Oregon softball run-rules Rutgers and Texas during doubleheader in Mexico
With back-to-back run-rule victories and two innings with five answered runs, Oregon made sure senior Lauren Lindvall’s birthday was a good one.
In the second day of the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, the Ducks (9-0) outscored Rutgers, 10-0, and the Texas Longhorns, 8-0, in Friday’s doubleheader.
Starting with its afternoon game against Rutgers (2-5), Oregon ignited its two-game spark early by scoring half of their total points in the first inning alone.
The Ducks got on the board from a two-run double by Gwen Svekis in the first, bringing home both Alexis Mack and Jenna Lilley, to jump quickly ahead of Rutgers, 2-0. DJ Sanders capped the inning with her fifth home run of the season for a two-run hit in left centerfield, giving Oregon a 5-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third inning, Lilley drove a hit to right center for a two-run double and got the Ducks up by nine. Junior Darya Kaboli-Nejad hit the final scoring run for the Ducks, getting them to double-digits for the fifth time this season.
The victory over Rutgers gave pitcher Maggie Balint her third win of the season, after allowing two hits, four strikeouts and two walks in her five scoreless innings.
As a team, Oregon scored 10 runs on nine total hits. And on defense, the Ducks made three double-plays and no errors. Lilley led the Ducks at the plate with three RBIs and three runs. Including Lilley, five Ducks hit RBIs.
An hour and a half later, Oregon would do it all again against Texas (3-4).
After a scoreless first inning and two strikeouts from Oregon pitcher Miranda Elish, Oregon re-lit its spark in the bottom of the second inning.
Sanders was the first Ducks to score on a home run, giving her a team-best six total home runs so far this season. Oregon held on to Sanders’ energy throughout the rest of the inning. Mack’s RBI gave the Ducks another run and extended her team-best hitting streak to 15 games. With Lilley’s two-run double, Oregon ended the inning ahead 5-0 for the second time in consecutive games.
The top of the third came to close with a double play from Sanders. Cruse got her first hit of the season with a single to left field and later stole second. Lilley’s two-run single got Oregon to 7-0 against the Longhorns.
The only threat from Texas came in the fourth inning after hitting two singles to the infield, but Elish was able to hold down Oregon’s fort as she pitched another scoreless inning.
Sanders made Oregon’s final run for the day with after walking to first, stealing second and advanced to third on a Longhorn error. Iakopo got her home with an RBI double, giving the Ducks their 8-0 win.
Along with Balint, Elish picked up her third win on top of her seven strikeouts. Lilley was responsible for four of Oregon’s eight runs in the game as the team increased their win-game streak to nine.
Oregon will play one more game to conclude its stay in Mexico against No. 15 Ole Miss on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter: @maggie_vanoni