Oregon swings pair of no-hitters
Also: MSU takes three wins; Miller clocks nation's fastest time
The sixth-ranked Oregon softball team was in a zone this weekend as the Ducks pulled off their first sweep of Pac-12 foe No. 17 Arizona.
But it wasn’t just that the Ducks swept the Wildcats, it was how they swept the Wildcats.
After opening the weekend with a 5-3 victory on Friday, the Ducks posted back-to-back five-inning no-hitters against Arizona, outscoring the Wildcats by a combined score of 17-0.
Freshman pitcher Cheridan Hawkins hurled Oregon’s first no-hitter in Pac-12 play since 2006 as the Ducks downed Arizona 8-0 on Saturday. It was their largest margin of victory against the eight-time national champions. Hawkins fanned 11 batters in the contest, including the first seven outs of the game.
"I hadn't looked at the scoreboard all game, so I didn't know it until we scored the last run and my teammates asked [if I knew I had a no-hitter]," Hawkins said. "The offense had 10 hits so that gave me a lot of confidence. I just tried to stayed in control and keep my composure."
How did the Ducks follow up their first no-hitter since 2011? Senior Jessica Moore tossed a perfect game, sparking the Wildcats to a five-inning, 9-0 victory on Sunday to cap off the historic sweep.
Moore retired all 15 batters in order, collecting the third no-hitter of her career. She struck out six batters, adding to her school career record total of 835.
"That's the best I've seen Jess pitch," Oregon head coach Mike White said. "She was in control of every one of her pitches against a very good hitting team, and she deserved it. At the plate, we're seeing the ball well, and our short game set our hitters up well, too."
"I knew I had a chance going into the last inning so I tried to bear down and do my best," Moore said. "Coach White and I re-watched my game Friday night and that really helped prepare us [for Sunday], as well as watching Cheridan [Saturday] and seeing what pitches they struggled on."
The sweep of the Wildcats was the Oregon’s fifth Pac-12 series win of the season, and improved the Ducks to 36-6 and 13-2 in league play. The Ducks, who have won eight of their last nine contests, stand in first place in the Pac-12 race.
• The Michigan State baseball team swept No. 13 Indiana in dramatic fashion with three walk-off wins, including a pair of extra-inning victories in the first two games of the series. On Sunday, sophomore Ryan Krill’s RBI-single to left field was the catalyst for a 6-5 victory against Indiana, who started the weekend in first place in the Big Ten standings. It was Michigan State’s third sweep of the season.
"I can't remember being a part of anything like that," MSU head coach Jake Boss said. "Three walk-off wins, especially against that ball club. And we had the lead late, you thought it was over in the last two games and all of a sudden they tied it. Again, we showed some character. We didn't quit and the guys just kept playing and believed they could get it done."
• After losing three of its last four games, the No. 15 Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team rebounded by surprising No. 1 Maryland 7-4 in front of 10,233 fans in College Park on Saturday in the 110th meeting between the two rivals. Senior goalie Pierce Bassett collected 12 saves, helping the Blue Jays hold the Terrapins to their lowest offensive output of the season. Johns Hopkins has won five consecutive road games against Maryland.
|WINTER CHAMPIONSHIP COVERAGE|
|Denotes recently completed championships|
|• NC Men's Gymnastics|
|• NC Women's Gymnastics|
• The Florida baseball squad claimed its’ first weekend sweep of the year with three victories against South Carolina as the Gators extended their winning streak to a season-long five games, which have all come against ranked foes. After winning two one-run affairs on Thursday and Friday, the Gators finished it off with a 14-5 defeat of the No. 8 Gamecocks on Saturday. UF has won eight of its last 10 contests to improve to 19-18 on the season. It is the first time since Feb. 20 the Gators have been above .500.
• The No. 18 Lehigh men’s lacrosse team clinched its first Patrot League regular season championship at the Mountain Hawks upended No. 9 Bucknell 11-7 in a battle of conference unbeatens on Friday. Dan Taylor netted three goals as Lehigh won at Bucknell for the first time since 1998, ending an eight-game road losing streak to the Bison. The Mountain Hawks will host the Patriot League tournament for the first time in school history on April 26-28.
• Loyola sophomore Hannah Schmitt scored the game-winning goal in overtime to lift the No. 17 Greyhounds to a 14-13 upset of previously undefeated and No. 6 Notre Dame in Division I women’s lacrosse action on Friday. The Irish rebounded on Sunday in another one-point game, edging No. 8 Georgetown 13-12 and handing the Hoyas their first loss in Big East Conference action.
• The top-ranked USC women’s water polo team dropped its first game of the season, falling to No. 2 Stanford 6-4 on Saturday. The Cardinal clinched the top seed of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship with the victory, and improved to 24-1 on the season and 5-0 in league play. USC’s four goals were a season-low for the Trojans, who entered the game averaging more than 15 goals per game.
• The No. 1 BYU men’s volleyball team capped off the regular season with a 3-0 sweep of No. 8 Stanford, winning the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation regular season title by three matches. It is the Cougars’ first MPSF regular season title since 2004, and gives them the No. 1 seed in the league tournament.
• Cal Poly Pomona senior pitcher Ryan Dunn struck out a season-high six batters in seven scoreless innings as he sparked the Broncos to a 1-0 victory against first-place and third-ranked Chico State in Division II’s California Collegiate Athletic Association action on Saturday. With the win, the Broncos ended the Wildcats’ 15-game winning streak and lowered his season ERA to 1.50. It was Dunn’s 52nd career appearance.
• The No. 1 team in Division III baseball team went down on Saturday as New Jersey City knocked off Kean 5-1 for the first time in 11 years. Senior right-hander Wendell Rodriguez held the Cougars scoreless in the final eight innings as the Gothic Knights defeated Kean for the first time in 19 meetings. It is the first time in the history of NJCU athletics that the Gothic Knights have defeated a No. 1 ranked team in any sport.
|THE DIGIT||THE 4-1-1|
|.818||Florida State third baseman Jose Brizuela batted .818 (9-for-11) in the Seminoles’ sweep of Duke. Brizuela reached base in 11 consecutive plate appearances at one point during the series, and contributed five singles, two doubles, two home runs and a pair of walks during the weekend. The Seminoles have won eight consecutive games against the Blue Devils.|
|7||The No. 10 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse squad matched a school-record for consecutive victories as the Seawolves cruised past New Hampshire 16-6 on Saturday. Seniors Demmianne Cook and Janine Hillier combined for 10 points in the contest as Stony Brook improved to 12-2 on the year and 4-0 in America East Conference action.|
|10||In Division II women’s tennis, No. 1 Armstrong Atlantic State captured its 10th consecutive Peach Belt Conference tournament title with a 5-0 defeat of No. 6 Columbus State on Sunday. The Pirates have won 12 of the last 14 PBC tournament titles since 1999.|
|22.41||Georgia freshman Shaunae Miller ran the fastest time in the nation this season under all conditions, clocking a 22.41 to win the 200 meters at the Spec Towns Track meet on Saturday. Miller, who won the 400 meters at NCAA indoors earlier this year, posted the third-fastest time in school history with the performance.|
|100||The No. 1 Virginia men’s tennis team collected its 100th consecutive victory against Atlantic Coast Conference competition with a 7-0 defeat of No. 25 Clemson on Friday. The Cavaliers have not lost to an ACC opponent (regular or postseason) since the 2006 ACC tournament. Virginia is 18-0 overall and 7-0 in ACC play. The streak is the longest in ACC men’s tennis history and the second-longest in conference history for all sports. The Duke women’s tennis team won 116 consecutive matches in ACC play from 1989-2000.|
• No. 1 Trinity (Conn.) remained unbeaten in Division III women’s lacrosse after edging Middlebury 10-9 in New England Small College Athletic Conference action on Saturday. Junior Shea Kusiak netted the game-winning goal for the defending national champions as Trinity broken its consecutive win record with the squad’s 19th victory in a row. Trinity improved to 11-0 on the season, while handing Middlebury (10-1) its first loss of the year.
• The No. 1 team in Division II softball continued its winning ways as Indianapolis took a doubleheader against Kentucky Wesleyan by a combined score of 22-3. The Greyhounds improved to 20-0 in Great Lakes Valley Conference action, while extending their winning streak to 31 games – just two shy of the school record set last year.
• The nation’s leading point scorer in Division II women’s lacrosse Jackie Sileo tallied a career-best 13 points to lead No. 1 LIU Post to a 15-12 victory against No. 11 Stonehill on Saturday. The Pioneers remained perfect on the season, improving to 11-0. Sileo also reached 100 points on the season with her five-goal, eight-assist performance.
• It may have taken extra innings – twice – on Saturday, but the No. 1 Montclair State softball team remained unbeaten with a pair of 2-1 victories against No. 23 The College of New Jersey in Division III action. Junior third baseman Dana Amato belted a two-run walk-off homer to lift the Red Hawks in the nine-inning contest, and then senior centerfielder Jamie Paulino’s sacrifice fly gave Montclair the game-winning run in the eighth inning of the second contest. Montclair State improved to 26-0 on the season, tying a program record with the 2008 squad for longest winning streak.
Follow Amy Farnum on Twitter: @NCAA_Amy