EUGENE, Ore. - The No. 1 ranked Oregon softball team hits the road this weekend for a three-game Pac-12 series at Stanford, starting with an ESPNU televised game on Friday night.
The Ducks and Cardinal will meet at 7 p.m. on Friday for the ESPNU broadcasted game before playing at 1 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday.
#1 OREGON DUCKS (41-5, 14-1 Pac-12, First)
Team BA: .348 | Team ERA: 1.81 | Runs Scored: 319 | Runs Allowed: 107
Recently: Oregon swept Cal at home, with two run-rules, and beat Portland St. Tuesday.
National Rankings: No. 1 in both the NFCA and USA Softball polls (unanimous)
All-Times Series Record: Oregon leads, 36-33
Last Meeting: No. 10 Oregon beat No. 15 Stanford, 10-3 (3/25/13)
Notable: Oregon is ranked No. 1 in the nation for the third straight week and is the unanimous No. 1 team in both polls for the second straight time. Oregon was never ranked above No. 3 before this season. The Ducks swept Cal at home last weekend after taking all three at Oregon State the series before. Oregon scored 69 runs over the two series, more than reigning national champion Oklahoma had in any six-game stretch last season (66). Oregon has run-ruled every Pac-12 team it has faced this season at least once, with two run-rule wins against both Oregon State and Cal. Oregon is hitting .404 as a team in Pac-12 play.
STANFORD CARDINAL (27-18, 3-12 Pac-12, Eighth)
Team BA: .330 | Team ERA: 4.11 | Runs Scored: 291 | Runs Allowed: 218
Recently: Stanford dropped 2-of-3 to Utah in Salt Lake City, beat Santa Clara Tuesday.
National Rankings: N/A
Head Coach: John Rittman (18th Season)
Notable: Stanford was in the top-25 during non-conference play but has stumbled to a 3-12 record in league games. The Cardinal have a 8.59 team ERA in conference action with a .376 opponent batting average. Overall this season, Leah White is hitting a team-high .385 while Hanna Winter leads the Cardinal with 44 runs scored. Erin Ashby and Jessica Plaza are tied for the team lead with six home runs. Starting pitcher Madi Schreyer has started 30 games this season, with a 19-10 record and a 3.27 ERA in 190.2 innings. She has a 7.45 ERA in Pac-12 action. Stanford is 13-5 at home this season.
OREGON HOLDS ON TO TOP SPOT
Oregon is the unanimous No. 1 ranked team in the nation in both top-25 polls for the second straight week and has the top spot for the third straight time. After sweeping Oregon State on the road (April 12-14), the Ducks claimed every first place vote in both the USA Softball and NFCA top-25 polls. They did it again this week after sweeping Cal at home. 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 71 straight weeks in the USA Softball poll and 64 weeks in a row in the NFCA poll.
Oregon swept its fourth Pac-12 foes in five series last weekend, taking all three games from Cal at Howe Field. The Ducks run-ruled the Golden Bears, 9-1, in the first game and 15-3 in the second game before finishing off the series with a 7-2 win. Oregon swept four Pac-12 teams last season as well. The Ducks have also run-ruled each Pac-12 team they’ve faced this year at least once. LF Janie Takeda and 3B Courtney Ceo each hit .625 in the series against Cal (5-for-8) while Takeda had a team-high two doules and six RBIs. LHP Cheridan Hawkins picked up two wins in the series with 12 strikeouts in 10.2 innings pitched. RHP Jasmine Smithson-Willett earned her first career save after throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings in the third game of the series.
AGAINST STANFORD LAST YEAR
One of the four Pac-12 opponents Oregon swept last season was Stanford at home. In its first conference series of the year, the No. 10 ranked Ducks defeated the No. 15 ranked Cardinal, 4-3, in the first game, 3-2 in the second game and 10-3 in the final game. 1B Kailee Cuico hit one of the Ducks’ two homers in the series while C Janelle Lindvall had a team-high four RBIs. Oregon outscored Stanford, 13-6, in the series, despite having just a 20-16 edge in hits. The damage was done via the free pass, as the Ducks drew 10 walks in the series while Stanford hitters had just one while striking out 26 times. Cheridan Hawkins won all three games of the series, earning one as a starter and two as a reliever. Hawkins struck out 18 batters in 11 innings and allowed just three runs.
HISTORIC 15-RUN INNING
Oregon scored all 15 of its runs in a 15-3 win over Cal on April 18 in the fourth inning. The 15 runs scored is the most in school history, third most in Pac-12 history and the 10th most in NCAA history. The NCAA record is an amazing 29 runs scored by the College of Charleston in the second inning against Savannah State in 2004. The most ever in the Pac-12 is 17 runs by Arizona against Bowling Green in 2001 and second is 16 by Oregon State against BYU in 2012. Oregon’s 15 runs against Cal is the most ever in a game between two Pac-12 teams.
Oregon scored 15-or-more runs in a game just once in 4-plus seasons under head coach Mike White before doing it twice last week. The Ducks scored 11 runs in the first inning and exploded for 18 total runs in the third game of the Oregon State series on April 14 and posted 15 runs, all coming in the fourth inning, against Cal in the second game of the set on April 18. Overall, the Ducks have scored 15+ runs 12 times in program history and four times, including both times last week, since 2000. The Ducks had previous scored 15+ runs against just two Pac-12 teams (19 vs. Stanford in 1993, 19 vs. Oregon State in 1975) before doing it against OSU and Cal this year.
RECORD SETTING OFFENSE
Oregon’s production at the plate this year could rank as the best in school history. If the season ended today, Oregon’s .348 batting average and .545 slugging percentage would smash the single-season program records, both set last season. In fact, Oregon has produced a .300+ average just three times in, all coming since 2007.
RECORD SETTING DEFENSE
While the Ducks are getting it done at the plate, they are also performing at a high level in the field. Oregon’s .971 fielding percentage is currently the second best in single-season school history and close to the program record of .974, set in 2007. Oregon has made 36 errors this year in 46 games, with opponents making 64.
FIRST INNING EXCITEMENT
In addition to Oregon’s 11-run first inning against Oregon State on April 14, which chased the OSU starter after recording just one out, the Ducks also came out of the gates strong against Cal in the first game of the series on April 17. Oregon scored five runs off starter Nisa Ontiveros in the first inning and the Bears made a pitching change before a single out was recorded. Overall this season, the Ducks have outscored their opponents 54-15 in the first inning.
HITTING + PITCHING + FIELDING = WINNING
As a team, the Ducks are hitting .348 this season, good for fifth best in the nation, while their 1.81 team ERA is the 16th best in the NCAA. Oregon’s .971 fielding percentage ranks 25th out of 350 teams. With hitting, pitching and defense all ranked in the top-25 individually, Oregon’s 41 wins are tied for the second most in the nation (Florida State - 44).
THE LONG BALL
Oregon has hit at least one home run in 18 of its last 20 games and in 13 of 15 Pac-12 games this season. The only games since March 22 when the Ducks did not hit a home run was against then-No. 1 UCLA on April 6 and Cal on April 19. Overall, the Ducks have hit 30 home runs over the last 20 games. Oregon is averaging 1.11 home runs per game this season, good for 23rd most in the NCAA.
GRAND SLAM POWER
Oregon has hit eight grand slams this year, with six coming in Pac-12 play. Of her team-high 12 home runs, 1B Kailee Cuico has three grand slams. Freshman 2B Sammie Puentes’ second career home run was a grand slam against Cal to cap Oregon’s big 15-run fourth inning in the second game of the series on April 18.
CEO AT THE DISH
If the season ended today, Courtney Ceo’s .486 batting average set the UO single-season record, besting Jenn Salling’s .481 average in 2007. Ceo’s .486 average currently tops the Pac-12 (no other player in the Pac-12 is better than .450) and ranks second in the nation. Both Ceo’s .525 on-base percentage and her 45 runs scored rank fourth in the Pac-12.
Whether its at catcher or right fielder, Alexa Peterson has produced for the Ducks this season. The senior ranks third in the Pac-12 with 51 RBIs and she leads the nation with eight sacrifice flies.
COSTA’S INCREDIBLE IMPROVEMENT
Last season as a freshman, Koral Costa hit .207 in 111 at-bats. This season Costa is hitting .342 in 114 at-bats and is hitting a blistering .442 in Pac-12 play. The sophomore centerfielder has six home runs and 22 RBIs this year. She hit a three-run homer to start the Ducks’ big 15-run fourth inning against Cal on April 18.
Between 3B Courtney Ceo and 1B Kailee Cuico, all four of the major career hits records are now owned by the pair. Ceo is the program’s all-time leader in runs scored (174) and hits (254), while Cuico is the Ducks’ career leader in home runs (45) and RBIs (170).
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 25 wins are the second most in the country. Statistically, Hawkins ranks seventh in the nation with 228 strikeouts and 10th in hits allowed per seven innings (3.90). Her 1.41 ERA ranks 19th in the nation.
DUCKS AGAINST THE TOP-5 & NO. 1
Against top-5 ranked opponents, Oregon is 13-24 under fifth-year head coach Mike White, including a 2-1 eight-inning loss to No. 1 ranked Florida, a sweep of No. 5 ranked Washington and two wins in a three-game series with No. 1 UCLA this season (5-2). Last year Oregon went 3-4 against top-5 foes, its best mark of White’s tenure. Against No. 1 ranked teams, Oregon is 4-9 under White, including both wins over the Bruins this year.
BEST SEASON THUS FAR UNDER WHITE
Oregon’s 41-5 record at this point in the season (three regular season weekends left) is the best in head coach Mike White’s five seasons with the team. The Ducks have won 50+ games twice in school history, with a program record 54 wins in 1989 when the Ducks advanced to the Women’s College World Series.
CUICO’S SEVEN RBIS TIES UO RECORD
Kailee Cuico mashed a three-run homer and a grand slam to tie the single-game school record with seven RBIs against then No. 1 ranked UCLA on April 5. The Ducks run-ruled the Bruins, 12-4 in five innings that day, meaning Cuico had just two at-bats in the game. Cuico is just the fifth player in school history to reach seven RBIs in a single-game and the first to do it since 2006 (eight years). Cuico was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for the second time in her career after the UCLA series.
Oregon has outscored opponents 319-107 thus far in the season. The Ducks have run-ruled an opponent 17 times. Oregon has been outstanding at getting early leads, outscoring opponents a combined 117-32 over the first two innings, including 54-15 in the first inning and 63-17 in the second inning. Overall, Oregon has outscored thier opponents in every single inning this year, including extras.