When you are the number one team in the country some things are expected of you. When it comes to the Oregon Ducks Softball team dominant pitching and timely hitting were the storylines over the weekend as on Friday the Mike White’s team beat Utah Valley, on Saturday beat Wisconsin and on Sunday, won the Eugene Regional Championship over the Badgers as well in a 6-0 shutout dominated by pitching.
In three games the Oregon Ducks topped their opponents 24-2. They are now 52-7-1 on the 2014 season and are moving on to the next round, the Round of 16 if you will as they will again host this weekend, a Super Regional against Minnesota. Round One was a double elimination, the Super Regional is a simpler format – in winning two out of three. The winner moves on to Omaha for a shot at the NCAA Softball Championship.
Oregon Starting Pitcher Karissa Hovinga was comfortable on the mound following a rain delay before the start of Sunday’s Regional Championship Game. She had a lead to protect as the Oregon Ducks after the first inning as Janie Takeda had a home run following Courtney Ceo’s swing at the very first pitch of the game for a hit. After one inning it was 2-0 Oregon. Kovinga went 5 1/3 and gave up three hits and a walk to go along with eight strikeouts before Cheridan Hawkins came in to close out the game.
The Oregon Ducks will host the sixteenth ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers this weekend at Howe Field and the games will take on more notice as ESPN will broadcast the three games series. Game 1 will be on Saturday night at 7pm(ESPN2), Game 2, Sunday(2pm, ESPN), and if necessary Game 2(Sunday 5pm, ESPN2).