Pac-10 Softball Round-Up: February 18, 2010

Feb. 18, 2010

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LAS VEGAS – In its opener in the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic, the University of Oregon softball team (4-3) lost 5-0 to BYU Thursday afternoon at Eller Media Stadium on the UNLV campus.

UO held the returning NCAA qualifier Cougars (6-0) scoreless except for a five-run fifth inning in which they banged out three of their five hits in the game, combined with both of Oregon’s errors.

Duck sophomore Samantha Skillingstad (1-2) pitched the opening 5.1 innings, struck out three, walked four and three of her five runs allowed were earned. Sophomore Mikayla Endicottpitched the final two outs, walked one and allowed a hit in her first appearance of the season.

At the plate for UO, freshman right fielder Samantha Pappas went 1-for-3, as did sophomore infielder Kelsey Chambers and junior first baseman Monique Fuiava.

UO threatened to score first in the second inning when Fuiava and Chambers led off with singles. However, a strikeout was followed by Fuiava being thrown out on a pickoff attempt by the catcher that went from second base to third base, and a subsequent ground-out ended the inning.

Oregon also stranded single baserunners in four other innings. Pappas stroked a single with two outs in the third inning but the next batter grounded out. In the fourth inning senior centerfielder Neena Bryant walked with no outs but was stranded on a pop-up, strikeout and groundout. In the fifth inning, junior catcher Ashley Kivett reached via a two-out walk and stole second base, but a strikeout ended the inning. Bryant reached base in the sixth inning on a hit by pitch and took second base on a wild pitch, but a strikeout and flyout followed.

For BYU, starter Paige Affleck (4-0) struck out eight, walked two and allowed three hits in her seven-inning complete game. Four Cougars hit safely – Kristin Delahoussaye (1-for-3, 1 run), Tiff Messerschmidt (2-for-3, 1 run, 1 RBI), Jess Purcell-Fitu (1-for-3, 2 RBI) and J.C. Clayton (1-for-3, 1 run).

After stranding four runners in the first three innings, BYU finally cashed in the fifth inning. The opening batter Vance-Kellum walked, and was followed by an infield single bunt, and the next batter also tried to sacrifice bunt but reached on a throwing error by the catcher. The next three batters also reached via an infield single by Messerschmid, a dropped fly ball by the catcher in front of the plate, and Purcell-Fitu’s single to centerfield. Skillingstad ended the inning on groundout that she tipped to the shortstop who threw the runner out at first, and on a line drive she snagged and threw to third base for double player on the runner who hadn’t tagged.  

Looking ahead, UO plays its remaining five games in the tourney the next three days at Stefanie Lynn Craig Park in nearby Henderson. On Friday, UO faces Cal State Fullerton (2-3) at 11:15 a.m. and Long Beach State (2-2) at 3:45 p.m. On Saturday, Oregon takes on Indiana (0-2) at 11:15 a.m., then on Sunday takes on Illinois-Chicago (3-2) at 9 a.m. and San Diego (3-1) at 11:15 a.m.

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