Oregon softball (27-4) completed its five-day, five-game road trip to Utah with a doubleheader that resulted in an 8-0 win over Southern Utah in the first game and a 6-5 loss to BYU in the nightcap.
A number of milestones were reached throughout the day as No. 3 Oregon head coach Mike White earned his 200th career victory as a Duck with the win while upping his record to 200-69 in his five years at the Oregon helm.
Kailee Cuico became Oregon’s all-time home run leader with 38 in her career. She hit a solo home run in the second inning to surpass Samantha Pappas, Andrea Vidlund and Kaylan Howard, who all ended their careers with 37 career blasts.
Courtney Ceo tied Oregon’s all-time runs scored mark in the second game of the day as she scored for the 154th time in her career and matched Jill Robertson’s record.
Oregon 8, Southern Utah 0 (five innings)
The Ducks wasted no time in running their winning streak to four games and keeping their possible sweep of the state of Utah alive.
Oregon’s offense was once again the main factor in the game as the Ducks pounded 11 hits that led to eight runs.
The Ducks struck first with a run in the first inning for a 1-0 lead and never looked back after that. Cuico led off the second inning with her solo home run to double the score. After Koral Costa singled in the at-bat after Cuico, Sammie Puentes continued the strong start to her freshman campaign after returning from injury with a two-run blast in the next at-bat to once again double the score and give Oregon a 4-0 lead.
Oregon added four more runs in the fourth inning. Puentes doubled to score Cuico to put runners at second and third and then Karine Shaver reached on a fielder’s choice after a throwing error by Southern Utah (10-18) allowed Costa to score and make the score 6-0. Janie Takeda then stepped up to the plate and doubled to score Shaver while Janelle Lindvall finished off the scoring with a bases-loaded walk.
Karissa Hovinga got the win to up her record to 9-1, throwing five innings and surrendering just five hits with one walk.
BYU 6, Oregon 5
Oregon’s potential to sweep the state of Utah during its road trip came to a end against BYU (11-18) as the Ducks’ furious last-inning rally died just short.
Ater trailing 6-1 entering the top of the seventh inning, the Ducks started the comeback with the top of the order. Ceo led off with a bunt single and then Alyssa Gillespie followed suit with a single. After Takeda advanced both runners on a fielder’s choice, Alexa Peterson stepped to the plate and hammered a 3-1 pitch over the centerfield fence to cut the deficit to just two with only one out.
Lindvall couldn’t continue the rally as she popped out for the second out of the inning. But Cuico played savior for the Ducks as she hit her second home run of the day to cut the score to 6-5. Costa responded with a single after Cuico’s smash to keep the rally alive, but Puentes struck out looking on a full count to end the game.
The Cougars struck early against the Ducks as Jasmine Smithson-Willett and the Oregon defense struggled to start the game, its fifth in four days. A combination of walks, errors and hit-by-pitches allowed BYU to score six runs, all unearned, in the inning, the final four coming on an inside-the-park grand slam by No. 2 hitter Lacey Millett Hofstedt.
Oregon returns to action Friday when the Ducks play their first home game of the year. The Ducks face No. 7 Washington at 3 p.m. in the first of three-game series.
Follow Ryan Kostecka on Twitter @Ryan_Kostecka