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Ducks Edge Irish in Pitchers' Duel, 2-0
Courtesy: GoDucks.com
Release Date: 02/23/2014
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CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – The sixth-ranked Oregon softball team needed extra innings to beat No. 23 Notre Dame, 2-0, in a thrilling pitchers' duel on Sunday morning at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. The win gave the Ducks their 13th straight of the season, tying last year’s 13-game win streak, which is the longest under head coach Mike White.

Oregon (13-1) and Notre Dame (10-3) each had chances early, but both starting pitchers kept it scoreless until extra innings.

Cheridan Hawkins (7-1) fanned 14 batters in nine innings of work, scattering three hits. The sophomore tossed her fifth complete game and recorded her third shutout of the season.

Notre Dame starter Laura Winter (6-2) took the loss despite allowing just two runs (one earned) on seven hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks. 

Oregon best chance to score early came in the first inning. Courtney Ceo singled but was thrown out a home trying to score on Alexa Peterson's bunt single to second. 

Neither team had more than one hit in any other inning until the ninth. 

With Nikki Udria starting the frame at second due to the international tiebreaker rule, Janie Takeda singled to left to advance Udria to third. Takeda then stole second and advanced to third when Ceo hit an infield single to short, which scored Udria. Peterson followed with a sacrifice fly that plated Takeda before Winter got the Irish out of the inning.

With the Ducks up 2-0 in the bottom of the ninth, Notre Dame freshman Kimmy Sulivan started on second base. She was caught in a pickle and tagged out after a fielding error allowed Winter, who also hits for the Irish, to reach first. Hawkins then struck out Megan Sorlie on four pitches before inducing a Micaela Arizmendi into a game-ending fly out to left. 

Hawkins did not allow a hit in either of the extra innings and in six of the nine total innings. Since giving up 10 runs over 5.2 innings in her first two appearances to start the year, Hawkins has allowed just one earned run on 15 hits in her last 47.1 innings pitched. Her ERA over that stretch is a remarkable 0.15 with 70 strikeouts.

Ceo went 3-for-4 in the game with a RBI. The top three hitters in the Ducks' order went a combined 7-for-11 and accounted for all seven of the Ducks' hits against the Irish. 

Oregon looks to go undefeated at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in its final game against UC Davis at 11:30 a.m.

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