OKLAHOMA CITY — Oregon’s bats started hot, building a first-inning lead that was enough to beat Tennessee, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon at the Women’s College World Series. The Ducks (45-17) advance to play conference rival California at 9:30 p.m. ET tonight on ESPN. The Lady Vols conclude their 2012 season with a record of 52-14.
|WOMEN’S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES|
Getting to Know
• LSU | UC | USF | OU | UO | ASU | UT | UA
• LSU’s long, winding road
• Two better than one for Bears
• How a Kiwi changed the Ducks
• Bulls following plan to the letter
• Previewing the Women’s College World Series
The Ducks wasted no time getting the offense going. Right fielder Samantha Pappas took the second pitch of the game over the fence in centerfield to give the Ducks an early 1-0 lead. The onslaught continued with a Kaylan Howard double before Lady Vols starting pitcher Ellen Renfroe recorded the first out of the game with a strikeout.
Kailee Cuico, returning to the lineup after being suspended for Thursday’s WCWS opener, then plated the second run of the game for Oregon with a hit down the left field line. Cuico was thrown out trying to stretch a double, but the hit provided plenty of time for Howard to score and give the Ducks a 2-0 lead after the first half-inning of play.
Tennessee cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second inning with a two-out rally. Catcher Ashley Andrews put a single through to right field, and stole second base to get into scoring position. Centerfielder Tory Lewis followed with an RBI single to right, making the score 2-1, Oregon.
Oregon added a run in the top of the fourth inning as Christie Nieto was hit by a pitch and came around to score on a double to left center from Alexa Peterson, making the score 3-1.
A Tennessee rally was cut short in the sixth inning. Kat Dotson led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch, and was erased on a fielders choice by Lauren Gibson. Madison Shipman then hit into another fielders choice, and when Gibson did not slide on the play at second base and was hit by the thrown ball, Shipman was called out on interference to end the inning.
Both Renfroe sisters saw game action in the circle for Tennessee. Ellen started the game, facing nine batters over two innings pitched, walking one and striking out one while allowing three hits and two earned runs. Ivy faced the remaining 18 Duck batters, striking out three, allowing three hits and one run. She did not issue a walk.
For the Ducks, their three RBI came from three different players, Pappas (1-for-3 with a home run), Cuico (2-for-3, RBI) and Peterson (1-for-3, double). In the circle, Jessica Moore scattered four Lady Vol hits, striking out four, walking one and allowing one run.
• A Session 4 record 8,504 fans witnessed LSU defeat South Florida and Oregon beat Tennessee on Saturday afternoon. Each of the first four sessions of the 2012 WCWS has recorded an all-time attendance high.
• Saturday marked the first time Oregon has scored a run against Tennessee since 1989. The Lady Vols shut out the Ducks in the teams more recent two meetings, winning 5-0 in 2008 and 1-0 in 2006. The all-time series is now tied 2-2.
• The home run hit by Oregon’s Samantha Pappas on the second pitch of the game was her 10th of the season and 29th of her career. She is seventh in UO history in career home runs, and one shy of her own single-season career best (11 last year).
• Jessica Moore tied the school record for career wins with her 73rd victory against the Lady Vols. She currently shares that record with Katie Wiese (1989-91). That record includes an 11-6 mark in career postseason games.
• Today’s loss was Tennessee’s fourth straight in WCWS play. The Lady Vols lost two straight to Arizona in Sunday Semifinal action at the 2010 WCWS.
• Tennessee gave up multiple runs in the first inning in both of its 2012 WCWS losses. Alabama scored four runs in the first inning on Thursday, Oregon scored two in the first inning today.