Shutout Completes Sweep At The Jane
EUGENE, Ore. — Jordan Dail won her first home start of the season and the Ducks rallied for six runs with two out in the third inning Saturday to complete a three-game sweep of Loyola Marymount, 6-0.
Dail (2-1) threw four shutout innings to win her first start of the spring at Jane Sanders Stadium. Samaria Diaz pitched three innings to complete the shutout and earn her third save, backed up by the offense's clutch performance with two out in the third.
"I was honestly just happy to be out there again," said Dail, whose last appearance was March 7. "It was cool to be able to play at the Jane, and start at the Jane. It was beautiful today, I felt pretty good warming up and my teammates always have my back on defense, so I was just excited to be out here."
How It Happened: Dail retired the Lions in order in the first, and pitched around a one-out single in the second. The Ducks put runners on first and third in the bottom of the second, but couldn't break through.
Dail pitched around another one-out single in the third, and the Ducks had two outs in the bottom of the inning after just four pitches. But that's when the bats went to work.
Haley Cruse tripled to start the rally, and Hanna Delgado singled her in. Allee Bunker and Alyssa Brito added run-scoring singles of their own, and Mya Felder followed with the big blast of the inning, a three-run homer. After a pitching change, Terra McGowan reached on an error and Rachel Cid brought her home with a double, as Oregon batted around in the inning.
"I liked the urgency our offense had," UO coach Melyssa Lombardi said. "I thought they hit the ball hard. It took us a couple innings to score, but I loved that the six runs we scored we did all with two outs. … They've done that all year — we like to score a lot of runs with two outs."
Dail gave up a two-out single in the fourth before handing the ball to Diaz, the only UO pitcher who had yet to appear in the weekend series. Loyola Marymount loaded the bases with two out in the fifth, but Diaz struck out the next hitter on three pitches.
Oregon threatened to end the game in the bottom of the sixth, when McGowan led off with a single and took third on a two-out double by Shaye Bowden. But the Lions got the third out to extend the game, before Diaz finished the shutout in the seventh.
At The Plate: Felder's home run was her fifth of the year. The Ducks nearly had a couple more in the fourth inning, when Cruse and Delgado both hit flyballs that were caught on the warning track.
In The Circle: Lombardi said Dail has been working on tighter spin on her riseball, and locating her changeup. "Just kind of fine-tuning a couple of things," Dail said. "Making sure I'm hitting my spots a little more precisely, trying to keep it out of the middle of the zone. We play tough competition, so any time you miss in the zone you're going to pay for it. That's what we've been working hard on the last few weeks, and I think you could see today it's starting to pay off a little bit."
Notable: Oregon extended its winning streak to 14 games and has won 23 of the first 24 games to start a season for the second time in program history ... The shutout was Oregon's 10th of the season ... Oregon pitching finished the weekend with a 0.74 ERA while allowing just seven hits over 19.0 innings ... Cid made her 100th consecutive start and has been a part of the lineup in all of her career games ... The six two-out runs in the third inning puts Oregon at 88 runs scored with two gone in an inning this year ... The nine hits today came from eight different players while on the weekend 10 different players drove in runs while 11 recorded hits in the three games.
On Deck: The Ducks return to Pac-12 play with a four-game series at Oregon State that begins Thursday (4 p.m., Pac-12 Network).