Skip to main content

Long Ball Hurts Ducks At UCLA

Apr 2, 2022

LOS ANGELES — Two big blasts were the difference Saturday night as No. 3 UCLA defeated the No. 12 Oregon softball team, 5-2 at Easton Stadium.

The Bruins hit two-run home runs in the first and fourth innings to deny the Ducks, who were cleaner defensively and more opportunistic running the bases but who stranded five runners on base — three more than did UCLA.

"We've got a really good team, and in order for us to compete and do the things we need to do, we need to be clean across the board," UO coach Melyssa Lombardi said. "When we have the opportunity to clutch up and hit, we need to hit. When we have the opportunity to put hitters away, we need to put them away. When we did that we were right in this game, but when we didn't they made us pay."

In the big picture, Saturday featured a positive development for the Ducks with the return of Terra McGowan to her familiar spot at catcher. McGowan, who figures to form a formidable duo behind the plate going forward with Vallery Wong, rejoined the lineup as the designated player Friday after recovering from a hand injury, but she caught two runners stealing in her defensive return Saturday and also had her first hit since Feb. 17.

"The team did an amazing job keeping me involved when I wasn't on the field, and I just wanted to return the favor by showing them that I'm here for them, I'm dependable," McGowan said. "So it's really good to be back."

How It Happened: UCLA led 2-0 three batters into the bottom of the first inning on a two-run homer by Delanie Wisz. After a 1-2-3 second inning by UO starting pitcher Jordan Dail, the Ducks got her a run in the top of the third — though it could have been a bigger inning.

After KK Humphreys singled to open the inning, Kai Luschar followed with a single that put runners at the corners — until Luschar stole second to give Oregon two runners in scoring position with nobody out. After Hanna Delgado grounded out, Allee Bunker followed suit to score Humphreys, although Luschar was caught in a rundown between third and home to end the inning.

Wisz drove in her third run of the game in the bottom of the third to put the Bruins back up by two, 3-1. Makenna Kliethermes took over on the mound to end the third, and in the fourth she allowed a leadoff single before Seneca Curo hit UCLA's second two-run homer of the night for a 5-1 lead.

Humphreys stole second with two outs in the fifth and came home on a single by Delgado that hit the bag at third base as the UCLA infield was hoping to watch it roll foul. Kliethermes settled in and didn't allow another hit after the fourth-inning homer, but the Ducks couldn't get closer than 5-2 despite Humphreys reaching second base yet again in the seventh.

Notable: All-time UO greats Koral Costa, Janelle Lindvall and Lauren Lindvall attended the game. … Bunker's RBI in the third was her team-leading 30th of the season. … McGowan, who last played catcher Feb. 18 at Baylor, when she was hit on the throwing hand by a foul tip, has now thrown out 3-of-6 potential base-stealers this season.

Up Next: The Ducks and Bruins play the series finale Sunday at noon.