EUGENE – The #3 seed University of Oregon softball team (49-9) celebrated its fourth straight Super Regional bid with a 3-0 win over No. 25 Wisconsin (44-13) Saturday afternoon at Howe Field.
Offensively, the Ducks made the most of their three hits – two being homers – while its All-Pac-12 pitching duo raised their scoreless streak to 19 straight innings.
“It was great to win a Regional at home against some very good teams," Oregon head coach Mike White said. "We got better each game. Our pitching did their part, and I was even more pleased with our defense. Their pitcher was great, and even though we only had a couple hits, we had a lot of others that were hit hard, but right at them."
In the second inning, senior center fielder Samantha Pappas claimed her sixth game-winning RBI of the season in dramatic fashion with a solo homer into the left field bleachers.
The All-American from Mission Viejo, Calif., also moved into a tie for the Duck career homer record (37) shared by senior second baseman Kaylan Howard and Andrea Vidlund.
"I had an idea what to look for and did my best to hit it hard," Pappas said. "Getting to play in the postseason is such an honor, and especially at home in front of our friends and family. That will be a special memory for me for years to come."
After a seventh-inning walk to junior first baseman Kailee Cuico, freshman catcher Janelle Lindvall provided a pair of insurance runs with a two-out homer. That drive over the right center field wall stood as her 12th round-tripper of 2013 and moved her into a tie for eighth all-time in a season for UO.
Oregon’s other hit came on a single by sophomore left fielder Janie Takeda to open the game. That grounder past the diving shortstop moved her into a tie for most hits by a Duck in a season (87) with Lisa Wangler’s total from 2001.
In the circle, the Ducks staked their second straight shutout and 16th of the season after limiting the Badgers to four singles and no walks.
Freshman Cheridan Hawkins (18-5) won her first postseason start, struck out three, gave up two hits, and hit two batters in her four innings.
The All-Pac-12 First-Team choice Hawkins answered with a strikeout, then threw out the runner at third base after a delayed suicide squeeze bunt.
White inserted senior Jessica Moore into the game in the fifth inning, and the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year finished her 16th contest of the campaign.
En route to her second save of the season, the All-American from Sutter, Calif., struck out four, walked none and allowed two hits in the final three innings.
“Cheridan mixed up her speeds well," White said. "She did exactly what we wanted and then Jess came in and switched it up on them. The luxury of having Jess coming off the bench is very nice. These players have worked hard for everything they get."
Hawkins' 18th win moved her to 12th on the Duck season all-time list, and Ceo moved to ninth in sacrifice hits (12).
Career-wise, Moore added to her Duck records in appearances (173), strikeouts (906) and innings (891).
Other career list improvements Saturday went to Pappas in RBI (first, 152), runs (third, 146) and games (10th, 229).
In the circle for the Badgers, All-Big Ten pitcher Cassandra Darrah (27-7) notched her 27th complete game of the season. The junior right-hander struck out five, walked three, allowed three hits, and all three of her runs allowed were earned.
"I thought our team played hard and gave everything we had," Darrah said. "I felt pretty good today and thought I pitched better than my prior games this weekend."
At the plate for the Big Ten Tournament Champions, third baseman Michelle Mueller went 2-for-3, and two others hit safely once.
"It's tough to end a season that had so many key wins," Wisconsin head coach Yvette Healy said, "but we can't be disappointed. Our kids did a phenomenal job against a group of great players. We have a lot to be proud of and gave them a run for their money. We picked up a lot of good experience against some great pitchers, and we can continue to develop into an even better team."
Raising its record in NCAA Regional play to 12-0 under White, the Ducks opened the tourney the previous two days with Moore's complete games over BYU (3-0) and North Carolina (5-2).
Earlier in the weekend, Wisconsin bounced back from a 3-2 loss to North Carolina in Thursday’s opener with Friday victories over BYU (6-0) and UNC (6-2).
“I though Wisconsin did an amazing job," White said. "Both teams played extremely well today. I thought their pitcher did a great job. It was the best defensive performance for us that I’ve seen in a long time.”
Moore was later tabbed the Regional MVP, and six other Ducks were selected to the All-Regional Team - Courtney Ceo (SS), Alexa Peterson (C/DP), Howard, Pappas, Lindvall and Takeda. Three Badgers were also selected - Shannel Blackshear (1B), Stephanie Peace (SS) and Darrah - as was UNC's Elisha Elliott (OF).
Looking ahead to Sunday evening, the Ducks will find out the dates and times of next weekend’s Super Regional dates vs. the Lincoln, Neb., Regional winner.
All 16 Super Regional sites will feature two teams in two-day, best-of-three game format, with every tilt televised by various ESPN channels.
Those winners will advance to the eight-team, double-elimination Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, May 30-June 5.
The Ducks claimed their second-ever WCWS bid last year after it took the Austin, Texas Super Regional by a 2-1 count.
Counting Oregon's second straight regional title at home Saturday, the program is is now 15-7 overall in the postseason under White in his four years at the helm (with 13 of those wins staked by Moore).
"It will be really nice to stay at home next week," Moore said, "especially with us still having class. We can sleep in our own beds while someone else has to travel. The crowds keep getting bigger and bigger, and we have had great fan support which makes a huge difference."
More NCAA Tournament information is available at the www.NCAAsports.com website.
#3 Oregon 3, #25 Wisconsin 0 (May 18, 2013 at Eugene, Ore.)
#3 Oregon 010 000 20 - 3 3 0 (49-9)
#25 Wisconsin 000 000 0X - 0 4 0 (44-13)
Pitchers: Oregon - Hawkins, Cheridan; Moore, Jessica(5) and Peterson, Alexa. Wisconsin – Darrah and Strange; /; Massey. Win-Hawkins, Cheridan(18-5) Save-Moore, Jessica(2) Loss-Darrah(27-7) T-1:45 A-865. HR ORE - Pappas, Samantha; Lindvall, Janelle. Weather: 58, rainy, wind 0-3mph.
#3 Oregon at #25 Wisconsin
May 18, 2013 at Eugene, Ore. (Howe Field)
Oregon 3 (49-9)
|Takeda, Janie lf||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Ceo, Courtney ss||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||2||0|
|Peterson, Alexa c||2||0||0||0||1||1||7||0||0|
|Cuico, Kailee 1b/pr||1||0||0||0||2||0||4||1||1|
|Gillespie, Alyssa pr||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Howard, Kaylan 2b||3||0||0||0||0||0||4||0||0|
|Pappas, Samantha cf||3||2||1||1||0||0||3||0||1|
|Lindvall, Janelle rf/dp||3||1||1||2||0||1||0||0||0|
|Costa, Koral 3b||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||3||0|
|Mercado, Danica dp/rf||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0|
|Hawkins, Cheridan p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Moore, Jessica p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Wisconsin 0 (44-13)
|Van Zeeland ph/2b||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||0||0|
|Van Abel cf||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||3|
Score by Innings R H E ------------------------------------------ Oregon.............. 010 000 20 - 3 3 0 Wisconsin........... 000 000 0X - 0 4 0 ------------------------------------------
|DP - WIS 1. LOB - Oregon 2; WIS 6. HR - Pappas, S; Lindvall, J. HBP - Mueller; Blackshear. SH - Ceo, C. SB - Mueller; Blackshear.|
|Hawkins, Cheridan W,18-5||4.0||2||0||0||0||3||0||0||2||0||14||16||5||4||58|
|Moore, Jessica S,2||3.0||2||0||0||0||4||1||0||0||0||11||11||1||4||36|
| Win - Hawkins, C (18-5). Loss - Darrah (27-7). Save - Moore, J (2). WP - Moore, J; Darrah. HBP - by Hawkins, C (Blackshear); by Hawkins, C (Mueller). Inherited runners/scored: None. Pitches/strikes: Hawkins, C 58/44; Moore, J 36/26; Darrah 97/57.
Umpires - HP: Ron Burkhart 1B: Brandon Bluhm 3B: Tanya Garig
2013 Oregon Softball
#3 Oregon at #25 Wisconsin
May 18, 2013 at Eugene, Ore. (Howe Field)
|Oregon starters: 19/lf Takeda, J; 22/ss Ceo, C; 14/c Peterson, A; 33/1b Cuico, K; 3/2b Howard, K; 0/cf Pappas, S; 26/rf Lindvall, J; 7/3b Costa, K; 6/dp Mercado, D; 11/p Hawkins, C;|
|Wisconsin starters: 3/rf Massei; 22/ss Peace; 2/2b Massey; 31/dp Mersch; 17/lf Grimm; 12/3b Mueller; 9/1b Blackshear; 5/c Strange; 10/cf Van Abel; 8/p Darrah;|
|Oregon 1st - Lindvall, J to dp. Mercado, D to rf. Takeda, J singled to shortstop (2-2 KBBSFF). Ceo, C out at first p to 2b, SAC, bunt (0-0); Takeda, J advanced to second. Peterson, A walked (3-0 BBBB). Cuico, K grounded into double play 3b to 1b (2-2 BBFK); Peterson, A advanced to second; Takeda, J out on the play. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.|
|Wisconsin 1st - Massei flied out to lf (1-0 B). Peace popped up to ss (1-0 B). Massey singled to pitcher (0-1 S). 2b Howard late covering 1b on comebacker to pitcher. Mersch struck out swinging (2-2 BFBFFS). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.|
|Oregon 2nd - Howard, K flied out to lf (2-0 BB). Pappas now tied for schol career record for 37 with Howard & Lindvall. Pappas, S homered to left center, RBI (2-2 BBKFK). No play. Lindvall, J struck out swinging (0-2 KKS). Costa, K struck out swinging (0-2 KKS). 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.|
|Wisconsin 2nd - Grimm struck out swinging (1-2 BSSS). Mueller singled to right field (0-2 SK). Blackshear hit by pitch (0-2 SS); Mueller advanced to second. Oswald pinch hit for Strange. Blackshear stole second; Mueller stole third. Oswald struck out swinging (1-2 KBKS). Hawkins fakes throw to 1b and gets runner at 3b on suicide bunt attempt. No play. Van Abel reached on a fielder's choice, bunt (0-0); Blackshear advanced to third; Mueller out at third p to 3b. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2 LOB.|
|Oregon 3rd - Mercado, D struck out swinging (2-2 KBBFS). Takeda, J popped up to p (2-2 SBBSF). Ceo, C struck out swinging (3-2 BKBSBS). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.|
|Wisconsin 3rd - Massei grounded out to 1b unassisted (1-2 KKFB). Peace flied out to cf (2-2 BFBK). Massey flied out to cf (0-1 K). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.|
|Oregon 4th - Peterson, A popped up to 3b (1-2 KFB). Cuico, K walked (3-2 FBBFFFFBB). Howard, K popped up to ss (0-1 K). Cuico, K advanced to second on a wild pitch. runner's interference on grounder to ss. Pappas, S reached on a fielder's choice; Cuico, K out at second ss unassisted, interference. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.|
|Wisconsin 4th - Mersch grounded out to ss (1-2 FFFFFFB). Grimm out at first 3b to 2b (1-0 B). Mueller hit by pitch (2-2 BSBF). Blackshear flied out to cf (1-2 SBK). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.|
|Oregon 5th - Lindvall, J grounded out to 3b (0-0). Costa, K grounded out to ss (3-2 BBBKF). Mercado, D lined out to lf (1-1 FB). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.|
|Wisconsin 5th - Moore, J to p for Hawkins, C. Van Zeeland pinch hit for Strange. Van Zeeland struck out swinging (0-2 FKS). Van Abel out at first 1b to 2b, bunt (0-0). Cuico charges well-placed drag bunt to barely beat runner. Massei singled to left field (0-2 KS). Massei advanced to second on a wild pitch. Peace struck out swinging (2-2 BBSKS). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.|
|Oregon 6th - Massey to c. Van Zeeland to 2b. Takeda, J grounded out to p (0-0). Ceo, C fouled out to c, bunt (0-0). Peterson, A struck out swinging (2-2 BKSBS). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.|
|Wisconsin 6th - Massey popped up to 2b. Howards makes leaping catch on outfield grass. Mersch grounded out to ss (1-0 B). great play by Costa charging slow-hopper, and missile to 1b to beat runner. Grimm grounded out to 3b (1-1 SB). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.|
|Oregon 7th - Cuico, K walked (3-2 BKBKBB). Gillespie, A pinch ran for Cuico, K. Howard, K flied out to lf (2-1 KBB). Pappas, S reached on a fielder's choice (1-0 B); Gillespie, A out at second 3b to 2b. Lindvall, J homered to right center, 2 RBI (3-0 BBB); Pappas, S scored. Lindvall's 12th homer of season ties her for #8 for UO all-time season-wise. Costa, K grounded out to ss. 2 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.|
|Wisconsin 7th - Mueller singled to third base (2-1 BBK). Cuico, K pinch ran for Gillespie, A. Cuico, K to 1b. Blackshear reached on a fielder's choice; Mueller out at second 3b to 2b. Tancill pinch ran for Blackshear. Van Zeeland struck out swinging (1-2 FBFFFS). Van Abel struck out swinging (3-2 FFBFBBS). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.|
|Oregon 8th - Blackshear to 1b for Tancill. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.|