The Ducks entered the season ranked No. 3 in the nation. Their play on the field hasn’t shied away from meeting those expectations.
That continued on Saturday, in which the Ducks pummeled Missouri 14-2, followed by a 14-0 victory over UTEP in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona.
Oregon (5-0) didn’t waste any time in its first game against Missouri. After scoring one run in the first inning, the Ducks exploded for nine in the second. With two outs, Oregon recorded seven hits. Jenna Lilley put the exclamation point in the inning with a grand slam to give the Ducks a 5-0 lead.
Gwen Svekis and DJ Sanders joined the party, with each player going deep in the second inning. Lauren Lindvall added a two-run home run in the four-run fourth inning for the Ducks.
The four Oregon seniors, Lilley, Svekis, Sanders and Lindvall, combined to go 5-for-11 with four home runs and 11 RBIs.
The offensive outburst made the job easy for starting pitcher Megan Kleist, who went all five innings, allowing two runs on six hits.
Oregon had to wait nearly seven hours before its next game versus UTEP, but the bats did anything but cool off.
In the front end of the doubleheader, it was the seniors that did the heavy lifting. Against UTEP, though, it was the freshman that led the way early.
Lauren Burke’s first collegiate hit drove in a pair to put the Ducks up 2-0, before scoring on an Alexis Mack bunt to put Oregon ahead 3-0. Fellow freshman Mary Iakopo ripped a two-RBI double to give the Ducks a 4-0 lead in the top of the third inning.
The Ducks opened the floodgates in the fourth inning, punctuated by a three-run pinch hit home run from Cherish Burks to give Oregon an 11-0 lead.
Oregon tacked on three more runs in the fifth inning to go up 14-0. Miranda Elish finished off the shutout by striking out the side in the fifth inning to give the Ducks the run-rule win, its fourth straight of that kind.
Oregon plays New Mexico tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. PT to conclude the tournament before the team heads to Mexico.
Follow Cole Kundich on Twitter @ckundich
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