Women's Softball Takes Two from UO

Victoria Hayward scored the go-ahead run on Courtney Ceo's second error of the inning in the bottom of the sixth to give the sixth ranked Huskies a 3-2 win over the 14th ranked Ducks in the first game of a doubleheader at Husky Softball Stadium on a mostly cloudy and partially showery Saturday afternoon

With the win in the Pac-10 opener that got postponed to Saturday by a rainout on Friday night, the Huskies improved to 26-2 while the Ducks dropped to 28-5.

Game 1: #6 UW 3, #14 Oregon 2

After Washington scored a run in the bottom of the first on a run scoring single by Niki Williams, Husky starter Kaitlin Inglesby no hit the Ducks for five innings, allowing only one baserunner on an error by Jerrin Faasua in the third, but she got into trouble in the sixth.

The Ducks scored twice to take a 2-1 lead. Kaylan Howard broke up the no hit bid with a sharp single to right field. Alexa Peterson and Ceo reached on consecutive bunt singles to load the bases. Pinch hitter Christie Nieto lined a single to left to score Howard and tie the game at 1.

A bases-loaded walk to Samantha Pappas plated Peterson to put the Ducks on top. After Monique Fuiava struck out swinging for the first out, the Ducks had an apparent third run when Kelsey Chambers lofted a deep fly ball to the wall in center field. Whitney Jones, in the game for injured Kimi Pohlman, barely caught the ball in the webbing of her glove, with Ceo scoring to give Oregon a 3-1 lead.

However, the Huskies appealed to the umpires that the run should not have counted because Ceo left third base too early, and the men in blue indeed ruled that Ceo did tag up too soon and called her out.

That seemed to give the Huskies some momentum in the bottom of the sixth, as they regained the lead with two runs. Morgan Stuart got hit by a pitch from Duck starter Jessica Moore leading off.

Then the next batter, Shawna Wright, took advantage of Ceo expecting a sacrifice and instead chopped a one strike pitch over Ceo's head to put Huskies at first and second. Victoria Hayward then hit a grounder to Ceo for what should have, at worst, been the first out but she booted the ball toward shortstop Chambers and Stuart raced home from second to score the tying run. Taylor Smith walked to load the bases but then Jones grouned into a third to home to first double play, leaving runners on at second and third with two outs.

It looked like Oregon would get out of the inning without any more damage when Marki Creger Zier hit a grounder to Ceo, but she bobbled the ball, allowing Hayward to score the eventual winning run.

Despite trailing the Ducks still had a chance to tie the game against Inglesby (15-1) in the top of the seventh when they had runners at first and second with two outs. Ceo came to the plate with a chance to atone for her two errors in the previous inning, but she fouled out to Stuart to end the game. Inglesby went the distance for her eighth complete game of the season, allowing six hits and one walk while striking out six.

Moore (13-3) suffered the loss, going five and two thirds innings. She allowed three runs, only one earned, on five hits and six walks. She also struck out six.

Game 2: #6 UW 4, #14 Oregon 2

In the second game, Inglesby homered to highlight a three run fourth inning and the Huskies went on to beat the Ducks 4-2, improving to 2-0 in the Pac-10 and 27-2 overall while Oregon dropped to 28-6 and 0-2.

The two teams traded zeroes for the first three and half innings and it looked like the fourth would end scoreless as well when Wright popped out to second and Faasua flied out to left. Inglesby though stepped into the batter's box and drove the first pitch she saw from starter Samantha Skillingstad over the wall in left field for her seventh homer of the season and a 1-0 Husky lead.

The Huskies added two more runs in the frame when Stuart lined a single to left and Hayward lined an infield single off the glove of second baseman Howard. Jones drove in both runners with a double into the alley in left center.

Oregon got a run back in the top of the fifth for 3-1 when Howard got on base on an infield single and scored on a double down the left field line by Peterson. The Huskies then answered the Duck tally with a run of their own, capitalizing on the wildness of relievers Brittany Rumfelt annd Mikayla Endicott to make it 4-1.

Rumfelt walked two batters and hit another to load the bases. Oregon coach Mike White then brought in Endicott to pitch to Stuart but she proceeded to walk her to force home Jenn Salling with an important insurance run.

Bryana Walker (3-1) started and got the win for the Huskies in the circle. She went five innings, allowing one run on four hits. She walked two and struck out three. Jones moved from center field to relieve Walker for the final two innings and earned her second save. She gave up a solo homer to Fuiava in the sixth and a single to Howard in the seventh but otherwise was lights out. She recorded five of her six outs via strikeout and punctuated the game by whiffing pinch hitter Lindsey Chambers.

Skillingstad (8-1) got the loss for the Ducks. She went only three and two thirds innings. She gave up three runs on five hits and two walks. She struck out two.

The two teams return to Husky Softball Stadium at noon on Sunday for the series finale. Then the Huskies host California for a three game series from Friday, April 8 to Sunday, April 10.

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