EUGENE - The Pac-12-leading and No. 6 University of Oregon softball team (34-6, 11-2) powered back to a 5-3 series-opening win over No. 17 Arizona (27-15, 4-6) Friday evening at Howe Field.
After UA and UO traded runs in the second and third innings, the Super Regional returnee Wildcats scored twice in the fifth to go up, 3-1.
Cuico's shot was her team-leading 13th of 2013 and tied her for sixth-most in a season for Oregon. She also moved into a tie for eighth all-time for UO career-wise (31) with former great Kathy Stahl.
She knocked in senior second baseman Kaylan Howard who hit her second double of the game the at-bat before. The team-leading 10th two-bagger of the season for the Riverside, Calif., native also moved her to fifth all-time for Oregon on the career charts (with 37).
In the circle, senior Jessica Moore (18-3) pitched the first six innings, struck out four, walked one, gave up nine hits, and two of her three runs allowed were earned.
Moore's 18th win moved her to 11th-most in a campaign in school history. The USA Softball Player of the Year Finalist also added to her Oregon career records for wins (91), strikeouts (829), innings (26.2) and appearances (161).
"We struggled a little early, but we did what we do best (coming back)," Moore said. "We know it's not over till the 21st out. For the most part, I threw pretty well. (Arizona) is a disciplined team and made me work hard mentally."
In the seventh inning she allowed an opening single and double, and Duck head coach Mike White went to freshman Cheridan Hawkins with no outs and runners on second and third base.
The three-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week responded by getting a strikeout swinging, fly-ball to center field, and strikeout looking to notch her fifth save of the season.
"What a great job by Cheridan," White said. "She wanted to help the team out any way she could, and she did in a tight situation. Jess pitched pretty well, and Arizona had a good game plan. They hit some really good pitches and laid off some really close ones, and used some push bunts to manufacture runs - hats off to their hitters."
At the plate for UO, six batters hit safely, and Howard (2-for-3, RBI) notched her 12th multi-hit game of the season.
Arizona starter Shelby Babcock (17-4) pitched the first 5.1 innings, struck out four, walked three, allowed six hits, and all four of her runs allowed were earned.
After Cuico's sixth-inning homer, junior DP Alexa Peterson hit a double off the top of the left field wall, forcing UA head coach Mike Candrea to bring in reliever Nancy Bowling.
Five pitches later, Lindvall socked her seventh round-tripper of the campaign over the left field wall - also her third game-winning RBI of the year (and all in the last nine victories).
"I had to be aggressive because I had two strikes," Lindvall said. "I didn't think I hit it that hard, but it went out. It can be any player, any game for us- so it was great to help out. Jess and Cheridan did a great job mixing it up and trying to keep their hitters off-balance."
Bowling then retired the next two batters in the lineup in UO's final at-bats.
For the game, UA's top two hitters in the line-up - Hallie Wilson and Chelsea Suitos - both went 2-for-4.
Five other Wildcats hit safely once as Arizona registered Duck opponent season highs for hits (9) and doubles (3).
Friday's win marked the fifth time in as many league series openers that the Ducks have won in '13, and kept Oregon atop the Pac-12 standings ahead of No. 13 Washington (9-3) and No. 2 Arizona State (7-3). The Huskies beat the Sun Devils, 3-1, Friday night in Tempe.
Off the field Friday, the Duck marketing department also registered a victory as nearly $1400 was raised for the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute. Donations were collected through a silent auction for the team's special pink jerseys as part the 'Strike Out Cancer' theme.
Looking ahead, Oregon and Arizona will play single games Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at noon, and the finale will be televised live by the Pac-12 Network.
Promotions-wise, Saturday is Spirit / Yellow Out Day. Fans that wear yellow will get reduced ticket prices ($3 adults / $2 kids), and current UO faculty will get $3 admission with a valid staff I.D. card. Duck softball player trading cards will also be available for the first time as well as 50 mini-posters, and kids can get autographs after the game.
For Sunday's ASA Day promotion, kids that wear their softball/baseball uniforms to the game will get $2 tickets. The contest is also a BiMart 2-for-1 ticket deal for fans that show their BiMart cards at the gate.
#6 Oregon 5, #17 Arizona 3 (Apr 12, 2013 at Eugene, Ore.)
#17 Arizona 010 020 0 - 3 9 1 (27-15, 4-6 Pac-12)
#6 Oregon 001 004 X - 5 7 1 (34-6, 11-2 Pac-12)
Pitchers: Arizona - Babcock, Shelby; Bowling, Nancy(6) and Goodacre, Chelsea. Oregon - Moore, Jessica; Hawkins, Cheridan(7) and Lindvall, Janelle. Win-Moore, Jessica(18-3) Save-Hawkins, Cheridan(5) Loss-Babcock, Shelby(14-6) T-2:05 A-590. HR ORE - Cuico, Kailee (13); Lindvall, Janelle (8). Weather: 56, cloudy, wind 0-3 mph. Moore, J faced 2 batters in the 7th.
#17 Arizona at #6 Oregon
Apr 12, 2013 at Eugene, Ore. (Howe Field)
Arizona 3 (27-15,4-6 Pac-12)
|Wilson, Hallie 1b||4||1||2||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|Suitos, Chelsea 2b||4||1||2||0||0||1||3||0||0|
|Rodriguez, Kelsey dp||4||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|Goodacre, Chelsea c||4||0||0||0||0||2||7||1||3|
|Del Ponte, Brigette ss||2||1||0||0||1||1||1||0||1|
|Young, Lauren 3b||3||0||1||0||0||1||2||1||0|
|Perez, Mandie lf||3||0||1||0||0||0||2||0||0|
|Rodriguez, Courtney rf||3||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||2|
|Lavine, Alex cf||3||0||1||0||0||1||1||0||1|
|Babcock, Shelby p||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Bowling, Nancy p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Oregon 5 (34-6,11-2 Pac-12)
|Takeda, Janie cf||3||0||0||0||0||1||3||0||0|
|Ceo, Courtney ss||2||0||0||0||0||2||2||0||0|
|Howard, Kaylan 2b||3||1||2||1||0||0||1||4||0|
|Cuico, Kailee 1b||3||1||1||2||0||0||7||0||1|
|Pappas, Samantha rf||2||0||1||0||1||0||1||0||0|
|Peterson, Alexa lf/dp||2||1||1||0||1||1||0||0||0|
|Lindvall, Janelle c||2||1||1||2||1||0||6||0||0|
|Costa, Koral 3b||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||3|
|Burger, Allie dp/lf||2||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Moore, Jessica p/ph||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0|
|Hawkins, Cheridan p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Score by Innings R H E ----------------------------------------- Arizona............. 010 020 0 - 3 9 1 Oregon.............. 001 004 X - 5 7 1 -----------------------------------------
|E - Perez(5); Ceo, C(8). LOB - Arizona 7; Oregon 4. 2B - Wilson(10); Rodriguez, K(7); Perez(7); Howard, K 2(10); Peterson, A(10). HR - Cuico, K(13); Lindvall, J(8). SH - Ceo, C(6). CS - Pappas, S(3).|
|Babcock, Shelby L,17-4||5.1||6||4||4||3||4||0||0||0||0||20||24||8||3||99|
|Moore, Jessica W,18-3||6.0||9||3||2||1||4||0||0||0||0||27||28||6||8||106|
|Hawkins, Cheridan S,5||1.0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||3||3||1||0||10|
| Win - Moore, J (18-3). Loss - Babcock (14-6). Save - Hawkins, C (5). Inherited runners/scored: Bowling 1/1; Hawkins, C 2/0. Pitches/strikes: Babcock 99/60; Bowling 16/12; Moore, J 106/71; Hawkins, C 10/8.
Umpires - HP: Katrina Kershaw 1B: Ron Burkhart 3B: Tracy Hart
2013 Oregon Softball
#17 Arizona at #6 Oregon
Apr 12, 2013 at Eugene, Ore. (Howe Field)
|Arizona starters: 5/1b Wilson; 3/2b Suitos; 24/dp Rodriguez, K; 77/c Goodacre; 4/ss Del Ponte; 9/3b Young; 55/lf Perez; 18/rf Rodriguez, C; 7/cf Lavine; 12/p Babcock;|
|Oregon starters: 19/cf Takeda, J; 22/ss Ceo, C; 3/2b Howard, K; 33/1b Cuico, K; 0/rf Pappas, S; 14/lf Peterson, A; 26/c Lindvall, J; 7/3b Costa, K; 2/dp Burger, A; 12/p Moore, J;|
|Arizona 1st - Peterson, A to dp. Burger, A to lf. Wilson fouled out to 1b (1-2 KBKF). Suitos singled, bunt. Rodriguez, K reached on a fielder's choice (1-0 B); Suitos out at second 2b to ss. Rodriguez barely beats throw to 1b to avoid GDP. Goodacre struck out swinging (2-2 KFBBFS). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.|
|Oregon 1st - Takeda, J out at first 1b to 2b, bunt (2-1 BBF). Ceo, C struck out looking (0-2 KFK). Howard, K fouled out to c (2-0 BB). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.|
|Arizona 2nd - Del Ponte walked (3-1 BBBKB). Young struck out swinging (1-2 KBFS). Perez grounded out to 2b (1-2 BSF); Del Ponte advanced to second. Rodriguez, C singled to center field, RBI (3-2 BKFBFBFF); Del Ponte scored. Lavine grounded out to 3b (0-2 KF). 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.|
|Oregon 2nd - Cuico, K popped up to p (3-1 BBBK). Pappas, S singled to left center (0-0). Peterson, A walked (3-2 KBFFFFBBFB); Pappas, S advanced to second. Lindvall, J flied out to lf (3-1 BBFB). Costa, K flied out to 3b (2-1 KBB). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2 LOB.|
|Arizona 3rd - Wilson flied out to lf (1-0 B). Burger races to gap to make catch on run in LCF. Suitos out at first 3b to 2b, bunt (1-0 B). Costa races in to narrowly prevent Suitos from bunt single. Rodriguez, K grounded out to 3b (0-2 SF). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.|
|Oregon 3rd - Burger, A singled to center field, advanced to second on an error by lf (2-2 KSFBFBF). CF failed to pick up ball cleanly, and Burger re-took off for 2b. Takeda, J flied out to cf (0-0). Ceo, C out at first 3b to 2b, SAC, bunt (0-0); Burger, A advanced to third. Howard, K doubled, RBI (0-0); Burger, A scored. hard hopper down line that 3b deflected into bullpen. Cuico, K popped up to 3b (0-0). 1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB.|
|Arizona 4th - Goodacre flied out to cf (1-0 B). Takeda makes catch on warning track on high fly ball. Del Ponte struck out looking (1-2 BFKK). Young singled to right field (2-0 BB). Perez doubled to left center (3-2 FKBBFB); Young advanced to third. ball bounces of LCF wall on 3-2 pitch. Rodriguez, C grounded out to 3b (0-2 KK). 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.|
|Oregon 4th - Pappas, S walked (3-2 KBFFBBFB). Pappas, S out at second c to ss, caught stealing. Peterson, A struck out looking (2-2 SBBSK). Lindvall, J walked (3-1 BBBFB). Costa, K popped up to 2b (1-2 BFK). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.|
|Arizona 5th - Lavine struck out swinging (1-2 BSKFFS). Wilson singled, bunt (1-0 B). Suitos singled to left field (0-1 K); Wilson advanced to second. Rodriguez, K doubled, advanced to third on a throwing error by ss, RBI (1-1 FB); Suitos scored, unearned; Wilson scored. ball hits off upper part of LF wall (Burger playing in races back). Goodacre grounded out to 2b (0-0). Howard looks runner at 3b back, then throws to 1b. Del Ponte grounded out to 2b (1-1 KB). 2 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB.|
|Oregon 5th - Burger, A flied out to lf (0-0). Takeda, J struck out swinging (3-2 BBKBKFS). Ceo, C struck out looking (2-2 BKSFBFFK). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.|
|Arizona 6th - Young flied out to cf (2-2 FKFBFB). Perez lined out to rf (2-2 FBBF). frozen rope hit right to Pappas. Rodriguez, C popped up to ss (2-2 KBBF). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.|
|Oregon 6th - Howard, K doubled to left field (0-0). Cuico, K homered to left field, 2 RBI (2-1 KBB); Howard, K scored. Cuico hits team-leading 13th HR (#31 all-time for UO (tied for 8th)). Pappas, S grounded out to 1b unassisted (1-1 KB). Peterson, A doubled to left field (2-0 BB). Peterson hits shot off top of LF wall, 10' from foul pole. Bowling to p for Babcock. Lindvall, J homered to left field, 2 RBI (1-2 KKFBF); Peterson, A scored. eighth homer of year for Lindvall. Costa, K fouled out to c. Moore, J pinch hit for Burger, A. Burger, A to lf for Moore, J. Moore, J struck out swinging (3-2 KSFBFFBBFS). 4 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.|
|Arizona 7th - Burger, A to lf for Moore, J. Moore, J to p for Burger, A. Lavine singled to pitcher (3-2 FSBFBBF). high slapper that Moore charged in 15' to try and make play. Wilson doubled to left field (0-1 K); Lavine advanced to third. Hawkins, C to p for Moore, J. Suitos struck out swinging (1-2 KKFBS). Rodriguez, K flied out to cf (1-0 B). ball hit medium deep but Takeda strike home prevents runner from scoring. Goodacre struck out looking (0-2 SFK). 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.|