May 6, 2016
BERKELEY, Calif. – The third-ranked Oregon softball team scored 15 unanswered runs as they shellacked Cal, 15-2, in five innings Friday night at Levine-Fricke Field. The Ducks got it done on both offense and defense as UO smashed four home-runs and Cheridan Hawkins threw a complete game with 15 strikeouts. Oregon has now won 14 straight contests and is two conference victories away from securing its fourth consecutive Pac-12 crown.
HOW IT HAPPENED: The Ducks (41-6, 17-2 Pac-12) ran into trouble early on in the bottom of the first inning as two errors allowed the Bears (29-19, 9-8-1 Pac-12) to get two runs on the board. However, Cal wouldn’t score again as Oregon put 15 runs on the board. Geri Ann Glasco started the scoring spree as the senior led off the second inning with a solo shot to center field.
Oregon then used a six-run third inning to blow the game wide open. After Hailey Decker singled to lead off the inning, Jenna Lilley took the second pitch and smashed it to right center, scoring two. Nikki Udria followed that up by knocking her team-leading 15th homer of the season with a solo shot center. Trailing 3-2, the Bears pulled starting pitcher Stephanie Trzcinski (4-1), but reliever Kourtney Shaw was in trouble immediately as Oregon used base-hitting and timely miscues by the Cal battery to tack on three more runs. Cal made another pitching change and the Bears were able to get the third out.
After Cheridan Hawkins (18-3) retired three straight Cal hitters, UO got right back to work on the offense. Bears’ pitcher, Kristin Cullen walked Lilley and Gillespie to start the fourth inning and Udria made her pay with an RBI-single. Koral Costa and Janelle Lindvall then earned RBI-walks, putting the Ducks up 7-2. The Bears brought Trzcinski back out, but it didn’t matter as Lauren Lindvall took the first pitch and singled to bring in another run. Stevie Jo Knapp was hit by a pitch to bring home another while Decker recorded a sac fly to make it 12-2 Oregon.
UO then added the final three runs of the game in the top of the fifth. A Golden Bear error allowed Costa to score and then Janelle Lindvall hit a two-run shot to left center to give the Ducks the 15-2 advantage. Cal was able to get a runner on base off an error in the bottom of the inning, but a fly out to right ended the game.
IN THE CIRCLE: Continuing her dominance in the circle, Cal couldn’t find an answer for Cheridan Hawkins. The senior LHP retired 14 straight Bears on strikeouts and had 15 on the day. Equally important, Hawkins didn’t allow an earned run or a walk, bringing Oregon to 37 straight innings of not allowing an earned run. The victory was No. 102 in Hawkins’ career, she is the all-time school leader in wins and strikeouts.
NEW SCHOOL RECORD: The Ducks smashed four home runs during the contest bringing them to 83 homers on the season. Nikki Udria’s solo shot in the top of the third inning moved this year’s team past the record a year ago when the team hit 81.
LINDVALL TIES CUICO: Janelle Lindvall hit a 2-run home run in the top of the fifth, marking her 47th career home run and tying her with Kailee Cuico for the most ever in Oregon softball history. Lindvall surpassed Cuico’s RBI record last weekend against Arizona and the home run today brings her to 188 career RBI.
UP NEXT: Game two of the series will get underway at 4 p.m. tomorrow. The game will be shown live on the Pac-12 Network.