Oregon’s brand new softball facility was on full display Friday night as the Ducks hosted one of the 16 NCAA Regionals in front of a sold out crowd and a national television audience on ESPN.
The Ducks themselves were on full display as they remained undefeated in home regional play with an 8-0 win in five innings over Fordham. Oregon is now 19-0 in the first rounds of the NCAA tourney and will now play Baylor at 2 pm. The Bears squeaked by Long Beach State 3-2 in the opening contest.
Fordham and LBSU will play an elimination game at 4:30. The winner of this game will face the loser of the Oregon-Baylor game at approximately 7 pm.
Freshman Megan Kleist got the honors to start Game 1 in the circle and she didn’t disappoint. The righty from Appleton, Wisc. went the whole way.
The Ducks didn’t waste any time putting two run on the board in the first inning. Nikki Udria doubled and then scored on Koral Costa’s single to center. She moved up a base on the throw and that was heads up base running as Geri Ann Glasco also singled to center to bring home Costa for the 2-0 lead.
Oregon made in 3-0 in the second inning when Gwen Svekis opened the frame up with a double down the right field line. After Sammie Puentes came in to pinch run, Alyssa Gillespie singled to center to bring home the speedy Puentes.
The game was probably over at that point, but Oregon made sure it was out of the Rams’ reach with three more runs in the fourth for a 6-0 lead. Gillespie drove in her second run of the night with a double down the right field line to make it 4-0.
Jenna Lilley added a sacrifice fly and Costa singled to center once again for the third run of the frame.
Oregon put the contest to bed in the fifth with two more runs to invoke the eight-run rule and everyone got to go home early. Hailey Decker brought in Marisa Given to make it 7-0 and then Madi Bishop hit the game-finishing single to right that scored Janelle Lindvall.
Fordham’s Rachel Gillen was the unfortunate Ram who had to face the No. 5 Duck team and it wasn’t a fun night for her. She gave up six runs on 10 hits in just four innings in the circle.
Kleist was credited with a complete game after scattering six hits in her five innings of work.
~ Don Smalley