TUCSON, Ariz. – The No. 1 Oregon softball team cut its magic number to just one in their quest for a second straight Pac-12 championship with a 7-3 win in first of a three-game series at No. 9 Arizona on Thursday night.
If No. 3 Arizona State beats No. 2 UCLA tonight in Tempe, the Ducks will clinch their second straight Pac-12 title.
The Ducks (48-6-1, 19-2-1 Pac-12), who had runners on base in every inning but the seventh, posted seven runs on 11 hits with no errors while the Wildcats (40-12, 13-9) tallied three runs on six hits with three costly errors. Oregon’s 19 conference wins this year ties the school record set last season.
Cheridan Hawkins (29-4) picked up the win after allowing just three runs on six hits in a complete game performance. The sophomore struck out nine, extending her single-season UO record to 272, while issuing just one walk.
Courtney Ceo went 3-for-5 at the top of the lineup while Alyssa Gillespie and Koral Costa had two hits each. Janelle Lindvall crushed her 12th home run of the season in the sixth inning and had two RBIs.
Oregon jumped out to an early lead with three runs in the second inning and never trailed. Arizona put up two runs in the third to make it a one-run game but the Ducks tacked on two more in the fourth and two more in the sixth to pull away.