Top-ranked UCLA got a little more familiar with Janelle Lindvall on Friday afternoon.
The sophomore catcher for No. 3 Oregon had three hits, a home run and drove in five runs, helping the Ducks outlast the Bruins 9-7 in the opener of their three-game Pac-12 softball series in front of 567 at Howe Field.
Lindvall, a Southern California native whose older sister, Devon, was an outfielder for UCLA from 2010-13, was one of three Oregon players to have a three-hit day against the Bruins' normally stingy pitching staff.
"We knew coming into it that these are two good hitting teams," said Lindvall, whose younger sister, Lauren, is committed to play for the Ducks next season. "But we try not to pay too big of attention to the rankings and we believe -- at least I believe -- that if we play to our potential we can beat anyone."
The Ducks (33-4, 7-0 Pac-12) fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first but were quick to answer in the bottom half of the frame against UCLA starter Ally Carda and her Pac-12-best 0.79 earned run average.
Courtney Ceo and Alyssa Gillespie bunted for singles, Alexa Peterson walked and Lindvall roped a bases-clearing single to center field that put Oregon ahead, 3-1, and the Ducks never looked back.
Oregon went on to score in every inning expect the second, including back-to-back home runs from Lindvall and Koral Costa in the bottom of the sixth off of UCLA reliever Paige McDuffee.
It was Oregon's seventh victory in its past 10 games against the 11-time national champion Bruins, and another victory at 3 p.m. today would secure a fourth consecutive series victory over UCLA.
Costa (3-for-3) and leadoff hitter Courtney Ceo (3-for-4) also had three hits apiece for Oregon, which used 11 hits to score its nine runs -- the second-highest scoring output against the Bruins in Pac-12 play this season.
"I'm proud of the way the ladies battled today with their bats," Oregon coach Mike White said. "They really worked it over, they ran the bases hard and made the pitchers work for their money out there."
The Bruins (33-3, 8-2) did their part to make it a game late.
Karissa Hovinga relieved UO starter Cheridan Hawkins in the top of the sixth, getting out of a bases-loaded jam by striking out UCLA home run leader Mysha Sataraka to end the potential threat.
Oregon added another run, before Carda took out some of her pitching frustration on a 1-0 offering from Hovinga that went sailing over the fence in left field in the seventh.
The two-out, two-run home run capped a four-run rally, as Delaney Spaulding grounded out to end the game.
Hawkins (20-2) allowed three earned runs on seven hits, struck out five and walked two in 5 2/3 innings. The sophomore left-hander was uncharacteristically wild early and hit three batters in an overall decent outing for a normally electric pitcher.
Hawkins said she needs to have "better control of the zone" and "work harder on the corners of the plate" moving forward against a talented UCLA lineup.
"(Hawkins) just got behind and made it difficult on herself," White said. "They're good hitters. They know the strike zone and they have a goal when they go to the plate. So it was difficult for her and they made us work for it."
White said he plans to start Hovinga (9-1) today.
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