Long Ball Dooms Ducks in Doubleheader
TEMPE, Ariz. – No. 8 Oregon dropped both ends of its doubleheader at No. 12 Arizona State Saturday, 10-4 and 4-1, with a pair of early homers in each game proving to be the difference.
Game 1: No. 12 Arizona State 10, No. 8 Oregon 4
Oregon again jumped out to a lead in the first inning but couldn't hang on, as eight walks by the pitching staff and homers in the first and third innings came back to haunt the Ducks in a 10-4 loss to Arizona State in the doubleheader opener.
How it Happened: The two teams traded three-run homers in the first to make it 3-3. After Haley Cruse led off the game with a single and Allee Bunker was hit by a pitch, Hanna Delgado came up with two outs and blasted a three-run shot to right center to put the Ducks on top early again. ASU responded with a two-out three-run homer of its own in the bottom half to tie it.
The Sun Devils took the lead in the third inning, going in front 5-3 on a Maddi Hackbarth two-run homer off Ducks reliever Makenna Kliethermes.
Oregon cut the deficit in half with a run in the sixth inning. After Rachel Cid beat out an infield single with one out, Mya Felder cashed her in with a double to left center that scored Cid from first to put the Ducks within one at 5-4.
Arizona State broke it open with five runs in the bottom half of the inning, taking advantage of four walks by the Ducks in the frame to make it 10-4.
Game 1 Notables: Delgado blasted her second homer of the season – both of which have been three-run shots … She turned in her second multi-hit game of the series, finishing 2-for-3 with the three RBIs … Terra McGowan also turned in her second two-hit game of the weekend, going 2-for-4 with a double … Cruse moved into a tie for seventh at Oregon in career runs scored with 147, matching Samantha Pappas (2010-13) … Oregon's eight walks are the most it has issued since March 23, 2019 against Washington.
Game 2: No. 12 Arizona State 4, No. 8 Oregon 1
Despite Samaria Diaz's strong relief effort in the circle, Oregon dropped the nightcap of the doubleheader at Arizona State, 4-1, with a pair of two-run homers in the second inning ending up as the difference.
How it Happened: Down 4-0 headed into the seventh inning, the Ducks got back-to-back singles from McGowan and Delgado to open the inning. Shaye Bowden came up next and plated McGowan on an RBI infield hit to put Oregon within three with no outs and two runners on. That was all the Ducks would get though, as the Sun Devils retired the next three to finish the game.
Arizona State again used the long ball to strike first for four runs in the second. The Sun Devils hit a pair of two-run homers to chase Oregon starter Jordan Dail and make it 4-0.
From there until the seventh, it was a pitcher's duel between Diaz and ASU's Allison Royalty. Diaz struck out eight over 4.2 innings out of the bullpen to give the Ducks a chance in the last, while Royalty kept the Oregon bats in check over 5.1 shutout innings.
Game 2 Notables: Diaz set a season-high with eight strikeouts and matched the most she's had in a game in her two seasons as a Duck … Gabby Herrera went 2-for-2 off the bench, turning in her first career multi-hit game … McGowan went 1-for-3 and has a hit in each of the three games this weekend.
On Deck: The Ducks will go for the conference series win and overall split at Arizona State Sunday at 12 p.m. (Pac-12 Network).