Chyenne Factor had two hits herself, or one more than the entire Oregon team.
The Oklahoma State freshman homered and drove in three runs, any one of which would have been enough for the 19th-ranked Cowgirls (16-5) to win as the 24th-ranked Ducks (11-8) suffered a 3-0 defeat Friday at Jane Sanders Stadium in front of an announced turnout of 1,804 for the Ducks' home opener.
“I see a lot of positives,” UO coach Missy Lombardi said. “I thought we hit the ball hard ... right at people at times. We didn’t get some breaks to go our way.
“Even going into the last inning we knew we had a chance to win it. We just weren’t able to put enough together.”
Certainly the seventh inning was illustrative of that. Oregon’s first two hitters in the final at-bat walked, but a popup, line drive to rightfield and a strikeout produced nothing, much as leadoff hitters who reached in each of the previous five innings couldn’t get around to score.
“Sometimes you hit balls hard and hit them right at people and they don’t fall through,” Lombardi said. “I just feel like we had opportunities a couple times and we hit balls right at people.
“We’ve just got to keep swinging. I liked the way they swung, I really did.”
It was a fourth consecutive loss for the Ducks, and they have only scored three total runs with 12 hits in those games. But the sense was this wasn’t simply a continuation of a slump.
“We did get better,” UO senior Cherish Burks insisted. “The results may not have shown it (but UO batters) were just hitting at people.
“Trust me, (Saturday’s doubleheader) will be a different story.”
Factor had half of the four hits given up by Oregon’s Jordan Dail, who struck out eight and walked two in her eighth complete game of the season.
“Jordan gave us a chance to win,” Lombardi said. “She threw well. She moves the ball well, she does a good job of changing speeds, I thought she did a good job of executing her plan.”
The same could be said of OSU’s Samantha Show, a senior transfer from Texas A&M who earlier this season pitched the Cowgirls to wins over the likes of Arizona State and California. She struck out four and the only hit she allowed was a single by Shaye Bowden in the fourth, when the Ducks left runners at the corners.
“I think it’s just having our confidence at the plate,” Burks said of breaking loose offensively. “We hit balls hard, just right at people.
“I’m very confident in our approach. It’ll come together, trust me.”