Ducks rally at Howe to defeat Stanford again

Ducks rally at Howe to defeat Stanford again

EUGENE - The No. 10 University of Oregon softball team (25-4, 2-0) capitalized on a late rally for its second victory in as many days over No. 15 Stanford (22-7, 0-2) Sunday at Howe Field.

Scoring all three of its runs in the sixth inning, the Ducks won 3-2 for its second straight one-run advantage over the returning Regional finalist Cardinal, and its fourth win of the year over a top-15 foe.

"Janelle really came through when we needed it," Oregon head coach Mike White said. "It seems like it's a different player each game. We only had one hit early, but we were hitting the ball hard, and they were making good plays defensively. Teagan is a good pitcher so we continued to battle, and tried to get base runners on when we could. It finally went our way in the sixth with several key at-bats."

Freshman catcher Janelle Lindvall propelled Oregon with the first game-winning RBI of her career - a two-out, pinch-hit double to right center field.

Earlier in the inning, the Ducks put two runners on after senior second baseman Kaylan Howard drew a one-out walk, and senior right fielder Samantha Pappas reached on an error by the shortstop on a soft-hit grounder.

Junior catcher Alexa Peterson followed with an RBI single to left field to knock in UO's first run on a 2-0 count, and Lindvall's third double of the year came on the next pitch.

Oregon's other hit in the game came in the second inning - a single up the middle by Pappas.

In the circle, freshman Cheridan Hawkins (10-1) logged her second straight win in relief after she struck out six, walked none, and allowed one hit in her three innings.

Duck senior Jessica Moore started the game, struck out two, walked one, gave up four hits, and her two runs allowed were unearned.

The Cardinal scored its first run in the first inning on a dropped fly ball in center field with runners on first and second base.

Stanford added another run in the fourth after it loaded the bases on an error by the third baseman, a pair of singles, and sacrifice fly by catcher Jessica Plaza with no outs.

Moore set down the next two batters via a fielder's choice ground-out and line-out to third base. Hawkins came in mid-count to the next batter, lead-off hitter Sarah Hassman, and got a strikeout looking to end the inning.

"Jess hung in there and pitched pretty well, despite some errors behind her," White said. "Cheridan gave us another impressive effort out of the bullpen, and did a great job of keeping their hitters off-balance."

For Stanford, senior Teagan Gerhart logged her 17th complete game of the season. In her six innings, she struck out three, walked two, yielded three hits, and none of her three runs allowed were earned.

The All-Pac-12 returnee also held Duck sophomore Janie Takeda to an 0-for-3 day to end her 13-game hit streak. The career-best run also stood as the team's second-longest of the year behind Kailee Cuico (18 games).

At the plate, the Cardinal had five batters hit safely once, while its defense matched UO's season-high error tally (3).

Factoring in Saturday's 3-2 victory, the Ducks guaranteed itself of taking the season series for the third straight year. Oregon ended with 2-1 advantages in Palo Alto in 2013 and Eugene in 2012.

On Duck all-time lists on Sunday, Moore moved atop the Oregon all-time innings list for pitchers (786.2), just ahead of former great Rachelle Taylor (second, 783). The returning third-team All-American Moore also is the school record holder for strikeouts (793) and wins (85).

Looking ahead, the two teams meet again in the series finale Monday at noon.

Immediately after the tilt, kids are invited to take part in a Easter egg hunt at Howe Field.