The No. 3 Oregon Ducks got their season rolling in the desert on the first day of the Kajikawa Classic in Arizona, beating the No. 25 Georgia Bulldogs 8-3.
Oregon’s offense got started early, scoring two runs in the first inning. Gwen Svekis hit a two-run homer with two out to start the game off.
This game was a double-header for Georgia, who dominated San Diego State earlier in the day. The Bulldogs scored 23 runs, including 12 in the first inning. They led the SEC in hitting percentage .338 last season.
Pitcher Megan Kleist kept Georgia in check the entire game. She recorded six strikeouts on two walks, two earned runs on 92 pitches.
Georgia’s Justice Milz hit a double to drive in Cortni Manuel. The next batter walked and Georgia had two runners on base with one out. But the runners were held with a fly-out to right field and a throw to home from from right fielder Haley Cruse.
When Oregon needed a score, the team executed better than Georgia all game. Sophomore outfielder Shannon Rhodes hit a two-run home run with one out to extend the lead 7-1 in the sixth inning.
Alexis Mack advanced DJ Sanders to third in the seventh inning. Sanders scored to make it an 8-2 ballgame.
Oregon finally made a pitching change to bring in Maggie Balint to finish the bottom of the seventh inning. The team ran into some trouble when Georgia made a final run and had runners on second and third with two outs, but Balint got the final strikeout to end the game.
The Ducks will continue the tournament against Fresno State at 8 a.m. tomorrow.
Follow August Howell on Twitter @howell_august
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