Ducks Host Arizona on Senior Weekend
No. 12 Oregon returns home for its final home series of the regular season when it opens a four-game series against No. 7 Arizona on Friday at 5 p.m. Game one of the series will be on ESPN2, while the final three will be on the Pac-12 Network. The Ducks are facing their fourth ranked opponent in the last five weeks - all of which have been in the top 12 of the NFCA Coaches' Poll. Arizona leads the all-time series between the two programs, 87-32, though Oregon holds an 18-9 advantage in games played since 2011.
|Friday, May 7 – 4 p.m.||Arizona||https://bit.ly/3b24scZ
|Saturday, May 8 – 2 p.m.||Arizona||https://bit.ly/3vFvFdk
|Saturday, May 8 – 4:30 p.m.||Arizona||https://bit.ly/3vVcv3t
|Sunday, May 9 – 12 p.m.||Arizona||https://bit.ly/3b2V09n
DID YOU KNOW?
Allee Bunker is the only player in the Pac-12 with at least 150 plate appearances and five or fewer strikeouts. She's also third in the league with 45 RBIs.
CAN'T TOUCH THIS
Oregon pitching has racked up the strikeouts at a high rate this season. The Ducks are sixth in the nation with 359 strikeouts and join Oklahoma as one of just two teams in the country with three players in the top 50 in strikeouts per seven innings. Brooke Yanez, Makenna Kliethermes and Samaria Diaz are all averaging at least 8.8 strikeouts per seven innings and are in the top 50 in strikeout rate.
RUNNING THE GAUNTLET
The Ducks have been tested against some of the best the Pac-12 - and the nation - has to offer over the last four weeks. Oregon has faced three top-12 teams in No. 2 UCLA, No. 6 Washington and No. 12 Arizona State, while also facing another quality opponent in Stanford, in the last four series. Of Oregon's 13 losses this year, 11 have come in that stretch with nine of those coming against ranked teams.
FINDING WAYS TO WIN
Oregon has made a habit of winning close games this season. The Ducks are 16-5 this year in games decided by three runs or less, and are 5-0 in games decided by one run. Oregon has also won nine times in games in which it has trailed, while winning seven games when either tied or trailing after four innings. The Ducks have outscored their opponents 79-47 from the fifth inning on this season.
Following Sunday's home regular season finale, Oregon will honor its five student-athletes who will be graduating and moving on from the program at the end of the season. The group of five includes a pair of fifth-year seniors who took advantage of the extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19, Haley Cruse and Samaria Diaz, while a pair of seniors in Shaye Bowden and Maddie Hopper will also be finishing their collegiate careers at the end of the year. The Ducks will also honor Annalisa Williamson, a junior who will be graduating and moving on from the program.
SO MANY OPTIONS
Oregon head coach Melyssa Lombardi again has numerous options at her disposal when it comes to the starting lineup. The Ducks have used a different starting combination both in the batting order in 39 of the 43 games this year while using 33 different starting combinations on defense. No Oregon player has started each game in the same spot in the lineup, while only Rachel Cid has started at the same position defensively in each of the 44. In 24 games last year, the Ducks used 22 different combinations in their batting order, going with a different batting lineup each of the last 19 games of the season.
SHUT THE DOOR
With the luxury of being able to turn to any one of its five pitchers, Oregon currently leads the conference with nine saves. The Ducks are the only team in the conference to have four pitchers with multiple saves, led by Samaria Diaz, who leads the Pac-12 with three saves. Of those nine saves, five have been outings that covered more than one inning while the four pitchers have combined to allow just one run over 17.2 innings pitched in those appearances.
RALLY WITH TWO
Oregon has done a lot of its damage offensively with two outs this year. The Ducks have scored 114 of their 232 runs on the season with two outs in innings. In 21 of the 44 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 35 of the 44 games. The Ducks are also hitting .323 as a team with two outs - 22 points higher than the overall team batting average.
Oregon has hit a number of its home runs in key situations this season, with 19 of its 47 long balls either tying the game or giving the Ducks a lead. Alyssa Brito leads the way with five homers that have either scored the tying or go-ahead runs, followed by Haley Cruse with four and Allee Bunker and Rachel Cid each with three. Additionally, 11 other homers have come with Oregon ahead by less than four runs to give the Ducks some key insurance.