Washington softball loses its Pac-12 opener as seventh-ranked Oregon

With two outs, nothing is guaranteed.

The University of Washington softball team lost its Pac-12 and home opener against Oregon Friday night, 8-6, when the 19th-ranked Ducks rallied with a two-RBI triple in the top of the seventh to pull off a upset win against the No. 10 Huskies.

Washington took a 5-4 lead on an RBI single by Olivia Johnson in the bottom of the fifth.

Hannah Delgado took second in the seventh inning on a throwing error by Washington third baseman Bailey Klingler and scored the tying run when Ducks catcher Valerie Wong hit a single off Huskies freshman pitcher Ruby Maylan. KK Humphries followed that with a two-run double to left-center field to make it 7-5.

Ariel Carlson singled in the Ducks’ final run with a two-out single to right field that scored Humphries from second.

The loss snapped Washington’s eight-game winning streak.

“It’s a long season,” Washington head coach Heather Tarr said. “You look at some of the hits that we gave up, a couple of the lead stuff was probably the reason we got more trouble than anything else. But I thought it was a good game. Overall a good game.”

Neither player was available for interviews after the game.

Humphries, a left fielder from Oregon, gave the Ducks the lead to start the game with a two-run triple in the top of the first. Washington’s Madison Husky tied the score with a two-run homer in the Huskies’ half of the inning.

Two batters later, Johnson put Washington ahead with a solo blast over the left field wall. In the second inning, sophomore Riley Holtorf hit her second career home run to center field to give the Huskies a 4-2 lead.

In the fifth, Oregon catcher Valerie Wong hit a two-out, two-run homer to tie the game at 4-4, but Johnson put the Huskies ahead again in the bottom of the fifth with a single up the middle that scored the pinch runner Megan Vandegrift.

That lead didn’t last long, either, as Oregon put themselves in position to win four in the seventh.

The Huskies made it 8-6 when Madison Huski drove in Sami Reynolds with a single to right field in the bottom of the seventh inning that led to the potential game-winning run.

It was as close as Washington got, as Oregon pitcher Morgan Scott struck out Johnson and got Kelly Lynch to fly out to center field to end it.

Maylon allowed 13 hits and eight runs with 11 strikeouts in her first start at Husky Softball Stadium. Although it wasn’t the result she was hoping for, Tarr has a lot of confidence in the freshman from Omaha, Neb.

“She’s definitely capable,” Tarr said. “We could save her, we’ve done it in the past, but she has to learn to win the game and finish the game. That’s good. They have to learn how to do it. It’s a skill and it doesn’t happen because you can dominate.”

Oregon starter Stevie Hansen had three hits, two walks and four earned runs in 1⅓ innings, while Reagan Breedlove earned the win, allowing four hits and two earned runs in 4⅔ innings.

​​​​​​While it was a disappointing way to start their home schedule, Tarr has seen a lot of fight from her team and is eager to see what the Huskies can do the rest of their weekend series against the Ducks.

“At the end of the day, we didn’t win the game,” Tarr said. “Why didn’t we win the game? These are more questions to be answered than “Are we good enough, can we play at this stage?” It will be interesting to see how we come back and learn and respond.”

Washington and Oregon will meet again on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and wrap up the weekend series at noon on Sunday.

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