The top-seeded Oregon Ducks are known for their offense.
In a 3-0 win over Florida State in a Women’s College World Series opener Thursday afternoon at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, sophomore left-hander Cheridan Hawkins showed the Ducks aren’t too shabby in the circle.
“Obviously we can’t hide it now,” said Oregon coach Mike White. “She had Jessica Moore, an All-American, ahead of her last year. This year she’s stepped up huge. She’s shown great composure. We don’t have anyone on our team that wants it any more than Cheridan.”
Hawkins tossed a one-hit shutout, striking out six, to lead the top-seeded Ducks into Friday night’s winners’ bracket final against No. 5 Florida.
Florida State shortstop Maddie O’Brien singled to center to lead off the game. It would be the only hit Hawkins would allow.
“What’s great is our offense and defense pick up me continuously,” Hawkins said. “I’m just trying to do my part. It’s great to pitch on a team that’s going to score a lot of runs. It’s always nice to have that offense. And the defense really helps me.”
Owning a .350 team batting average, the Ducks’ lineup is loaded. The top six hitters are all hitting .355 or higher. Oregon (55-7-1) rapped out 10 hits off Florida State’s Lacey Waldrop, the national Pitcher of the Year who entered the game with a 1.01 ERA.
Right fielder Alexa Peterson singled and scored in the second and drove in a run with an RBI double in the fifth. The Ducks jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Alyssa Gillespie singled with one out, eventually scoring on a ground out.
“The returners, we have been counting down the days to get here,” Peterson said. “The seniors and I have been preparing to get back to the World Series and win it since our freshman year.
“The day that we walked in we said we wanted to come out with a national championship. We were able to make it here our sophomore year but I think we’ve used our experience to really get the other girls motivated, let them know how awesome it is to be here.”