May 22, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Two runs in the bottom of the first inning was all pitcher Ani Nyhus of 12th-ranked Oregon needed to get her team to the championship game of the NCAA Division I Softball Region 4 Tournament as the Ducks defeated South Florida for the second time in as many days 2-1 Saturday at the Seminole Softball Complex.
The victory improved Oregon’s record to 41-20, but more importantly, set up a rematch with regional host Florida State in the championship game at 1 p.m. Sunday. South Florida ended the year at 60-14. In the first game of action Saturday, the Seminoles won a four and a half hour marathon 5-4 over the Ducks in 12 innings.
First baseman Beth Boskovich started the bottom of the first with a single, then one out later moved up to second on another single from Ashley Richards. The only two runs of the game for Oregon came across the plate when the next batter, catcher Jenn Poore, doubled to centerfield to score Boskovich and Richards.
USF didn’t get a hit off Nyhus until the third inning-a single by Samantha Ray-and didn’t put a runner into scoring position until the fifth. Third baseman Krista Holle picked up a walk in the fifth and pinch runner Nicole Christensen moved up to second on a passed ball on a dropped third strike.
Nyhus improved to 22-12 with the complete game victory. The junior posted nine strikeouts and surrendered just one walk. USF’s Leigh Ann Ellis gave up just three hits after the first inning, but the two runs she did surrender saddled her with the loss as she ended the year with an impressive 43-8 record.
The Bulls had the go-ahead run in scoring position with two outs in the seventh inning but couldn’t get the runner across. After a walk and a single, USF put runners on second and third on a sacrifice bunt. Pinch runner Alycia LePage beat the throw home to pull USF within a run. A groundout put runners on second and third again, but this time Nyhus got Holle to ground out right back to the mound and end the game.