Is Oregon Softball Ready for Matchup Against White’s Longhorns?

Jordan Ingram Editorials 8 Comments

It’s always awkward running into an ex-girlfriend after breaking up. I’d imagine the same goes for players and coaches.

And for the Oregon Ducks (37-15, 14-10 Pac-12) softball team, the NCAA Regional tournament in Austin, Texas, offers the top-ranked squad an opportunity to square off against former Ducks: Texas Longhorns head coach Mike White and players Shannon Rhodes, Mary Iakopo and Lauren Burke.

Before I get any further: I didn’t forget about the major snub this morning from the NCAA after the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll had No. 10 Oregon RANKED AHEAD of No. 11 Texas. This is nothing short of an ABOMINATION. By all rights, the Longhorns should be playing at Jane Sanders Stadium this weekend. Here’s another fun fact: If thunderstorms prevent teams from competing in Austin, only the highest-ranked team — Texas — advances in the tournament.

Can Oregon really defeat White and the Texas Longhorns (39-11) on the road? Don’t get me wrong, the Ducks are in a new and exciting era — the Lombardi era — and the program hasn’t looked back since completely embracing the former Oklahoma coach’s brand of softball. But it will be a nerve-racking and emotional matchup, nonetheless.

First, No. 2-seed Oregon plays Texas State (38-12) at 4:30 p.m. on Friday (ESPN3). If both Texas and the Ducks win their first-round games, they could play each other on Saturday.

And that matchup appears likely. The Ducks have not lost a game in a regional playoff round since 2008 — a streak of 27 straight games covering the last nine tournament appearances, according to UO Athletics. But White, a three-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year, will definitely need to bring the lumber to smite the Ducks’ hopes of tarnishing his Longhorn legacy.

Is this Oregon’s chance to truly confront its past, cast off White’s long shadow over the program and make a name for its program under Lombardi? What do you think? If so, will the Ducks rise to meet this daunting challenge?

Jordan Ingram
San Diego, California
Top Photo by Gary Breedlove

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Ducks WIN Top-25 Battle!

The No. 6th ranked Oregon Ducks beat No. 17 Gonzaga Tuesday night at PK Park 10-3, as Gabe Matthews set his fourth career record at Oregon (RBIs) and the Ducks used five pitchers to give experience to the newbies, and yet keep the game manageable.

My friends, the Ducks have now won seven-straight games and face No. 15 Stanford at PK Park this weekend and the series will be on the Pac-12 Network! (And live-stream)

The conference championship comes down to the final two series against the Cardinal and at Cal, and how well the Beavers play against Arizona and Stanford–the two teams left for Oregon State to play and the two other conference champion contenders.

And beating Gonzaga helped our RPI much more than sweeping Washington and Utah…

The disrespect for Pac-12 Football has now spilled over to other sports. As you can see right here, the SEC has not won any more National Championships in Softball in the last 10 years than the Pac-12 has. And before that–it was completely dominated by the Pac-12…

But they could say, “what matters is what is the latest,” and the last NCAA Softball Champion was UCLA!

Where is our Pac-12 Commissioner, the Pac-12 Office in all of this? WHO is fighting for our conference members?

Logger29

I know nothing about the make up of the selection committee for softball. I do know ESPN is based in Bristol, CN. They are hemorrhaging money and looking for cheap solutions. Much cheaper to target big population centers and maximum viewership in southeast and Midwest. If you think ESPN has no influence on where games are played and which teams to feature, well I don’t know what to say.

Our new commissioner needs to move fast and get a media deal renegotiated. The new guy’s selection was apparently base on his ability to do just that.

Who stands up for the Pac12? Great question. At this point in time nobody it would seem. If something doesn’t change in the next year or two I think the question will be which school will be the first to leave the conference.

Tandaian

The Ducks were snubbed from hosting games, but then they were snubbed again by being forced to play #12 Texas. I know the Ducks can’t play #16 Washington or #15 ASU because they are from the same conference, but #14 Kentucky and #13 Duke would have made more sense. I can’t imagine the Ducks weren’t #17 on the committee’s ranking list.

No matter where you look Oregon is ranked higher than Notre Dame vs #14 Kentucky, Georgia vs #13 Duke, Va. Tech vs #15 ASU and Michigan vs #16 Washington. Washington probably has the easiest bracket, not #1 Oklahoma.

Drake

The softball team was decimated when Coach White and key players left Oregon for “greener pastures”. That opened the door for the Coach Lombardi hire. Under the circumstances, it would have been understandable if the team struggled to get back to an elite level for a few more years. What Lombardi and her team has done in a short time is very impressive.

Coach Lombardi may have a higher ceiling than Coach White. It certainly would be fun to watch Oregon beat Texas this year.

DeadDuck

Agreed that the upside of the Lombardi era looks awfully good. If the Ducks get far in the post-season this year it’ll be a good sign of things to come. They’re still a few key players and experience away from being a real threat to the top teams. I’m excited to watch them play!

Notalot

The Ducks women Softball team is capable of beating anyone. Will they win? That’s why we watch the games. Tune in and cheer them to victory. Go Ducks!

Great teams win big games and don’t succumb to the weather or travel. Great teams rise to the occasion and prove the selection committee wrong and advance by winning.

Logger29

Well said.