OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Making her debut in the Women’s College World Series, Oregon sophomore left-hander Cheridan Hawkins acknowledged she was a bit nervous, which led to a shaky first inning.
She quickly recovered, though, pitching a one-hitter in top-seeded Oregon’s 3-0 victory over Florida State on Thursday in the opening round.
Alexa Peterson had a pair of hits, including a run-scoring double, to help Oregon (55-7-1) break the school record for victories in a season. The Ducks advanced to play Florida on Friday. Florida, which beat the Ducks 2-1 in eight innings on Feb. 28, downed Baylor 11-0 in five innings in another first-round game on Thursday.
Hawkins (34-4) gave up only a leadoff single to Maddie O’Brien in the first inning. Courtney Senas drew a one-out walk two batters later, but Hawkins escaped the jam and the left-hander eventually retired 16 straight batters before a two-out error in the sixth. She also gave up a leadoff walk in the seventh but that was it for Florida State (55-8).
"She was under (former Oregon All-American) Jessica Moore’s wing last year," Oregon coach Mike White said about Hawkins. "This year, she’s stepped up huge. Going back to our very first game of the season, it didn’t look that way to start off, but she’s shown great composure and worked very hard. … She loves to have the weight on her shoulders and carries it extremely well."
Florida State pitcher Lacey Waldrop (38-6), the Division I player of the year, didn’t make it out of the sixth inning after giving up 10 hits. Alyssa Gillespie singled and scored on a groundout by Janelle Lindvall in the first for Oregon, and Peterson singled and scored on a single by Nikki Udria — the Ducks’ No. 9 hitter — in the second.
Koral Costa and Peterson had successive doubles down the left-field line in the fifth.
"The offense and defense always pick me up continuously," Hawkins said. "When I get the opportunity to help out and do my part, it’s what I like to do. They worked really hard and scored some runs, which is really nice."
Florida State (55-8), making its first WCWS appearance in 10 years, will face Baylor on Saturday in an elimination game. The Seminoles recovered from a 17-3 loss to Michigan in the first game of their super regional to win two straight to qualify for the WCWS.