The Oregon Softball team took care of business on Saturday night in front of a record crowd of 1,954 at Howe Field and a National television audience and showed from their very first at bat why they are the number one team in the country. Oregon run ruled Minnesota 10-2 in six innings.After Minnesota took a rare early lead on the Oregon Ducks in the top of the first inning with a homerun off Ducks Starter Cheridan Hawkins, Oregon struck back with a solo homerun from Courtney Ceo who had quite the night on the basepads for Mike White’s team.
In her second at bat of the night caused a major error from the Minnesota First Baseman with Nikki Udria on second, Ceo sent a ground ball to the shortstop who took too long to check Udria at second and missed throwing out Ceo at first base. Then, in an attempt to get Udria at third Minnesota threw the ball in error and both Udria and Ceo scored making it a 3-1 Oregon Ducks advantage. The Golden Gophers were unable to recover the rest of the game, but Oregon remained patient at the plate. In Ceo’s third at bat of the night the Ducks third baseman found herself down to an 0-2 count and worked her way to a 3-2 count and followed that with a base hit. She raised her season average to .492 on Saturday night.
The Oregon Ducks Offense also stole five bases in Game One vs Minnesota. The third inning was a big one for the Oregon Ducks as not only was Ceo hot on the night, but others got into the act as well. Alexa Peterson and Koral Costa led with singles followed by Shaver and Udria picking up infield hits and no outs stretching the Oregon Ducks lead to 5-1 at that point. Oregon seemed to have no problem putting the loss to Nebraska(another Big 10 team) a year ago behind them.
Ceo and Company will look to advance to the Women’s College World Series on Sunday at 2pm PT(ESPN) with a victory. If Minnesota is able to shake off being under the lights along with the pressure and find a way to win Game two, Game three would follow at 5pm PT(ESPN2).