Jordan Dail spent a lonely first season in the circle at Oregon.

So the left-handed ace was quite welcoming when coach Melyssa Lombardi added three pitchers to keep her company during the offseason.

Transfers transfers Brooke Yanez (UC Davis) and Samaria Diaz (New Mexico State) and freshman Makenna Kliethermes helped Dail and the Ducks get off to 5-0 start to the 2020 softball campaign at the Puerto Vallarta Challenge in Mexico.

“Before we even got here (Dail) said, ‘You all are going to be my best friends and you’ve got no say about it,’” Yanez said. “We have a really good relationship with all four of us, and it’s really nice to have.

“You can’t have a staff that’s against each other. You have to be all with each other because it really takes a staff, not just one pitcher.”

Dail, the only scholarship pitcher on the roster for most of the 2019 season, was in the circle for 74.6% of the team’s 332 1/3 innings pitched during the last-place finish in the Pac-12.

In only 12 innings of work this season, a fresh Dail (1-0, 0.00 ERA) has 15 strikeouts and issued only one walk. The junior pitched a complete-game 1-0 shutout of Nevada and picked up a save in the 4-1 win over Long Beach State.

Yanez (3-0, 0.50 ERA) was named the NFCA national pitcher of the week after striking out 25 batters over 14 innings, including a 17-strikeout performance against BYU.

Diaz (1-0, 1.62 ERA) and Kliethermes (five strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings) also contributed for the Ducks, who have surrendered an NCAA-best 0.4 runs per game so far.

“I thought our pitching staff, all four of them, threw extremely well,” Lombardi said. “I really like the way Brooke was moving her ball. I thought she was very efficient. She was constantly ahead in the count, which allowed her to expand the zone a lot.”

Another encouraging sign for Lombardi was Oregon scoring first in all five games and scoring 15 of its 34 runs with two outs.

Senior Haley Cruse batted .467 with seven runs and freshman Terra McGowan had a home run, three doubles and 10 RBIs to lead the attack.

“I think our team has been very confident this whole season, especially coming off of last year knowing what we have,” said McGowan, the new starting catcher who redshirted in 2019 after transferring from Arizona State. “We’re not really the type of players to get down on ourselves or doubt ourselves. And our coaches have instilled that into our culture.

“It’s definitely nice to get the jitters out the first weekend, but I think you’ll see the same and better following up.”

The 21st-ranked Ducks will play four games at the Houston Classic this weekend, starting against the host Cougars (4-1) at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Follow Ryan Thorburn on Twitter @RGDuckFootball and email questions to rthorburn@registerguard.com. For more Oregon sports coverage, visit DuckSports.com.