Oregon Ducks Softball: Hawkins Seeks One-Thousand Career Strikeouts vs Arizona

Oregon faces UCLA at Jane Sanders Stadium in Eugene, OregonJustin Phillips/KPNW Sports
Oregon faces UCLA at Jane Sanders Stadium in Eugene, OregonJustin Phillips/KPNW Sports /

The Oregon Ducks Softball team returns home to face Arizona at Jane Sanders Stadium.

More from Autzen Zoo

It will be a Top 20 Matchup this weekend as the Oregon Ducks return home to face the 17th ranked Arizona Wildcats. Oregon brings momentum following a sweep at Arizona State and a series win on the road against Oregon State. In between those series Mike White and his team had a 12 day hiatus to recharge entering the final month of the regular season.

Despite the rest, the Oregon Ducks lead the NCAA in hitting at a .363 clip. Pitching has been a key factor with Cheridan Hawkins joined in the circle by Freshman Megan Kleist who has shown on multiple occasions she can handle the pressure of pitching in big situations. Hawkins is on the brink of 1000 strikeouts for her career and needs just three this weekend to reach the milestone.

Arizona comes to Eugene following a setback and three straight losses against UCLA. Entering the series with the Bruins the Wildcats were on an eight game winning streak. The Wildcats have averaged 7 runs per game over their last eleven games and were a big hit or two away from possibly taking the series against UCLA last weekend, it was that close.

Starting Pitcher Danielle O’Toole leads the Pac-12 with 18 wins. Arizona also has a key hitter in Katiyana Mauga who has 17 home runs and is hitting at .350 on the season. There is also a Pac-12 sibling rivalry with Oregon and Arizona.

The Wildcats number two hitter Mo Mercado is the sister of the Ducks Danica Mercado. Both play second base for their respective teams. Mo is hitting at .385 on the year. Her sister Danica is hitting at .340.

Next: USA Today Mock Draft: Buckner To Baltimore

The three game series begins on Friday at 7pm(Pac-12 Network), Saturday’s game is set for 5pm(Pac-12 Network, and the Sunday finale at 2pm(ESPN2).