E ugene , Ore. — It was a banner afternoon for second-ranked Oregon as it blanked No. 9 Louisiana-Lafayette 8-0 in a battle of top-10 teams at Howe Field in five innings.
Ducks pitcher Cheridian Hawkins tossed a five-inning no-hitter while Oregon outfielder Janie Takeda set school career records for hits and steals.
For the Ragin Cajuns (34-6), it was a disappointing start to a three-game series that has many of the trappings found in an NCAA Super Regional.
Oregon (39-5) used a five-run second inning to break the game open. With one out and the bases loaded, Nikki Udria drove a ball up the middle that caromed off UL-Lafayette pitcher Jordan Wallace. Two runs scored, and Takeda followed with an RBI single for a 3-0 lead. Jenna Lilley then drove in Udria and Takeda, and the Ducks were rolling.
Hawkins (21-3) pitched around walks in the first and fourth innings, tying her season high with 11 strikeouts to record her sixth career no-hitter. Lilley hit a two-run home run in the fourth, and Udria ended the game with her two-out solo shot.
Wallace allowed five runs on four hits in 1.1 innings, while Kristina Hamilton allowed three runs on four hits with four strikeouts in relief. Hayden, who had a streak of 28 straight games reaching base, went 0-for-2 for the Ragin’ Cajuns while Lexie Elkins went 0-for-2 to end a 16-game streak of reaching base.