STANFORD, Calif. – The No. 1 ranked Oregon softball team used another strong outing by Cheridan Hawkins and timely two-out hitting to beat the Cardinal, 7-2, and sweep the three-game Pac-12 series.
The Ducks (46-5, 17-1 Pac-12) have swept five of the six Pac-12 teams they have faced this year, with their only league loss coming in the series finale versus then No. 1 ranked UCLA.
Oregon posted seven runs on nine hits with no errors while the Cardinal tallied two runs on five hits with one error. Cheridan Hawkins (27-3) earned the win with eight strikeouts and three walks. Hawkins did not allow a hit until the sixth inning.
"Cheridan did another extremely good job," said head coach Mike White. "She really dominated through the middle part of the game. She kept her compusure in the final two innings and got the key outs at the end."
Oregon jumped out to an early lead when Nikki Udria scored an unearned run in the second on a fielding error by the Stanford second baseman.
The Ducks broke the game open with a five-run third inning, which included four runs with two outs. Janie Takeda led off the third with her NCAA-leading seventh triple of the season and scored on a RBI single by Kailee Cuico. After two outs, Udria hit a bases loaded single to left center to score Alexa Peterson and pinch-runner Lexy Beaudrie-Pierson. Courtney Ceo followed with a RBI single up the middle before Alyssa Gillespie smacked the Ducks’ third two-out hit of the inning, a single to right, that scored Udria.
Oregon tacked on one more run in the fifth inning. Ceo reached with a two-out single and stole second and a passed ball that walked Alyssa Gillespie allowed Ceo to take third. In the next at-bat, Gillespie stole second while Ceo stole home. Ceo is now 12-of-16 on stolen base attempts this season.
In the series, the Ducks posted 13 two-out hits and tallied 13 two-out runs.
"We take the same approach no matter how many outs there are," White said. "Our hitters did a good job of being patient and taking good swings. Nikki and Courtney each had a great day."
Udria and Ceo each had a team-high two hits while Udria's two RBIs were the most for the Ducks.
While they swept the Cardinal for the second straight year, the Ducks didn’t run-rule Stanford in any of the three games, the first conference series where the Ducks didn’t run-rule an opponent at least once this season.