EUGENE, Ore. – Allee Bunker continued her stellar weekend offensively but No. 3 Oregon fell behind early in both games of Saturday’s doubleheader and couldn’t respond in 3-0 and 9-3 losses to No. 2 UCLA.
The Ducks will have a chance to split the series and win two out of the three conference games with the Bruins this weekend when the teams meet Sunday at 12 p.m. to close the series. Saturday’s second game is designated as a nonconference matchup.
Game 1: No. 2 UCLA 3, No. 3 Oregon 0
UCLA hit a pair of first-inning home runs and Oregon couldn’t respond in a 3-0 loss to the No. 2 Bruins in the opener of the doubleheader.
How it Happened: The Bruins got to Oregon starter Brooke Yanez for a pair of first-inning homers to go in front 3-0. Aaliyah Jordan hit a solo shot to left center to lead off the game before Rachel Garcia followed two batters later with a two-run shot to left.
That would be all the offense for either side as Yanez and Samaria Diaz combined to shut the Bruins out over the final six innings and the Ducks’ offense couldn’t capitalize on a few opportunities. Oregon had multiple runners on in each of the first two innings and couldn’t capitalize before the third inning ended when Rachel Cid was caught off of first base following a two-out single that moved a runner to third.
The Ducks also had multiple runners on in the fifth and sixth innings but stranded those runners both times. Yanez tossed three shutout innings after allowing the first-inning runs before giving way to Diaz, who held UCLA scoreless over the final three innings. She allowed just a hit in the sixth inning and a pair of walks in the seventh while striking out four, including three punch-outs in the sixth.
Game 1 Notables: A trio of Oregon players recorded multiple hits … Cruse and Terra McGowan went 2-for-4 while Deijah Pangilinan finished 2-for-3 … Yanez took her first loss of the season, dropping to 14-1 … Yanez and Diaz combined for 11 strikeouts, marking the 14th time this year Oregon pitching has had double-figure strikeouts.
Game 2: No. 2 UCLA 9, No. 3 Oregon 3
Bunker went 3-for-4 with a homer at the plate, but Oregon couldn’t climb out of another early hole in a 9-3 loss to UCLA in game two of the doubleheader.
How it Happened: The Bruins again got on the board in the first inning, going in front 1-0 following a pair of singles and a sacrifice fly. They added two more in the fourth inning with a two-out rally. After two quick outs, UCLA worked a pair of walks against Oregon starter Makenna Kliethermes before the Bruins’ Anna Vines delivered a two-run double to make it 3-0.
The Ducks answered with a two-out run of their own in the bottom of the fourth, cutting the deficit to 3-1. After Mya Felder reached on an error, Vallery Wong cashed in with a two-out RBI single through the left side for the first Oregon run of the doubleheader.
UCLA broke things open with four runs in the fifth, getting one on an RBI single before Delanie Wisz hit a three-run homer to make it 7-1. Bunker continued her hot-hitting weekend with a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning to cut the Oregon deficit to 7-3. The Bruins answered though with single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to cap off the scoring.
Game 2 Notables: Bunker turned in her fourth three-hit game of the season and 11th multi-hit game … Cruse went 2-for-4 with a run scored and is tied with Bunker for the most multi-hit games with 11 … The top three in Oregon’s order went 6-for-12 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
Overall Notables: Bunker is now 7-for-11 on the weekend with a pair of homers and four RBIs … She now leads the team with a .414 batting average and 35 RBIs and is second with seven homers … Cruse went 4-for-8 with a run scored in doubleheader and is 5-for-11 on the weekend … The losses snapped Oregon’s 19-game home winning streak that has stretched over the last two seasons … It’s also the first time since the end of the 2019 season that the Ducks have lost back-to-back games.
On Deck: The Ducks and Bruins play the series finale Sunday at 12 p.m. (Pac-12 Network).