Oregon Ducks: Come for the Hoops, Stay for the Softball

Jordan Ingram Editorials 7 Comments

How often do you get to watch both the Oregon Ducks Men’s and Women’s basketball teams play in their respective Sweet Sixteen matchups in the NCAA Tournament on a Sunday afternoon? Win or lose, it’s a GREAT day to be a fan of Our Beloved Ducks.

For the Men’s team, the No. 7 seed Ducks (21-6) are facing No. 6 seed USC Trojans (24-7) in what will undoubtedly be a nerve-wracking rematch after the Ducks lost to USC 72-58 last month at Galen Center. On the Women’s side, the No. 6 seed Ducks (15-8) will face off against No. 2 seed Louisville (25-3). Oregon is playing for its fourth straight Elite Eight appearance.

No doubt, these games are super exciting. Like you, I will be glued to the couch, staring unblinkingly at the television screen’s radiating glow and shoving handfuls of popcorn down my throat. Who wouldn’t? If you’re an Oregon fan, YOU LIVE FOR THIS.

But this article isn’t just about basketball. If you can’t get enough Oregon collegiate athletes playing at a high level, try this on for size: The Oregon Ducks Softball team (23-1) is UNBELIEVABLY GOOD. The Ducks are currently on a 14-game winning streak and their talents were on full display after wrapping up a series sweep of visiting Loyola Marymount Saturday at Jane Sanders Stadium in Eugene.

Photo by Gary Breedlove

UO head coach Melyssa Lombardi has a top-notch squad this year that could go the distance.

Oregon opened the three-game series with a doubleheader on Friday, routing the Lions 14-2 and then closing the nightcap game with a no-hitter from freshman pitcher Makenna Kliethermes.

On Saturday, junior lefty pitcher Jordan Dail pitched four-innings of a shutout to win her first home start and lead the Ducks to a 6-0 win (Oregon senior Samaria Diaz pitched three innings to complete the shutout and earn the save).

Is this the year they win a national title? Could this be the team that goes the distance? If you’ve followed the softball team over the past 10 years, the Ducks have come heartbreakingly close to assembling a national championship team on several occasions.

But it really feels like UO head coach Melyssa Lombardi could finally lead the Oregon program to the Promised Land — the Women’s College World Series championship.

So after you fill up on hoops, check out Oregon softball. The Ducks are gearing up for a four-game series on April 1st in Corvallis against the Oregon State Beavers on the Pac-12 NetworkGo Ducks!

Jordan Ingram
San Diego, California
Top Photo: Gary Breedlove

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CJ

Tough weekend for Oregon Ducks sports. The softball team held tough but both mens and womens basketball teams got blown out and the baseball team lost the series to Arizona.

Here’s to a better weekend next week and hoping most of you will be rooting on the Beavers in their Elite 8 game against Houston. They match up well, I like their chances.

CJ

Left out of this article was any mention of the Ducks baseball team who were, until this weekends visit to Arizona, also looking really good this season and ranked #16 in the country. Unfortunately the wheels have kind of fallen off…..not unlike many Duck teams who play on the road in Tucson and Tempe.

Hopefully they can salvage the final game of the series today, but either way they will invariably be knocked out of the rankings after a very poor showing at the plate this weekend.

I think Coach Wasikowski is going to have to consider sitting some of the guys that he has given a lot of chances to improve their batting averages. They have a very bi-polar offensive line-up with 3 or so guys hitting really well and then 3 or so guys just whiffing and hitting below .100. This results in a lot of runners left in scoring position as the decent hitters get on base and then are left there due to strike outs in key situations. Very frustrating for all involved.

Ladies softball team is lights out. This looks to be the best Oregon Ducks sports team we have seen since last years women’s basketball team led by Ionescu.

Charles Fischer

While not mentioned in this article–I’ve been discussing the Baseball team in the comments often. Yep we got our butts-kicked in one game, and that’s baseball!

The Ducks will be a good baseball team and in the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season. THAT is my fantasy and I’m sticking to it!

CJ

Hope your right about the Ducks making the regional tournament and eventually reaching the College Baseball World Series.

Hitting and scoring are issues that I think they might run into when playing UCLA, USC, Stanford and possibly the next match up with OSU.

If they lose today (tied 3-3 in the top of 4 right now) and they get swept in Tucson they will really have to get on a winning streak to make it though.

Of further note it looks like Wasikowski did end up shaking up the line up and sitting a bunch of the guys who were really slumping. Good thing too because Hall just doubled with the bases loaded and it’s now 6-3!!!!

Haywarduck

I have to admit, without this article I would have no idea the women’s softball team was so good. Thanks for highlighting this during these Duck Daze!

Charles Fischer

Currently No. 3 in the nation and they have it all; great pitching, great fielding and great batting!

Charles Fischer

Oh Jordan….you so described our feelings as fans in your introduction. It is such a sweet day as both the Mens and Womens basketball teams have over-achieved thus far and we are basking in their success.

The Softball team has a rare blend of super-seniors such as Haley Cruse and Brooke Yanez, accented by fabulous freshmen such as Alyssa Brito and you are right–this could be the year!

We are so lucky as fans to watch a ton of winning….to go from a Pac-12 Championship in football, to Sweet Sixteens in basketball to National champions on the Track and now contending in Softball. The fun never ends!