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Softball Swept At UCLA

Apr 3, 2022

LOS ANGELES — An early deficit was too much to overcome Sunday as the No. 12 Oregon softball team suffered a 4-2 loss at No. 3 UCLA.

The Bruins completed a series sweep of the Ducks, who put a runner on base in three of the first four innings but couldn't push a run across. UCLA hit a three-run homer in the third to take an early lead and added on in the fourth, before Oregon rallied for runs in the fifth and seventh.

"We were in all three games," UO coach Melyssa Lombardi said. "I think the biggest lesson is just, when opportunity knocks you've got to take advantage. You've got to cash in, and we did not do that enough. And that's why we came up short in all three games."

The Ducks (24-8, 4-5 Pac-12) came into the series having won five of six, and will look to regroup at home Friday against No. 16 Arizona State.

How It Happened: Oregon struggled to get innings started in the early going — the Ducks' first three hits were all two-out singles, by Allee Bunker in the first, Rachel Cid in the second and Ariel Carlson in the fourth. All three runners were stranded, including Carlson in scoring position after she stole second.

UCLA, meanwhile, opened the third with a two-strike single, then had a second batter reach base on a one-out bunt single. Savannah Pola followed with a three-run home run to left-center off UO starter Stevie Hansen.

"Offensively we just took too long to adjust," Lombardi said. "And on the pitching side, they would get a couple people on and then come up big. That's what we need to do: get runners on and cash in."

The Bruins got an insurance run in the fourth, on an RBI groundball out with runners at second and third. Oregon got a run back in the fifth on a two-out solo home run by Jasmine Williams, and another in the seventh when Cid singled to score Paige Sinicki from second.

Notable: The Ducks played an error-free game for the 17th time this season, and continue to lead the Pac-12 in fielding percentage (.979). … Makenna Kliethermes threw two scoreless innings of relief Sunday, giving her five straight scoreless innings following a home run allowed in relief Saturday. … Williams' home run was her second of the season.

Up Next: The Ducks kick off a three-game series against ASU at Jane Sanders Stadium on Friday (7 p.m., ESPN2).