Melyssa Lombardi's team is looking to snap a nine-game losing streak
Nine months after meeting in the Women’s College World Series, Oregon and Washington will renew their softball rivalry during a three-game series this weekend at Jane Sanders Stadium.
The Ducks (11-13, 0-3) have lost nine consecutive games after getting swept at Arizona to open Pac-12 play.
The seventh-ranked Huskies (22-6, 0-3) are also at the bottom of the conference standings after getting swept by No. 1 UCLA.
Oregon won all three games during the regular-season series last year in Seattle en route to earning the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Washington’s win in Oklahoma City led to another quick exit for the Ducks from the WCWS. Then coach Mike White and nine players left the program before the start of the 2019 campaign.
“To keep fighting, to keep fighting, that’s all we can do is to fight,” first-year Oregon coach Melyssa Lombardi said of her message to the team. “Things are tough and they’ve been tough for us, but we’re going to get through this and be better because of it.”
Washington ace Gabbie Plain, who out-dueled Pac-12 pitcher of the year Megan Kleist in the postseason matchup, is second in the conference with a 1.13 earned-run average.
Oregon has been leaning on Jordan Dail (9-7, 3.63 ERA) in the circle all season. The sophomore lefty has already pitched 109.2 inning, the fourth-most in the nation.
Five freshmen have started 17 or more games this season for the rebuilding Ducks.
“The competition is going to get harder and harder. The Pac is not easy,” sophomore catcher Shaye Bowden said. “So we kind of just tell them to keep their head down and work and results are going to be produced.”
The series opener at 1 p.m. Saturday will be televised by ESPNU and the doubleheader at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.