Oregon head coach Mike White:
Oregon State head coach Laura Berg:
Oregon pitcher Cheridan Hawkins:
Courtesy: Oregon Sports Information
CORVALLIS, Ore.– The No. 1 ranked Oregon softball team used big fifth and seventh innings to overcome an early deficit and beat rival Oregon State, 10-5, in the first of a three-game Pac-12 Conference series on Saturday afternoon.
The Ducks (35-5, 9-1 Pac-12) tallied 10 runs on 11 hits with no errors while the Beavers (13-21, 3-8) posted five runs on six hits with five errors.
Cheridan Hawkins (21-3) picked up the win after tossing a complete game with five runs allowed on six hits plus one walk and eight strikeouts.
Oregon State hit a pair of two-run homers but defensive lapses and the Ducks’ own big bats turned the tide.
After the Beavers went ahead, 2-0, on a two-run shot in the third inning by Kori Nishitomi, the Ducks scored their first run in the fourth. Alyssa Gillespie scored from third when Kailee Cuico’s grounder to the pitcher was misplayed for an error.
Oregon went ahead for good with its big fifth inning. The Ducks loaded the bases with one out before Nikki Udria tied up the game on a strange play. After Alexa Peterson struck out for the second out of the inning, Udria was caught in a run down between third and home but Udria was able to beat a throw back home and scored.
Kailee Cuico drew a walk to load the bases again in the fifth, bringing up Lindvall. The sophomore catcher slugged a 3-1 pitch deep over the fence in center to give the Ducks a 6-2 lead.
“Early on OSU did a great job of keeping the ball down but eventually we caught some breaks and Janelle capitalized on a pitch up,” said head coach Mike White.
Another homer in the sixth inning brought cut the Ducks’ lead to just one run, 6-5, but Oregon scored some insurance runs in the seventh.
Despite Oregon State gunning down two Ducks at home earlier in the seventh, Courtney Ceo drove in a pair of runs on a single to right and two more scored on an error by the first baseman.
Ceo and Gillespie each went 2-for-5 while Janie Takeda, Cuico, Koral Costa and Sammie Puentes each added a hit.
Hawkins picked up her 21st win in her 15th complete game of the season.
“Cheridan pitched well, just a couple of mistakes as well,” White added. “She used some different pitches today and worked counts well.”
Oregon and Oregon State meet for the second game of the series tomorrow at 2 p.m. in a Pac-12 Networks broadcast. The finale of the series, at 3 p.m. on Monday, will also be televised.