TEMPE, Ariz. – The Oregon softball team rallied back from five runs down to beat Fresno State in extra innings, 10-9, in the second of two games on Friday at the Kajikawa Classic.
Oregon was down, 7-2, early in the game but Oregon tied it up and a late steal from Courtney Ceo in extra innings, coupled with a sacrifice fly from Alexa Peterson, lifted the No. 8 ranked Ducks to their first win of 2014. Cheridan Hawkins picked up the win after getting Fresno State's Paige Gumz to strike out with the bases loaded to end the game.
“We definitely had our backs to the wall,” head coach Mike White said. “After losing the first game and going down five runs int he second, we showed a lot of determination and grit to pull one out.”
Oregon (1-1) struck first on a homer from Peterson, but Fresno State (1-1) responded quickly with a four-run inning thanks to a three-run shot from Stesha Brazil off of starting pitcher Karissa Hovinga.
The Ducks were able to get a run back, but the Bulldogs piled on another three runs in the second inning. Oregon didn’t back down from the slugfest, pounding in four runs in the third followed by another two runs in the fourth courtesy of Janelle Lindvall.
“This has always been a hitters ballpark, hitters just seem to see the ball very well here,” said White. “We got behind in some counts and had to pitch over the plate and it hurt us. We need to stay ahead in at-bats and work the outside of the plate more”
With a runner on first and one out, Gumz was able to beat out a throw to first on a fielder’s choice, setting up Whitney Smith for the RBI single to right and tied the game up at nine.
With the international run rule in effect, Ceo started the top of the eighth at second and stole third on the very first pitch to bring Peterson to the plate. Peterson sent the next pitch deep into center field for a sacrifice as Ceo scored the winning run.
The Ducks are back on the field Saturday with a pair of games against Appalachian State beginning at 2 p.m. before wrapping up the day with North Carolina State at 3:30 p.m.