Ducks Drop Slugfest to UW
EUGENE, Ore. — Tehya Bird's first career grand slam staked Oregon to an early lead, but Washington capitalized on some free baserunners to rally back and ultimately win in extra innings Saturday, 9-7, before a season-high crowd of 2,443 in Jane Sanders Stadium.
Bird's grand slam in the first gave the Ducks (26-15, 5-12 Pac-12) a 6-2 lead. But Washington scored five in the second to take a 7-6 lead, with the Huskies scoring their seven runs on just two hits — both home runs.
Oregon tied it back up in the fourth and Stevie Hansen shut UW out from the third through seventh innings. But Washington scored twice in the eighth and UO star Allee Bunker struck out with the bases loaded to end the game.
That was a disappointing moment for the UO bats, but ultimately some early free bases allowed were the biggest source of frustration.
"We scored seven runs," UO coach Melyssa Lombardi said. "That should be enough."
How It Happened: A four-pitch walk followed by a one-out homer gave Washington an early 2-0 lead. But a day after being shut out, Oregon's bats quickly came alive.
A one-out double by Bunker put two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the first, and Ariel Carlson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With two out, KK Humphreys walked to force in a run, and after a pitching change Hannah Galey was hit by a pitch to tie it, 2-2.
That brought Bird to the plate with the bases still loaded, and she unloaded them in a hurry with her second home run of the season.
"I've been waiting for my opportunity," said Bird, who has started two straight games with regular third baseman Rachel Cid unavailable. "I knew coming up that was going to be a big opportunity. I was just waiting for my pitch, and got it."
The lead didn't last long, as two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases for UW in the second. A wild pitch brought one run home, another walk — this one intentional — loaded the bases again and a two-out grand slam put the Huskies back in front.
Oregon tied it up when Paige Sinicki led off the fourth with a double and Bunker drove her in with a two-out single. But a two-out, two-run homer in the eighth put UW back in front, and the Ducks couldn't muster a dramatic finish after loading the bases in the bottom of the inning on two walks and an infield hit.
Notable: Bird more than doubled her RBI total for the season with the grand slam, improving from three to seven. … Bunker's RBI in the fourth was her team-leading 36th of the season. … Terra McGowan had two hits, improving her average on the season to .407 — including .500 in the last eight games. ... Hansen's 6.2-inning outing was her longest of the season. ... Karissa Ornelas appeared has a pinch hitter in the seventh, her first appearance since March 3.
Head coach Melyssa Lombardi on Oregon's resolve through a 2-10 stretch in April
"This group is a tough, tough group. A tough group. We've had some tough games not go our way, and they keep fighting."
Sophomore Tehya Bird, on working a walk with one out to keep hope alive in the eighth
"It's my fourth at-bat of the game, so at that point I'm not putting any added pressure on myself. Just going up there knowing I'm a good hitter and I can do it."
Up Next: The Ducks and Huskies wrap up the series Sunday at 3 p.m. (Pac-12 Network).