Oregon softball (21-22) swept its early week double header against Portland State (16-26) at Jane Sanders Stadium Tuesday night.
The Ducks took game one 5-3 and had an emphatic comeback win to secure the sweep and win game two 9-8.
Oregon took game one, not on the arm of Jordan Dail, but on the offense bailing her out when she needed them most.
Dail struggled in the first inning of game one. She gave up two hits and two runs in the inning, quickly putting Oregon in the hole 2-0.
“She’s thrown everything she’s has for us,” catcher Shaye Bowden said. “I’m not expecting her to be 100 percent and she gave us 100 percent.”
Center fielder Haley Cruse got the offense going with a leadoff single. Allee Bunker quickly followed with a single of her own. After an attempt at a double steal, Cruse was caught trying to take third base. Jasmine Sivers worked a walk out of Serafine Parrish to put a runner on first and second.
Catcher Shaye Bowden worked the count into her favor by making Parrish fall behind 3-0. Bowden capitalized on a pitch right down the middle and lined a ball over the left field wall for a three-run home run to put the Ducks up 3-2.
Dail's struggles continued as she gave up a solo shot that carried over left center field to open up the second inning to tie the game at three.
Her offense, again, backed her up. Cruse, who finished game one 2-for-4 with two hits and one RBI, roped a ball up the middle to bring in Hannah Galey. Cruse’s RBI broke the 3-3 tie, and Oregon never trailed the rest of the game.
Dail, who went seven innings giving up three runs on 10 hits, settled after the second inning and didn’t give up a run for the remainder of the game to secure the win for Oregon.
They all thought it was gone, even the bat girl.
Cruse had just ripped a ball to left field that some of her teammates thought was out of the park so they came to greet her at home plate, until they realized Cruse was still sprinting around the bases. The ball bounced just off the top of the left field wall far enough from any defender to give Cruse an three RBI inside-the-park home run with an emphatic come from behind victory, 9-8.
“Whenever I hit a ball that looks like it’s going to go out, I always sprint it out, because somehow it always finds a way to hit the wall,” Cruse said. “It worked out.”
Dail, who finished game one with 132 pitches, was the starting pitcher for game two, but the fatigue began to set in.
Despite an early 1-0 lead, Dail surrendered three runs on four hits after going 1.1 innings. Third baseman Rachel Cid came in for relief of Dail. Cid surrendered three runs on five hits over 1.2 innings.
“Even though we were down 8-2, we knew that we could come back and win a ball game,” head coach Melyssa Lombardi said. “We just needed to chip away.”
Oregon, couldn’t find the switch to turn its offense on. The Ducks trailed 8-2 following a three-run fourth inning from Portland State. Until, Oregon found a power-surge in the fifth inning.
Cherish Burks got the scoring starter after hitting two-run home run to left field that brought Cid in and chipped away at the Portland State's lead. Cruse, who pitched one inning giving one run on three hits, capped off her night with an game winning inside-the-park home run.
“We were just grinding,” Bowden said. “I never really felt like we were going to lose that game. I just knew that we were going to comeback.”
Oregon will welcome its in-state rival Oregon State for its Civil War series this weekend at the Jane.
“I know this is a big rivalry between the two schools. I’m excited to be apart of it,” Lombardi said. “We’re going to have to continue to play our best games to do what we want to do.”
Follow Gabriel on Twitter @gabe_ornelas