Ducks Host UCLA for Top-3 Matchup

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Winners of 17 of the last 18 games, No. 3 Oregon returns home to host a top-3 series against No. 2 UCLA, Friday through Sunday. The teams will play single games Friday and Sunday with a doubleheader on Saturday. This is the first time since 2014 that the two perennial powerhouses will meet as top-3 teams. The Ducks split their two nonconference meetings with the Bruins earlier this year, handing them their only loss of the year with a 3-1 win in the first matchup before falling 9-3 in the second.
 
GAME INFO  
DID YOU KNOW?
Oregon is the only team in the country with three pitchers in the top 50 nationally in strikeouts per seven innings, with Makenna Kliethermes, Brooke Yanez and Samaria Diaz all with a strikeout rate above 9.30.
 
RIVALRY SERIES W
Behind the pitching of Brooke Yanez and some clutch hitting, Oregon pulled out a road series win against rival Oregon State this past weekend. Yanez got the win in each of the three victories and struck out 34 batters over 19.1 innings pitched while giving up just three runs. She pitched back-to-back shutouts in her first two starts of the weekend, higlighted by a 15-strikeout effort on Thursday. Offensively, Oregon delivered in key situations, scoring five two-out runs while belting a pair of go-ahead home runs.
 
WINNING WAYS
Over the last two seasons, Oregon has showed that it once again is among the top programs in the country. The Ducks are 48-4 since the start of the 2020 season, tied for the second best winning percentage in the country over that stretch. Oregon also has now had three separate winning streaks of 15-plus games since the beginning of last year under head coach Melyssa Lombardi, including the team’s 15-game stretch that was snapped last weekend. Only UCLA has a higher win percentage than the Ducks over the last two seasons, while they are tied with Oklahoma and ahead of other perennial powerhouses in Texas and Washington.
 
FINDING WAYS TO WIN
Oregon has thrived under pressure and in close games this season. The Ducks are 12-0 this year in games decided by three runs or less, including three wins in one-run games. Oregon has also won five times in games in which it has trailed, while winning six games when either tied or trailing after four innings. The Ducks have outscored their opponents 60-19 from the fifth inning on this season.
 
SWING & MISS STUFF
Oregon is currently the only team in the country to have three pitchers in the top 50 nationally in strikeouts per seven innings As a staff, the Ducks are third in the conference with 9.71 strikeouts per seven innings while Oregon is the only team with three players in the top 10 of the Pac-12 in strikeout rate. The Ducks are also fifth nationally in total strikeouts with 247 on the season. Makenna Kliethermes is 10th in the nation and third in the Pac-12 with 11.89 strikeouts per seven innings while Brooke Yanez is fourth in the league and 20th nationally with 10.92 and Samaria Diaz is at 9.31, seventh in the Pac-12 and 45th in the country.
 
NO FREE PASSES
Oregon’s pitching staff has been among the best in the country in strikeout-to-walk ratio over the first eight weeks of the season. The Ducks currently lead the Pac-12 and rank third nationally with a 6.31 strikeout-to-walk ratio, recording 247 total strikeouts to just 39 walks this year. Additionally, Oregon has allowed the eighth-fewest walks per game in the country this year at 1.39 per game while all five pitchers are allowing fewer than 1.8 walks per seven innings.
 
RALLY WITH TWO
Oregon has done a lot of its damage offensively with two outs over the first 28 games of the year. The Ducks have scored 94 of their 184 runs on the season with two outs in innings. In 17 of the 28 games, Oregon has scored at least half of its runs with two gone in an inning, while scoring at least one two-out run in 26 of the 28 games. The Ducks are also hitting .365 as a team with two outs – 40 points higher than the overall team batting average.
 
PRODUCING AGAINST THE PAC
A trio of Oregon players have done some major damage over the 12 games this season against Pac-12 opponents – regardless of whether the games were considered conference or nonconference. Mya Felder, Allee Bunker and Haley Cruse are all batting at least .390 on the season against Pac-12 opponents with the three of them combining to hit .430 in those games. Additionally, all three are reaching base at a clip of at least .440 and each is slugging over .600.
 
CAN’T TEACH CLUTCH
In addition to the potent two-out offense, Oregon’s hitters have also upped their production in clutch situations so far this season. The Ducks are hitting .378 with runners in scoring position – 53 points higher than the overall team batting average – while batting .349 with runners on base. Three Oregon players are hitting over .450 on the season with runners in scoring position (Alyssa Brito – .519, Terra McGowan – .500, Allee Bunker – .459). On top of that, 12 of the Ducks’ home runs have either tied the game or given them the lead.
 

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