Ducks Down No. 1 UCLA, Utah in Doubleheader Sweep
TEMPE, Ariz. – Oregon remained perfect on the season, sweeping a nonconference doubleheader against a pair of Pac-12 teams, first knocking off No. 1 UCLA, 3-1, before topping Utah, 7-2, on Sunday. The Ducks moved to 9-0 on the year, starting the season with nine straight wins for the second year in a row and the sixth time in program history.
Game 1: No. 8 Oregon 3, No. 1 UCLA 1
Oregon opened the doubleheader by picking up a huge win over No. 1 UCLA with a 3-1 win behind another dominant effort in the circle by Brooke Yanez, who struck out 10 in a complete-game effort.
How it Happened: Both teams starting pitchers cruised through the first three innings, as the Ducks and Bruins were scoreless through three innings. Alyssa Brito changed that in the bottom of the fourth, crushing a one-out solo homer to left field to put Oregon in front 1-0 after four.
The Ducks added another run in the fifth inning to take a 2-0 lead. Haley Cruse laced a double to the left field corner with one, and after a flyout, Rachel Cid came up with a clutch two-out RBI single up the middle to plate Cruse and add to the lead. Shaye Bowden delivered the final Oregon run of the game with a line-drive solo homer to left center, making it 3-0 after six innings.
UCLA threatened in the top of the seventh inning, getting to Yanez for a run before loading the bases with one out. After a strikeout opened the frame, the Bruins came up with three straight hits to plate the run before a hit by pitch loaded it up and put the tying run at second. Yanez battled back though, dealing back-to-back strikeouts to end the game and preserve the win.
Yanez was dominant and stayed out of any real trouble all game until the final inning. After allowing a couple of singles in the first inning, she retired the next 11 batters she faced and turned in another three up, three down inning in the sixth before holding on in the seventh.
Game 1 Notables: Each of Oregon's last four wins over a No. 1 ranked team have come against UCLA … Cruse was the only player on either side to record multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a run scored … Yanez struck out double-digit batters for the third straight game, fanning 10 with just one walk while allowing a run on five hits in her second complete game effort of the year.
Game 2: No. 8 Oregon 7, Utah 2
Oregon got off to a bit of a slow start in the doubleheader nightcap, but turned it on late offensively, hitting four home runs over the final three innings in a 7-2 win over Utah.
How it Happened: The Utes got on the board first, scoring a run in the third inning on a bases-loaded wild pitch. Oregon starting pitcher Samaria Diaz avoided further damage in the inning, stranding runners on second and third with a strikeout to keep the score at 1-0.
The Ducks caught fire offensively starting in the fifth inning, scoring four runs – all with two outs – to jump ahead. Lexi Wagner opened the inning with a single before back-to-back outs and an intentional walk put runners at first and third with two gone. Allee Bunker then delivered a clutch two-run triple to make it 2-1, before Brito followed with a two-run shot to stretch the lead to 4-1.
Oregon added to the lead in the sixth inning with a pair of solo shots. Mya Felder led off the inning with an opposite field homer to make it 5-1 before Cruse followed with a solo homer to left center, stretching the lead to 6-1. Bunker delivered once again in the seventh, hitting a towering solo homer off the scoreboard in left, making it 7-1.
Game 2 Notables: The Ducks scored five of their seven runs in the game with two outs … Bunker went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, a homer, triple and two runs scored … Brito drove in multiple runs for the third time this year, courtesy of her two-run shot … Felder turned in a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored … Diaz picked up her second win of the year, going four innings with four strikeouts.
Overall Notables: Oregon is off to a 9-0 start for the second straight season the sixth time in program history … The Ducks scored six of their 10 runs on Sunday with two outs in an inning, and have now scored 38 of their 61 runs this season with two outs … Brito homered in both games of the doubleheader, and how now gone yard in each of the last four games … Yanez struck out 16 over her 10 innings pitched on Sunday, running her total to 46 with just four walks over 28 innings pitched this year … Felder finished the doubleheader 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
On Deck: The Ducks will get another shot at No. 1 UCLA on Monday at 10 a.m. on the ASU Live Stream.