Ducks make the cut!
Oregon played its way into the NCAA baseball tournament.
After a midseason slump, the Ducks won nine of their last 10 games of the regular season, including two of three against No. 1 overall seed UCLA during the weekend, to finish 37-23 overall and 16-14 in the Pac-12 Conference. Oregon was considered to be on the postseason bubble but found out it was in the field of 64 on Monday morning.
Oregon is a No. 3 seed and will travel to Springfield, Mo., for an NCAA Regional hosted by Missouri State, which is the No. 8 overall seed in the tournament. The Ducks will face second-seeded Iowa, which lost four of its last six games to finish the season 39-16. The Ducks and Hawkeyes will play at 10 a.m. Friday on ESPN. Top-seeded Missouri State will play fourth-seeded Canisius in the other first-round game at the regional.
From the outside looking in, Oregon softball left for the airport Monday bound for Oklahoma City and the Women's College World Series with as bulletproof a shot at a national championship as any in the field.
But Oregon's armor has been its arms in 2015. Meanwhile, its batting has been a concern, one that comes and goes. The latest example was in its Super Regional sweep of North Carolina State last weekend at Howe Field, where in both victories Oregon's offense awoke in the middle innings.
Coach Mike White wants a faster start at the WCWS, Oregon's third appearance in the past four years.
White commented on this Monday when he met with media to preview Oregon's WCWS opener: Thursday against UCLA at 6:30 p.m. PT. The game will air on ESPN2.
Track & Field
The Oregon track and field team held its annual banquet on Sunday, May 24 before heading to Austin for the NCAA Preliminary Rounds, looking back on a season full of accomplishments including a repeat NCAA Indoor championship for the Oregon men and the seventh-straight sweep of the Pac-12 Championships. The banquet also serves as a time to honor individuals for their performance, leadership and dedication.
The Lynne Winbigler Women's Performer of the Year Award was split between Jenna Prandini and Jasmine Todd. Prandini won the second NCAA Championship of her career during the indoor season, setting a school record in the long jump, before setting two more during the outdoor season in the 100 and 200. Todd is coming off a stellar Pac-12 performance where she was named athlete of the meet for scoring in five events and winning the 100 and triple jump.
The George Scharpf Outstanding Athlete Award, presented in recognition of outstanding athletic achievement by a male track and field athlete, was also split between Edward Cheserek and Eric Jenkins. Cheserek won the indoor mile in March and anchored the distance medley relay team to a victory while Jenkins was also a two event winner at the indoor championships, taking the 3,000 and 5,000.
The Harry Ritchie Jeweler’s Award for great contribution to the University of Oregon track and field program went to Sam Crouser who won his fourth-straight Pac-12 javelin title. Crouser is the only person to win four men’s javelin titles and one of 15 to ever win four titles in a single event at the Pac-12 Championships.
Brittany Mann, who owns both Oregon’s indoor and outdoor shot put school records, was given the Mary Officer Award for her efforts this season. Mann finished third at the NCAA Indoor Championships and won a Pac-12 title in the event last week.
The Harry Ritchie’s Inspirational Award was given to both Annie Leblancand Lauren Crockett. Crockett scored for the Ducks at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the high jump while Leblanc has had a stellar outdoor season where she most recently scored in both the 800 and 1,500 at the Pac-12 Championships.
The Dow Wilson Inspirational Award, presented to the male track & field athlete whose athletic achievements and leadership provide inspiration to their teammates, went to seniors Dakotah Keys and Trevor Ferguson.
The Perry Holloman Newcomer of the Year Award was split between a pair of freshman on the women’s team. Ariana Washington was given the nod thanks to a sixth-place finish in the 200 at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Raevyn Rogers was also named a co-award winner after busting onto the scene with a crucial win in the 800 at the Pac-12 Championships which helped the women win for the seventh-straight year.
The Tom Heinonen women's cross country award winner went to Molly Grabill, while Cheserek won the men's Bill Dellinger Cross Country Award.
Cited for the Coaches Award, given to recognize athletic achievement, dedication and determination, were Marcus Chambers, Will Geoghegan, Johnny Gregorek, Waverly Neer, Greg Skipper, Ben Thiel, Sasha Wallace, Jillian Weir and Daniel Winn.Also on Sunday, the University of Oregon Track and Field Hall of Fame Award was presented to Hayward field official Mike Olsen, who has been a part of Hayward Field history for nearly 40 years. The former Oregon Track Club president has also led efforts to maintain community running trails, including Pre's Trail.