Ducks Open Pac-12 Play vs. Utah
For the first time since the end of the 2019 season, No. 4 Oregon will play a Pac-12 Conference series when it opens up league play Friday through Sunday against Utah at Jane Sanders Stadium. Winners via the run-rule in each of their last five games, the Ducks will play conference contests against the Utes in three of the four games, with Saturday's doubleheader nightcap designated a nonconference game. Oregon owns a 32-12 advantage in the all-time series between the schools and beat Utah earlier this year on Feb. 28, 7-2, in Tempe, Ariz.
|Date/Time||Opponent||Live Stats||Live Stream|
|Friday, Mar. 19 – 5 p.m.||Utah||https://bit.ly/2NqedJh
|Saturday, Mar. 20 – 1 p.m.||Utah||https://bit.ly/3qVa3qF
|Saturday, Mar. 20 – 3:30 p.m.||Utah||https://bit.ly/3qRJ27j
|Sunday, Mar. 21 – 12 p.m.||Utah||https://bit.ly/3bTuBeU
DID YOU KNOW?
Alyssa Brito currently leads Pac-12 true freshmen in batting average (.420), RBIs (23) and home runs (7) and is the only two-time conference freshman of the week this year.
Oregon kept its strong start to the season going with three run-rule victories this past weekend against Sacramento State and Oregon State. The Ducks outscored their opponents 33-6 over the three games and have now won their last five games and nine total this year via the mercy rule. Oregon hit .403 with seven homers in the three games last weekend while its pitchers combined to strike out 25 batters while walking just two.
The Oregon offense has caught fire of late, scoring double-digit runs in four of the last five games and hitting 13 homers over that stretch. In that span, the Ducks are also hitting .433 with 26 extra-base hits while averaging 11.8 runs per game. Additionally, Oregon has scored a run in 19 of the 27 innings in those five games while homering multiple times in each game.
After last year's team got off to the second-best start in school history through 24 games, the Ducks have picked up where they left off, starting 16-1 through the first five weekends of the season. The Ducks currently have the second-best record through 17 games in program history with this year marking the fourth time in the history of the program that Oregon has won at least 16 of its first 17 games. This is also the second year in a row that the Ducks have started 16-1 under head coach Melyssa Lombardi with only the 2017 and 2007 teams achieving that feat in addition to the last two year's teams.
HONORS ROLL IN
Oregon has been raking in the weekly Pac-12 Conference awards so far this season, with a player receiving an honor from the league each of the last four weeks. True freshman shortstop Alyssa Brito leads the way as the two-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week while also earning national freshman of the week recognition from D1Softball and Pac-12 Player of the Week honors after this weekend's wins over Sacramento State and Oregon State. Following wins over UCLA and Utah on Feb. 28, Brooke Yanez earned Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week honors after striking out 10 in a complete-game win over the Bruins before fanning six to earn the save vs. the Utes. Hanna Delgado made it three straight weeks that an Oregon player has won a weekly award, earning Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors after leading the team with eight RBIs and a .500 batting average from March 1-7.
RALLY WITH TWO
Oregon has done a lot of its damage offensively with two outs over the first 17 games of the year. The Ducks have scored 66 of their 130 runs on the season with two outs in innings. In nine of the 17 games, Oregon has scored at least half of its runs with two gone in an inning, while scoring at least one two-out run in 16 of the 17 games.
Over the last 13 games, Oregon has hit 26 home runs after having just one through the first four games of the year. The Ducks have gone yard in 12 of the last 13 games, hitting multiple homers in nine of those games highlighted by four each against Utah and Boise State. The home run hitting has been spread out pretty evenly with 10 different players homering while six players have multiple long-balls, led by Alyssa Brito's seven. Additionally, Oregon has hit multiple homers in each of the last five games, with 13 long balls over that stretch while seven of the home runs have either tied the game or given Oregon the lead.
So far this season, Oregon has shown that it can go to all five of its pitchers in any situation. Each of the Ducks' five pitchers have started a game in the circle this year while all five have picked up at least one win. Additionally each pitcher on the staff has been a part of at least one shutout while all five have appeared in at least three games this season. The Ducks are one of two Pac-12 teams to have five different pitchers earn a win while all five pitchers have a WHIP below 1.10. The staff has also combined for five saves - two more than the rest of the Pac-12 combined.
NO FREE PASSES
Oregon's pitching staff has been among the best in the country in strikeout-to-walk ratio over the first five weeks of the season. The Ducks currently rank fifth nationally with a 6.41 strikeout-to-walk ratio, recording 141 total strikeouts to just 22 walks this year. Additionally, Oregon pitching has surrendered two or fewer walks in all but one game this year while all five pitchers are allowing fewer than 2.5 walks per seven innings.