Oregon softball’s perfect start to the season was at risk in the fifth inning.
The No. 25 Ducks were never up on Seattle until the bottom of the fifth inning, when Oregon’s freshmen bats of Hannah Galey and Jasmine Sievers lit up Tempe, Arizona, for five runs to reverse a 5-3 deficit and give the Ducks an 8-5 lead.
Oregon held on to beat Seattle 8-6 and close out the season-opening Kajikawa Classic 5-0. Jordan Dail pitched 5.2 innings, but surrendered five runs on five hits and two walks, while Maddie MacGrandle earned her second win of the season, allowing one run in 1.1 innings pitched during the fifth inning and first out of the sixth.
The Ducks went down early, trailing Seattle 1-0 after two innings, but Oregon tied the game at 2 in the bottom of the third when Rachel Cid and Shaye Bowden hit an RBI single and triple, respectively.
Seattle responded in the top of the fourth with a three-run home run off Dail. After Sievers hit an RBI single in the fourth to cut Seattle’s lead to two runs, the game-winning fifth inning came in clutch.
With runners on first and second, Galey crushed a three-run home run to left-center field on a 1-2 count to give Oregon its first lead of the game before Sievers lined a two-run shot to center field two batters and one pitcher later to provide Melyssa Lombardi’s team insurance. Sievers finished the day 3-for-3 with three RBIs and her first collegiate home run.
Dail has continued to establish herself as Oregon’s go-to pitcher after she re-entered the game for MacGrandle after just four outs. Dail closed out the game in the seventh, facing four batters in the final frame.
The Ducks head to Clearwater, Florida, for the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational, where they’ll kick off action against LSU and James Madison on Friday, Feb. 15.
Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow