'We did what we had to do, and came away with two wins'

EUGENE, Ore. -- The University of Oregon Ducks hosted the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, and defeated them in both games, 2-1 in the first and 10-4 in the second, making their season win-loss at 32-4.

“We did what we had to do, and came away with two wins,” said Head Coach Mike White. “Sometimes winning ugly is better than losing well,” said White. 

The first game was close, with the Gauchoes leading 1-0 into the fifth inning. At the bottom of the fifth, center fielder Koral Costa hit a homerun that tied the game. With the game still tied after seven innings, the game went into extra innings. Senior Alexa Peterson sent in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. 

In the second game, the Ducks had a big lead early on, 9-0, and managed to keep their lead despite the Gauchos scoring four runs, to win the game 10-4. After hitting a walk-off homerun in the final game of the series against the Washington Huskies last weekend, Kailee Cuico hit a grand slam in the second game to clinch the victory. 

“It feels good. [I’m] just getting really comfortable and taking it pitch by pitch, not thinking too much, just trusting my coaching and my ability and seeing the ball,” said Cuico. “I just have a lot of faith in my team and my coaches right now.”

The Ducks will host the UCLA Bruins this weekend in a three game series. The first game of the series is Friday at 3pm. “We’ve always played well against UCLA, and I expect no less this weekend,” said White.

Sophomore pitcher Cheridan Hawkins, who was named the Pac-12 pitcher of the week, looks forward to the series against UCLA. “I’m just really excited to get to play them,” said Hawkins. “I’m kind of not trying to think too much into it. It’s just another faceless, nameless opponent. We’re just playing our game.”

This week, seniors Courtney Ceo and Alexa Peterson were both selected by the USSSA Pride for the National Pro Fastpitch draft. Ceo was selected sixth and Peterson 11th overall in the draft.