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Eugene Daily News
Alex Shoemaker

Oregon softball is undefeated and a national title darkhorse

Oregon softball

Oregon softball
Credit: GoDucks.com

Head coach Mike White has had no shortage of talented Oregon softball teams in his eight seasons in Eugene.

 

This year’s team might rival his very best.

That’s some intense praise considering the talent White has brought into the program. He’s elevated the Ducks to one of the premiere teams in the country, and so far in 2017 it appears Oregon is well on its way to another Women’s College World Series berth – they’ve participated in 2012, ’14 and ’15.

At 9-0 and currently ranked No. 9, when the new rankings are released tomorrow the Ducks should jump a few more spots with a chance to crack the top five.

Regardless, Oregon has done everything its needed to thus far.

In nine games, its outscored opponents 58-17 with three shutouts and six games with two or fewer runs allowed.

Likewise, the Ducks have scored eight or more runs in four games.

The pitching is in midseason form two weeks in. And the bats, they’re not too shabby either.

Sure, only two of Oregon’s early opponents were ranked when the Ducks played them. The schedule isn’t anything to write home about.

But Oregon is doing what it needs to do: take care of each opponent regardless if they’re a perennial power or bottom feeder.

The Ducks have unfinished business from an underwhelming 2016 campaign, which ended in the super regionals with an upset loss to Pac-12 Conference rival UCLA.

A year older, an ace rotation returned and plenty of speed and quick sticks at the plate, it appears Oregon has the pieces to make a deeper run.

The question now is: can Oregon make reach its fourth WCWS in six years, third in four years?

Answer: probably, but’s a little too early to tell.

All the pieces required to accomplish such an impressive feat are there, and coaches across the country have taken notice, as the rankings reflect.

Now it’s about playing ball and living up to potential.

Stay tuned…

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