PROVO, Utah – With a solo blast in the second inning, Kailee Cuico became Oregon’s all-time leader in career home runs and the Ducks defeated Southern Utah, 8-0, in five innings on Tuesday afternoon in a neutral site game at BYU’s Gail Miller Field.
The win was head coach Mike White’s 200th victory with the Ducks. He has a record of 200-69 in his fifth season at UO.
“I can’t do any of that at all without my players," said head coach Mike White. "I’m proud of the way our teams have performed over the last five years. This is just the start for us.”
Oregon run ruled its 11th opponent of the season as the Ducks (27-3) tallied eight runs on 11 hits with no errors while the Thunderbirds (10-18) scored no runs on five hits with one error.
Cuico’s homer in the second was the 38th of her four-year career, beating out Kaylan Howard, Samantha Pappas and Andrea Vidlund for Oregon’s all-time career lead. All three finished their UO career’s with 37 homers. Cuico had seven home runs as a freshman, 12 as a sophomore, 14 as a junior and now five in her senior season. Cuico is also closing in on the career RBIs record, as she needs just nine more to match Pappas' mark of 155.
“Kailee has been a rock for us," White said. "She puts up consistent numbers and has been a great leader. She keeps her composure so well and never lets anything shake her.”
As Cuico became Oregon’s career leader in homers in the second, UO freshman Sammie Puentes hit her first collegiate home run in the same inning. Puentes hit a two-run blast to center as the Ducks scored three runs in the second. That followed a run in the first and preceded a four-run fourth.
Puentes doubled in the fourth to score Cuico before Karine Shaver reached on a fielder’s choice. A throwing error on the fielder’s choice allowed Koral Costa to score the second run of the inning. Later, Janie Takeda doubled to left to score Shaver from third and Janelle Lindvall capped the scoring when she drew a bases loaded walk on an eight pitch at-bat.
Puentes finished with a game-high three RBIs on two extra base hits while Cuico, Alyssa Gillespie and Takeda also had two hits. Courtney Ceo scored a run in the first and she now has 153 career runs. She needs just one more to match Jill Robinson’s UO career record of 154.
Karissa Hovinga (9-1) picked up the win with her second shutout of the season. The junior scattered five hits over five innings with a walk.
Oregon will play the second game of its doubleheader today against BYU at 5 p.m. PT.