The No. 15 Oregon softball team took two of three games from No. 11 Arizona to win its third Pac-12 series of the season this weekend in Tucson.
The Ducks (35-11, 12-7 Pac-12) claimed the series opener 11-7 on Friday night and came back to win 12-7 on Saturday — before closing out the series with a 5-4 loss in extra innings on Sunday.
Oregon sits third in the conference standings with one regular season series remaining, trailing only top-ranked California and No. 3 Arizona State. The Wildcats (31-15, 8-10) are now a game behind UCLA — the Ducks’ final regular season opponent — for fourth and fifth in the Pac-12, respectively.
In Friday’s opener, sophomore Kailee Cuico and senior Christie Nieto each hit no-out grand slams to give Oregon an 8-3 lead after three innings of play. In total, 10 Ducks hit safely, led by Cuico’s 3-for-3 performance with three runs scored and four RBI. In another complete game effort, junior pitcher Jessica Moore (24-8) struck out three, walked three and six of her seven runs allowed were earned.
The hits continued to add up for the Ducks on Saturday, using a seven-run second inning to jump out to another early lead and give Moore plenty of room to work. Junior Kaylan Howard (2-for-3, three RBI) and sophomore Alexa Peterson (2-for-3, two RBI) each hit home runs for Oregon, while juniors Samantha Pappas and Allie Burger as well as freshmen Jamie Rae Sullivan and Janie Takeda all recorded multiple-hit games in the victory.
Moore scattered 10 hits over seven innings, struck out three and walked four.
In Sunday’s finale, both teams scored two runs in the first and third innings but were held scoreless over the next four frames to send the game into extra innings. After holding Oregon scoreless in the top of the eighth, Arizona freshman Hallie Wilson hit a walk-off, two-out RBI single up the middle to score Chelsea Goodacre, who singled earlier in the inning.
Oregon freshman Karissa Hovinga gave up four runs on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings of work before handing the ball back to Moore for the final out in the seventh. Burger (3-for-3) and Peterson (2-for-4) each had multiple hits for the Ducks.
Oregon will host Seattle in a nonconference doubleheader Wednesday afternoon at Howe Field starting at 1 p.m.