Oregon Softball was hoping to stay home for at least the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament this season, but their body of work will send them to the Austin Regional to potentially face Texas.
Many know that Oregon and Texas have a history and it does not stop at the Ducks’ former head coach Mike White. It also has to do with more than a handful of players that followed White to Texas several seasons ago when he left Oregon after the 2018 season.
In 2021, Melyssa Lombardi’s Ducks finished the season third in the Pac-12 at 37-15 and were 14-10 in conference play. The Ducks did struggle at 2-4 against top 10 teams, but those losses came at the hands of Pac-12 opponent UCLA during the regular season. A few wins there and it may have seen Jane Sanders Stadium hosting this weekend.
As it stands, Oregon has a ton of talent and will go on the road and be competitive. Haley Cruse has been as consistent this season as she has been throughout her Oregon career. Pitcher Brooke Yanez is coming off her second award for being the Pitcher of the Week.
The Ducks open NCAA Tournament play in the four-team pod Friday that will also have Texas State, the already mentioned Texas, and St. Francis. Oregon and Texas State will meet first. The Ducks are the only team in the conference this season to play their 24 game schedule without any interruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Texas opens play in Austin as the 1-seed, Oregon is the 2-seed. The regional round for the Ducks starts Friday, May 21, playing Texas State at 4:30 p.m. PST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3. If you are in Oregon, you can catch the game on Oregon Sports Network affiliates. It is a double-elimination tournament.
Oregon has not lost a game in the regional round since 2008, winning 27 straight games in nine NCAA Tournament appearances in that span.