Clutch Ducks Sweep Doubleheader From Utah
EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon's offense delivered in clutch situations all day long while the Ducks' pitching staff again did the job in a doubleheader sweep of Utah Saturday at Jane Sanders Stadium. The game one win will count towards the conference standings while the nightcap will be designated as a nonconference game.
"Very resilient today," said head coach Melyssa Lombardi. "I think if you look at this team – from day one of this season – every time we get behind, we come back and (answer). I really, really like the resilience and I really like that they know how to answer the call."
Game 1: No. 4 Oregon 7, Utah 6
Rachel Cid delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to cap off another late-inning victory in Oregon's 7-6 win over Utah to open the doubleheader.
How it Happened: Down by three runs headed to the bottom of the fifth, the Ducks rallied for three runs in the inning to tie it up at six. Terra McGowan knocked in the first run of the inning with a one-out infield single, scoring Alyssa Brito to cut the deficit to 6-4. After a strikeout and a walk, Haley Cruse came through with a clutch two-out, two-run single to left field to plate McGowan and Lexi Wagner, tying it at six.
The two teams went scoreless in the sixth inning and Makenna Kliethermes pitched a scoreless top of the seventh to set things up for the Ducks in the bottom half. Cid came up to lead off the bottom of the seventh and jumped on the first pitch, sending it high off the netting in left field to cap off the win.
The Ducks got on the board in the first inning by adding yet another two-out run. After an error and hit by pitch started things off, Mya Felder came up later in the inning with two away and went the other way for a base hit to score Cruse and make it 1-0, Ducks.
Utah jumped in front in the third, when the Utes' Ellessa Bonstrom tripled in a pair of runs with two outs in the inning, then scored via an error on the play to make it 3-1. Oregon answered in the bottom half, though, scoring a two-out run of their own to cut the lead in half. McGowan delivered the first of her two RBIs on a single up the middle, scoring Brito to cut the lead to 3-2.
The Ducks manufactured a run in the fourth to tie it up at three. After Ariel Carlson and Cruse each singled, Carlson came across to score when Cruse stole second base to knot things up. Utah would reclaim the lead in the top of the fifth on another big extra-base hit with two outs, this time coming on a Madi Jacobus three-run double to open up a 6-3 lead.
Game 1 Notables: Cid's walk-off homer was the first by an Oregon player since March 18, 2018 … The walk-off was Cid's first career walk-off hit … The Ducks scored four of their seven runs with two outs, hitting .500 with two gone in an inning … Cruse went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, extending her hitting streak to 11 games … Brito turned in her seventh multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored … Felder and McGowan also turned in two-hit games of their own … Kliethermes got the win out of the bullpen for the second straight game and has now picked up the win in her last four appearances … She pitched 2.2 shutout innings with four strikeouts.
Game 2: No. 4 Oregon 3, Utah 0
Brooke Yanez dominated in the circle while the Oregon offense again delivered some timely hitting in a 3-0 win over Utah in the doubleheader nightcap. Game two of the doubleheader will not count towards the conference standings.
How it Happened: Yanez was in control from start to finish, never working with more than one runner on base at any point during the game. She twice got some help from McGowan behind the plate, who threw out a pair of would-be base stealers in the first two innings. Yanez locked in down the stretch, retiring the last 12 batter she faced to complete the shutout.
The two teams went scoreless through the first four innings before the Ducks broke through for a run in the fourth. McGowan came through with runners in scoring position once again, driving in pinch-runner Vallery Wong with a two-out single to center field to make it 1-0, Oregon.
The Ducks once again delivered offensively with two outs to take a 3-0 lead after five. After a couple of singles by Hanna Delgado and Allee Bunker, Felder came up with two gone and doubled just inside the bag at third base to drive both of them in, opening up a three-run lead.
Game 2 Notables: Yanez picked up her first complete-game shutout as a Duck and the 11th of her career … It was her third complete game of the season while she improved to 8-0 … Felder turned in yet another multi-hit game, going 3-for-3 with the two key RBIs … Cruse extended her hitting streak to 12 games, going 1-for-3 … McGowan recorded her second multi-hit game of the day, going 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Delgado also finished 2-for-3 ... The Ducks scored all three of their runs with two outs.
Quotable: Third Baseman Rachel Cid
On her mindset going into her walk-off in game one…
"I just wanted to see a ball that I could hit, square it up, and get on so that the people behind me could drive me in."
First Baseman Mya Felder
On the two-out offense…
"I think it shows our toughness as an offense. Even with two strikes – we had a lot of two-strike base hits – and I think we're doing a great job of responding when the other team scores, so that really shows our toughness too."
Overall Notables: The Ducks have won at least 19 of their first 20 games of the season for only the second time in program history … Oregon added seven more two-out runs, bringing its total to 76 of the 145 on the season … Felder went 5-for-7 with three RBIs in the doubleheader and in 9-for-15 in the last five games … She now leads the team in hitting on the season at .447 while reaching base at a .550 clip … McGowan finished 4-for-6 with three RBIs in the two games and is hitting .500 on the season with runners in scoring position after coming up with three more hits with RISP today.
On Deck: The Ducks and Utes will play the series finale of their Pac-12 opening weekend Sunday at 12 p.m.