Written By: YSPN360
May 18, 2018
Oregon left nothing to be disputed Saturday as it claimed the PAC-12 championship title with a 2-0 victory over the No. 24 ranked California. It was the Lady Ducks fifth title over the past six seasons.
Two seems to have been the Ducks lucky number this past week. The No. 2 ranked Oregon team (now No.1!) only needed two hits to score its two game-winning runs. In the top of the fourth, Gwen Svekis walked to first to set the Lady Ducks up for its big play. Shannon Rhodes pushed Svekis to second off a left-field single. After a Sac groundout to advance runners to second and third, Mia Camuso hit a single out to centerfield to push Rhodes and Svekis in for the game-winning runs.
But Oregon’s strong defense kept the Lady Bears off the board. California only managed to get three hits and two walks off the Lady Ducks. Oregon kept up a tight performance on the field, recording no errors on the night, while pitcher Miranda Elish brought home the win for Oregon from the circle, only giving up two hits with one walk and four strikeouts over four innings. Teammate Maggie Balint closed out the night for the Lady Ducks, holding steady for the last three innings, only allowing California one more hit and walk on the night while recording four strikeouts of her own.
After a falling a game short against Arizona in 2017, the taste of another conference title is a sweet one, claiming the No. 1 seed against Albany in the upcoming NCAA tournament in the Eugene Regional on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. PT.
The conference title is the fifth under head coach Mike White—who is also a YSPN360 Instructor—and has made Oregon a household name in the world of softball. With a .790 winning percentage, White has claimed the honor of Oregon’s all-time best head coach. He led the Lady Ducks to its fourth straight Pac-12 title back in 2016. And his nine years at the helm of Oregon’s softball program has seen record-breaking success:
- 41 All-Pac-12 honorees
- 19 All-Pac-12 Freshman Team choices and
- 47 Pac-12 Players and Pitchers of the Week awards
- 15 All-Americans
- 48 All-Region selections
- 5 Women’s College World Series All-Tournament Team
Under his coaching, Oregon won a school-record 23 conference games this season and claimed its first No. 1 ranking in the NFCA poll since 2014.