It was one of the biggest sports weekends of the year for the Ducks, with teams playing across the country — from baseball in Hawaii to track in New York City. If you’ve been busy this weekend with your nose in a textbook (or in a bottle) have no fear. Here are the top four Oregon sports stories you missed from this past weekend:
Softball sends Wolverines home early — Under the eight-run mercy rule, Oregon softball crushed Utah Valley 9-1 to cruise through the first day of the Easton Desert Classic in Las Vegas. It was the third time this season the Ducks didn’t have to play a full match. The win was credited to Ducks pitcher Karissa Hovinga (2-0), who struck out seven and gave up four hits in her first complete game of the year. Oregon would go on to lose to Hawaii 6-5 and beat Cal State Fullerton 6-0 to finish the tournament 4-1. Over the course of the three-day tourney, Oregon also beat Louisiana-Monroe 4-0 and Long Beach State 10-1, but it was the game against Utah Valley that showcased how well-rounded the Ducks can play on their best days.
Men’s basketball survives scare from Cougars — It took an extra period of play, but Oregon edged Washington State 79-77 on Saturday night. The Ducks got a boost from E.J. Singler’s two overtime free throws to ice the game, and the senior guard became the winningest player in program history. The Medford native’s 82nd win as a Duck came with 25 points, a season-high. The Cougars led the Ducks by 11 at the half but still needed to hit a game-tying three as regulation expired to force OT. The win moves Oregon to 21-5 on the year.
English Gardner wows at Millrose Games — Who needs gold medals? Oregon junior sprinter English Gardner ran the women’s 60 meters in a blistering 7.19, edging Jeneba Tarmoh and Lauryn Williams, who both contributed to Team USA’s gold-winning 4×100 relay at the London Games this summer. It was the second-fastest time in the NCAA this year. Afterwards, Gardner took to Twitter: “Thank you everything for the love and support … race done and analyzed back to work on Monday.”
Women’s tennis racks up honors — The Ducks take to the road for the first time this year, trekking to Akron, Ohio, to battle East Tennessee State and Akron. Junior Lana Buttner played hero in Saturday’s first matchup, clinching the team’s overall 4-3 win and her No. 5 singles match with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 win over ETS’s Jessica Brumit. The Ducks followed up the win with a 3-4 loss to the Akron Zips, snapping the team’s overall eight-game win streak. Still, Oregon has drawn attention from across the country. Senior Patricia Skowronski was ranked No. 101 in the most recent iteration of the ITA singles rankings, and the team is ranked No. 69 overall. Meanwhile, sophomore Nicole Long won both of her games in Ohio to extend her conference-leading winning streak to 13 games. The Irving, Texas, native is 16-2 on the year.