Oregon advances to softball regional final
EUGENE — Senior Christie Nieto hit a grand-slam homer in a five-run third inning and the Oregon Ducks defeated BYU 6-4 in the NCAA softball Eugene Regional on Friday.
Jessica Moore (29-12) allowed four runs on five hits with 10 strikeouts over seven innings for the 11th seeded Ducks (41-15), who opened the regional with a 7-3 victory over Portland State on Thursday.
Nieto's grand slam was her second this season.
Hannah Howell allowed all six Oregon runs on 11 hits over four innings for the Cougars, who went on to beat Portland State 2-0 in an elimination game Friday evening.
With the victory, BYU (45-14) advances to play Oregon again today in the regional final.
The Vikings defeated Mississippi State (33-24) 2-0 on Friday afternoon, eliminating the Bulldogs.
TULSA 9, OREGON STATE 7, 11 inn. — At Norman, Okla., it took three hours and 32 minutes, lasted 11 innings and forced the two teams to throw a combined 415 pitches, and when it was finally over the Oregon State softball team had lost an 11-inning thriller to Tulsa in an NCAA Regional opener.
The Beavers (34-22), trailing 7-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, used a furious rally to storm back into the game. They scored four times on five hits to force extra innings in what would eventually became OSU's longest game since a 12-inning, 3-2 loss to No. 1 Arizona State on April 5, 2008.
The Golden Hurricane loaded the bases in the 10th, but couldn't score and Oregon State had two on in the bottom half of that inning and was unable to break the deadlock. In the 11th, Jessica Stoelke hit a one-out, two-run double to put her team ahead to stay, 9-7.
OREGON STATE 10, WASHINGTON STATE 2 — At Pullman, Wash., Danny Hayes paced Oregon State with two of the team's season-high four home runs as the Beavers opened their three-game series at Bailey-Brayton with a win over Washington State.
Michael Conforto and Ryan Barnes also hit home runs for the Beavers, who surpassed their previous season high of three, accomplished three times and most recently in last weekend's opener at Utah.
Conforto gave the Beavers (34-17 overall, 14-11 Pac-12 Conference) a 3-0 lead in the first inning with his 12th home run of the season, then returned to the dugout and watched as Hayes hit a solo shot over the right-center fence.
Hayes made it 7-1 in favor of the Beavers in the second with a three-run home run lined over the right-field fence. It put him at four RBIs on the night, which he added to with a sacrifice fly in the eighth for a 9-2 lead. His five RBIs set a season-high for the junior.
OREGON 6, SEATTLE 0 — At Eugene, senior right-hander Alex Keudell set an Oregon single-season record by earning his 10th victory of the year as the sixth-ranked Ducks shut out Seattle at PK Park.
Keudell (10-3) won his ninth consecutive start after shutting out the Redhawks (22-25) on five hits and one walk while striking out five in 72/3 innings.
Oregon (39-14) extended its winning streak to six games behind Keudell's start, and left-hander Tommy Thorpe earned his first save after entering the game in the top of the eighth with the tying run at the plate. Thorpe got out of the jam, and struck out four of the five batters he faced.
After three hits in the first, Oregon led 2-0, but UO did not record its fourth hit of the game until Ryan Hambright's base knock in the seventh. The Ducks were shut out for six straight innings until batting around in the bottom of the eighth and scoring four runs on three hits.