EUGENE, Ore. - The No. 1 seed Oregon softball team heads to Oklahoma City this week for the Women's College World Series.
The Ducks will meet No. 8 seed Florida State on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. PT in their first game of the tournament. ESPN will broadcast the game.
*Full set of PDF game notes available at the link under the photo.
#1 OREGON DUCKS (54-7-1, 20-3-1 Pac-12, First)
Team BA: .349 | Team ERA: 1.81 | Runs Scored: 438 | Runs Allowed: 145
Regular Season: Ducks won their second straight Pac-12 title with UO record 20 wins
Regional Round: Oregon (3-0) swept its regional of Utah Valley, Albany and Wisconsin
Super Regional Round: Oregon (2-0) swept No. 16 seed Minnesota in Eugene
All-Time WCWS Record: In two previous trips (1989 & 2012), the Ducks are 2-4
Notable: Oregon is making its third trip to the NCAA Women’s College World Series. The Ducks are 5-0 in the postseason this year, sweeping through both the regional and super regional rounds. Oregon outscored its foes a combined 40-6 in those five games, with two run-rule wins. Senior 3B Courtney Ceo, who missed the Ducks’ last trip to the WCWS in 2012 due to a knee injury, is hitting .611 (11-of-18) with 10 runs scored in the postseason thus far. LHP Cheridan Hawkins is 3-0 over four starts in the postseason, with a 1.48 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 23.2 innings pitched. Opponents are hiting just .123 off Hawkins in five postseason games.
OREGON NO. 1 OVERALL SEED
Oregon was named the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA softball championship for the first time in program history, ESPNU announced during the selection show. The No. 1 overall seed has won two of the last three NCAA softball titles.
Oregon has appeared in two previous Women’s College World Series, in 1989 and 2012. (Oregon also made two AIAW World Series appearances, in 1976 and 1980, before the NCAA started sponsoring women’s sports for the 1981-82 academic year.) In 1989 the WCWS was held in Sunnyvale, Calif. The Ducks lost, 1-0, to Cal Poly Pomona in the opening game before rebounding with a 1-0 win over South Carolina. The Ducks were eliminated by Arizona, 4-0, in the third game. Oregon also played three games in OKC in 2012. The No. 11 Ducks opened the 2012 WCWS with a 3-1 loss to No. 2 Arizona State before bouncing back with a 3-1 win over No. 5 Tennessee. Oregon was eliminated by No. 1 California, 6-3.
WCWS SERIES EXPERIENCE
Oregon has six players on the roster who saw time in the Ducks’ 2012 trip to the WCWS. Oregon, which went 1-2 in OKC in 2012, hit .227 as a team with a 2.45 ERA over three games. C/OF Alexa Peterson earned all-WCWS team recognition after hitting a team-best .429 (3-for-7) with a double and a RBI that year. Other players still on the roster now also include starters1B Kailee Cuico, who hit .333 (2-for-6) with a RBI, plus OF Janie Takeda who hit .250 (2-for-8). Reserve OF Sara Goodrum went 1-for-6 (.167) while 1B/3B Jamie Rae Sullivan had two at-bats without a hit. In the circle, RHP Karissa Hovinga struck out two in two perfect innings of work in a 6-3 elimination loss to Cal.
SUPER REGIONAL SWEEP
The No. 1 seeded Ducks advanced to the WCWS with a super regional sweep of No. 16 seed Minnesota. The Ducks run-ruled the Golden Gophers, 10-2, in the first game on May 24, and won the second game to clinch the series, 6-2, on May 25. LHP Cheridan Hawkins threw every inning for the Ducks, allowing just three hits in six innings in the first game and three hits in seven innings in the second game. Hawkins forced a pop out to 2B Karine Shaver in right field to end the second game and clinch the WCWS trip. She only threw 196 pitches combined in the two games. The top of Oregon’s line up (Ceo-Gillespie-Takeda) went 9-for-19 with 10 runs scored (out of 16 total) and five RBIs.
SUPER REGIONAL STREAK
Oregon made its fifth straight Super regional appearance last weekend. Oregon’s five straight appearances is tied with Oklahoma for the third longest active streak in the NCAA. Washington has been to six straight Super regionals while Alabama has been to all 10 Super regionals since the round was first started in 2005. Prior to 2005 there were eight regionals with eight teams and the winner of each advanced to the WCWS.
The No. 1 seeded Ducks swept through their regional with a 3-0 record, outscoring their opponents 24-2 in the three games. The Ducks tied their postseason scoring record with 12 runs in a run-rule win over Utah Valley. Oregon previous had a program-best 12 runs against South Florida in the 2004 regional round. OF Janie Takeda was named Eugene Regional MVP after hitting a team-high .545 (6-for-11) with five runs scored and five RBIs. The junior also hit her first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the regional title game win over Wisconsin. Oregon hit a combined .369 over three games in the regional round, with 31 hits and 24 runs scored. On the flip side, opponents hit just .136 off the Ducks in the regional round, with two runs on nine total hits. LHP Cheridan Hawkins posted a 0.66 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 10.2 innings while RHP Karissa Hovinga went 2-0 with a 0.84 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 8.1 innings. OF Janie Takeda (.545), 3B Courtney Ceo (.545) and DP/OF Alyssa Gillespie (.500) all hit .500 or better over the weekend.
In addition to OF Janie Takeda being named regional MVP, 2B Karine Shaver, 3B Courtney Ceo, SS Nikki Udria, UT Alyssa Gillespie, LHP Cheridan Hawkins and RHP Karissa Hovinga were named to the all-region team.
Oregon rolled through the first two rounds of the postseason, outscoring opponents a combined 40-6. Oregon is hitting .369 in the tournament with a 1.31 team ERA. Meanwhile, opponents have hit just .135 against the Ducks this postseason while opposing pitchers have a 7.72 combined ERA. The Ducks have tallied 52 hits over five games while allowing just 15.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY
This is Oregon’s 17th apperance in the NCAA softball championships. The Ducks have now advanced to the Super regionals five times and the NCAA Women’s College World Series three times. Oregon is 47-32 all-time in NCAA softball tournament games.
LAST YEAR IN THE TOURNAMENT
Oregon swept through the regional round a year ago at Howe Field, defeating BYU, 5-2, North Carolina, 3-0, and Wisconsin, 3-0. The No. 3 seeded Ducks met No. 14 seed Nebraska in the super regional round, falling two games to one. The Ducks lost, 5-2, in the first game before rebounding with a thrilling 4-3 win in 11 innings in the second game. 3B Courtney Ceo hit .556 over six games in the postseason while LF Janie Takeda scored a team-high five runs. Sam Pappas drove in a team-best five runs as C/RF Alexa Peterson and C Janelle Lindvall each had three RBIs. LHP Cheridan Hawkins went 2-0 in the postseason, with a 0.47 ERA a year ago. She allowed just one run on six hits in 15 innings pitched with 16 strikeouts. Oregon’s pitching staff posted a 1.67 ERA in the postseason last year but UO hit just .242 as a team.
REGIONALS UNDER WHITE
Oregon is now a perfect 15-0 in the regional round in five seasons under head coach Mike White. The Ducks have outscored regional round foes 76-19 in those 15 games.
SUPER REGIONALS UNDER WHITE
While the Ducks are a perfect 15-0 in regional play under head coach Mike White, the Ducks are now 5-7 under White in super regional games. The Ducks won a Super regional opener for the first time last weekend against Minnesota. Oregon was swept at Missouri in 2010, swept at Florida in 2011, won 2-1 at Texas in 2012 and lost, 2-1, to Nebraska in Eugene last season.
DUCKS TIE PROGRAM WINS RECORD
The Ducks have won 50+ games three times now in school history, with a program record 54 wins in 1989 when the Ducks first advanced to the Women’s College World Series. Oregon has tied that record with 54 wins this year and needs one more in Oklahoma City to break it.