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.”
|Cincinnati - LP: J. Broxton||1||FINAL|
|Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson||2|
|Minnesota - LP: T. May||1||FINAL|
|Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez||9|
|NY Yankees - WP: C. Capuano||6||FINAL|
|Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle||3|
|Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman||1||FINAL|
|NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom||4|
|Boston - WP: A. Ranaudo||8||FINAL|
|Tampa Bay - LP: C. Archer||4|
|Miami - LP: C. Hatcher||2||FINAL|
|Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter||5|
|Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar||6||FINAL|
|Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas||1|
|Detroit - WP: J. Verlander||7||FINAL|
|Chicago WSox - LP: S. Carroll||1|
|Texas - WP: S. Baker||13||FINAL|
|Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer||6|
|Chicago Cubs - WP: N. Ramirez||7||FINAL|
|St. Louis - LP: P. Neshek||2|
|Colorado - LP: R. Brothers||2||FINAL|
|Arizona - WP: B. Ziegler||5|
|Oakland - LP: J. Lester||0||FINAL|
|LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver||4|
|Los Angeles||2||Bottom 12th Inning|
|Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann||8||FINAL|
|Seattle - LP: F. Hernandez||3|
|Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta||2||FINAL|
|San Francisco - WP: R. Vogelsong||13|
|Green Bay||9/4/14 7:30 PM|
|(21) Texas A&M||52||FINAL|
|(9) So Carolina||28|
|(18) Ole Miss||35|
|(19) Arizona State||45|
|(6) Jacksonville St||7||FINAL|
|(8) Michigan State||45|
|UNLV||13||4th Qtr 1:18|
|Penn State||8/30/14 7:30 AM|
|Troy||8/30/14 11:00 AM|
|(7) UCLA||8/30/14 11:00 AM|
|Western Mich||8/30/14 11:00 AM|
|(5) Ohio State||8/30/14 11:00 AM|
|Appalachian St||8/30/14 11:00 AM|
|Ga Southern||8/30/14 11:30 AM|
|Boston College||8/30/14 2:00 PM|
|West Virginia||8/30/14 2:30 PM|
|Rice||8/30/14 2:30 PM|
|(17) Notre Dame|
|(10) South Dakota St||8/30/14 2:30 PM|
|Fla Atlantic||8/30/14 2:30 PM|
|California||8/30/14 2:30 PM|
|Marshall||8/30/14 2:30 PM|
|UC Davis||8/30/14 3:00 PM|
|Arkansas||8/30/14 3:00 PM|
|(16) Clemson||8/30/14 4:30 PM|
|Liberty||8/30/14 5:00 PM|
|(23) North Carolina|
|Ohio U||8/30/14 5:00 PM|
|Louisiana Tech||8/30/14 6:00 PM|
|Idaho||8/30/14 6:00 PM|
|Stephen F Austin||8/30/14 6:10 PM|
|(20) Kansas State|
|Fresno State||8/30/14 6:30 PM|
|Southern Miss||8/30/14 6:30 PM|
|Texas-El Paso||8/30/14 7:00 PM|
|North Texas||8/30/14 7:00 PM|
|(1) Florida State||8/30/14 7:00 PM|
|(14) Wisconsin||8/30/14 8:00 PM|
|South Dakota||8/30/14 9:30 PM|
|(25) Washington||8/30/14 9:30 PM|
|Utah State||8/31/14 6:00 PM|
|SMU||8/31/14 6:30 PM|
|Miami-Florida||9/1/14 7:00 PM|
|Arizona||9/4/14 7:00 PM|
|Pittsburgh||9/5/14 6:00 PM|
|Washington St||9/5/14 9:30 PM|
|Sporting Kansas City||1|
|Winnipeg||8/31/14 3:00 PM|
|Toronto||9/1/14 12:00 PM|
|Edmonton||9/1/14 3:30 PM|
|Brt Columbia||9/5/14 6:30 PM|
|Calgary||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|Hamilton||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Saskatchewan||9/7/14 3:00 PM|
|Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois||6 pm||X||42-20|
|Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St.||2:30 pm|
|Sep 13 - at TCU||3 pm|
|Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St.||TBA|
|Sep 27 - at Michigan||TBA|
|Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern||TBA|
|Oct 18 - vs. Purdue||11 am|
|Oct 25 - at Illinois||11 am|
|Nov 8 - vs. Iowa||TBA|
|Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State||TBA|
|Nov 22 - at Nebraska||TBA|
|Nov 29 - at Wisconsin||TBA|