Oregon Sanders' Slam Leads Ducks to Victory at Oregon State (3/31/318)

CORVALLIS, Ore. – DJ Sanders crushed a grand slam in the eighth inning and the No. 5 ranked Oregon softball team defeated Oregon State, 5-1, in extra innings on Saturday.

Posted: Mar 31, 2018 7:10 PM
Updated: Mar 31, 2018 7:25 PM

The Ducks (27-6, 4-2 Pac-12) took 2-of-3 games from the Beavers to win the Civil War series. The Ducks have not lost a series to Oregon State since 2012, winning six straight against their rivals. Oregon now owns a 93-92-1 lead in the all-time series with OSU.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Oregon State took a 1-0 lead on a solo homer in the third inning but the Ducks tied it up in the fifth.

With two outs, freshman Lauren Burke hit a pinch-hit RBI single to left to drive in pinch runner Cherish Burks from second.

The score remained tied up at 1-1 until extra innings, when the Ducks broke through in a big way in the eighth.

Freshman Mary Iakopo led off the top of the eighth with a single to left and moved to second on a single up the middle by sophomore Haley Cruse. After a pair of outs, senior Lauren Lindvall drew a full count walk to load the bases.

That brought up senior DJ Sanders. The shortstop crushed a full count, two-out, grand slam to left to put the Ducks ahead, 5-1. Sanders hit seven home runs in the month of February, but had not tallied a big fly since homering against LSU on Feb. 25. She had not recorded a RBI since March 2 at Florida State.

IN THE CIRCLE: Junior Megan Kleist was masterful yet again. Kleist allowed just one run on six hits in eight innings with five strikeouts and no walks. She has 117 strikeouts this season with just nine walks for an incredible 13-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Kleist has allowed five earned runs over her last 47.1 innings pitched. The right-hander is 10-4 this season with a 0.91 ERA and a .620 WHIP.

AT THE PLATE: The Ducks tallied double-digit hits for the 14th time this season with 10 on Saturday. Shannon Rhodes went 2-for-4 while Sanders went 2-for-3, including her game-breaking grand slam in the eighth.

UP NEXT: The Ducks return home to host a doubleheader against Portland State on Tuesday before meeting Arizona in a three-game league series starting Friday at The Jane.

UO Athletics 

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