One day after upsetting No. 1 UCLA, led by ace Jordan Dail, the Oregon softball team (17-20, 2-9) fell to the top-ranked Bruins (36-2, 10-1) 8-3 Saturday.
Dail received the start in game two, and although she did not pitch all seven innings in the circle, the sophomore left hander allowed five runs, two earned, in three-plus innings of work. Her two strikeouts came against reigning Pac-12 player of the year Rachel Garcia.
Garcia started on the mound for the Bruins, and after a brief first inning hiccup she dominated the young Oregon lineup.
Oregon’s first run came in the first inning when freshman second baseman Allee Bunker hit a clutch two-out single to score Haley Cruse.
The Ducks’ lead held until the bottom of the third inning, when the Bruins scored three runs. UCLA’s Paige Halstead led the inning off with a single and Kinsley Washington beat out a bunt for another single.
Following a Kelli Godin sacrifice bunt, Briana Perez knocked in Halstead and reached base on a Bunker error. UCLA took a lead it would not relinquish on a two-run single by Bubba Nickles.
The Ducks were still well within comeback territory in the fourth, trailing just 3-1, but they couldn’t keep the Bruins off the board. UCLA scored four unearned runs on two errors to not only chase Dail, but to give reliever Kailey Krueger three unearned runs as well.
Dail started the fourth with two walks, bouncing a couple pitches as fatigue appeared to set in. The Bruins scored their first run of the inning on Bunker’s second error of the game. The Bruins other four runs came on a Perez single, a Nickles sacrifice fly, a Taylor Pack single and an Aaliyah Jordan single.
The Ducks added two runs in the fifth inning when Jasmine Sievers doubled Cruse and Bayley Bruner, who was pinch running for Lexi Wagner, home to make it 8-3.
The Ducks continued to threaten, loading the bases for Cruse, but she ended the inning on a pop out.
Oregon put two more runners on in the seventh, but Garcia finished the Ducks off for the 8-3 win with her eighth strikeout.
The two will retake the field on Sunday at 1 p.m. with the winner taking the series.
Follow Maverick Pallack on Twitter @mavpallack