After traveling across the country for a tournament last week, No. 17 Oregon (8-3) got to stay much closer to home this time, taking a short flight down south to play in the Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, Calif.
The Ducks played their first two of six total games over the four-day span, taking on New Mexico State in the opener and Bethune-Cookman in the recap. Oregon beat the Aggies 3-1 with Jordan Dail and Shaye Bowden providing the spark the needed. The Ducks weren’t so lucky in the second game, trailing early and never finding its footing on offense in the 5-3 loss.
OREGON 5 — New Mexico State 3
Dail (6-0) was sensational in the win, throwing a complete game 7.0 innings, giving up one run three hits, with seven strikeouts.
After throwing a perfect two innings to begin the game, Dail found herself in trouble in the top of third. With the first two batters getting on base to begin the frame, Dail calmly got the next three outs to preserve the tie.
The Ducks struck in the bottom of the inning, manufacturing a run when Lexi Wagner singled, navigating her way to third base via following a hit-by-pitch and walk to load the bases. April Utecht scored Wagner with her sacrifice fly, giving Oregon the lead, although it would be short-lived.
The Aggies manufactured their own run in the top of the fourth when a single came across the plate following a hit-by-pitch, stolen base and wild pitch.
Oregon responded in its next at-bat when Bowden led off the inning with a solo blast — and then added to its lead in the bottom of the fifth with Cherish Burks RBI single to complete the scoring.
Bethune-Cookman 5 — OREGON 3
The Ducks found themselves down 5-0 before they could blink as Maddie MacGrandle really struggled in the beginning of the game. The Wildcats scored two runs in the first before adding three in the second, most notably a two-run single and sacrifice fly.
Oregon battled back in the bottom of the second, scratching a run across the plate by taking advantage of two Bethune-Cookman errors. The Ducks struck again in the fourth inning When Allee Bunker’s double plated Bowden and Burks, putting Oregon back into the game.
Unfortunately, the Ducks were unable to score any more runs the rest of the way, despite a seventh inning rally that brought the winning run to the plate. Jasmine Sievers started it with a double down the line and advanced to third on Rachel Cid’s bunt single, who advanced to second following a stolen base — all with one out. But a strikeout and groundout ended the rally and the game.
Dail came on in relief of MacGrandle (2-3) and threw 4.2 innings of scoreless and hitless ball, striking out four. It wasn’t enough as MacGrandle was tagged for five runs (two earned) on five hits in 2.1 innings.