Oregon State continues its 2014 season with its second tournament of the year, as it heads to College Station, Texas to play five games as part of the Texas A&M Invitational. The Beavers will open the week Friday with games against Tulsa and No. 8/11 Texas A&M, at 10:15 a.m. PT and 1 p.m. PT, respectively. They will then repeat that slate on Saturday, as they face Tulsa at 8 a.m. PT and Texas A&M at 3:15 p.m. PT. Oregon State will close out the week by taking on McNeese State Sunday at 8 a.m. PT.
Follow Along: You can find live updates for all Oregon State games this season on twitter @OregonStateSB. Live stats will also be available at osubeavers.com. Live audio will be available free for both games against Texas A&M, and live video will be available for a fee.
Matchups With Tulsa: Oregon State faces Tulsa two times over the course of the tournament. The Golden Hurricane heads into the weekend with a 4-1 record, after competing in the FAU Kick-Off Classic in Boca Raton, Fla. last week. Its weekend was highlighted by a 3-0 win over No. 18/19 Louisville. The Golden Hurricane has been led by its pitching staff, which has allowed just two earned runs over the course of its first five games. Aimee Creger tops the group, allowing four hits and no runs with 14 strikeouts in 14 innings of work. Offensively, Tulsa is led by Jill Barrett, who is 7-for-17 with one run and two RBIs in five starts. The Beavers are 5-1 all-time against the Golden Hurricane. The teams last met in the 2012 NCAA Regional, with Oregon State taking a 2-1 victory. Hannah Bouska went 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI in the contest.
Matchups WIth Texas A&M: Oregon State’s schedule will also feature a pair of games against tournament host Texas A&M. The Aggies are ranked ninth in the NFCA/USA Today poll and 11th in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, after starting the year with a perfect 5-0 record. The Aggies are led by Nicole Morgan, who is 8-for-17 on the year, with three home runs, 14 RBIs, six runs and two doubles. She is joined by April Ryan, who is also 8-for-17, with six extra-base hits, 12 RBIs and eight runs. The Beavers are 1-3 all-time against Texas A&M with the teams’ last meeting coming in 2010.
Matchup With McNeese State: The Beavers will close out the tournament with a morning matchup with McNeese State on Sunday. The Cowgirls opened the season 3-2 after competing at the Mardi Gras Invitational, and were selected to finish first in the Southland Conference SID poll, after winning the league in 2013. Kim Kennedy has opened the season 5-for-11 with six RBIs and three runs. The Beavers are 1-1 historically against the Cowgirls, with their last meeting coming in an eight-inning affair in 2012.
Padilla Makes Her Mark: Freshman Kylie Padilla made her presence felt in the Oregon State lineup during the first six games of the season. The Catcher from Chino, Calif. is 10-for-21 to open her collegiate career with 10 RBIs, six extra-base hits and two runs. Here is a list of Padilla’s accomplishments over the first weekend of the season:
-Became the first player in school history to hit for the cycle (vs. Penn State)
-Tied a school record with seven RBIs in a game (vs. Penn State)
-Is the first player in Oregon State history to tally six extra-base hits in the first six games of her career.
-Has the best batting average (.476) of any freshman in her first six games since Vanessa Iapala hit .529 in the first six games of 2006.
Langlois Making Noise: Sophomore Christie Langlois has given the Beavers a spark from the cleanup spot early in the season. The Oak Park, Calif., native is hitting a team-best .526 this season, and has a seven game hitting streak, which dates back to the final game of 2013 (May 18 vs. Hofstra). Langlois has tallied two doubles and two triples through the first six games, to go with seven RBIs and four runs.
Give Me Gilmore: Dani Gilmore is part of a junior class that has found success in its two seasons at Oregon State. The outfielder has locked down the leadoff spot during her career, and has sparked the Beaver offense early in the 2014 season. Gilmore is currently hitting .409 with a team-high three home runs to go with eight runs and six RBIs. Gilmore is a career .310 hitter, and has proven to be a wizard on the base-paths as well, stealing a team-best 26 bases on just 29 attempts since 2012. Gilmore also led the Beavers with 36 walks last season, placing her 14th in the NCAA in walks per game with 0.82.
More Gilmore: Gilmore is already making her way into the Oregon State career record books. She is currently seventh in Beaver history with a .310 batting average, and is ninth with 76 walks, one away from tying Adrienne Alo for eighth. Gilmore needs one more steal to tie Paige Lowe for 10th on OSU’s stolen bases list.
It’s Good To Help: CJ Chirichigno and Ya Garcia both had eight-assist games over the course of the Kajikawa Classic, coming up one short of the school record. Chirichigno had eight assists against San Diego State on Friday, while Garcia recorded eight against Colorado State on Saturday. Both performances came in games started by Amanda Najdek. The Oregon State record for assists in a game is nine, set by Parisa Plant in 1998. Elizabeth Santana had the most assists in a game last season with seven against Cal State Bakersfield on Mar. 25, 2013.
Ya Ya Ya…: Junior infielder has started all 123 games Oregon State has played since entering the program as a freshman in 2012, hitting .269 with 44 runs. She made a splash this weekend, when she launched her first career home run over the centerfield fence against San Diego State.
Can’t Hit Najdak: Senior had the best outing of her Oregon State career this week, when she threw eight innings against Colorado State on Saturday night. The transfer from Wisconsin struck out a career high seven batters in the game, allowing just two earned runs on five hits. Najdek currently leads the Beavers with 14 strikeouts this season.
Beavers In The Pac: Oregon State currently leads the Pac-12 Conference with seven triples, and is third in the league with 91 total bases. On the defensive side, the Beavers sit atop the conference with 62 assists and 123 putouts. Individually, is tied for the league-lead with three home runs, and Gilmore and are both tied for second in the conference with 20 total bases. Padilla, CJ Chicichigno and are all knotted at the top of the Pac-12 charts with two triples apiece.
Trio of Triples: Oregon State matched a school record with three triples against Penn State on Saturday. , Isabelle Batayola and each tallied a three-bagger to help the Beavers reach the mark for the fourth time in school history. Prior to this season, the last time Oregon State had three triples in a game was in 2010, when they faced Seattle U. As a team, the Beavers are on pace to finish 2014 with 64 triples; the current school record in 24.
Armendariz’ Arm: Freshman Alleyah Armendariz holds a 2-0 record in three starts, during the first week of her collegiate career. The Kent, Wash., native allowed just two runs in seven innings, as she threw a complete game in the winning effort against North Carolina State in her collegiate debut on Thursday.
The Tip of the Ice-Berg: Head coach Laura Berg made a mark in her first season as the Beavers’ boss. The Fresno State graduate led Oregon State to a 34-24 record, including an NCAA Regional appearance. Berg’s team tied the Oregon State single-season record for batting average at .280, and finished fourth in school history with 277 runs. Berg has experience with success as a player as well, winning three Olympic gold medals and earning NCAA All-America honors during her career.
Do Some (Pac-12) Networking: Oregon State will have 13 games televised on Pac-12 Networks this season, up from the 10 the Beavers had a year ago. Oregon State will make its 2013 TV debut on March 22, when it takes on Arizona in Tuscon. All three games in the series will be televised, as the two squads will also go head-to-head March 23-24.
It Aint Easy: Oregon State faces a tough slate yet again in 2014. The Beavers will play 33 games against teams that made the NCAA postseason last year, including nine matchups with squads that advanced to the Women’s College World Series. The schedule also includes 11 opponents ranked in the initial ESPN.com/USA Softball Top-25 (No. 1 Tennessee, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 4 Michigan, No. 5 Washington, No. 7 Arizona State, No. 8 Oregon, No. 11 Texas A&M, No. 13 UCLA, No. 18 Louisville, No. 20 Stanford, No. 24 California), and three teams receiving votes (Arizona, North Carolina State, Tulsa). Oregon State’s schedule is highlighted by games against defending national champion No. 2 Oklahoma and 2013 runner-up No. 1 Tennessee, with both games coming at the Mary Nutter Classic.
Going for 3: This year’s Oregon State recruiting class was ranked third in the nation by StudentSports.com, and includes four of the site’s top 40 recruits. Alysha Everett is Student Sports’ 23rd-ranked recruit, following an impressive display at PGF Nationals over the summer, as she hit .409 in bracket play. 27th-ranked Gina Bond is considered to be one of the top home-run hitters in the country, and has earned 6A Three Rivers first team honors three times. McKenna Arriola is StudentSports.com’s 33rd-rated recruit. She hit .541, with 33 runs, 23 RBIs and 12 steals at Camino Real High School last season, en-route to All-City honors. 40th-ranked Lovie Lopez batted .449 with five home runs as a junior for St. Paul High School last season. Pitcher Rainey Dyreson rounds out the class. She was named Great Basin (West) Conference Pitcher of the Year in her freshman and sophomore years, and has competed in the PGF Nationals.