After setting a season-high for strikeouts in a game with 15 yesterday, Cheridan Hawkins one-upped herself, literally.
In leading the Ducks (18-2) to a 2-0 victory over Illinois State and continuing the team’s winning streak at three, Hawkins struck out 16 batters over seven complete innings while allowing just two hits and one walk.
The game proved to be an interesting one on the offensive side of the ball for Oregon as the top two hitters in the lineup, Janie Takeda and Courtney Ceo, combined to go 0-for-6 at the plate and no runs scored. It was the first game all year that Takeda or Ceo failed to get a hit in a game.
Karine Shaver (2-for-2) and Alexa Peterson (1-for-3) helped make up for the offensive absence at the top lineup by helping Oregon do just enough offensively to pull out the win.
Hawkins began the game by retiring the first six Illinois State batters in order before she got into a little bit of trouble in the third inning. After getting the first batter out on a strikeout, Hawkins walked and hit another batter surrounded by another strikeout to put runners at first and second with two outs. Still unfazed, Hawkins calmly got the count to 0-2 before finishing off the final batter of the inning with a strikeout.
After Hawkins retired Illinois State in order to start the fourth inning, Oregon’s offense finally came alive.
Peterson doubled to left field to begin the inning and then Janelle Lindvall hit a single that put runners at the corners with no outs. Lexy Beaudrie-Pierson then entered the game as a pinch runner for Lindvall and promptly stole second base.
Kailee Cuico stepped to the plate and grounded out to second base but was able to score Peterson while allowing Beaudrie-Pierson to move up to third base. Then with two outs and runners at the corners, Shaver stepped to the plate and singled to right field to score Beaudrie-Pierson and complete the scoring for the Ducks.
Hawkins had her no-hit bid broken up in the sixth inning on a bunt single but got out of the inning, and the rest of the game, with no harm. With the win, Hawkins bettered her record to 9-2 with a 1.10 earned run average.
Follow Ryan Kostecka on Twitter @Ryan_Kostecka