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Hawkins One-Hits Florida State as Oregon Shuts Out the Seminoles at the WCWS, 3-0

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – NFCA All-American hurler Cheridan Hawkins twirled a one-hit shutout for Oregon on Thursday in Women’s College World Series action at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla., as the Ducks topped Florida State, 3-0.

Hawkins improved to 34-4 on the season, allowing just the one hit with two walks and six strikeouts over the complete-game blanking. Fellow NFCA All-American hurler Lacey Waldrop of FSU suffered the loss, falling to 38-6 after allowing three earned runs on 10 hits over five frames with a walk and two strikeouts. 

Duck right fielder Alexa Peterson led the UO offense by posting a 2-for-3 effort at the dish with a double and an RBI, while catcher Janelle Lindvall picked up an RBI via a groundout. Left fielder Janie Takeda was 2-for-4 and shortstop Nikki Udria registered a 2-for-3 effort while knocking in a tally.

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"It certainly feels better to be one step ahead than we were last time, coming out with a "W" against a good team from Florida State," Oregon head coach Mike White said. "There was a pitcher of the year and one of the candidates of player of the year. They were a tough opposition. I can't say enough about what Cheridan Hawkins did out there today. She did a fantastic job. Our offense started early, put the pressure on and came through with big hits, especially the lower half of the order. They came through for us today."

Florida State’s offense missed a golden chance to gain an early lead during the top of the first. Shortstop Maddie O’Brien opened the frame with a single to right and advanced into scoring position via a sacrifice bunt. Center fielder Courtney Senas drew a free pass, putting a pair of Seminoles aboard with still only one retired. Hawkins proved up to the challenge from the circle, however, striking out third baseman Briana Hamilton and coercing a groundout from left fielder Kelly Hensley to conclude the threat. 

Having escaped the top half unscathed, the Ducks started an offensive opportunity of their own in the bottom of the first. With one down designated player Alyssa Gillespie singled sharply through the left side. Takeda stepped into the batter’s box and followed immediately with a base knock through the right side, taking second on an unsuccessful throw attempting to cut down the lead runner at third. With two stationed in scoring position, Lindvall delivered an RBI groundout to second as Gillespie crossed from 60 feet away for a 1-0 UO lead. 

Oregon added to its advantage during the bottom of the second as a leadoff single by Peterson, a sacrifice bunt and an RBI base knock up the middle from Udria put UO’s second tally on the scoreboard. 

Hawkins was rolling along from the circle, making it 14 consecutive Seminole batters retired since the first inning after getting designated player Bailey Schniella, first baseman Victoria East and catcher Celeste Gomez in order during the fifth. 

Bidding for more in the bottom of the fifth, Oregon center fielder Koral Costa ripped a two-out Waldrop offering down the line into the left field corner. In almost an exact replay just seconds later, Peterson followed with a two-bagger down into the same LF corner, plating Costa from second to make it 3-0. 

The Seminoles managed their first base runner since the opening frame as second baseman Tiffani Brown reached via a fielding error with two outs in the top of the sixth. Senas stepped into the batter’s box trying desperately to get something going, but flied out harmlessly to right center.

Needing a rally in the top of the seventh, FSU’s Hamilton managed a leadoff walk against Hawkins to get the Seminoles in business. Hensley just missed putting Florida State on the board, but became the first retirement of the frame, as her high fly ball was tracked down just short of the fence in left. In the end there was no rally to be had as Hawkins struck out ‘Nole pinch hitter Alex Powers and coerced a fly out to center from East to wrap up UO’s 3-0 victory.