Oregon gets walk-off win at Texas
Ducks earn 5-4 decision on Howard's sacrifice fly to force Game 3
AUSTIN, Texas -- No. 11 seed Oregon staked its eighth walk-off win of the season with a 5-4, eight-inning decision at No. 6 seed Texas in Saturday's super regional second game.
Oregon (43-16) tagged UT starter and All-Big 12 pick Blaire Luna for three runs in the first inning thanks to a two-out solo homer by senior Kelsey Chambers, and single by sophomore Alexa Peterson that scored two runs. Chambers’ 10th homer of the season moved her into sole position of UO all-time in career homers (36), and broke a tie with former greats Neena Bryant and Triawn Custer.
Texas (47-12) responded with a run in the second and three more in the third to go up 4-3. Courtney Craig accounted for the Longhorns' first run with her seventh homer of the year – a solo shot to left field in the second inning on a 1-2 pitch.
In the third, Kim Bruins and Taylor Hoagland singled and walked to open the inning. Lexy Bennett followed with an RBI double, and Craig added another RBI single. Nadia Taylor stole home for the inning’s final run on a delayed steal after Duck catcher Alexa Peterson threw out a runner attempting to steal second base.
UO retied it 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth inning on a one-out RBI single by Peterson.
The Ducks appeared ready add even more in the fourth with runners on second and third with only one out. Junior Jessica Moore tried to suicide squeeze bunt the go-ahead run, but the pitcher fielded the ball and got the out at home. UT reliever Rachel Fox then got the next batter on a ground-out to end the inning.
In the sixth, UO put two runners on, and was 10 feet from going ahead on deep fly ball by freshman Hannah Melick that was caught on the left field warning track.
In the seventh inning, UO put its opening two runners on second and third base on a Nieto single and dropped fly ball by the centerfielder. One out later, junior Allie Burger hit a ball that was caught in shallow left field, and Nieto was thrown out at home trying to score on the tag.
Oregon finally decided the game in the eighth inning after freshman Janie Takeda beat out a single to third base. She stole second and third base to set her season game high for swipes (2), then scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by junior Kaylan Howard.
Howard’s game-winning RBI was her team-leading 10th of the season.
Peterson (2 for 3, 2 RBI) led the team in hits for the contest, and five others hit safely once.
Winning her first super regional game in five tries, Moore (31-13) pitched her 30th complete game of the season, struck out five, walked five, allowed eight hits, and her four runs allowed were earned.
Luna pitched the first 2.2 innings, struck out three, walked five, gave up two hits, and two of her three runs allowed were earned.
In the final five innings, Rachel Fox (14-2) struck out one, walked one, yielded five hits, and one of her two runs allowed were earned.