Kliethermes, Delgado Lead Ducks To Win In Pac-12 Opener
EUGENE, Ore. – Makenna Kliethermes tossed 4.2 shutout innings out of the bullpen while Hanna Delgado delivered a clutch two-run triple in the sixth inning to lead No. 4 Oregon to a 5-2 win over Utah in the Pac-12 Conference opener Friday at Jane Sanders Stadium.
How it Happened: With two on and two out in the sixth, Delgado came up with a line-shot triple down the right field line on a full-count pitch, scoring Haley Cruse and Terra McGowan to put Oregon on top. Allee Bunker followed one batter later by beating out an infield base hit to score Delgado and make it 5-2.
Kliethermes was magnificent in relief of Oregon starter Brooke Yanez, striking out seven in 4.2 scoreless innings. She came in with one out and a runner on second in the third inning and worked out of the jam with a strikeout and groundout before putting it in cruise control the rest of the way, allowing just two baserunners over the final four innings.
The Ducks (17-1, 1-0 Pac-12) got off to a bit of a slow start, as Utah struck first getting a couple of runs off Yanez in the first to make it 2-0. Madi Jacobus delivered a one-out, two-run triple to put the Utes in front, but Yanez avoided further damage by stranding her at third. Haley Cruse provided the answer for the Ducks in the bottom half, getting out of a rundown on an RBI fielder's choice for Allee Bunker to make it 2-1.
The two teams went scoreless over the next three innings before the Ducks tied things up with a run in the fifth. After Hanna Delgado and Allee Bunker singled to lead off the inning, the pair were sacrificed over by Alyssa Brito before Mya Felder scored Delgado with a sacrifice fly.
Quotable: Head coach Melyssa Lombardi
On getting the win to open Pac-12 play…
"I really liked how our team battled back. One thing our team has done a great job of all year long is coming back and answering. Our team was excited with it being our first Pac-12 game of the season. They had some nerves early on, but once we really got into the game they just flat-out competed and I'm proud of how hard this team worked to push some runs across. They never quit, they fought all the way to the end."
RHP Makenna Kliethermes
On playing her first Pac-12 game…
"I was a little nervous because I've never played (in a Pac-12 game) and you always hear things about how great the Pac-12 is. It was just incredible to actually be out there and play – it was an amazing feeling."
Notable: This is just the second time in program history that Oregon has won at least 17 of its first 18 games of the year … Kliethermes matched a career-long outing with her 4.2 innings while picking up her third win of the year … She now has 21 strikeouts in just 10.2 innings over her last three appearances and has picked up a win in all of those outings … Cruse extended her hitting streak to 10 games and has scored multiple runs in five straight after going 2-for-3 with two runs scored … Bunker turned in her second three-hit game of the year, finishing 3-for-4 with two RBIs … Delgado went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs and extended her hitting streak to seven games … The Ducks' offense again did the job with two outs, scoring three two-out runs to run their total to 69 on the year.
On Deck: The Ducks and Utes are scheduled to play a doubleheader tomorrow starting at 1 p.m. Game one will count towards the conference standings with game two designated as a nonconference game in the new format for the Pac-12 season.