One game removed from snapping a 12-game losing streak and throwing a career-high 13 strikeouts, Jordan Dail and the Ducks looked ready face their next top-25 opponent after Allee Bunker launched a grand slam in the first inning on the road against No. 24 Stanford.
But it was not to be, as Stanford (24-4, 3-0 Pac-12) rallied to beat Oregon 8-6 (12-17, 0-7 Pac-12). Though Rachel Cid homered in the sixth inning to make it a two run deficit, some costly mistakes in the fifth inning proved too much for the Ducks to overcome.
Stanford cut the lead to just one run after Teaghan Cowles launched a solo homer to make it a 4-3 game in the fourth. Though Jasmine Sievers responded with her own solo shot in the next inning, Stanford would take the lead for good with four runs in the fifth inning.
Dail was pulled from the game after walking Montara Dixon to leadoff that explosive inning, but only for a short time after Maddie MacGrandle (2-6) walked in Emily Schultz with the bases loaded, then hit Kate Cressey with a pitch, which tied the game at five. After Dail replaced MacGrandle, Stanford scored two runs off two singles from Cowles and Emily Klingman.
Stanford started the comeback by scoring two runs in the third inning when Hannah Howell singled on the first pitch up the middle with the bases loaded. Emily Young hit a sacrifice fly to right field the next at bat to cut the lead in half.
Stanford’s starting pitcher Carolyn Lee (8-2) got the win, but looked out of her rhythm early. She gave up a leadoff single, then two consecutive walks with two outs, before Bunker launched her first home run of her collegiate career to give the Ducks a 4-0 lead.
The Ducks will look to even the series tomorrow at 2 p.m.
Follow August Howell on Twitter @howell_august