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Ducks Finish L.A. Sweep with Small Ball, Long Ball

Feb 12, 2022

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – No. 18 Oregon swept two games in the UCLA Tournament using both small ball and the long ball on Saturday.
 
The Ducks scored runs in six different innings to defeat UC San Diego 10-2 in the early game and then got home runs from KK Humphreys and Hannah Galey to top Loyola Marymount 4-1 in the afternoon.
 
"That was awesome," said Vallery Wong, who not only watched Humphreys' big fly from third base, but also laid down a sacrifice RBI bunt in the first game Saturday. "I knew it was coming. I told KK as soon as she got up to bat she was ready and that she was going to hit the ball hard and she did that. It was just a great part of the game to do that and I was really excited for her."
 
The Ducks went 5-0 on the opening weekend of the season.
 
How it Happened (Game 1): The Ducks scored two runs in the first inning, one in the second, four in the third and then added single runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings.
 
"I loved how we kept scoring inning after inning," said coach Melyssa Lombardi. "Even if it's just a couple, we're constantly getting runs and putting pressure on the opponent."
 
The small ball against UCSD began in the second inning when Wong executed a sacrifice bunt to score Allee Bunker from third.
 
"It felt really good," said Wong. "Executing for my team feels really awesome every time."
 
The Ducks saw additional productive outs in the third inning. Wong scored on a sacrifice fly from Jas Williams before Kai Luschar scored on an RBI groundout off the bat of Paige Sinicki.
 
Two of Oregon's last three runs against UCSD came via the sacrifice. Wong scored on a Tehya Bird sacrifice fly and Hanna Delgado came home on Ariel Carlson's sacrifice fly.
 
Bunker went 4-for-4 with three RBI against UCSD, while Delgado was 2-for-3 and scored three runs. Wong and Galey were also 2-for-3 in the first game.
 
Stevie Hansen started against UCSD and went 3.1 innings before coming out after yielding a home run in the fourth. Jordan Dail (2-0) came on in relief and struck out six in 3.2 innings to pick up her second win of the weekend.
 
How it Happened (Game 2): The Ducks found themselves behind for the first time all weekend when Loyola Marymount strung together two hits and took advantage of Makenna Kliethermes' wild pitch to plate the game's first run.
 
The Lions kept the Ducks at bay until the pivotal fourth inning. Wong reached on an error before Williams doubled to right center, giving Oregon runners at second and third with one out. Humphreys then sent the first offering she saw from Logan Caymol over the wall in left for her first home run of the season.
 
"KK's got great power," said Lombardi. "KK's a great hitter so it was nice to see her come up big for us."
 
One out later, Galey smashed an opposite-field blast out to right centerfield for her first homer of the year.
 
The 4-1 lead was all Kliethermes (2-0) needed. After the first inning, she gave up no runs and just two hits over the final six innings to wrap up the weekend with her second complete game of the season. In three games, Kliethermes struck out 21 batters with one earned run on six hits allowed in 15 innings.
 
Noteworthy: Bunker matched her career high with four hits. Oregon's pitching staff finished the weekend with a 1.08 earned run average and 40 strikeouts.
 
Quoteable
Head Coach Melyssa Lombardi
"I thought overall our pitchers did a great job in giving us an opportunity to win every single game this weekend."
 
On Deck: Oregon heads to the Lone Star State to face Texas State Thursday in San Marcos before a three-game series at Baylor.
 
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