Oregon vs. Florida
When: Today, 4 p.m.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Making her debut in the Women’s College World Series, Oregon sophomore left-hander Cheridan Hawkins acknowledged she was a bit nervous, which led to a shaky first inning.
She quickly recovered, though, pitching a one-hitter in top-seeded Oregon’s 3-0 victory over Florida State on Thursday in the opening round.
Alexa Peterson had a pair of hits, including a run-scoring double, to help Oregon (55-7-1) break the school record for victories in a season.
The Ducks advanced to play Florida today. Florida, which beat the Ducks 2-1 in eight innings on Feb. 28, downed Baylor 11-0 in five innings in another first-round game Thursday.
Hawkins (34-4) gave up only a leadoff single to Maddie O’Brien in the first inning. Courtney Senas drew a one-out walk two batters later, but Hawkins escaped the jam and eventually retired 16 straight batters before a two-out error in the sixth. She also gave up a leadoff walk in the seventh, but that was it for Florida State (55-8).
“She was under (former Ducks All-American) Jessica Moore’s wing last year,” Oregon coach Mike White said about Hawkins. “This year, she’s stepped up huge. Going back to our very first game of the season, it didn’t look that way to start off, but she’s shown great composure and worked very hard. … She loves to have the weight on her shoulders and carries it extremely well.”
Florida State pitcher Lacey Waldrop (38-6), the Division I player of the year, did not make it out of the sixth inning after giving up 10 hits.
Alyssa Gillespie singled and scored on a ground out by Janelle Lindvall in the first inning for Oregon, and Peterson singled and scored on a single by Nikki Udria — the Ducks’ No. 9 hitter — in the second.
Koral Costa and Peterson hit successive doubles down the left-field line in the fifth.
“The offense and defense always pick me up continuously,” Hawkins said. “When I get the opportunity to help out and do my part, it’s what I like to do. They worked really hard and scored some runs, which is really nice.”
Florida State (55-8), making its first WCWS appearance in 10 years, will face Baylor on Saturday in an elimination game. The Seminoles recovered from a 17-3 loss to Michigan in the first game of their super regional to win two straight to qualify for the WCWS.
Also on Thursday:
Florida 11, Baylor 0: Hannah Rogers threw a complete-game three-hit shutout for No. 5 Florida. Rogers (27-8) threw her fourth shutout of the postseason for the Gators, who have won six of their seven NCAA tournament games this season by shutout. A two-run double by Bailey Castro staked Florida to a 3-0 lead after one inning against Baylor starter Whitney Canion (31-11). Kirsti Merritt hit a solo home run in the fourth for Florida and pinch-hitter Chelsea Herndon capped the game with a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the fifth.