Sunday night’s game will play Oregon in its WCWS opener.
— UW Softball (@UWSoftball) May 28, 2017