The softball transfer turnstile between Oregon and Texas kept turning Friday.
First-year coach Melyssa Lombardi announced that Maddie MacGrandle, a pitcher who spent her freshman season at Texas A&M, will join the Ducks for the 2019 season.
A short time later, former Oregon catcher Mary Iakopo announced that she will be the fourth player from the defending Pac-12 champions to reunite with coach Mike White at Texas.
“I want to thank my coaches for giving me the opportunity to play at the best stadium, in front of some of the best fans in the country," Iakopo posted on social media. “Thank you to my teammates for the memories and my forever friendships. Thank you to my parents and siblings for guiding me during this difficult time in making such a tough decision.
“I am grateful for my experiences as a duck and a part of my heart will always be in Oregon, but I have decided to further my career at the University of Texas.”
Iakopo hit .306 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs as a freshman last season. Her departure left Oregon without a catcher on the roster, although Lombardi is confident that April Utecht can help fill the void.
Since White left to coach the Longhorns, six players have transferred from Oregon, including co-aces Miranda Elish (now at Texas) and Megan Kleist (now at Louisiana-Lafayette).
MacGrandle, a lefty, was 5-1 with a 2.60 earned-run average in eight appearances with the Aggies.
"I met coach Lombardi when I was in eighth grade and have followed her success," MacGrandle said in a release. “I chose Oregon because I couldn't have picked a better coach to play for. I can't wait to be in Eugene helping the Ducks win games!"
Junior pitcher Maggie Balint is still on Oregon’s roster, and sophomore Jordan Dail previously transferred in from Virginia Tech.
“Maddie is a crafty lefty who does a great job of changing speeds and using the entire strike zone," Lombardi said. “She's a really tough competitor on the mound, and I also like that she can contribute offensively from the left side of the plate.
“I’ve known Maddie for a long time, which I think will help her transition quickly, and I know that I am getting a quality young woman who can really help this program.”
The Ducks have also lost former Marist High standout Lauren Burke and centerfielder Shannon Rhodes to Texas and freshman Alyssa Pinto to Mississippi this offseason.
Oregon already had to replace graduated seniors Jenna Lilley, Gwen Svekis, Lauren Lindvall and DJ Sanders from the team that entered the Women’s College World Series as the No. 1 seed.
There are only three players — Alexis Mack, Haley Cruse and Mia Camuso — remaining on the roster from the Ducks’ starting lineup at the WCWS in June.
The NCAA rule change that allows players to contact other schools about transferring without permission from their current institution went into effect Oct. 15. Elish, Burke, Rhodes and Iakopo will all play for White this season without having to sit out.