Fourth Run-Rule Win Caps Perfect Weekend
PHOENIX – Oregon finished off a perfect opening weekend with its fourth run-rule victory in a 9-1 win over Montana in the finale of the GCU Kickoff Classic Sunday. The No. 10 Ducks moved to 5-0 for the third straight year under head coach Melyssa Lombardi and the sixth time in the last seven seasons dating back to 2015.
Lexi Wagner led the way offensively with a career-high four RBIs while Raegan Breedlove and Makenna Kliethermes combined to strike out seven batters over five innings of one-run ball.
How it Happened: For the second straight game, Alyssa Brito got the Ducks on the board, this time delivering an RBI single scoring Allee Bunker to make it 1-0. Deijah Pangilinan added the second Oregon run with an RBI groundout, driving in Mya Felder.
The Ducks (5-0) broke things open in an inning later, scoring five runs in the third to take a 7-0 lead. After Haley Cruse singled and Terra McGowan was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, Maddie Hopper delivered a pinch-hit two-run single to make it 4-0. Brito and Pangilinan drew walks after that to load it up, before Lexi Wagner came up and cleared the bases with a double to left field.
Oregon added two more runs to bring the mercy rule into effect by leading off the fourth and fifth innings with homers. McGowan opened the fourth inning by pulling one out to left before Wagner drove in her fourth run of the day with a leadoff bomb of her own to left field.
Montana (1-4) loaded the bases with no outs and threatened to extend the game in the fifth, but Kliethermes worked out of the jam allowing just one run to finish things off.
Quotable: Outfielder Lexi Wagner
On the offensive depth...
"I think it's important that we have a strong offense 1-9, and that we have depth in our team. You know, I stepped up today, but it could be someone else tomorrow, so it's really good that we have a lot of people who can come up and swing when needed."
Right-handed pitcher Raegan Breedlove
On getting comfortable in the circle...
"The staff as a whole makes me feel a lot more confident and relaxed in the circle. Just knowing too, that if anything happens I have a great defense behind me to back me up."
Box Score Notes: … Oregon has had a player drive in at least four runs in four of the five games, with a different player doing so each time … Wagner drove in a career-high four runs … Hopper went 1-for-2 with two RBIs and a run scored … Brito drove in a run for the second straight game, going 1-for-2 with a run scored and a walk … Oregon pitching finished the weekend allowing just four runs (two earned) over 28 innings, posting a 0.50 ERA … The five pitchers combined to strike out 32 while issuing just four walks … This is the fifth year in a row and the sixth time in the last seven seasons that Oregon has started 5-0.
On Deck: The Ducks are currently scheduled to play a single game at Fresno State on Saturday, Feb. 20.