Moore's homer lifts Ducks to Civil War victory

Moore's homer lifts Ducks to Civil War victory

EUGENE - The No. 4 University of Oregon softball team (43-7, 16-3) won its seventh Pac-12 series opener in as many tries with its 2-1 victory over Oregon State (32-18, 7-12) Friday afternoon.

After a scoreless first three innings, the Pac-12 leading Ducks scored their seventh win in 10 Civil War meetings under fourth-year head coach Mike White.

In the circle, All-America senior Jessica Moore (23-3) struck out five batters, walked three, and allowed only two hits - Natalie Hampton's fourth-inning double and sixth-inning solo homer.

"I tend to focus better in close games so I tried to lock in mentally," Moore said. "We had some extra emotion since it's Senior Weekend, and we're playing for each other. The crowd was so great - they really boosted us and gave us extra confidence."

Moore's win moved her to sixth on the Duck all-time season victories list (23), and her ninth complete game of the season raised her career total to 73 - also sixth-best in school history.

After stranding five runners in the first two innings UO's first run came in the fourth inning on a bases-loaded soft slap by junior shortstop Courtney Ceo that landed just in front of the plate.

Two innings later, Moore broke the 1-1 tie with her first game-winning RBI of the season. Her solo homer over the left field wall led off the bottom of the sixth inning, and was her second of the week, third of the season and sixth career-wise.

For the game, sophomore center fielder Janie Takeda (2-for-2) logged her team-leading 26th multi-hit game of the season, while Moore's was her first of the campaign.

Takeda now has 77 hits in 2013 - the fourth-best total in a season and 10 shy of Lisa Wangler's school record from 2001 (87).

OSU starter Tina Andreana pitched the first three innings, struck out two, walked seven, and allowed two hits and one earned run.

Marina Demore (19-10) came in with the bases loaded and no outs in the fourth inning, and two outs later allowed Ceo's single that could have been a force-out at home if the catcher had been covering the plate.

Demore ultimately pitched the last three innings, logged no strikeouts or walks, and yielded one hit and one earned run.

"We didn't score a lot of runs, but we left 10 runners on base, so we put ourselves in position offensively," Oregon head coach Mike White said. "Jess threw a great game, and I had faith in her to leave her in the whole way. She's been a phenomenal player for our program and such a great competitor."

Looking ahead, the two teams meet again for single games on Saturday at noon and on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Both games will be televised live by the Pac-12 Network.

Fans can help the Ducks try to sell out Howe Field Saturday, and promotions-wise it's Junior Duck / Kids Sports / Eugene Little League Day.

Junior Duck Club members get in free with their membership card as always. Fifty mini-posters will also be available to youth, and kids are invited to participate in a coloring contest at the marketing/promotions table. The Duck mascot will be on hand from 11:30am-12:30 pm, and Duck players will also sign autographs afterwards.

Fans with a ticket from Friday’s Oregon Twilight track and field meet can get a $2 softball ticket Saturday.