Ducks Finish Carolina Classic Sweep
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – No. 12 Oregon hit three home runs to defeat Connecticut 9-3 Sunday at Anderson Stadium to finish a sweep of the Carolina Classic. The Ducks defeated UNC Greensboro on Thursday and then won all four of its games in this weekend's tournament.
Allee Bunker had a home run and a double on Sunday. KK Humphreys and Gabby Herrera also homered against the Huskies, while Jasmine Williams delivered a clutch two-run pinch-hit double in the third inning.
Oregon clubbed 17 home runs over the last four days and will bring a 16-3 record into its 2022 home opener Friday at Jane Sanders Stadium versus Portland State.
"I love how we played all weekend long," said head coach Melyssa Lombardi. "We walk away from North Carolina with so much more knowledge and understanding of who we are as a team and what we're capable of."
How it Happened: Bunker led off with a double and scored on Vallery Wong's fielder's choice. UConn answered with a home run in the bottom of the second.
The Ducks took the lead for good on a pinch-hit double in the third. Wong led off with a single. Pinch-runner Kedre Luschar stole second, before Paige Sinicki reached on a bunt single that moved Kuschar to third. Sinicki stole second, bringing Williams to the plate with runners on second and third and two out. Williams drove the first pitch she saw into the left-centerfield gap for a two-RBI double, giving the Ducks a 3-1 lead.
"I thought it was clutch on her part," said Lombardi. "We needed those extra runs. In this sport, at any given time, somebody can come back. You can never have enough runs. That was clutch."
The Ducks then homered in three consecutive innings - Humphreys in the fourth, Herrera in the fifth and Bunker in the sixth for a 6-3 lead.
"I just try to do my best to help my teammates when we need big runs and we needed big runs in those innings," said Bunker. "One of our goals as a team has been to come out and compete on Sundays like we do on Thursday or Friday. We wanted to finish the weekend out strong."
Oregon put the game out of reach with a three-run seventh.
Herrera struck out, but reached base on a throwing error by the catcher. Rachel Cid doubled to centerfield to score Herrera.
Hannah Galey moved Cid to third with a single and Bunker followed with a single to plate Cid. Hanna Delgado was hit by a pitch and Humphreys walked with the bases loaded to drive in the Ducks' ninth run of the game.
That was more than enough for Oregon's two freshmen pitchers. Allison Benning got her first start of the year and struck out three while giving up two runs on four hits in three innings. Stevie Hansen (3-0) finished the game to earn her third win of the season. In four innings, she struck out six and allowed just one run on one hit.
Noteworthy: Delgado went 12-for-17 on the Carolina road trip, which has raised her batting average to .444. She came into the weekend hitting at a .348 clip. Bunker extended her hitting streak to nine games, while Humphreys' reached eight games. Wong had a phenomenal weekend, going 9-for-17 with five home runs and nine RBI.
On Deck: The 2022 home opener is up next for the Ducks. Oregon will host Portland State Friday at 4 p.m. and North Dakota State for a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.
Head Coach Melyssa Lombardi
"I can't tell you enough how excited I am to go home and play at The Jane in front of our fans. All of us feel the same way. We can't wait."
Second baseman Allee Bunker
"We're all fired up. We're all tired of being out on the road playing other teams at their places. We're super-excited to play in front of our home crowd, hear our walk-up songs and start the home season."
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