EUGENE, Ore. - The No. 1 ranked Oregon softball team plays host to California this week with a three-game Pac-12 series starting Thursday at Howe Field.
The Ducks and Golden Bears will meet at 4 p.m. on Thursday and 4 p.m. on Friday, with both games broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.
The series finale, which will not be on TV but will be live streamed for free online, starts at noon on Saturday.
RAIN DELAY/CANCELATION INFO
Fans can call the Oregon softball rain delay number at 541-346-6148 to find out if a game has been pushed back or rescheduled due to weather. Pre-purchased tickets for games that are rained out can be exchanged for any other regular season game.
#1 OREGON DUCKS (37-5, 11-1 Pac-12, First)
Team BA: .344 | Team ERA: 1.79 | Runs Scored: 284 | Runs Allowed: 99
Recently: Oregon swept Oregon State last weekend in Corvallis, Ore.
National Rankings: No. 1 in both the NFCA and USA Softball polls (unanimous)
All-Times Series Record: California leads, 77-40
Last Meeting: No. 9 Oregon defeated No. 4 Cal, 9-3, in Berkeley (April 7, 2013)
Notable: Oregon is ranked No. 1 in the nation for the second straight week, but this time UO earned every first place vote in both the NFCA and USA Softball top-25 poll. It’s the Ducks’ first time ever with the No. 1 ranking in program history. The Ducks swept rival Oregon State last weekend, outscoring the Beavers 38-7 in the three-game series, including an 18-0 one-hit shutout over five innings in the series finale on Monday. Janelle Lindvall and Koral Costa each hit .700 in the series. The Ducks run-ruled the Beavers twice and have run-ruled each Pac-12 team they’ve played at least once. Oregon has hit a home run in 15 of its last 16 games.
CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS (22-17, 4-6 Pac-12, Fifth)
Team BA: .301 | Team ERA: 4.49 | Runs Scored: 208 | Runs Allowed: 177
Recently: California dropped 2-of-3 at home to Arizona, beat Santa Clara on Tues.
National Rankings: Receiving votes in the NFCA poll, not in USA Softball
Head Coach: Diane Ninemire (27th Season)
Notable: California is the fifth-place team currently in the Pac-12 standings. The Golden Bears rank seventh in the league in team batting average (.301) and team ERA (4.49). Cal’s Cheyenne Cordes is hitting a team-high .431 with 39 runs scored, 11 home runs and 34 RBIs. Danielle Henderson also has a team-best 11 home runs. The Golden Bears have held opposing teams to just eight stolen bases this year (8-of-18). Cal has used five pitchers this season, with three of them - Nisa Ontiveros, Stephanie Trzcinski and Katie Finch - all making 20+ apperances and 11+ starts. Ontiveros has thrown a team-high 89 innings and is 9-7 on the season.
OREGON HOLDS ON TO TOP SPOT
After taking two games in a three-game set from previously No. 1 ranked UCLA from April 4-6, Oregon jumped from No. 3 to the top spot for the first time in program history. After sweeping Oregon State on the road last weekend, the Ducks claimed every first place vote in both the USA Softball and NFCA top-25 polls. Before this season, Oregon’s previous high ranking was No. 3 at the end of the regular season a year ago. The Ducks climbed to No. 2 this year on three occasions before jumping to No. 1. The Ducks started the season ranked No. 8 in both polls. Under head coach Mike White, the Ducks have been ranked for 70 straight weeks in the USA Softball poll and 63 weeks in a row in the NFCA poll.
AGAINST CALIFORNIA LAST YEAR
Oregon took 2-of-3 on the road from California a season ago in a battle for first place in the Pac-12. In the first game, the No. 9 ranked Ducks won 5-1 while No. 4 ranked Cal took the second game, 3-1. Oregon won the rubber match, 9-3. The series opening win was Oregon’s first in Berkeley since the 2007 season.
Oregon was knocked out of the WCWS by then No. 1 ranked California in 2012. The Ducks lost 6-3.
Oregon pummled in-state rival Oregon State, outscoring the Beavers, 38-7, in a three-game sweep. The Ducks scored 11 runs in the first inning of the series finale on Monday en route to an 18-0, one-hit shutout. Oregon matched its single-game hits record (also against OSU in 2010) with 19 against the Beavers. It was the second most runs ever scored against Oregon State, with the most coming in a 19-10 win over the Beavers in 1975. In Oregon’s 10-2, six-inning win over Oregon State in the second game of the series, Oregon scored all 10 of its runs with two outs.
HITTING + PITCHING + FIELDING = WINNING
As a team, the Ducks are hitting .344 this season, good for sixth in the nation, while their 1.79 team ERA is the 14th best in the NCAA. Oregon’s 0.970 fielding percentage ranks 39th out of 350 teams.
THE LONG BALL
Oregon has hit at least one home run in 15 of its last 16 games and in 11 of 12 Pac-12 games this season. The only game since March 22 when the Ducks did not hit a home run was their lone Pac-12 loss of the season, to then-No. 1 UCLA on April 6. Overall, the Ducks have hit 24 home runs over the last 16 games. Janelle Lindvall has hit three home runs over the Ducks’ last six games. Oregon is averaging 1.10 home runs per game this season, good for 21st in the NCAA.
GRAND SLAM POWER
Oregon has hit seven grand slams this year, with five coming in Pac-12 play. Of her team-high 12 home runs, Kailee Cuico has three grand slams.
HOT AT HOWE FIELD
Oregon went 7-1 on its season-opening homestand this season. The loss, on April 6, against then-No. 1 ranked UCLA, was the Ducks’ first regular season home loss since Oregon also fell to then-No. 14 UCLA on May 10, 2012. Oregon had won 25 straight regular season home games in that span, including a 16-0 regular season home record last year. Including postseason games, the Ducks are 27-3 at Howe Field over the last two seasons (2013 and 2014).
HAWKINS AMONG NATION’S BEST
Cheridan Hawkins is among the nation’s best pitchers this season. The lefty leads the NCAA with 10 shutouts and her 22 wins are the fourth most in the country. Statistically, Hawkins ranks sixth in the nation with 210 strikeouts and 10th in hits allowed per seven innings (3.89). Her 1.39 ERA ranks 22nd in the nation.