Ducks Split First Day at Mary Nutter Classic

SAN DIEGO – No. 23 Oregon split a pair of one-run games, defeating Central Florida, 4-3, and falling to Baylor, 3-2, Thursday at the Mary Nutter Classic.

Kai Luschar continued to set the table for the Ducks after going 3-for-6 on Thursday. She has reached base safely in all 13 games this season.

Oregon 4, UCF 3

How it Happened: Hanna Delgado homered to back a solid start by Morgan Scott in the win over UCF.

The Knights (6-4) scored a pair of runs in the top of the first on an RBI single.

Oregon (7-6) answered with a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-1 lead.

Ariel Carlson singled to left and stole second. Alyssa Daniell then tripled down the left field line to score Carlson and tie the game at 1-1. The next batter, Hanna Delgado, then ripped a 2-2 pitch over the right centerfield wall to put the Ducks ahead.

Scott then settled in and retired six of the next seven UCF hitters before Oregon added an important insurance run in the bottom of the third.

Daniell worked a walk and Ayanna Shaw entered the game as a pinch-runner for Daniell. Shaw advanced to second on a Delgado ground out and then stole third before Vallery Wong drove Shaw in with a sacrifice fly to center.

The two-run cushion proved to be crucial in the late innings. The Knights scored a run in the fifth to make it 4-3. UCF then had its first two runners reach base in the sixth before a 3-6-4 double play ended the inning.

UCF threatened again in the top of the seventh. Jada Cody singled to center and Chloe Evans followed with a single that gave the Knights runners at the corners with no outs.

Scott re-entered the game in relief of Stevie Hansen and got Aubrey Evans to line out to Luschar in left before striking out the final two batters to preserve the 4-3 win. Scott improved to 3-2 on the season.

Baylor 3, Oregon 2

How it Happened: Baylor (4-3) scored a run in the top of the second off starter Elise Sokolsky before Stevie Hansen pitched the Ducks out of trouble. With the bases loaded, she got Presleigh Pilon to pop up to shortstop Paige Sinicki and struck out McKenzie Wilson.

Hansen held the Bears scoreless over the next two innings before the Ducks took advantage of an error to tie the game at 1-1 in the third.

Delgado singled and moved up to second on Vallery Wong’s grounder. Daniell hit a chopper and the throw to first was dropped and as the ball rolled into no-man’s land, Delgado came home from second to tie the game, 1-1.

The Bears loaded the bases in the top of the fourth and took a 3-1 lead on a two-out single that scored a pair of runners.

The Ducks made it interesting in the bottom of the seventh.

Daniell laced a one-out single through the left side of the infield. Wong doubled to left as Daniell went to third. KK Humphreys then doubled to the wall in right field and Daniell scored, but Humphreys was erased after going too far past the bag at second on the play as the runners had to hold waiting for the ball to drop. Emma Kauf popped out to end the game.

Noteworthy: Oregon has now held the last seven opponents to three earned runs or fewer. Humphreys’ younger sister Sierra Humphreys started at third base for UCF. It was the first time the two siblings had ever played in the same game.

On Deck: Oregon will play Notre Dame (3:30 p.m.) and Long Beach State (6 p.m.) on the second day of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.

– –