CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Hours after grinding out a tight game against Fordham, the Oregon softball team erupted for 12 runs Saturday afternoon at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. The Ducks run-ruled Virginia in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving Jasmine Smithson-Willett her first win in an Oregon uniform. Oregon is now on a 12-game win streak heading into the final day of the tournament.
The transfer from Louisville threw six solid innings in the circle for UO (12-1), giving up just three runs on seven hits while also going 1-for-1 at the plate in her first collegiate start.
“Jasmine picked up her first win in the circle because she was able to attack Virginia’s hitters using 61 pitches,” head coach Mike White said. “It was good to see our offense ignite for 14 hits behind Stevie Jo and Sara’s homeruns.”
Takeda roped a triple into left center to start the game for Oregon and scored after Virginia’s (2-11) shortstop couldn’t complete the transfer to her glove on a ball scorched by Courtney Ceo. Peterson then drew a walk after Ceo was thrown out on her attempt to steal second. The Ducks loaded the bases after pair of walks but ended up with only one run after Koral Costa popped it up to second.
The Oregon bats would then erupt against Virginia, scoring eight runs on eight hits and ran the Cavaliers’ Aimee Chapdelaine out of the fourth inning.
UVA picked up three runs in the fifth after Megan Harris doubled on a ground ball that took a wild hop over shortstop Karine Shaver and advanced to third on the throw from center. Marcy Bowdren immediately followed with a single up the middle to score M. Harris before Stephanie Harris sent a 1-1 pitch over left field to make it 9-3.
Stevie Jo Knapp gave the Ducks one run back after she crushed Mayer’s 0-1 pitch over the left field wall. Knapp finished the day 2-for-2 with two runs and a pair of RBI off the bench. Kailee Cuico was also perfect at the plate for Oregon, going 2-for-2 with two runs and a pair of walks.
After getting a foul out at first and a fly out to center, Smithson-Willett gave up a hit in the top of the sixth. The sophomore then got Iyana Hughes to hit sharp grounder to Costa to tag out Karli Johnson on her way to second.
Sara Goodrum ended the game by the run rule after she homered just out of the reaches of the Cavaliers’ right fielder for the 12-3 victory.
Oregon returns to the diamond Sunday, Feb. 23, for another double header to wrap up the three-day tournament. The Ducks start the day against their second ranked-opponent of the year in No. 24 Notre Dame at 9:00 a.m. (PST) before concluding the MNCC with UC Davis immediately afterwards at 11:30 a.m.