DUCKS WIN FOURTH STRAIGHT PAC-12 TITLE!
EUGENE, Ore. – The No. 3 ranked Oregon softball team clinched a fourth-straight Pac-12 championship with a 5-1 victory over Utah on Thursday night at Jane Sanders Stadium.
The Ducks (42-7, 18-3) used a complete game from Cheridan Hawkinsand a 3-for-3 night at the plate by Geri Ann Glasco to win the series opener against Utah. Oregon has won 17 straight games against Utah, dating back to 2007.
"It's a really exciting moment for this team and I'm really excited that I get to do that here at Jane Sanders Stadium," Hawkins said. "This conference is hard to play in, and to be able to win four straight Pac-12 titles, that's a huge thing."
"I definitely took it all in, especially being a senior," Koral Costa said. "You're not going to get this again. I'm never going to be a part of another Pac-12 championship again. It was neat to see the crowd on its feet."
PAC-12 CHAMPS: Oregon’s four-year seniors (Hawkins, Janelle Lindvall, Koral Costa and Stevie Jo Knapp) have won a Pac-12 championship each year of their careers. The Ducks had never won a conference title before their current four-year streak, which matches UCLA (1988-91) for the longest in conference history. Each one of Oregon’s four league titles has been outright.
HOW IT HAPPENED: The Ducks took a 1-0 lead in the second when Lauren Lindvall singled up the middle to score pinch runner Danica Mercado from third. The Utes got the run back, however, in the third on a RBI double. It could have been a bigger inning for Utah but Alyssa Gillespie gunned down a runner at home to end the frame.
It remained a 1-1 game until the fifth when Glasco delivered a two-run single with Nikki Udria just beating the throw home to give the Ducks a 3-1 lead.
Gillespie added to the lead in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run homer to left, which happened after a two-out error would have ended the inning.
With two runners on base, Hawkins got back-to-back flyouts to end the game.
HAWKINS HIGHLIGHT: Hawkins picked up her 20th win of the season on Thursday night. The lefty allowed just one run on five hits in the complete game with four strikeouts and one walk. She needed just 86 pitches to get through seven innings.
UP NEXT: The Ducks will look to win the series on Friday with a 7 PM first pitch on Pac-12 Networks.
DUCKS LOOK TO EXTEND STREAK IN SEATTLE
Oregon track and field will begin its march through the championship portion of the season, beginning with the Pac-12 Championships at Husky Track in Seattle, May 14-15. The two-day meet will begin Saturday at 10 a.m., and will continue on Sunday beginning at 9 a.m.
Coverage: Live results for the Pac-12 championships will be available here. The meet will debut on the Pac-12 Networks at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 22.
Pac-12 Championships History:The Oregon men’s team has now won the last nine Pac-12 Championship team titles while the women have won seven in-a-row!
The men’s streak is the longest in Pac-12 history, topping the eight-year streak by USC from 1948-1955 as part of the Pacific Coast Conference and again in 1957-1963 during the transition from the PCC to the Pac-8. The streak of seven years for the Women of Oregon is the second longest in conference history behind UCLA eight-year streak from 1997-2004.
Storied Program: A men’s team championships would be the 17th in program history, tying UCLA for the most in conference history. Oregon is currently tied with USC at 16 Pac-12 Championships for second most.
Pac-12 Decathlon Championships: The Ducks enter the weekend with the men’s team leading after Mitch Modin and Joe Delgado scored 14 points at the combined events championships last weekend. Modin took second in the decathlon with 7,450 points while Delgado was third with 7,341.
Defending Champions: Oregon returns seven defending Pac-12 individual champions from 2015. For the women, Jasmine Todd won both the 100 and long jump, Raevyn Rogers won the 800 and Brittany Mann won the shot put. The Men of Oregon return Marcus Chambers who won the 400, Edward Cheserek won the 5,000 and Ben Thiel won the 400 hurdles.
Last Year at the Pac-12 Championships: The Ducks swept the team titles at the 2015 conference meet, as the men finished with 152 points, 31 points ahead of second-place USC. The women’s race was much closer and came down to the 4x400. Oregon held a five-point lead heading into the final race and finished second to the Women of Troy, holding on to win by three points, 185-182.
Rankings: Both the men’s and women’s teams held steady in the latest USTFCCCA Rankings this week. The women are No. 3 while the men come in at No. 7.
National Leaders: Devon Allen enters conference championship week as the NCAA leader in the 110 hurdles with a best of 13.40 this season which he set at the Willie Williams Classic. The team of Jasmine Todd, Deajah Stevens, Hannah Cunliffe and Ariana Washington lead the nation in the 4x100 with a school record time of 42.68, set at the Mt. SAC Relays.
Pac-12 Athlete of the Week: (4/19) Devon Allen and Hannah Cunliffe were named Pac-12 Track Athletes of the Week on April 19. Allen won four events at the Oregon Relays while running the fifth-fastest time in Oregon history in the 200 (20.68). Cunliffe was a member of the winning 4x100 team, won the 100 and finished second in the 200 at the Mt. SAC Relays. Cunliffe ran 10.99 in the 100 and 22.71 in the 200, both of which put her among the top four in Oregon history.
(3/22) Devon Allen, Annie Leblanc and Cody Danielson were each named Pac-12 Athletes of the week during the first week of the outdoor season. At the Willie Williams Classic, Allen picked up three wins (100/200/110 hurdles) while Leblanc won both the women’s 800 and 1,500. Danielson won the javelin with the No. 4 mark on the NCAA list.
Bowerman Watch: Jenna Prandini became the second-consecutive Oregon woman to win the Bowerman Trophy, following Laura Roesler in 2014. The USTFCCCA named Devon Allen and Edward Cheserek to the men’s watch list for 2016 and Raevyn Rogers on the women’s side.
NCAA Indoor Sweep: Oregon swept the 2016 NCAA Indoor Championships, marking the 27th and 28th championships by Oregon track and field and cross country teams. The team sweep has only happened four times in NCAA history, and now twice by the Ducks (2013/2016).