Brito’s Bomb Seals Mercy-Rule Win
EUGENE, Ore. – Alyssa Brito put the exclamation point on No. 5 Oregon's 8-0 run-rule win over Sacramento State with a game-ending grand slam in the sixth inning to wrap up the final weekend before opening Pac-12 play.
How it Happened: The Ducks' offense got off to a slow start offensively, but Oregon starter Raegan Breedlove picked up the slack with an efficient outing in the circle. She set the Hornets down in order in the first and third innings, and got out of trouble in the second and fourth innings on inning-ending double plays. The freshman worked five scoreless frames with four strikeouts before giving way to Brooke Yanez, who tossed a perfect sixth inning with a pair of punch-outs to earn the save.
The Ducks did all of their damage offensively in the fifth and sixth innings. Haley Cruse put Oregon on the board in the fifth by driving in the first of three two-out runs in the frame with an RBI single to right, scoring Ariel Carlson. After Cruse stole second, Allee Bunker followed one batter later with a two-run single up the middle to plate Hanna Delgado and Cruse, making it 3-0.
Oregon used the long ball in the sixth inning to put the game away. Mya Felder led off the inning with a towering solo shot to left center, stretching the lead to 4-0. Following a pair of walks and a base hit, Brito came up with the bases loaded and two outs, and crushed a 2-2 pitch over the left center wall for a game-ending grand slam.
Quotable: Head coach Melyssa Lombardi
"Today was kind of the opposite of yesterday. Yesterday we got to rely on a lot of runs being scored, today our hitters got to rely a little bit more on our pitchers giving us an opportunity to win the ballgame, knowing that the hits and runs are coming – and today they just came a little late."
Infielder Alyssa Brito
"Our motto right now is just passing the bat. It's contagious, we get hits and I just feel like every time we get something going, we score – and we've been really good at responding when opponents score on us too."
Notable: Oregon's 16-1 start is tied for the second-best through 17 games in program history and only the fourth time the Ducks have won at least 16 of the first 17 games … The Ducks scored seven of their eight runs with two outs, bringing their total to 69 two-out runs on the season … Oregon has hit multiple homers in each of the last five games, hitting 13 over that stretch … Brito's grand slam was the first by an Oregon player since Jasmine Sievers hit one on March 8, 2020 … The freshman drove in nine runs over the weekend and now leads the team with a .420 batting average … Bunker drove in seven runs in the three games this week and leads the team with 25 on the season … Carlson drew three walks in a game for the second time in her career, working a base-on-balls in all three plate appearances … Breedlove's five innings were a season-high while she matched a season-high with four strikeouts … Yanez picked up her second save of the year and retired all 14 batters she faced over the weekend, striking out nine of them.
On Deck: Oregon opens Pac-12 play when it hosts Utah for a weekend series at Jane Sanders Stadium, starting Friday at 5 p.m.