Oregon Softball: Ducks Open Season With Wins At Kajikawa Classic

Haley Cruse bats against Weber State at Jane Sanders Stadium.Justin Phillips/KPNW Sports
Haley Cruse bats against Weber State at Jane Sanders Stadium.Justin Phillips/KPNW Sports /

It was a team effort as the Oregon Ducks opened the Kajikawa Classic 2-0 to start the season.

The offseason for Oregon Softball was anything but quiet. Following the departure of Head Coach Mike White six players left the team and followed him to Texas. Melyssa Lombardi was hired and at the time, the Ducks were still considered contenders for a National Title. Flash forward and last week Oregon had just 12 players on the team to fill 10 positions. The lone starter from last season still with the team, Haley Cruse, led the Pac-12 in hitting last season.

Oregon went from a top contender and was ranked 25th in the nation last week. The Ducks are off to a good start after two wins at the Kajikawa Classic on Friday. Haley Cruse led off both games going 4 for 9. The Ducks did not strike out looking in the first game vs Kansas and struck with two runs in the top of the first. Oregon’s Offense scored at least one run in every inning winning 14-5 and batting at a .371 clip while holding Kansas to hitting .160.

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Transfer Jordan Dial picked up her first win as an Oregon Ducks throwing 5 2/3 innings giving up 4 hits and 5 runs. She struck out 10. Oregon was solid on the Defensive End as well. April Utecht had 11 putouts and an assist from behind the plate. The Ducks racked up 14 runs off 13 hits and walked 10 times.

The Oregon Ducks bats continued to stay hot in the second game of the day in a 12-5 win over CSUN. Maddie McGrandle picked up her first win as a Duck. She threw just three innings with Dial closing out the game as Oregon went with two pitchers on the first day of the Kajikawa Classic. The Ducks put up three runs in the third inning and nine runs in the fourth preserving the win for McGrandle.

Oregon hit .328 vs the Matadors and scored three times with two outs. Oregon had runners at third base twice with less than two outs in the game.

Despite the losses from last season, a top recruiting class and a new lineup, the Oregon Ducks have taken a step in the right direction to start the season. Haley Cruse proved last season that she can be a leader on this team and she took the opportunity with her bat on the first day of the season.

The Oregon Ducks face Missouri and Bradley on Saturday. The Ducks and Tigers first pitch is set for just after 8am Pacific Time. Oregon and Bradley meet at 4 pm Pacific Time.