The Ducks hammered out 12 hits, and Minnesota hurt itself with four errors.
Eugene, Ore. – The Oregon Ducks are ranked No. 1 in college softball, and the Gophers can certainly understand why after getting pounded by the Ducks on Saturday night in the NCAA tournament.
The Ducks spotted Minnesota a run in the top of the first inning, then scored eight consecutive runs in a 10-2 triumph in the opener of best-of-three Super Regional at Oregon’s Howe Field. The game was called in the bottom of the sixth inning because of the eight-run mercy rule.
The Gophers, the No. 16 seed in the 64-team NCAA field, must defeat top-seeded Oregon twice Sunday to advance to the Women’s College World Series. Minnesota (44-11) plays Oregon (53-7-1) at 4 p.m. Twin Cities time on ESPN, with another game, if necessary, to follow at 7 on ESPN2.
Oregon, one of the most explosive hitting teams in the country, outhit the Gophers 12-3, hitting the ball ferociously even on outs.
“Just a great all-around performance by the team,” Oregon coach Mike White said. “Offensively, defensively and pitching.”
The Gophers did themselves no favors by committing all of the game’s four errors.
A school-record, sellout crowd of 1,954, seated at the foot of forested hills near the picturesque Oregon campus, turned out on a pleasant evening in the Pacific Northwest.
Well, pleasant for one team.
“We struggled a little bit today,” Gophers shortstop Tyler Walker said. “We got the nerves out of the way. Tomorrow’s a whole new day. ”
Sara Groenewegen singled in fellow freshman Sam Macken for Minnesota’s first-inning run. The Gophers’ only other run came on Walker’s 11th home run of the season, a line drive to right-center in the fifth inning.
Oregon wasted little time tying the score in its first at-bat. Leadoff hitter Courtney Ceo, the nation’s No. 2 hitter in the Division I statistics (through last Sunday) at .484, slammed an off-field homer that barely cleared the fence in left. Ceo wound up 3-for-3 to boost her average to .492.
Minnesota’s errors helped the Pac-12 Conference champions tack on four runs in the second inning and three more in the third.
Sophomore lefthander Cheridan Hawkins improved to 32-4 by throwing a three-hitter and striking out four.
Minnesota senior righthander Sara Moulton saw her record drop to 27-7. She gave up eight runs (four earned) on eight hits in three innings before sophomore lefthander Nikki Anderson finished up in relief.
“I could tell they’re a great team,” Moulton said. “They were really aggressive, and they were attacking when I threw strikes.
“We’re going to make the plays tomorrow.”
|NY Mets||6||Bottom 8th Inning|
|Boston||3||Top 10th Inning|
|Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes||6||FINAL|
|Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman||4|
|Pittsburgh||4||Top 7th Inning|
|Milwaukee||2||Top 7th Inning|
|Detroit||2||Top 1st Inning|
|Seattle||0||Bottom 1st Inning|
|Arizona||0||Top 1st Inning|
|San Francisco - T. Hudson||4:40 PM|
|Colorado - F. Morales|
|Washington - G. Gonzalez||7:10 PM|
|Los Angeles - R. Hernandez|
|Texas - C. Lewis||7:10 PM|
|Kansas City - Y. Ventura|
|Green Bay||9/4/14 7:30 PM|
|Buffalo||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|New Orleans||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Minnesota||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Cleveland||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Jacksonville||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Oakland||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Cincinnati||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Washington||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Tennessee||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|New England||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Carolina||9/7/14 3:25 PM|
|San Francisco||9/7/14 3:25 PM|
|Indianapolis||9/7/14 7:30 PM|
|Arizona||9/4/14 7:00 PM|
|Pittsburgh||9/5/14 6:00 PM|
|Washington St||9/5/14 9:30 PM|
|SMU||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Fla Atlantic||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Buffalo||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(24) Missouri||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Arkansas State||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(7) McNeese State||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Central Mich||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Akron||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Western Ill||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(20) Kansas State||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(4) Oklahoma||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Western Ky||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|SC State||9/6/14 11:30 AM|
|Navy||9/6/14 12:00 PM|
|UAB||9/6/14 1:00 PM|
|South Alabama||9/6/14 1:00 PM|
|New Mexico St||9/6/14 1:00 PM|
|Colorado||9/6/14 2:00 PM|
|Fresno State||9/6/14 2:00 PM|
|(2) Eastern Wash||9/6/14 2:00 PM|
|(15) USC||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Ohio U||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Middle Tennessee||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Northern Ill||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Missouri State||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Ball State||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Maryland||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Eastern Mich||9/6/14 3:00 PM|
|Georgia Tech||9/6/14 3:00 PM|
|(18) Ole Miss||9/6/14 3:30 PM|
|Old Dominion||9/6/14 5:00 PM|
|(8) Michigan State||9/6/14 5:30 PM|
|(19) Arizona State||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|Louisiana Tech||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|San Jose St||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|East Carolina||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|(9) So Carolina|
|Duke||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|Idaho||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|(15) Sam Houston St||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|Michigan||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|(17) Notre Dame|
|Lamar||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|(21) Texas A&M|
|Northwestern St||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|BYU||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|Citadel||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|(1) Florida State|
|San Diego St||9/6/14 7:00 PM|
|(23) North Carolina|
|Virginia Tech||9/6/14 7:00 PM|
|(5) Ohio State|
|Memphis||9/6/14 9:00 PM|
|Colorado State||9/6/14 9:15 PM|
|Air Force||9/6/14 9:15 PM|
|Oregon State||9/6/14 9:30 PM|
|Texas Tech||9/6/14 10:00 PM|
|Indiana||14||1st Qtr 1:38|