The top ranked Oregon Ducks Softball team enter the 2014 Women’s College World Series on a five game win streak taking two series at home against two Big Ten opponents in Wisconsin and Minnesota. On Wednesday afternoon the team landed in Oklahoma City for the second time in three years to compete with the best eight teams in the country for the National Championship. Their first oppoenent is Florida State, currently an eight seed and ranked number three in the country. The Seminoles were also given another honor on Tuesday.
FSU Junior Starting Pitcher Lacey Waldrop(38-5) was named the USA Softball Player of the Year. She has a 1.01 ERA in 257 innings pitched this season. She has also struck out two hundred and eighty two batters this season. She has thrown twenty seven complete games this year. Oregon Starter Cheridan Hawkins had an equally impressive track record on the 2014 season so far for the number one ranked Oregon Ducks. Hawkins(33-4) has a 1.55 ERA along with twenty three complete games and 230 innings pitched. She has a better number when it comes to strikeouts with three hundred and thirteen thrown out swinging. It should be an intriguing matchup to watch on the opening series in OKC.
When it comes to hitting the Oregon Ducks have been led all season by Third Baseman Courtney Ceo, along with a solid supporting cast in Outfielder Janie Takeda and Catcher Alexa Peterson. Ceo leads the Oregon Ducks into the post season with not only a .492 batting average but devastating speed on the basepads that led to several Minnesota errors last weekend. On the year she has ninety eight hits to go along with eighteen walks. When Oregon gets on base and the team shows their patience at the plate, the hit machine can be just as devastating to opposing teams. As a team the Oregon Ducks are batting at .349
The Florida State Seminoles are led at the plate by (Red Shirt) Junior Shortstop Maddie O’Brien who is batting .431 with seventy two hits this season, along with seventeen doubles and twenty four home runs.The supporting cast for the Seminoles is solid. Senior Outfielder Courtney Senas is batting .349 on the season and overall the team batting average is .309. When you break down the numbers they are similar, but the edge clearly goes to the Oregon Ducks.
It is a new season with a Championship at stake. Hawkins vs Waldrop. The Oregon Ducks have landed in Omaha and first pitch of Game One vs the Florida State Seminoles is slated for 11:30am PT Thursday(ESPN).