Ducks Sweep Doubleheader with Bison
EUGENE, Ore. – Allee Bunker drove in six runs and Vallery Wong hit her seventh home run in the last seven games as No. 11 Oregon swept a doubleheader against North Dakota State Saturday in front of 1,833 at Jane Sanders Stadium.
Bunker had a grand slam in Oregon's 14-1 win in game one, while Wong connected for a solo shot in the Ducks' 10-2 game two win.
"We definitely wanted to close the game out as fast as possible," said Bunker, whose team ended game two in six innings just as the rain was starting to pick up. "We want the pitchers staying fresh; we don't want them throwing a whole lot of pitches, so I think going to the dugout to hit, we thought, 'ok we want to finish this game out as fast as possible'."
The wins stretched Oregon's winning streak to 11 games as the Ducks improved to 19-3 overall.
How it Happened (Game 1): Rachel Cid opened the scoring in the bottom of the second with just the second triple of her career to score Gabby Herrera.
The Ducks opened the game up by scoring four times after there were two outs in the third. Hanna Delgado hit a one-out double. KK Humphreys grounded out to third before Wong doubled in Delgado. Ariel Carlson singled to move Wong up 60 feet and then stole second base.
Paige Sinicki singled up the middle to score Wong and Carlson, stole second and eventually scored on a throwing error by the catcher to give the Ducks a 5-0 lead.
Oregon scored nine runs in the bottom of the fourth to put the game out of reach. Hannah Galey led off with a home run before Bunker doubled. Delgado then doubled up the middle to score Bunker.
After Delgado was picked off second, Humphreys and Wong walked and scored when Carlson tripled to right center. Sinicki laid down a bunt base hit that scored Carlson. Herrera walked and Katelyn Howard reached on an error to load the bases for Bunker.
Bunker then delivered her second hit of the inning, a grand slam to left, to clear the bases and give the Ducks a 14-1 lead.
"I try keeping the same mindset every at bat but you know, bigger moments you do have a little more anxious energy," said Bunker. "I do think I was swinging out of my shoes more than usual but I just happened to get the right pitch to send over the fence."
Makenna Kliethermes struck out eight in four innings for the game one win, improving to 7-2 on the season.
How it Happened (Game 2): In the second inning, Wong drove a 1-2 pitch out to left for her seventh home run of the season. Carlson followed with a single and moved to third on Herrera's double. Galey then singled up the middle to plate Carlson and Herrera.
Oregon scored three runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to end the game.
In the fifth, Bunker reached on an error and scored on Delgado's double to center. Humphreys singled Delgado to third and both runners came home when Wong singled up the middle for a 7-1 advantage.
After the Bison (12-11) got a run back in the top of the sixth, the Ducks ended the game with three runs on just one hit.
Herrera walked and pinch hitter Kai Luschar was hit by a pitch. Galey walked to load the bases and then game ended due to the mercy rule on Bunker's at-bat.
Bunker drove the first pitch she saw through the hole on the right side to extend her hitting streak to 12 games. The single scored Herrera and Luschar to make it 9-1. On the play, NDSU's catcher threw the ball into centerfield trying pick off Bunker at second and Galey walked home on the error for the final run.
Stevie Hansen (4-0) went the distance for her first complete game of the season. She struck out seven and allowed two runs on three hits in six innings.
"We have been really working hard this past weekend on first pitch strikes, and being able to work ahead and finish hitters out," said coach Melyssa Lombardi. "You could see them do that today. I really liked how they were working ahead. I thought Stevie, as a freshman, I think she is really composed on the mound. That was some tough rain she dealt with, and she handled it really well."
Noteworthy: Humphreys extended her hitting streak to 11 games on her birthday. Bunker went 4-for-8 on Saturday with six RBI. Wong was 3-for-4 with five RBI. Delgado continues to lead the Ducks in hitting after going 4-for-6 against NDSU and scoring three runs. Carlson went 3-for-6, while Galey and Herrera were both 2-for-4. Galey had three RBI. Sinicki stole her team-leading eight base of the season in the first game. For the weekend, Oregon hit. 436 as a team and scored 31 runs. Eight of Oregon's nine starters batted .400 or better in the three games.
Head Coach Melyssa Lombardi
"I think this is a really confident group right now overall within themselves as individuals and as a team. They trust each other and I think they are in a good place to go into conference play."
On Deck: Oregon opens Pac-12 play with a three-game series at Utah beginning on Friday. The Ducks will also play at BYU on March 21.
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