SB: Oregon drops two on opening day of Judi Garman Classic
It wasn’t the start No. 20 Oregon was looking for when it traveled south to California for the Judi Garman Classic.
Playing in their toughest tournament to date, the Ducks opened the Classic with a game against No. 3 Florida, one of the few remaining undefeated teams in the country and Women’s College World Series regular. They followed that up with a contest against Cal-State Fullerton, the host team of the tournament.
Oregon battled Florida tough before losing 2-1 — and followed that up with a dud performance in a 3-2 loss to Cal-State Fullerton, dropping the Ducks to 11-6 on the year.
Florida 2 — OREGON 1
The Ducks may have suffered a loss but if there was a positive taken, it comes it the knowledge knowing that not only can Oregon play with anyone in the country, the Ducks can win if not for the two unearned runs given up late in the game.
Both pitchers, Oregon’s Jordan Dail and Florida’s Kelly Barnhill, went toe-to-toe by throwing complete games. While each pitcher found themselves in trouble early on, they worked through it to keep the game scoreless through four innings.
Oregon had two great opportunities to score in the early innings but couldn’t come through.
In the third, Cherish Burks launched a deep fly ball to centerfield that was robbed of being a homerun by Gators center fielder Jade Caraway. Rachel Cid then doubled in the fourth inning with one out, but the Ducks weren’t able to bring her around.
Finally in the fifth, Oregon got on the board when April Utecht blasted a shot over the left field fence for the first, and only dent, in Florida’s armor.
The lead was short-lived as two Oregon errors allowed two Gators to cross the plate, the final coming on a misread flyball with two outs. The Ducks then went down in perfect order over the final two innings.
Dail suffered the first loss of her Oregon career, throwing 7.0 innings, giving up two runs (zero earned) on six hits with six strikeouts.
Cal-State Fullerton 3 — OREGON 2
Oregon found itself in an early hole as CSUF’s second hitter of the game tagged Maddie MacGrandle for a solo homerun — before adding a second run in the third inning for the quick 2-0 deficit.
Oregon had opportunities in the first and third innings, getting runners in scoring position but were unable to secure the big hit and push some runs across the board.
The Ducks scratched across two runs in the fourth but left more to be desired. Jasmine Sievers scored Shaye Bowden on a single before Hannah Galey’s bases-loaded walk plated Burks, who reached base on a single earlier in the inning. But with the bases loaded and nobody out, Oregon was unable to plate anymore runs, ending the rally.
Dail entered in place of MacGrandle to begin the fourth and was scoreless in her first three innings of work — but she ran into trouble in the seventh when she gave up a two-out RBI single for a CSUF walk-off win.
Allee Bunker led Oregon with a 2-for-3 day at the plate while Haley Cruse, Sievers and Burks all had singles.
MacGrandle threw 3.0 innings, giving up two runs on five hits with four strikeouts. Dail got the loss, her second of the day, by giving up one run on two hits with four strikeouts in 3.2 innings of work.