EUGENE, Ore. - The No. 2 ranked Oregon softball team opens its home slate this weekend with a three-game Pac-12 series against No. 5 ranked Washington at Howe Field.
The Ducks (27-4, 3-0 Pac-12) will meet the Huskies (21-7, 2-3) at 3 p.m. on Friday, 3 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday. All three games will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.
RAIN DELAY/CANCELATION INFOFans can call the Oregon softball rain delay number at 541-346-6148 to find out if a game has been pushed back or rescheduled due to weather. Pre-purchased tickets for games that are rained out can be exchanged for any other regular season game.
OREGON REMAINS TOP-5 IN BOTH POLLS
Oregon is ranked No. 2 in the NFCA poll, up from No. 3, after sweeping Utah over the weekend. The Ducks also jumped up a spot in the USA Softball poll this week, going from No. 4 to No. 3. Oregon received five first place votes in the NFCA poll and one first place vote in the USA Softball poll. The Ducks started the season ranked No. 8 in both polls. Under head coach Mike White, the Ducks have been ranked for 67 straight weeks in the USA Softball poll and 60 weeks in a row in the NFCA poll.
Oregon finally plays a home game in 2014 after playing its first 31 games of the year on the road. Oregon has a 27-4 mark and is 3-0 in Pac-12 play entering the weekend against No. 5 ranked Washington. Last year the Ducks went 18-2 at home, with both losses coming to No. 14 ranked Nebraska in the NCAA Super Regionals. Oregon swept each Pac-12 team it played at home last season, going 3-0 against No. 15 Stanford, 3-0 against Utah, 3-0 against No. 17 Arizona and 3-0 against Oregon State. The Ducks went 7-5 on the road in conference play a year ago.
The Ducks swept a three-game series with Utah in their Pac-12 opener. Oregon then split a pair of games against Southern Utah (W, 8-0) and BYU (L, 6-5) in Provo.
AGAINST WASHINGTON LAST YEAR
Oregon went 2-1 against Washington in Seattle last season. The No. 10 ranked Ducks defeated the No. 15 ranked Huskies, 12-1 on the first day and 4-2 in the second game before falling, 2-1, in the final game of the series. Alexa Peterson hit .571 in the series (4-for-7) with two doubles and two walks. Kailee Cuico had three RBIs and two home runs on four total hits. Cheridan Hawkins went 1-1 against UW, with a 0.78 ERA and seven strikeouts in nine innings pitched. Karissa Hovinga threw a scoreless inning of relief.
WHITE WINS NO. 200
With the Ducks’ 8-0, five inning win against Southern Utah on Tuesday, head coach Mike White reached 200 career wins in his fifth season with the Ducks. “I can’t do any of that at all without my players,” White said. “I’m proud of the way our teams have performed over the last five years. This is just the start for us.” Kathy Arendsen (2003-09) has a program-best 231 wins in seven seasons with the Ducks while White recently passed Tami Brown (1990-96) for second on the wins list, as she posted 192 wins over seven seasons.
DUCKS BEST START UNDER WHITE
Oregon’s 27-4 start is the best in head coach Mike White’s five seasons with the team. It is the best start overall since the Ducks started the 2007 season with a 36-4 record..
PETERSON PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
After hitting a whopping .857 with 13 RBIs in the Ducks’ three-game sweep at Utah, senior C/OF Alexa Peterson was named Pac-12 Player of the Week, the league announced on Tuesday. Peterson went 6-for-7 at the plate with five runs, two doubles, a triple, a grand slam and 13 runs batted in over the course of the series. The Salem, Ore., native posted six RBIs in the second game of the series on Sunday, which is tied for the fifth most in UO single-game history and was the most in a game for the Ducks since 2008. Peterson has now won the award twice in her career (April 15, 2013 as well) and the Ducks have claimed the award 45 times.
CUICO UO’S ALL-TIME HOME RUN LEADER
With her 38th career home run on Tuesday against Southern Utah, 1B Kailee Cuico passed by Kaylan Howard, Samantha Pappas and Andrea Vidlund for first in the program record books. Cuico hit No. 39 later in the day at BYU. Cuico had seven home runs as a freshman, 12 as a sophomore, 14 as a junior and now a team-high six in her senior season.
CUICO NEARING CAREER RBIs MARK TOO
1B Kailee Cuico already owns the Oregon career home run record and is fast approaching the career RBI record as well. With 147 career RBIs, Cuico needs just eight more RBIs to match Sam Pappas’ UO record of 155.
CEO TIES UO CAREER RUNS RECORD
With a run in the seventh inning at BYU on Tuesday, 3B Courtney Ceo tied the Oregon career runs record. Ceo and Jill Robinson currently share the record with 154 career runs scored.
A PAIR OF SIX RBIs GAMES
Oregon did not have a player post six RBIs in a game since 2008 until Alexa Peterson and Kailee Cuico did it in back-to-back games at Utah in very similar fashion. On Mar. 23 in a 12-7 win over the Utes, Peterson went 3-for-3 with a grand slam, a double and six RBIs. A day later, in a 14-3 win over Utah on Mar. 24, Cuico went 2-for-4 with a grand slam, a double and six RBIs. The six RBIs are tied for the fifth most in program history. Monique Fuiava, against Cal Poly in 2008, was the last player to reach six RBIs in a game before Peterson and Cuico.
HAWKINS’ HOT STREAK
Over her last 107 innings pitched, LHP Cheridan Hawkins has allowed just six earned runs. That span includes her last 19 appearances and 14 starts. She has a 0.39 ERA in that stretch. Hawkins ranks eighth in the nation with 171 strikeouts and third in the NCAA with eight shutouts.
Oregon has outscored opponents 196-67 thus far in the season. The Ducks have run-ruled 11 opponents and have also gone 3-1 in extra innings games. The second inning has been Oregon’s most productive thus far, outscoring opponents 35-8. The Ducks have held an opponent to two-or-less runs 21 times this season.
- Oregon’s largest deficit overcome this season is five runs. The Ducks trailed Fresno State, 7-2, after two innings before winning, 10-9 in eight innings.
- Oregon is 16-0 when leading after the fifth inning and 21-1 when leading after the third.
- Oregon’s most runs (14) and hits (19) both came at Utah on Mar. 24 in a 14-3 five-inning win.
- Oregon hit a season-high four home runs against Cal State Northridge on Feb. 16.
- Courtney Ceo had a team-best five hits vs. NC State on Feb. 8, which tied the UO single-game record.
COSTA HEATING UP
OF Koral Costa is on an eight game hitting streak entering the weekend series with Washington, the longest on the team. Over the Ducks’ last six games, Costa is hitting .450 (9-for-20) with a triple and two home runs.
THE TOP OF THE LINEUP
Oregon leadoff hitter OF Janie Takeda and No. 2 hitter 3B Courtney Ceo form arguably the top 1-2 punch in the nation. And now, another great hitter is making her presence felt at the top. Takeda is hitting .364 on the season with a Pac-12 leading five triples. Ceo, meanwhile, is hitting a Pac-12-best .470 this year. Over the last few games, head coach Mike White has used OF Alyssa Gillespie in the two hole. Gillespie is hitting .440 on the season with a .466 on-base percentage. The Oregon native also has some pop, with a .567 slugging percentage on seven extra base hits (five doubles, two homers).
HOVINGA’S BEEN HELPFUL
While Cheridan Hawkins is considered Oregon’s ace, RHP Karissa Hovinga has been quite good as well. The Canadian National team hurler tossed 9.1 shutout innings with just six hits allowed in two appearances on Tuesday against Southern Utah (5.0 inning shutout start) and BYU (4.1 innings of one-hit relief). Hovinga has two shutouts this season and a 9-1 record.
DUCKS’ 15 GAME WINNING STREAK
Oregon’s 15-game winning streak this season (Feb. 7-Feb. 28) was the longest by the Ducks under fifth-year head coach Mike White. It was the longest for the program since 2007 (18 games).
DUCKS AGAINST THE TOP-5 & NO. 1
Against top-5 ranked opponents, Oregon is 8-23 under fifth-year head coach Mike White, including a 2-1 eight-inning loss to No. 1 ranked Florida this season. Last year Oregon went 3-4 against top-5 foes, its best mark of White’s tenure. Against No. 1 ranked teams, Oregon is 2-8 under White, with its last win over a No. 1 ranked team coming on April 21, 2012, a 1-0 win over California in Eugene. Then-sophomore 1B Kailee Cuico’s RBI grounder in the fourth scored Kelsey Chambers for the game-winner.