THURSDAY COLLEGE SOFTBALL ROUNDUP/Oregon crushes Cal, while UCLA falls to ASU; PSU loses Big Sky tourney game; Warner Pacific adds sport


Oregon 13, CALIFORNIA 0 (6 innings)

• No. 2 Oregon, battling for a conference championship, overpowered the host Bears in their series opener at Berkeley, California.

The Ducks improved to 19-3 in the Pac-12 and 45-7 overall.

And, with No. 1-ranked UCLA's 3-0 loss at home to No. 6 Arizona State on Thursday night, the Ducks have sole possession of first place in the conference. The Bruins fell to 18-4, 48-4.

Cal, ranked 24th, dropped to 7-14, 34-17.

Two games remain in the regular season, and Oregon owns the tiebreaker over UCLA by virtue of its 2-1 series victory this season.

Oregon had a 6-0 lead on the Bears when it scored seven times and hit three home runs in the sixth inning. DJ Sanders hit the first HR in the spree. A three-run, pinch-hit homer by April Utecht made it a 12-0 game. The next batter, Lauren Lindvall, also homered.

Miranda Elish (19-1) went the distance, giving up two hits (singles) and no walks. She struck out three.

Oregon finished with 15 hits.

Oregon State 9, UTAH 5

• The Beavers won the series opener on the road and snapped a nine-game losing streak.

OSU raised its record to 8-14 Pac-12, 27-26 overall.

Utah is 2-19, 20-29.

Six Beavers — McKenna Arriola, Shelby Weeks, Alysha Everett, Hope Brandner, Camryn Young and Jessica Gardia — head two hits. Brandner drove in three runs, giving her a team-high 32 this season.

Meehra Nelson (14-1) pitched the first 6 1/3 innings for Oregon State, allowing two earned runs.

Mariah Mazon garnered her fifth save of the year.

Montana 6, Portland State 3

• The fourth-seeded PSU Vikings led early, but fell to the No. 5-seeded Grizzlies in the first round of the Big Sky tournament at Ogden, Utah.

The Viks will play No. 2 Weber State, the tourney host, at 11 a.m. Friday in an elimination contest.

PSU will need to win five games to earn the tournament title and automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Alyssa Burk, the PSU starter, fell to 12-14, working 4 2/3 innings.

PSU (17-34 overall) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on two hits and two errors.

Montana (25-28) tied the game at 2-2 with a leadoff home run in the fourth, and the Griz scored four runs on five hits in the fifth.

Kaela Morrow and Marissa Bruno each had three hits for Portland State, but the rest of the lineup was a combined 1 for 21.

  • • Warner Pacific will make softball program its eighth women's sports program starting in 2019-2020. University President Andrea Cook says the search for a coach and the recruiting of players will begin immediately.

    The Knights will compete at the club level in the fall, then begin Cascade Collegiate Conference play next year.

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