Oregon softball won both games on Saturday in the team’s first action since sophomore transfer pitcher Maddie MacGrandle left the team on Monday.
Sophomore pitcher Jordan Dail (12-8) put the pitching staff on her back once again, pitching all 12 innings on the day while earning both wins. The sophomore allowed two runs, three hits and three walks while striking out 16 batters on the 2-0 day.
The Oregon softball team defeated Pittsburgh (6-31) 9-1 and Missouri (20-16) 4-1 behind Dail’s stellar Saturday.
A lot of pressure will be placed on Dail and her left arm for the remainder of the season. Although the Ducks have freshman Kailey Krueger on the roster, the walk-on has pitched just 20 innings this season and has a 9.45 ERA.
One way to limit Dail’s workload is to run-rule opponents, and the Ducks did that in game one against Pittsburgh.
The Ducks were down early after Walker Barbee doubled Alexis Solak home in the second inning. However, Oregon retook the lead the next half inning.
Sophomore catcher Shaye Bowden led the inning off with a double and she advanced to third base on a single by freshman second baseman Allee Bunker. Bowden came in to score when Pittsburgh opted to turn a double play on Rachel Cid’s ground ball rather than make a play at the plate.
Freshman right fielder Hannah Galey singled and designated player Annalisa Williamson walked to keep the inning going for Haley Cruse. The junior outfielder promptly singled to score Galey and give the Ducks their first lead of the weekend.
Williamson then scored on an error by Pittsburgh shortstop Olivia Gray when Cruse stole second base.
Scoring halted until the fourth where a familiar rally took place again. Cruse stepped to the plate with two outs, Galey on second and Williamson on first. The center fielder once again knocked Galey in with an RBI single to make it a 4-1 Oregon lead.
This time, however, the scoring continued. Cherish Burks homered to make it a 7-1 lead. First baseman April Utecht hit a two-run home run later in the inning following a Jasmine Sievers walk.
Dail shut down the Panthers for the remainder of the game to clinch the five-inning, 9-1 run-rule victory.
Dail struck out nine batters in her five innings of work, allowing the one run on one hit.
Oregon once again had a lead-stealing second inning on Saturday. Oregon third baseman Rachel Cid stepped to the plate with one out and Bunker on first base. The freshman proceeded to launch her sixth home run of the season to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead.
Cid’s home run tied her with Utecht for the team lead. Utecht originally took the lead against Pittsburgh with her fourth inning home run.
The Ducks added one more run in the fifth inning. Bayley Bruner, who was pinch running for Utecht, scored on a sacrifice-fly by Galey.
The Tigers got one run back in the bottom of the fifth on a Kara Decker home run, but the scoring stopped there.
Dail finished off the Tigers for the 4-1 victory, which was her 12th win of the season. She went seven innings, allowing two hits, one earned run and one walk while striking out seven batters.
The Ducks play both teams again on Sunday starting at 7 a.m. PT.
Follow Maverick Pallack on Twitter @mavpallack