Ducks Undone by Unearned Runs
EUGENE, Ore. – Extra outs that led to unearned runs proved to be too much to overcome as No. 14 Oregon fell to No. 16 Arizona State 9-4 Saturday night at Jane Sanders Stadium.
The Ducks (24-10, 4-7) led 4-1 after five innings on the strength of a stellar performance in the circle from freshman Stevie Hansen, who struck out a season-high eight batters while giving up three earned runs on five hits.
But Arizona State (27-5, 8-0) scored six runs in the sixth – three of which were unearned – for the come-from-behind win.
"I thought our team fought the entire game," said head coach Melyssa Lombardi. "It is one inning that we need to clean up. One inning, that is it."
How it Happened: The Ducks scored twice in the second inning and twice in the third.
In the second, Oregon took advantage of ASU's defensive miscues to strike first. Jasmine Williams reached on an error at third and advanced to second on Vallery Wong's ground out. KK Humphreys then blooped a double behind first base to score Williams. Paige Sinicki followed with a single down the right field line to plate Humphreys.
"(Humphreys) is a competitor," said Lombardi on Humphrey's two-double night. "I really think that everybody got to see KK, and what she is capable of doing. I love that, and I love the fight. She competes, she gets after it. When she puts her mind to it, nothing gets in the way, and you could see that tonight."
The Ducks added two more runs in the third. Rachel Cid and Terra McGowan led off the inning with back-to-back singles. McGowan and pinch-runner Gabby Herrera then executed a double steal, and Herrera scored when the catcher's throw sailed into left field.
McGowan moved to third on Ariel Carlson's grounder and tagged up on Williams's sacrifice fly for the Ducks' fourth run of the game.
Hansen cruised through five innings, yielding just a solo home run in the fourth. She fanned two batters in the second, fourth and fifth innings.
"(Hansen) did everything to give us a chance," said Lombardi. "I am proud of her. She totally elevated. As a freshman, we got to see what she is capable of. She has got really good pitches. I loved her fire on the mound, and I loved how she competed."
The Ducks got into trouble in the sixth. After a two-run homer made it 4-3, ASU took advantage of an Oregon error to score four more times in the inning – three runs were unearned – and tacked on two more in the seventh.
Noteworthy: Four Rosie Riveters were honored during Saturday's game … Humphreys hit her team-leading ninth and 10th doubles of the season … Sinicki tripled for the third time this year … Oregon stole three-plus bases for the 11th time this season.
Freshman Pitcher Stevie Hansen
"I know going into tomorrow we're going to be united as one and we're all going to come bearing everything we got tomorrow. So, it's definitely just more of being locked in with the whole team."
On Deck: Oregon and Arizona State wrap up their three-game series Sunday at noon.
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