Oregon Softball: Hawkins’ Heat Holds Off Cal, 5-2

Jordan Ingram reporting for FishDuck.com at Howe Field in Eugene, Ore.

In the series opener of what will be the Ducks’ final home series at Howe Field, the No. 2 Oregon softball team returned to conference play with a 5-2 win over the No. 18 California Golden Bears. The Ducks keep finding ways to win, improving to 42-5 overall (17-2 Pac-12).

Cal dropped to 35-14 and 7-12 in the Pac-12. The Golden Bears will face Oregon again on Saturday and Sunday in their three-game series with the Ducks in Eugene.  While emotions ran high early for Oregon ace, Cheridan Hawkins, the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week fought through a rough start to hold an aggressive Cal team to only two hits and two runs.

In what is becoming routine at Howe Field, ”the Hawk” had another outstanding performance from the mound. But it is the entire Oregon squad that continues to play smart, hard-nosed softball in the final stretch of the regular season.

And the results have placed Oregon near the top of the national rankings.

“It’s not about me,” Hawkins says. “This isn’t about me at all. I am one of 21. So I have to remember that, and that usually gets me back down to earth.”

Hawkins may have come down to earth, but her statistics continue to pierce the stratosphere, pitching seven innings with a 1.20 era and a season-high 14 strikeouts.

Junior Hailey Decker continues to swing a big stick, racking up two doubles and two RBIs, and twice sending teammate and Pac-12 Player of the Week Jenna Lilley home for a pair of Oregon runs. And senior Janie Takeda had an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth, to give the Ducks their fifth and final run.

The Ducks will continue their three-game series against Cal on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and Sunday at 12:00 p.m. Remember Ducks fans, this is your last chance to see this special team play at Howe Field.

Top photo by Dave Peaks  

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