It was the top of the fifth inning and Oregon needed everything to go its way in order to attempt a comeback. The Ducks were down 6-0 to their in-state rivals the Oregon State Beavers.
Three batters into the inning, Oregon had allowed OSU runners to reach third and second with one out. OSU’s Kayleen Shafer stepped up to the plate and hit a double that bounced and rolled down the left foul line.
Not one Duck went after the ball. Not one Beaver moved from their position, as it was assumed the call would be a foul. A moment went by before the umpire signaled that the play was fair. OSU runners jolted up and sprinted home as Oregon players were left scrambling. It was a play that added immense sting to the damage OSU had already built upon the Ducks.
The two additional runs were the last ones scored in Friday’s Civil War series opener as Oregon (21-23, 4-12 Pac-12) was run-rule in five innings, 8-0, by the Beavers (22-18, 4-13). The loss marks the ninth time this season the Ducks have been run-ruled by opponents. Additionally, it ties the all-time series against the two teams, 93-93-1, and gives OSU its first win at Jane Sanders Stadium.
“From the first inning on you could tell that Oregon State was ready to come in here and do what they wanted to do,” Oregon head coach Melyssa Lombardi said. “They played great. We did not play good enough today.”
The Beavers’ beat down began in the second inning.
After each team went scoreless in the first, OSU quickly grabbed ahold of the lead. The bases were loaded after two walks and a single, followed by a sac-fly to center field to score their lead runner. OSU’s Maia Rader then launched a double to center-right field to score both the remaining runners and get the Beavers ahead 3-0.
An inning later, the Beavers added two more runs off a two-run home run from Missy Nunes. OSU secured the win with a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth.
While OSU made big hits, the Ducks just could not get through OSU pitcher Mariah Mazon (13-12) as their adjustments came too late and were inconsistent throughout the game.
“She’s a drop-ball pitcher so the majority of the pitches she’s going to throw are down, so she forces you to put it in the ground a little bit,” Lombardi said. “When we did [connect], it forced some things to happen on their defense, we just needed to do that a little bit more often.”
Whether it was bad calls or bad plays, nothing worked for the Ducks as they only reached third base twice and left a total of seven players on base.
“To me, whether it’s a rivalry or not, it’s about us playing our best ball,” she said. “We didn’t play good enough today. That’s the difference.”
Oregon pitcher Jordan Dail (17-11) allowed eight hits and struck out two batters compared to Mazon’s four.
Offensively, Allee Bunker and Jasmine Sievers led the Ducks with two hits each, followed by one from Shaye Bowden and April Utecht.
“I think today was a day that we, for some reason, didn’t play the way we needed to, which is disappointing,” Lombardi said. “To me, we learn from today and we use it for the rest of the weekend. We still have two games left."
The Civil War will continue for game two Saturday evening at 6 p.m. back at Jane Sanders Stadium.
Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter: @maggie_vanoni