EUGENE, Ore. -- After only playing five innings in each of their past four games, the Ducks had to battle through seven innings in the third game of the three-game series against the California Golden Bears. The Oregon Ducks finished the series against the Bears with a 7-2 victory, and a series sweep. The Ducks stayed strong offensively, and continued their errorless defense.
“Our defense has come to forefront the last six games,” said Head Coach Mike White. “We haven’t made an error in six games, which is impressive for us because it’s been our Achilles heel in the past.”
The Ducks had ten hits and just four strikeouts in the third game. Cheridan Hawkins and Jasmine Smithson-Willett pitched for the Ducks. Together they got five strikeouts and allowed six hits.
“I made a couple mistakes and my team was there to pick me up, so it worked out well,” said Hawkins.
This series the Ducks scored a total of 31 runs, again proving their strong offense after scoring 38 against the Beavers in a three-game series last weekend.
The Ducks have been trying not to let the No. 1 ranking get to their heads, in order to stay focused.
“We can’t be afraid of it,” said first baseman Kailee Cuico. “We have to own it. Ever since then we’ve been settling in and just having fun out here. That’s what it’s all about.”
“Our goal is to get back to the Women’s College World Series,” said White. “I don’t think we’re going to go the rest of the season without a loss—that’s going to happen sooner or later, and when it does, we’ll treat it the same way as we do a win.”
“We’re very confident in what we can do, and we know that if we play our game, we can beat anybody in the country,” said left fielder Janie Takeda. “As long as we can stay grounded with that, I think the pressure is more of excitement instead of anxious or nervousness.”
The Ducks have a quick turnaround before their next game-- Tuesday at 4pm against the Portland State Vikings at Howe Field.