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Oregon run-rules Arizona to complete sweep in Eugene

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The Wildcats are 0-6 on the road in conference play

Photo via @ArizonaSoftball

The chilly, rainy Eugene weather had Arizona in a deep freeze all weekend.

Megan Kleist allowed one hit over five innings, Mary Iakopo and DJ Sanders homered, and the fifth-ranked Oregon Ducks completed the sweep of the ninth-ranked Wildcats on Sunday with a 10-0 victory in six innings.

The Ducks outscored the Wildcats 23-2 in the series, dominating in every facet of the game.

Arizona was unable to get much of anything going against an Oregon pitching staff that entered the weekend with the fifth-best ERA in the country.

Kleist struck out 10 Wildcats and walked two Sunday. She was relieved by Miranda Elish, who had a 13-strikeout shutout in the second game of the series.

The Wildcats are now 27-9 overall and 6-6 in the Pac-12. They are 0-6 on the road in Pac-12 play and in fifth place in the conference standings.

Taylor McQuillin (18-6) allowed eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits and four walks Sunday.

The Ducks plated two runs in the third on a sacrifice fly and RBI single, then Sanders’ two-run homer opened the game up in the fourth.

The sixth inning was even uglier, as Oregon added six runs to complete the run-rule, capped by Iakopo’s three-run homer off Alyssa Denham, who relieved McQuillin with two outs in the inning.

It was a rough weekend for McQuillin who surrendered five runs and three homers in Friday’s 5-2 loss. The left-hander entered the series with an 0.89 ERA, but it now stands at 1.39.

Denham didn’t fare any better, giving up five runs (two earned) on eight hits and four walks in 4.1 innings in game two, before serving up two runs in the finale.

Arizona will return home next weekend where it is unbeaten in conference play, but it will be challenged by the UCLA Bruins, who are ranked No. 3 in the country.

The Wildcats haven’t been able to beat the top dogs in the Pac-12 this season, but that will have to change next week if they want to keep their conference title hopes alive.

Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire