SALT LAKE CITY — The Oregon softball team, only 11 months removed from being the No. 1 overall seed at the Women’s College World Series, will not be included in the 64-team NCAA Tournament field this season.
The Ducks (22-27, 5-16 Pac-12) were eliminated from the postseason with an 11-3 run-rule loss to Utah on Sunday at Dumke Stadium.
Oregon committed four errors in the rubber match of the series, and worn-out starter Jordan Dail (18-15) — the only scholarship pitcher left on coach Melyssa Lombardi’s roster — allowed 12 hits and 11 runs (five earned) over 5 1/3 innings.
The Ducks jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a leadoff home run by senior Cherish Burks, a solo shot down the left-field line.
Oregon pushed two more across in the fourth to extend its lead to 3-0, loading the bases to start the inning before freshman Lexi Wagner drove in a run with an RBI single through the left side. The Ducks added one more as freshman Hannah Galey raced home from third on a wild pitch.
But miscues haunted the Ducks in the bottom of the fourth as three errors allowed Utah to score six runs, just one earned, and take a 6-3 lead.
The Utes (18-33, 6-15) added two more in the fifth and three in the sixth to win the game and take the series.
Oregon was forced to play shorthanded for the third consecutive game with center fielder Haley Cruse and shortstop Jasmine Sievers both out with injuries.
Galey, playing in the outfield for Cruse, left the game in the fourth with an apparent injury.
Oregon will finish the 2019 season with a three-game series against Arizona State starting Thursday at Jane Sanders Stadium.