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Ducks Drop Opener To ASU

Apr 8, 2022

EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon rallied in the fifth to extend the game but ultimately fell 9-3 on Friday to Arizona State in the opener of their three-game weekend series at Jane Sanders Stadium.

The No. 14 Ducks fell behind off the bat on a solo homer to lead off the game, and the No. 16 Sun Devils tacked on four more runs in the second. Oregon was in danger of being run-ruled in the fifth, but rallied while down 8-0 to score three times and stay alive for two more innings.

"We're slow to come out of the gate, and then we end up running out of innings," UO coach Melyssa Lombardi said. "It's about being able to come out of the gate offensively, being able to come out of the gate defensively and on the mound."

How It Happened: UO starter Makenna Kliethermes (7-3) settled down to retire the next three hitters after the leadoff homer, but ASU led off the second with another home run and saw the next four batters reach base to bring Jordan Dail in out of the UO bullpen with the Ducks trailing 3-0. The Sun Devils tacked on two more runs before the side was retired.

Three ASU batters in a row reached with two out in the fourth, and Raegan Breedlove took over in the circle for the Ducks. It was 7-0 when she entered, and one more run came across to put Oregon in danger of a five-inning run-rule loss. At that point the Ducks hadn't put a runner in scoring position, but after a leadoff single by Jasmine Williams, Vallery Wong entered as a pinch-hitter and blasted her eighth home run of the season to eliminate the run-rule possibility.

With two outs, Rachel Cid added her second homer of the season to make it 8-3 through five. But ASU's Jazmyn Rollin hit her second homer of the game in the sixth, while Oregon was retired in order each of the last two innings.

Notable: Oregon had gone nearly a year without losing four in a row. The Ducks' last extended losing streak was five games in April 2021, against top-10 foes UCLA and Washington. … Cid had two hits for the second straight game, and continues to lead the Ducks in batting average during Pac-12 play at .423. … Wong hit Oregon's second pinch-hit homer of the season.

Quotable:
Head coach Melyssa Lombardi
On Rachel Cid's recent hot streak

"She's seeing the ball well right now, she's getting good pitches to hit — she's just in a great place offensively. We need her. That's what she's here to do, is be explosive."

On Wong hitting her first home run since March 12
"Now she's had some time, with her and Terra (McGowan) switching off (at catcher), to get her legs back and have some power behind her swings. It was really nice to see that."

Up Next: The Ducks and Sun Devils meet again Saturday at 6 p.m.