SB Preview: #19 Oregon takes on #7 Stanford in home series opener

By: Ian Sutliff

It’s a huge weekend ahead for both the Ducks and Cardinal as PAC-12 play continues for Oregon at Jane Sanders Stadium on Friday. For the Ducks, they’ll be looking to win their first home series against another top-10 team in conference play. Oregon is 4-3 versus ranked teams and has a chance to improve that mark against Stanford who is currently on a 20-game win streak.

Oregon Offense:

The Ducks are led by their two seniors, Terra McGowan and Allee Bunker. McGowan leads the team in home runs with eight after hitting just 11 in her first three seasons for Oregon. On top of that, the redshirt senior is batting .367 with a .722 slugging percentage while going 13-22 (.591) with four homers and 12 RBIs over her last seven games. Bunker on the other hand has been the best contact hitter for this lineup with a .390 batting average that has included a team-leading eight doubles and just six strikeouts in 82 at-bats. The one player that has been quietly having a dominant season is Vallery Wong as she has played herself into a starting role over the past two weeks. Wong is batting .400 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in just ten starts in the 2023 season. Her .462 on-base percentage also tops the entire team. KK Humphreys and Ariel Carlson are also having some very solid seasons at the plate, but have gone under-the-radar in this high-powered offense.

Oregon Pitching: 

Not to beat a dead horse, but it has continued to be the Stevie Hansen show for the Ducks in her sophomore campaign. She’s 12-3 with a 2.23 ERA including four complete games (3 shutouts, including no-hitter). Her 72 ⅓ innings are more than double any pitcher on this staff and her 78 strikeouts are fourth in the conference. Behind Hansen are Raegan Breedlove and Morgan Scott, who have totalled a combined 67 innings in the circle. Neither has separated themself as the number two behind Hansen with the pitchers having nearly identical stats. Breedlove is 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA and 1.50 WHIP while Scott is 3-2 with a 3.68 ERA but a better WHIP at 1.45. No matter what the numbers have been though, one thing is certain: Oregon needs one of the two to step up behind their ace if they are to compete with one of the nation’s toughest conferences. 

Stanford Offense:

This offense won’t scare you with power, but it can keep the lineup moving from 1-9 as eight of its players are hitting over .285. River Mahler is one of the best hitters in the conference as her average sits at .447 as the freshman has started all 24 games for the Cardinal this season. Other than that, Mahler has only five extra-base hits, but is a headache for opposing teams when it comes to starting rallies. Taylor Gindlesperger is the other standout for this Stanford team as the grad student is the other Cardinal batting over .400. Just like Mahler, Gindlesperger has no home runs on the season, but has five stolen bases and her speed has contributed to six doubles and three triples. Caelan Koch is the power hitter for this squad as her four home runs account for 40% of the team’s long balls. She’s batting .333 and with ten walks, her OPS sits at .998. There’s a big dropoff between the top two hitters for the Cardinal and the rest of the lineup so that may be something to watch this weekend.

Stanford Pitching:

For all the lack of power on the offensive side, the Cardinal make it up with the two best pitchers in the entire conference. NiJaree Canady has been absolutely dominant this season and has yet to allow any runs in 2023. She’s 8-0 with a 0.00 ERA and her WHIP sits at just 0.42. She has 89 strikeouts in 48 innings to just nine walks. Her batting average against is a baffling .072 and she has thrown six complete game shutouts. Alana Vawter has shown almost the same amount of dominance in the circle as the senior is 9-1 with a 0.95 ERA in 11 appearances this season. Five of her nine earned runs allowed in 2023 come against ranked opponents and her 0.77 WHIP is one of the very best in the nation for pitchers with over 65 innings this season. Regan Krause has been very solid in 38 ⅔ innings for the Cardinal as well. She’s 5-1 and sports a 2.17 ERA with three complete game shutouts (two in March). Overall, this is one of the nation’s top five most elite pitching staffs and with three great options, it’ll be a tough weekend for the Ducks.


Oregon has faced some of the best teams in the country this season, but hasn’t faced a pitching staff quite like the one the Cardinal has. Against an elite pitching staff last weekend, the Ducks put up big numbers, but Canady might be the best pitcher in the nation. Stanford is hot and Oregon will be fired up for its first home series after playing on the road and at neutral sites for more than a month. This should be a good matchup, but Canady will dominate in the series opener and finale with Oregon finding offense on Saturday. 

Stanford takes two of three this weekend.