Wong Delivers Walk-Off Win over No.15 Cal

UGENE, Ore. – Ariel Carlson homered twice and Vallery Wong delivered a ninth-inning walk-off single as Oregon split a doubleheader with No. 15 California Friday at Jane Sanders Stadium.

After the Bears (21-3, 1-1) took game one, 11-5, the Ducks (13-9, 1-1) responded with a dramatic, 4-3, extra innings victory in the nightcap.

“The first game was a tough game,” said coach Melyssa Lombardi. “I told them to get rid of it, let it go, it’s done, there’s nothing we can do. I thought they did a really good job moving on and coming in ready to go for the second game. 

“You see us score a run in the first inning, with Ariel hitting a bomb and setting the tone,” Lombardi continued. “To watch these guys fight and battle together from the first all the way to the ninth inning was pretty remarkable.”

Game 2 – Oregon 4, California 3 (9 innings)

How it Happened: Carlson homered in the first inning for the second game in a row to stake Oregon to an early 1-0 lead. It was her team-leading sixth home run of the season.

The Ducks utilized their speed to make it 2-0 in the bottom of the third.

Tehya Bird walked and was lifted for pinch-runner Regan Legg. Legg advanced to second on a wild pitch and went to third on a Kai Luschar single. On the first pitch to the next batter, Luschar broke for second and drew a throw down as Legg raced home to score.

In the fourth inning, Emma Kauf delivered at two-out hit to drive in Oregon’s third run of the game. Carlson led off the fourth with a double and advanced to third on a KK Humphreys ground out. With two outs, Kauf singled into left field to score Carlson.

Morgan Scott held Cal scoreless into the fifth inning. The Bears strung together four two-out hits to score twice in the fifth, but Luschar threw a runner out at the plate from left field for the finalout of the frame.

The Bears used another two-out hit to tie the game at 3-3 in the sixth inning and after neither team scored in the seventh, the Ducks found themselves in extra innings for the first time this season.

Taylour Spencer relieved Scott with two outs in the sixth and retired the first six batters she faced. With two outs in the top of the eighth, Cal had back-to-back two-out hits that put runners on second and third. But Spencer struck Holly Medina out on three straight pitches to end the threat.

In the top off the ninth, the Ducks threw a runner out at home for the second time in the game.

The Bears had runners at second and third with one out. Acacia Anders hit a chopper down the first base line that Alyssa Daniell fielded and fired a strike to home to cut down Kaylee Pond at the plate for the second out. Spencer then struck out Elon Butler to end the inning.

That set the stage for Wong’s moment. Daniell led off the bottom of the ninth with a single up the middle. Humphreys sacrificed Daniell to second before Kauf popped out for the second out of the inning.

Wong came through for the Ducks by lining a drive to the wall in center field and Daniell easily came home from second with the winning run.

“I am a very confident hitter,” said Wong. “I know what I can do and I just go up there and keep it simple. Just try to see ball, hit ball.”

Spencer threw 3.1 scoreless innings in relief to improve to 5-1 on the season.

Game 1 – California 11, Oregon 5

How it Happened: The first 10 runs of the game were all scored via the long ball. Cal had five home runs while the Ducks hit two.

Carlson put the Ducks ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first with an opposite field solo shot off the scoreboard in right.

Cal then scored eight times on five home runs between the third and fifth inning.

Kauf got a run back for the Ducks in bottom the fifth when she hit her first home run of the season.

Carlson drove in her second run of the game in the sixth inning with a sacrifice fly to right that scored Hanna Delgado from third and cut Cal’s lead to 8-3.

After the Bears added three runs in the top of the seventh, the Ducks scored a couple of unearned runs in the bottom of the inning. Kauf reached on an error and moved around to third on a wild pitch. Paige Sinicki singled to score Kauf. Luschar followed with an infield single before Delgado was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Sinicki then came home on a passed ball for the Ducks’ final run of the game.

Defense Shines Again

Not only did the Ducks throw out two runners at the plate, but Carlson also made a perfect throw from right field for an out at third base in the fourth inning of game one. The Ducks were also error free on Friday.

“Our outfield works on their throws all the time at practice,” said Lombardi. “It was awesome to see the things that they do in practice really show up. Sometimes you’re lucky if you get one opportunity to throw somebody out. They had two, and another at third, you don’t see that many opportunities in one game. They’ve been preparing and they got their opportunity and they came through.”


Head Coach Melyssa Lombardi on pitchers Morgan Scott and Taylour Spencer in game two

“I thought (Scott) threw well and did a really good job. She was mixing speeds, different levels, and then we got to a point where we just needed to make a change. I thought Taylour came in and stayed strong with it. What both of them did collectively gave us opportunity.”

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OF Ariel Carlson

“After the first game, it was a quick turnaround. We just flushed it and moved on into the next game. That is exactly what we are going to do tomorrow, obviously that was a very exciting game, so we will bring that momentum into tomorrow.”

Noteworthy: The last Oregon player to win a game with a walk-off hit was Terra McGowan who beat Texas in the eighth inning at the 2021 NCAA Regional … Oregon’s last extra inning game was a 12-4 win at UNC Greensboro, March 3, 2022 (10 innings) … Carlson went 3-for-6 on Friday with a double, two home runs and drove in three runs to give her a team-best 25 RBI on the season. … Luschar, Daniell and Kauf all had hits in both games Friday … 

On Deck: The Oregon-Cal series wraps up with a single game Saturday at 2 p.m.

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