CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Big plays on the defensive end helped the Oregon softball team edge a hungry Fordham team, 3-2, Saturday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Janie Takeda helped Karissa Hovinga earn her fifth win of the season gunning down runners at the plate.
Hovinga was pulled after tossing 5.1 innings of work, giving up two runs on five hits. Cherida Hawkins notched her second save of the season with 1.2 innings of work while striking out three.
“Karissa started well and was ahead of her hitters for most of the game,” said head coach Mike White. “She started to tire in the sixth, so we made a change and went with Hawkins who got a couple of big outs to preserve the win.”
Janelle Lindvall opened up the bottom of the third with a sharp double to right center and then advanced to second on a sac-bunt from Cuico. Jasmine Smithson-Willett drew a walk on the next at-bat. With Alyssa Gillespie at the plate, Fordham’s (2-8) Rachel Gillen threw a wild pitch to score Lindvall with Smithson-Willett advanced to third all the way from first. Gillespie then laid down a well-executed bunt to score Smithson-Willett while also reaching first safely. With Udria at the plate, Gillespie stole second and then scored after Nikki Udria’s hit went off Gillen’s glove and out of the reach of the Ram’s second baseman. Takeda followed with a single but Udria was gunned down at third by the left fielder trying to stretch the single.
Hovinga settled in after giving up the homer in the second inning, making quick work of the Fordham batters in the third and fourth inning.
The Rams cut the Oregon (11-1) lead to 3-2 in the top of the fifth after Gillen reached first on a fielder’s choice and then advanced to second after Sydney Canessa drew the one out walk. Amy Van Hoven then moved both runners into scoring position on a grounder to second setting up the RBI opportunity for Elise Fortier to plate Brianna Ciuffi. Takeda however ended the inning by gunning down Canessa at home after she tried to score from second.
The Rams threatened once again in the six after Gabby Luety opened the inning with a walk before Oregon gunned down its second runner at home after Luety tried to score from first on a double by Michele Daubman.
With one out and a runner on second in the top of the sixth, Hawkins struck out both batters she faced after relieving Hovinga. The Ducks stranded one in the bottom half of that inning before Hawkins sealed the victory for Oregon with a strikeout.
The Ducks return to action Sunday, Feb. 23, at 9:00 a.m. (PST) for the first of their double-header against No. 24 Notre Dame. Oregon then faces UC Davis at 11:30 a.m. immediately afterwards to end its stay the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.