Womens College World Series

Oregon softball is undefeated and a national title darkhorse

Oregon softball
Oregon softball
Credit: GoDucks.com

Head coach Mike White has had no shortage of talented Oregon softball teams in his eight seasons in Eugene.

 

This year’s team might rival his very best.

That’s some intense praise considering the talent White has brought into the program. He’s elevated the Ducks to one of the premiere teams in the country, and so far in 2017 it appears Oregon is well on its way to another Women’s College World Series berth – they’ve participated in 2012, ’14 and ’15.

At 9-0 and currently ranked No. 9, when the new rankings are released tomorrow the Ducks should jump a few more spots with a chance to crack the top five.

Regardless, Oregon has done everything its needed to thus far.

In nine games, its outscored opponents 58-17 with three shutouts and six games with two or fewer runs allowed.

Likewise, the Ducks have scored eight or more runs in four games.

The pitching is in midseason form two weeks in. And the bats, they’re not too shabby either.

Sure, only two of Oregon’s early opponents were ranked when the Ducks played them. The schedule isn’t anything to write home about.

But Oregon is doing what it needs to do: take care of each opponent regardless if they’re a perennial power or bottom feeder.

The Ducks have unfinished business from an underwhelming 2016 campaign, which ended in the super regionals with an upset loss to Pac-12 Conference rival UCLA.

A year older, an ace rotation returned and plenty of speed and quick sticks at the plate, it appears Oregon has the pieces to make a deeper run.

The question now is: can Oregon make reach its fourth WCWS in six years, third in four years?

Answer: probably, but’s a little too early to tell.

All the pieces required to accomplish such an impressive feat are there, and coaches across the country have taken notice, as the rankings reflect.

Now it’s about playing ball and living up to potential.

Stay tuned…

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Oregon Ducks Softball Outfielder Janie Takeda Blogs for ESPNW Ahead of WCWS

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Oregon Softball plays in a Super Regional against Minnesota KPNWSports
Oregon Softball plays in a Super Regional against Minnesota KPNWSports

The life of the college athlete is a hectic one. They have to juggle classes along with their respective sport. In the case of Oregon Ducks Outfielder Janie Takeda this is one area she talks about in a blog she wrote recently for ESPNW leading up to the team’s second appearance in three years in the Women’s College World Series.

Takeda, along with Third Baseman Courtney Ceo and lights out pitcher Cheridan Hawkins will lead the charge to Oklahoma City later this week as they take on Florida State in the first ‘OKC’ Round in a double elimination series. She starts blogging about the feelings of the team following this past few weeks. Last season they lost the Super Regional round to Nebraska at home at Howe Field, but this year is a different story,

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Two weekends ago the Oregon Ducks had to beat Wisconsin twice to advance, and the did. This past weekend the Oregon Ducks faced Minnesota, another Big Ten team in the Super Regional and won two games in a row. Mike White’s team entering post season play is not only ranked number one in the country, but winners of five games in a row.

I will never forget Sunday afternoon. In the bottom of the seventh inning, just one out away from clinching our trip to the WCWS, the crowd started chanting, “O-K-C! O-K-C!” I remember looking down at the grass and I couldn’t help but smile, and I just listened and took in that moment.

Janie Takeda, on her blog post on ESPNW as the Oregon Ducks Softball team heads to the Women’s College World Series

Her writeup continues and speaks from the heart about finding the balance between work and school and the pressure that comes with it. She talks about the team and the ‘8.1’ factor, meaning being one of the eight teams and the .1 to be just a little better than the rest. In reading what she wrote, Takeda reflects back to her Freshman year and the Women’s College World Series games against Texas. She says not only is the team different, but it feels different this season.

The Oregon Ducks Outfielder applauds the fans in Eugene for being their through it all this year. Her mention of Sunday afternoon speaks volumes of not only her feelings, but I’m sure other members of the 2014 Oregon Softball team as well. What they have done is special. They now take their talent, speed, and grit to Oklahoma City to try and finish what they started.

The Oregon Ducks meet Florida State in a double elimination round starting on Thursday.

Janie Takeda, Time To Finish What We Started, ESPNW

For a different take on the Oregon Ducks, check out AutzenZoo.com