Softball begins season with wins over Virginia and Creighton in Kajikawa Classic
The No. 9 Oregon softball team began its 2017 season with back-to-back victories in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona.
The Ducks got their bats going in the season opener as three players had at least two RBIs in Oregon’s win over Virginia. The Ducks then beat Creighton 8-0 in six innings as sophomore Megan Kleist dominated in the pitcher’s circle.
Game 1: Oregon 11 — Virginia 6
It didn’t take long for Oregon’s prolific offense to get going; South Carolina transfer Alexis Mack started the game off with a double. She came around to score when Nikki Udria doubled, giving the Ducks a 2-0 lead. Mia Camuso singled home Udria before coming around to score on a single by Miranda Elish for the 4-0 lead.
The Ducks added to their lead when they scored four more runs in the top of the second inning. Sammie Puentes started the rally with a single before Camuso and Elish added run-scoring singles later in the frame.
After another Oregon run in the third, Virginia rallied with three runs. The Virginia runs were all unearned as the Ducks committed three errors in the frame.
Virginia added another unearned run in the sixth inning before the Ducks’ bats came alive again in the seventh. Oregon scored two runs in the frame for the 11-4 lead before the Cavaliers scored two runs in the seventh.
Udria went 3-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Camuso had two hits and two RBIs while Elish added two hits and three RBIs.
Game 2: Oregon 8 — Creighton 0
This game was dominated by Kleist. She started the game in the pitcher’s circle and threw five total innings. She gave up one hit, one walk and struck out eight batters. Maggie Balint threw the final inning of the game to secure the victory.
The Ducks put up four runs in the second inning as Mack and Danica Mercado both had run-scoring singles. Puentes and Elish both scored unearned runs on error sin the inning.
Mercado hit Oregon’s first homer on the season in the third when she belted a two-out blast to score Udria.
Finally, the Ducks added their final two runs in the bottom of the sixth to end the game. Camuso hit a bases-loaded double to score Jenna Lilley and Darya Kaboli-Nejad for the 8-0 win.
Gwen Svekis, Mercado and Caruso each had two hits in the win.
Oregon returns to action on Friday when it plays San Jose State and Fresno State on the second day of the Kajikawa Classic.
Follow Ryan Kostecka on Twitter @Ryan_Kostecka