After four scoreless innings in Friday’s match-up against Arizona State University, Oregon’s DJ Sanders was stuck on second base in the top of the fifth.
With an Alexis Mack bunt, Sanders scored Oregon’s first run of the game.
No. 3 Oregon (33-6, 8-2) built off the momentum of Mack’s double in the remaining two innings, beating No. 7 Arizona State 5-0 in Tempe, Arizona. The victory marks the Ducks’ 10th straight win against the Sun Devils (33-6, 7-3).
When the fifth inning ended, Oregon had a 2-0 lead over Arizona State thanks to a Shannon Rhodes single, which brought Mack home.
Oregon quickly doubled the score.
In the top of the sixth, after Gwen Svekis opened the inning by reaching third on an ASU catching error, Mary Iakopo slammed a two-run home run over the wall of centerfield and got the Ducks a lead of 4-0.
The Ducks’ final run came an inning later, in the top of the seventh on a solo home run over the right-field fence from senior Jenna Lilley.
With only three hits the whole game, the Sun Devils’ pressure on the bases was limited due to Oregon pitcher Megan Kleist. Kleist put away ASU batters in a row for three out of the seven innings, earning the win and improving her season record to 12-4. She struck out 10 batters and didn’t allow a single walk.
“There were some big turning points,” head coach Mike White told goducks.com. “They got runners on the corners. Kleist pitched out of it. She wasn’t at her best in the first two innings but as the game went on she got stronger, and that’s what we’re there to do. She found a way to win tonight and shut out the number seven team in the country.”
Iakopo led the Ducks with two RBIs, ahead of Rhodes’ one. Both Iakopo and Lilley scored the only home runs of the game.
The Ducks and Sun Devils will play game two of their three-game series tomorrow at 6 p.m. back at the Alberta B. Farrington softball stadium in Tempe.
Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter @maggie_vanoni