Ducks Softball Comes To An End to Pac-12 Rival Cal
Oklahoma City, Okla. – After making it to Women’s College World Series for the first time in 23 years, the longest drought of any participating Pac-12 school, 45-18 (13-7) Oregon was eventually brought down by the conference foe Cal, 6-1.
The No. 11 Ducks found themselves in quite a hole after losing its opening game to the No. 3 Arizona State Sun Devils, 3-1, Thursday night in a must-win game.
In game one against ASU, the Ducks were without starting first basemen Kailee Cuico, still serving a suspension for a push in a game against Texas earlier in the playoffs, and would ultimately lose a close game.
Struggles on defense have plagued the Ducks all season, and two costly errors proved to be a key contributor to the loss. Oregon dropped to the losers’ bracket to face Tennessee, losers to the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide.
In game two, the Ducks bounced back strong, and took down the Volunteers behind junior ace Jessica Moore and avoided elimination.
Unfortunately, a run to the championships wasn’t meant to be. The Ducks fell in their third and final WCWS game to the Cal Bears after a late rally was snuffed out.
But to view this season as a disappointment would be a complete injustice to all that this team has accomplished.
Moore’s (33-15) production in the playoffs is comparable to Arron Brook’s 2007 post-season run for the men’s basketball program by guiding the Ducks to the Elite Eight.
Moore pitched an incredible 59.0 innings in the Ducks’ nine postseason games, allowing just 27 runs against three of the best hitting teams in the country and a 6-3 record in said games.
In the opening regionals, Moore threw a total of 326 pitches and three huge wins. Next week against Texas, Moore battled scorching Texas heat while throwing 325 pitches in little over 24 hours.
Even after throwing all but one inning in the Ducks, first six postseason games, her production continued to amaze fans, players, coaches and anyone really who was witness. Moore battled and placed her mark in school history, with the record books ready to be blown away.
Moore is the current school leader in career wins and innings pitched with an entire senior season of eligibility remaining.
The Ducks lose seniors SS Kelsey and 3B Lindsey Chambers (twins), LF Christie Nieto and backup pitcher Samantha Skillingstad to graduation. But with Moore, and most of the Ducks’ lineup, coming back next year, 2013 could be an even bigger season for Ducks softball.
Kelsey Chambers, who batted third in the Oregon lineup most of the season, finished the Cal game hitting 2-of-3.
With Alabama and Oklahoma competing in the WCWS, the streak of six consecutive Pac-12 Softball titles will be snapped. The Pac-10/12 has also won nine of the past 10, and 23 of 30 all-time.