UA softball can't hold off No. 14 Oregon

April 12, 2013

EUGENE, Ore. – Seventh-ranked Oregon (34-6, 11-2 Pac-12) hit game-tying and go-ahead two-run home runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to earn a come-from-behind 5-3 win over 17th-ranked Arizona (27-15, 4-6 Pac-12) on Friday.

Through five innings, Arizona led 3-1 and starter Shelby Babcock had allowed just three hits. But in the sixth, Oregon recorded four extra-base hits, including two home runs against Babcock and reliever Nancy Bowling, to take a 5-3 lead.

Kaylan Howard doubled, her second of the game, to lead off the inning. Kailee Cuico, after two sacrifice bunt attempts were unsuccessful, homered to left to tie the game. After an Alexa Peterson double chased Babcock, Bowling got ahead of Janelle Lindvall 1-2, but Lindvall took the next pitch out of the yard.

Babcock (14-6) allowed four runs on six hits while walking three and striking out four in 5 1/3 innings. Bowling allowed a run on one hit and struck out one in 2/3 of an inning.

Kelsey and Courtney Rodriguez had the Cats’ two RBI hits on the day. Courtney worked a nine-pitch at-bat before singling home Brigette Del Ponte with two out in the second, and Kelsey doubled home a run in the fifth-inning.

Kelsey Rodriguez’s double was one of three on the afternoon for the Cats; Hallie Wilson and Mandie Perez each recorded a two-bagger.

Arizona outhit Oregon 9-7 in the contest.

Ducks starter Jessica Moore (18-3) pitched six innings and allowed three runs, two earned, with a walk and four strikeouts. Cheridan Hawkins picked up the save, her fifth, by striking out two of the three batters she faced in the seventh.

The Wildcats opened the scoring in the second inning. Del Ponte drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a Mandie Perez groundout. Courtney Rodriguez followed with a single up the middle to score Del Ponte and give the Cats the lead.

The Ducks tied the game in the fourth inning. Allie Burger led the frame off with a single and came around to score on a Howard double.

Wilson and Chelsea Suitos recorded infield hits with one out in the fifth. Kelsey Rodriguez then doubled to score Wilson, and a throwing error brought in Suitos to give the Cats a 3-1 lead.

The lead held up until Oregon got the pair of doubles and pair of two-run homers in the sixth to grab a 5-3 lead.

Arizona needed two runs in the seventh to extend the game. Alex Lavine led off with a single and Wilson doubled to put runners at second and third with nobody out. But Hawkins entered and struck out Suitos, induced a groundout by Kelsey Rodriguez and caught Chelsea Goodacre looking to end the game.

The two teams meet again Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and noon, respectively.