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TEMPE, Ariz. - In her collegiate debut, freshman pitcher Jessica Moore fanned 12 batters to help the University of Oregon softball team (2-0) beat Creighton, 8-2, and finish off an opening day sweep in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe Friday afternoon.
The Sutter, Calif,. native Moore (1-0) notched the third-most strikeouts in a game for Oregon and retired 20 of the last 21 batters she faced with the lone blemish a walk with two outs in the sixth inning.
“I had confidence coming in, but I guess the first-game nervousness took me out of my rhythm a little,” Moore said. “Coach had confidence in me, and he told me (during the mid-inning conference on the mound) that I was a much better pitcher and to relax, and he left me in there. I worked through it, and took it one pitch at a time from there. After the first inning, the game went by quickly as I gained confidence. Afterwards, I didn’t realize I had that many strikeouts.”
More impressive was the fact that she shook off a rocky first inning when she gave up her only runs of the game that came via a single, three walks, a passed ball and wild pitch.
Altogether in the complete game effort, she allowed only one hit, walked four, and both of her runs allowed were earned.
“I’m proud of how we played,” Moore said. “Everything we accomplished together today we did as a team. The opening games are an important first step in a long season, and we really pulled together like we have all fall and winter.”
UO scored its first run in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by senior centerfielder Neena Bryant and another in the third inning on freshman second baseman Kaylan Howard’s groundout, then exploded for four runs in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth inning.
UO scored its first run in the third inning on freshman second baseman Kaylan Howard’s groundout, then exploded for four runs in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth inning.
In the fifth, sophomore Lindsey Chambers led off with her second homer of the day (and sixth of her career), and was followed by a triple by freshman Allie Burger to right center field. Howard knocked in another run on a single, then scored on a two-run homer to left field by Bryant. The roundtripper by the two-time All-Pac-10 Second Team pick Bryant was the 29th of her career – fifth-most all-time for UO and two behind former great Kathy Stahl (fourth, 31).
In the sixth inning, junior catcher Ashley Kivett walked with one out, then stole second base. Lindsey Chambers followed with a single to move Kivett to third base, and she scored on a suicide squeeze bunt by Burger. Pinch-hitter and senior Blair Williamson doubled to left field past a diving attempt by the centerfielder to score Chambers for the final run of the inning.
For Creighton (0-2), centerfielder Danai Martin (1-for-3) was the lone batter to hit safely. Starter Kylie Hovinga pitched the first 2.2 innings, struck out two, walked one and both of her runs allowed were earned. Reliever Sammy Snygg (0-1) pitched the final 4.1 innings, struck out three, walked one and all six of her runs allowed were earned.
Earlier in the day, the Ducks helped head coach Mike White become the fourth skipper to win his first outing with the program.
In that contest, sophomore pitcher Samantha Skillingstad tied her career high and UO’s ninth-best strikeout tally (10) in the 4-1, complete-game win over returning NCAA regional finalist Notre Dame. At the plate vs. the Irish, Kelsey and Lindsey Chambers each hit solo homers in the fourth and fifth innings, and Howard and Bryant added a RBI double and single in the latter inning.
Looking ahead, UO returns Saturday for second-day action in the three-day Kajikawa Classic and faces returning NCAA qualifier San Diego State and Texas Tech at 2 and 4:30 p.m., respectively, at the Tempe Sports Complex.
Oregon 8, Creighton 2 (Feb 12, 2010 at Tempe Sports Complex)
Oregon.............. 101 042 0 - 8 12 0 (2-0)
Creighton........... 200 000 0 - 2 1 0 (0-2)
Pitchers: Oregon - Moore, Jessica and Kivett, Ashley. Creighton - Hovinga, Kylie;
Snygg, Sammy(3) and Larson, Lauren; Jadlowski, Jessi.
Win-Moore, Jessica(1-0) Loss-Snygg, Sammy(0-1) T-1:56 A-200
HR ORE - Bryant, Neena; Chambers, L.
Weather: 71, sunny, wind 0-3 mph
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