HONOLULU – The No. 2 ranked Oregon softball team scored seven runs in a big sixth inning, posted a season-high 15 hits and run-ruled host Hawai’i, 12-4, in the final game of round robin play at the Pepsi Rainbow Wahine Classic.
Both semifinal games and a tournament championship will be played tomorrow. The Ducks will be the No. 1 seed and meet the winner of the No. 4/5 game at 2 p.m. PT tomorrow.
The Ducks (22-2) scored 12 run on a season-high 15 hits with no errors while the Rainbow Wahine (12-13) tallied four runs on nine hits with no errors.
Hawai’i got on the board first in the second inning. On a 1-2 count, UH designated player Ulu Matagiese hit a ball deep to center and over the wall for a three-run homer.
The Ducks faced a deficit for the first time in six games, but that deficit was short-lived.
In the top of the third inning, the Ducks got all three runs back plus another. After Courtney Ceo and Alyssa Gillespie each singled to start the frame, the pair moved to second and third following a fly out and ground out. Alexa Peterson scored both with a single up the middle.
That brought Cuico to the plate, and she crushed a 1-2 pitch to left that was still elevating when it hit the netting high above the fence.
Hawai’i tied up the game with a run in the fifth inning, but another long ball broke it open for the Ducks in the sixth. On the first pitch she saw, Gillespie turned on it and hit another deep ball to left that scored Nikki Udria and Ceo.
The runs kept on coming in the big sixth inning. Janie Takeda singled and stole second before Janelle Lindvall drew a walk. Peterson walked to load the bases for Cuico, who nearly homered again. She blasted a ball off the top of the wall, which scored Lindvall and Takeda.
The Ducks loaded the bases again for Karine Shaver, who singled to drive in another run. Jamie Rae Sullivan followed with a pinch hit sacrifice fly for the seventh run of the inning.
Jasmine Smithson-Willett (2-0) picked up the win after tossing 2.1 innings of one-hit scoreless relief. Smithson-Willett struck out three and did not issue a walk. She came in for Karissa Hovinga, who allowed four runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings with no walks and four strikeouts.
Takeda had a team-high three hits while Ceo, Gillespie, Cuico and Shaver each had two hits. Cuico had a season-high five RBIs.