Oregon softball edges Hofstra and Florida Gulf Coast in second day of Unconquered Invitational
Sophomores Mia Camuso and Shannon Rhodes provided power in No. 6 Oregon’s (18-3) undefeated second day of the Unconquered Invitational in Tallahassee, Florida.
At the JoAnne Graf Field on Saturday, Oregon earned the victory against the Hofstra Pride, 2-1, in the morning and against the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, 5-1, in the afternoon. The wins earned the Ducks their seventh and eighth straight wins and their fourth straight win in the Invitational.
After outscoring Florida Gulf Coast 5-0 on Friday, Oregon once again scored five runs against the Eagles (13-4) for the second day in a row.
At the top of the third inning, the Ducks’ bat power surged, earning four of their five total runs.
Senior Jenna Lilley started the inning with a single to right field. A bunt single from Alexis Mack got the pair on first and second base. Senior Gwen Svekis then loaded the bases with her second walk of the game. Freshman Mary Iakopo brought home the front pair of runners with her two-RBI single out to left field.
Mia Camuso followed suit, with her two-run single bringing home both Svekis and Iakopo for a 4-0 lead over FGCU. The inning ended with all nine batters taking a turn on the plate for the Ducks.
Three innings later at the top of the sixth, Camuso made her way to third on an Eagle throwing error. Lauren Lindvall’s left-field RBI double brought Camuso home and got the Ducks up to their final score of 5-1.
Innings one through two remained quiet, as both teams left players stranded out on bases. FGCU made minimal noise, scoring its only run at the bottom of the fifth with a leadoff solo home run to left field.
Oregon’s pitcher, Maggie Balint (4-1), earned her fourth win of the season, starting in her second game of the day and allowed just one run on five hits with five strikeouts.
Iakopo finished 2-for-2 with RBIs and hit her first career triple at the top of the fifth, while Lindvall earned her third double of the year. Camuso and Iakopo were both responsible for bringing home a pair of runs.
The Ducks showed similar dominance in their early Saturday morning game against the Hofstra Pride.
After five runless innings into their battle against Hofstra (10-6), both teams were tied with a run each.
Shannon Rhodes broke the silence by blasting a game-winning home run to open the top of the 11th inning, giving Oregon the winning lead over the Pride.
Rhodes also helped score Oregon’s first run of the day in the top of the sixth inning. Her bunt base hit down the third base line, quickly advanced Lilley from second to third. Lilley found her way home thanks to an RBI fielder’s choice from Svekis, evening the scoreboard 1-1.
The Pride scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. With loaded bases and a double walk play, Hofstra Pride’s Michaela Transue’s run snapped 23.2 straight scoreless innings for the Duck pitching staff. After the run, Balint was relieved by Miranda English.
Oregon’s 2-1, 11-inning victory over the Pride, marks the team’s longest game so far this season.
Elish’s seven full innings earned her a team-best eighth win on the mound, now 8-0. She stroke out nine players and allowed only three hits and two walks, for her 32nd straight inning without allowing a single run. Elish improved to 20-0 in her career and to a 0.14 ERA this season.
Rhodes led Oregon on the plate with two hits, on top of hitting her fourth home run this season. The game also marked Darya Kaboli-Nejad’s first start of the season, the second of her career.
The Ducks will conclude the Unconquered Invitational by playing No. 13 Florida State Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m.
Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter: @maggie_vanoni
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