UO softball earns spot in College World Series
EUGENE — As Mike White settled into his chair on the dais of the Yamanaka Room in Jane Sanders Stadium, the UO softball coach took a deep breath to collect himself.
"Slow the heart rate down just a little here," White said. "Pretty pumped up after that."
For the fourth time in White's eight seasons as head coach, Oregon is headed to the Women's College World Series. The Ducks advanced Saturday thanks to a thrilling comeback that had White and everyone else on the edge of their seats, rallying for four runs in the seventh to beat Kentucky, 6-5, and sweep the Eugene Super Regional.
Oregon will advance to face the winner of the Seattle Super Regional, between Washington and Utah, in Oklahoma City on Thursday. The Ducks (52-6) are making their third trip in four years to play in ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, and their fourth in the last six.
Entering the seventh on Saturday, the Wildcats (39-19) led 5-2 before the Ducks rallied.
UCLA 10, OREGON 1: At Eugene, Oregon couldn't dig itself out of an early hole during Pac-12 play.
UCLA (30-25, 19-11 Pac-12) wasted no time jumping on Oregon starter Cole Stringer (4-3) for two runs on three hits in the first inning. Michael Toglia drove in the first run with a run-scoring double before Chase Strumpf's RBI groundout.
Sean Bouchard added to the Bruins' lead in the second with a two-out, two-run single making it 4-0.
The Bruins continued to pour it on in the fourth, scoring three runs on five consecutive one-out singles. Daniel Amaral singled home the first run before Toglia followed two batters later with his second and third RBI of the day on a two-run single.
Gabe Matthews drove in the only run of the game for the Ducks (30-25, 12-18) with a run-scoring single in the seventh, driving in Spencer Steer who led off with a double.
OREGON STATE 11, ABILENE CHRISTIAN 0: At Corvallis, Drew Rasmussen struck out eight in six scoreless innings and Jack Anderson drove in three to pace top-ranked Oregon State.
The game lasted seven innings due to a 10-run rule that the teams agreed to prior to the start of the series. It came into play after consecutive five-run innings for the Beavers in the fifth and sixth.
Anderson drove in three on the strength of a 1-for-4 day, while Cadyn Grenier and Elliott Cary each drove in two. Andy Armstrong paced Oregon State with two hits as the Beavers collected eight overall off four Abilene Christian pitchers.
Rasmussen, meanwhile, earned his third win of the season thanks to six scoreless, scattering just two hits over 84 pitches. Jake Mulholland got the final three outs of the afternoon in the seventh, helping push the Beavers (48-4) to their 13th shutout of the season.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: At Sugar Grove, Ill., No. 9 Oregon shot a 6-under 282 on Saturday during the second round of the NCAA championships. Before beginning the second round, the Ducks finished up the first round that was postponed on Friday due to weather delays and darkness and closed with a 294. After the first two rounds, UO has a total of 576 and is tied for 12th with Texas (293-283—576).
At the end of the partial round on Friday, the Ducks were through hole 11 and sitting at even par with Oklahoma and Kent State.
Track and Field
NCAA WEST REGIONAL: At Austin, Texas, Oregon put a punctuation mark on its time at the NCAA West Regional Championships on Saturday, as the men and women secured 14 more spots in 10 events for the the NCAA Championships.
The Ducks will have a total of 31 entries, 17 on the women's side and 14 for the men, in 22 events for the NCAAs, which will run June 7-10 at Hayward Field in Eugene.