Preview: No. 1 Oregon softball prepares for another Super Regionals against Kentucky

There’s a feeling of deja vu for Oregon softball this weekend as the No. 1 Ducks host the No. 16 seed Kentucky Wildcats at Jane Sanders Stadium in the NCAA Super Regionals for the second straight year. Last season, No. 3 Oregon got by the No. 19 Wildcats in the …

The No.19 Oregon Ducks split their final day at the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational in Clearwater, Florida.

With Saturday’s no-hit win over Florida Atlantic University (2-0) and loss to No. 18 Kentucky (12-3), the Ducks ended the weekend with a record of 2-2 in the tournament and moved to 7-2 overall in the season.

vs. FAU

In her second start of the weekend, sophomore pitcher Jordan Dail earned her first career, and Oregon's first of the season, no-hitter to lead the Ducks in their 2-0 win against FAU Saturday morning.

After allowing six walks and four hits against LSU on Friday, Dail bounced back and struck out nine batters on just four walks Saturday morning. The sophomore’s performance improved her to 5-0 on the season and dropped her ERA to 1.93.

Despite Oregon leading 1-0 for the majority of the game, neither team managed a hit until the bottom of the fifth inning. Oregon’s Haley Cruse hit a leadoff double and remained at second for two outs, until an RBI single from senior April Utecht knocked her in for Oregon’s second, and final, run of the day.

Oregon’s first run came in the bottom of the first inning after an FAU error allowed freshman Rachel Cid to score from second base.

The Ducks’ ended the game with five hits, with one each from Utecht, Cruse, Jasmine Sievers, Shaye Bowden and Hannah Galey. Oregon’s lone RBI came from Utecht.

vs. No. 18 Kentucky

Just like with Friday’s doubleheader, the Ducks could not keep their morning momentum going into their second game.

The Wildcats outplayed Oregon in just five innings, defeating the Ducks 12-3.

Oregon sophomore Maddie MacGrandle started in the circle, for the fourth time this season. However, after Kentucky used a two-run double and a pair of walks to create a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, the Ducks brought in Jordan Dail. Dail closed the inning, preventing any more damage, with two strikeouts.

Unlike this morning, this time it was the Ducks who were hitless.

Two innings later, the Wildcats had quickly created a 5-0 lead thanks to a solo home run.

MacGrandle came back in for Dail in the bottom of the fourth but was still unable to stop Kentucky as the team scored three more times to amp the score to 8-0.

Oregon scored its first run in the top of the fifth when Haley Cruse RBI hit senior Cherish Burks in. On top of two-outs, freshman Rachel Cid hit a two-run double to close Kentucky’s gap to 8-3 and cause them to make their first pitching change of the game.

But the revival didn’t last long, as the Wildcats used the bottom of the fifth to hit two, two-run home runs and extend their lead to 12-3.

MacGrandle earned the loss and is now 2-2 overall. Oregon hit three RBIs, including two from Rachel Cid and one from Haley Cruse.

The Ducks will return to Eugene briefly before hitting the road again next week.

Oregon will travel to Cathedral City, California and play six games in the four-day Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. The Ducks will start the classic with a doubleheader on Thursday, beginning with a game against New Mexico State at 10 a.m.

Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter: @maggie_vanoni

Sports Reporter

Maggie is a senior sports reporter covering all things Oregon sports including football, volleyball, women's basketball and softball. Contact her via email at [email protected]

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