Duck Softball: Oregon 1, California 0

Duck Softball: Oregon 1, California 0 »Play Video

EUGENE - Junior catcher Kaitlin Vitek crushed her first homer of the season and provided all the offense the No. 21 University of Oregon softball team (28-6, 4-1) needed to beat No. 13 California (30-10, 1-4) by a 1-0 count Saturday afternoon at Howe Field.

Oregon's other hit in the game came from freshman second baseman Kaylan Howard who singled with two outs in the fifth inning. Fellow frosh and left fielder Allie Burger also reached base via a walk to open the sixth inning.

Duck sophomore Samantha Skillingstad (9-4) pitched 6 1/3 innings, struck out seven, walked two and scattered three hits.

After the opening Golden Bear batter doubled in the seventh, freshman Jessica Moore came in and retired the next three batters for her Pac-10 leading third save of the season.

The duo combined on UO's 12th shutout of the season (compared with only one for Duck opponents). Moore had authored four prior solo shutouts, and Saturday marked her third combined blanking, while Skillingstad now has one and four solo/combined shutouts, respectively, in 2010.

Moore added a strikeout Saturday to raise her a team-leading tally to 151 - still ninth-all-time for UO in a season - and only two behind the eighth-best mark (153, Connie McMurren, 2000).

Skillingstad's seven K's Saturday gives her 262 in her career - ninth-most all-time for UO - and 38 behind the eighth-best mark held by former teammate Melissa Rice (316).

UO entered the weekend hitting a league-leading .346, but was primarily held in check by Cal starter Jolene Henderson (13-5) who struck out five, walked one, and allowed an earned run in her 11th complete game of 2010.

Reaching base for Cal, Shannon Thomas and Jace Williams each went 1-for-3, Elia Reid went 1-for-2, and Valerie Arioto drew two walks.

Vitek's third career homer Saturday made her the 13th Duck to homer this season, and UO has combined for 36 home runs in the team's 34 games - only three shy of last year's tally (39) that came from nine players in 51 contests. The Valencia, Calif., native Vitek almost achieved the honor last week at Oregon State, but had a round-tripper stolen by a leaping grab over the fence by the centerfielder.

Saturday's pitcher's dual ended four hitting streaks of five games or longer for Burger (7), freshman right fielder Samantha Pappas (6), junior first baseman Monique Fuiava (5) and senior center fielder Neena Bryant (5).

Pappas entered the weekend atop the Pac-10 in batting (.500) and went hitless in a game for only the fifth time in 34 games this season.

After a 7-6, nine-inning win Friday night, Saturday's victory meant UO will win the three-game season series for the first time since 2007 (when UO went 2-1) and only the second time since 1995 (when it went 3-1). In that same span, the two teams split four-game series (2-2) in 2000 and 1998.