By: Xaiver Aguiar
Home sweet home. The Oregon Ducks finally were able to play softball at Jane Sanders Stadium Saturday afternoon, and the on-the-field did not disappoint. The number 6 team in the nation was able to add two more games into the win column with 4-2 and 3-0 wins, respectively.
The first game against the Portland State Vikings was a slugfest. Vikings pitcher Allicitie Frost was making her collegiate debut but looked like a seasoned veteran on the mound. Haley Cruse scored off a hit by pitch in the 3rd, but Frost wouldn’t allow the Ducks to get a mark in the hit collum. The first Oregon hit came in the bottom of the 5th when it was Cruse, of course, who notched an RBI double. The Ducks extended that lead in the bottom of the 6th after a 2RBI single from Hannah Delgado.
While the bats might have been dormant, the Duck pitching was blazing hot. Brooke Yanez was locked in and pitched a gem. She recorded 12 strikeouts and allowed just 4 hits with 2 earned runs. What’s even more impressive is that Vikings Rachel Menlove was responsible for 3 of those hits. If Menlove hadn’t had her number, Yanez would’ve been close to perfect.
In the second game of the slate, the Ducks pounced on the Boise State Broncos early. At the bottom of the 1st, Haley Cruse started the scoring with a bang as she cranked an opposite-field leadoff home run. Not to be outdone, a trio of triples by Allee Bunker, Mya Felder, and Alyssa Brito allowed Oregon to tack two more runs on the board. After that, the Ducks bats went radio silent. It looked like Boise State was able to withstand the onslaught, as in the top of the 6th still down 3-0, they were threatening to put runs on the board. In a full count with the bases loaded and two outs, Ducks pitcher Mekenna Kliethermes delivered the pitch of the afternoon when she struck out Kelsey Lalor to retire the side unscathed. Oregon held on to win the contest 3-0 and improve to 11-1.
The Ducks will face both teams tomorrow in reverse order with eyes on sweeping the day once again. Catch Jordan Brenner on the call with KWVA for both contests or follow along on the KWVA Twitter for in-game updates.