EUGENE, Ore. - The newly minted No. 1 ranked Oregon softball team hits the road this weekend to meet rival Oregon State in the Civil War.
The Ducks (34-5, 8-1 Pac-12) and Beavers (13-20, 3-7) will battle in a three-game series starting on Saturday.
Saturday's game will begin at 2 p.m., with Sunday's game at 2 p.m. and Monday's game at 3 p.m. televised on Pac-12 Networks.
#1 OREGON DUCKS (34-5, 8-1 Pac-12)
Team BA: .337 | Team ERA: 1.73 | Runs Scored: 246 | Runs Allowed: 92
Recently: Oregon took 2-of-3 at home against then-No. 1 ranked UCLA
National Rankings: No. 1 in both the NFCA and USA Softball polls
All-Times OSU Series Record: UO leads, 88-81-1 (Ducks have won four straight)
Last Meeting: No. 4 Oregon defeated Oregon State, 8-0, in five innings (5/5/13)
Notable: Last year the Ducks clinched their first ever Pac-12 title with a three-game sweep of the Beavers at Howe Field and now Oregon brings its first ever No. 1 ranking to Corvallis for the Civil War. The Ducks are 9-3 against the rival Beavers in 4+ seasons under head coach Mike White. Oregon has won four straight against Oregon State, outscoring the Beavers 29-3 with two run-rule shutouts in that span. The Ducks currently rank No. 7 in the nation in batting average (.337), 11th in slugging (.529) and 14th in team ERA (1.73). Oregon has a run-rule win in each of its first three league series (Utah, No. 5 Washington, No. 1 UCLA).
OREGON STATE (13-20, 3-7 Pac-12)
Team BA: .272 | Team ERA: 4.18 | Runs Scored: 129 | Runs Allowed: 184
Recently: Oregon State dropped 2-of-3 at Utah last weekend
National Rankings: N/A
Head Coach: Laura Berg (Second Season)
Notable: Oregon State opened its Pac-12 slate by taking 2-of-3 from Arizona State but have not won a league series since. The Beavers were swept on the road at Arizona and dropped 2-of-3 at Utah. OSU and California played just one game of a three-game series in Corvallis due to rain, with the Golden Bears winning 13-3. The Oregon series this weekend is the first of three against top-10 teams as the Beavers play No. 2 ranked UCLA next weekend and No. 10 Washington in two weeks. Dani Gilmore leads Oregon State with a .398 batting average, 25 runs scored and six home runs. Pitcher Amanda Najdek is a team-best 9-12 on the season with a 3.62 ERA.
OREGON NO. 1 FOR FIRST TIME IN HISTORY
After taking two games in a three-game set from previously No. 1 ranked UCLA, Oregon jumped from No. 3 to the top spot for the first time in program history. Oregon is a unanimous No. 1, earning the ranking in both the NFCA poll and USA Softball poll. Before this season, Oregon’s previous high ranking was No. 3 at the end of the regular season a year ago. The Ducks climbed to No. 2 this year on three occasions before jumping to No. 1 this week. The Ducks started the season ranked No. 8 in both polls. Under head coach Mike White, the Ducks have been ranked for 69 straight weeks in the USA Softball poll and 62 weeks in a row in the NFCA poll.
AGAINST OREGON STATE LAST YEAR
Oregon clinched its first Pac-12 title with a sweep of Oregon State last season. The Ducks claimed the first game of the series, 2-1, then won game two, 11-0, in five innings and game three, 8-0, in five innings. Cheridan Hawkins went 1-0 and allowed just two hits and one walk with nine strikeouts in four innings. Karissa Hovinga tossed one inning of scoreless relief while Jessica Moore went 2-0 with two complete games and one run allowed. LF Janie Takeda hit .556 in the series last year, with a double and four RBIs. C Janelle Lindvall and CF Koral Costa each had a homer and five RBIs. The Ducks drew 19 walks in the series and had 21 hits, good for a .531 team on-base percentage.
Oregon won both games in a doubleheader with UC Santa Barbara last Tuesday before taking 2-of-3 from then-No. 1 ranked UCLA. The series win pushed the Ducks to the top of the Pac-12 standings and the top spot in both national polls, dropping UCLA to No. 2.
HOT AT HOWE FIELD
Oregon went 7-1 on its season-opening homestand. The loss, on April 6, against then-No. 1 ranked UCLA, was the Ducks’ first regular season home loss since Oregon also fell to then No. 14 UCLA on May 10, 2012. Oregon had won 25 straight regular season home games in that span, including a 16-0 regular season home record last year.
CUICO’s SEVEN RBIs TIES UO RECORD
Kailee Cuico mashed a three-run homer and a grand slam to tie the single-game school record with seven RBIs against then No. 1 ranked UCLA on April 5. The Ducks run-ruled the Bruins, 12-4 in five innings that day, meaning Cuico had just two at-bats in the game. Cuico is just the fifth player in school history to reach seven RBIs in a single-game and the first to do it since 2006 (eight years). Cuico was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for the second time in her career after the UCLA series.
HAWKINS AMONG NATION’S BEST
Cheridan Hawkins is among the nation’s best pitchers this season. The lefty leads the NCAA with 10 shutouts and her 20 wins are the third most. Statistically, Hawkins ranks fifth in the nation with 198 strikeouts and ninth in hits allowed per seven innings (3.78). She’s also 11th in the NCAA in strikeouts per seven innings (9.9).
DUCKS AGAINST THE TOP-5 & NO. 1
Against top-5 ranked opponents, Oregon is 13-24 under fifth-year head coach Mike White, including a 2-1 eight-inning loss to No. 1 ranked Florida, a sweep of No. 5 ranked Washington and two wins in a three-game series with No. 1 UCLA this season. Last year Oregon went 3-4 against top-5 foes, its best mark of White’s tenure. Against No. 1 ranked teams, Oregon is 4-9 under White, including both wins over the Bruins last weekend.
DUCKS’ BEST START UNDER WHITE
Oregon’s 34-5 start is the best in head coach Mike White’s five seasons with the team. It is the best start overall since the Ducks began the 2007 season with a 36-4 record.
CUICO UO’S ALL-TIME HOME RUN LEADER
With her 38th career home run on March 25 against Southern Utah, 1B Kailee Cuico passed by Kaylan Howard, Samantha Pappas and Andrea Vidlund for first in the program record books. Cuico had seven home runs as a freshman, 12 as a sophomore, 14 as a junior and now a team-high 10 in her senior season for 43 total. The Pac-12 career home runs record is 90 by UCLA’s Stacey Nuveman.
CUICO GRABS RBI CROWN AS WELL
1B Kailee Cuico, already the Oregon career home run record, became the Ducks’ all-time leader in RBIs when she broke Sam Pappas’ UO record of 155. Cuico did it in a big way, as she tied the school’s single-game record with seven RBIs, on a grand slam and a three-run homer, in the Ducks’ 12-4 run-rule win over then No. 1 UCLA on April 5. Cuico had 28 RBIs as a freshman, 54 as a sophomore, 43 as a junior and now has 36 in her senior season for 161 total. The Pac-12 career RBIs record is 328 by Arizona’s Jenny Dalton.
CEO OREGON’S ALL-TIME HITS LEADER
3B Courtney Ceo entered the UCLA series tied with Sam Pappas for first on the program’s career hits list with 238, but Ceo went 3-for-4 in the first game of the series on April 4 and now stands alone at the top. Ceo had 64 hits as a freshman, 45 as a sophomore, 75 in her junior season and has a team-high 60 hits this year for 244 total. The Pac-12 career hits record is 405 by Arizona’s Alison McCutcheon.
CEO OWNS UO CAREER RUNS RECORD
With her second of two runs scored in the first game of a doubleheader against Washington on March 29, 3B Courtney Ceo jumped Jill Robinson in the UO record books with her school record 155th run scored. Ceo had 41 runs as a freshman, 34 as a sophomore, 54 as a junior and now 36 as a senior for 165 total. The Pac-12 record is 293 runs scored, by Arizona’s Jenny Dalton.