Oregon ends UT Softball team's season in Super Regional
AUSTIN, Texas — Junior Jessica Moore tossed her second complete-game effort of the day and junior right fielder Samantha Pappas hit a two-run homer and went 2-for-4 with three RBI to lead the No. 12 Oregon softball team to a 10-6 victory against No. 8 Texas in the decisive game three of the NCAA Austin Super Regional on Saturday night at Red and Charline McCombs Field.
By virtue of Oregon’s doubleheader sweep on Saturday, the No. 11 national seed Ducks (44-16) advance to the Women’s College World Series for the second time in program history and first since 1989. Oregon will face No. 3 national seed Arizona State in the opening round of the WCWS, with game date, time and television information to be announced later. Texas, the No. 6 national seed, concludes its season with an overall record of 47-13.
After working 8.0 innings and throwing 126 pitches in Oregon’s 5-4 extra-inning victory earlier on Saturday afternoon, Moore (32-13) went the distance again in the nightcap to earn the victory in the circle for the Ducks. She allowed six runs on nine hits while striking out three and walking two. Moore threw a total of 237 pitches combined in 15.0 innings of work during Saturday’s two contests.
Junior Blaire Luna (22-6) took the loss for the Longhorns, tossing 1.2 innings and allowing five runs on three hits while striking out two. Sophomore Rachel Fox relieved Luna in the second inning and worked 1.1 innings, surrendering three runs on five hits while striking out one. Junior Kim Bruins tossed the final 3.0 innings and allowed two runs on three hits while striking out three and walking one.
Oregon, playing as the home team, took control of the game with six runs on five hits and an error in the bottom of the second. Christie Nieto was hit by pitch to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a double to left center by Alexa Peterson. Moore reached on a fielder’s choice and Nieto beat the throw home from third to score the first run of the contest. With one out and runners on the corners, Lindsey Chambers hit a sac fly to center to bring home Peterson. Janie Takeda followed with a single to left center, and an error on the play by centerfielder Courtney Craig allowed Moore to come home for a 3-0 lead.
Samantha Pappas continued the damage with an RBI single that scored Takeda from second, and Pappas advanced to second on the play. After Pappas stole third, Kaylan Howard hit an RBI single to third to plate Pappas. Kelsey Chambers added an RBI double to right center to bring home Howard and give the Ducks a 6-0 cushion.
Texas rallied for three runs on five hits in the fourth. Lexy Bennett and Nadia Taylor recorded back-to-back singles with one out. Craig reached on a fielder’s choice and Taylor was forced out at second, putting runners on the corners with two outs. Bruins delivered an RBI single to plate Bennett with UT’s first run of the night. Torie Schmidt hit an infield single to load the bases, and Mandy Ogle drew a walk to bring home Craig. Pinch-hitter Gabby Smith reached on an RBI single to third to score Bruins and cut the lead to 6-3. Moore got out of the bases-loaded jam without further damage by retiring Brejae Washington on a groundout to short.
Oregon answered with four runs on five hits and an error in the bottom of the fourth. Takeda led off the frame with an infield single and Pappas followed by lining a 3-2 pitch over the wall in center for a two-run shot, her ninth homer of the year, to give the Ducks an 8-3 cushion. Bruins then replaced Fox in the circle for the Horns, and Howard hit a triple off the wall in left field. Kelsey Chambers hit an RBI infield single to plate Howard, and Chambers advanced to second on a throwing error by Bennett. With runners on second and third and one out, Moore delivered an RBI single to bring home Nieto and extend the lead to 10-3.
Texas closed out the scoring with three runs in the seventh, all coming on solo home runs. With one out, Taylor Hoagland launched a shot over the wall in center field for her 18th home run of the season. Bennett followed with her 13th of the year over the left field wall. After Taylor flied out to center, Craig added her seventh of the season over the wall in left field. Bruins reached and advanced to second on a dropped fly ball by left fielder Allie Burger, but Moore ended the contest by retiring Schmidt on a foul out to left.
Howard, Kelsey Chambers, Peterson and Takeda each added two hits apiece to help lead Oregon’s offensive attack. Bennett went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Taylor added two hits to pace the Longhorns’ offense.