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Oregon Athletics | April 29, 2014

Costa blasts pinch-hit homer as No. 1 Ducks escape Utah Valley

EUGENE, Ore. -- Karissa Hovinga tossed a one-hit shutout in the first game while Koral Costa hit a big pinch-hit home run in the second game as the No. 1-ranked Ducks swept a doubleheader with Utah Valley on Tuesday evening at Howe Field.

The Ducks (46-5) run-ruled the Wolverines (14-27) 8-0 in the first game before winning the second 5-4.

Hovinga was nearly untouchable in the first game, allowing just two total baserunners on a hit-by-pitch in the third and a bunt single in the fourth. The junior struck out three and did not issue a walk.

Hovinga was helped out early by her offense, as the Ducks posted seven runs on seven hits in the first inning.

Courtney Ceo had a bunt single and a RBI double in the first inning while Sara Goodrum posted a two-RBI double.

Oregon's offense wasn't quite as explosive in the second game.

The Ducks scored three in the first inning on Janelle Lindvall's RBI double, a sac fly from Alexa Peterson and a wild pitch.

Oregon added one more run in the second inning, but Utah Valley tied up the game with a two-run fifth after also pushing runs across single runs in the first and the third. Oregon made two costly errors in the second game, allowing Utah Valley to score a pair of unearned runs.

Tied up 4-4 entering the sixth inning, head coach Mike White called on Costa to pinch hit and lead off the frame.

The sophomore, who had missed the previous three games with an ankle injury suffered in the opening game of the Stanford series, delivered in a big way.

Costa came through with a solo blast to center field on a 2-0 count to give the Ducks a one-run lead.

Cheridan Hawkins did the rest for the Ducks in the second game, with a perfect relief appearance.

Hawkins came on to relieve Jasmine Smithson-Willett in Utah Valley's two-run fifth. With the game suddenly tied up, a runner at third and no outs, Hawkins struck out the next three batters in the fifth to end the threat.

Hawkins struck out two more in the sixth inning before fanning all three batters in the seventh. Hawkins (27-3) picked up the game two win after striking out eight in three innings with no runs, hits or walks allowed.

Ceo had four hits in the doubleheader and is now hitting a whopping .487 on the season. Karine Shaver had two hits in the second game.

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