CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. — No. 19 Oregon (4-2) opened the Cathedral City Classic on Friday morning with a 4-2 victory against No. 22 Nebraska. The Ducks picked up their second win of the season against a returning NCAA tourney foe.
Oregon struck quickly, thanks to a first-inning grand slam by junior second baseman Kaylan Howard. The grand slam was the third of Howard’s career.
Howard previously connected on four-run shots in key tilts as a freshman in the NCAA tournament against Georgia Tech, and last May as a sophomore against then-defending NCAA champion UCLA.
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On the mound for Oregon, Jessica Moore (3-2) pitched her third complete game of the season. Moore struck out two, walked two and allowed four hits. Both runs allowed by Moore were earned.
At the plate for Oregon, four Ducks hit safely — sophomore third baseman Courtney Ceo (1-for-2, walk), freshman center fielder Janie Takeda (1-for-3), Howard (1-for-2, 4 RBI, walk) and sophomore catcher Alexa Peterson (1-for-2, walk).
Two other Ducks reached via walks — sophomore first baseman Kailee Cuico and senior designated player Lindsey Chambers.
Nebraska starter and returning All-Big 12 pick Ashley Hagemann (4-3) also pitched a complete game. The senior right-hander struck out eight, walked five and allowed four hits. All four of her runs allowed were earned as well.
Nebraska, which didn’t collect its first hit until the fourth inning, scored twice in the fifth, thanks to a two-run single by Taylor Edwards.