Beavers Knock Off Another Top-10 Foe; Beat #9 Washington, 4-3
April 20, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. - If defense wins championships, the 24th-ranked Oregon State softball team showed it has what it takes for a deep postseason run after the team claimed its ninth one-run victory of the season at the OSU Softball Complex on Friday afternoon, downing No. 9 Washington, 4-3.
The win was somewhat of a milestone in this renaissance of Beaver softball in 2012. It was OSU's 28th victory of the season, which matches its highest total in any of the last five years (2008) and also guarantees the Beavers their first winning season since 2007, which also happens to be the last year Kirk Walker's club advanced to an NCAA Regional. Additionally, with five conference wins now on its resume, Oregon State has already secured more Pac-12 victories than in than in any of the previous three seasons.
Washington (35-10, 6-9 Pac-12) took an early lead after a pair of sacrifice flies and a wild pitch gave the Huskies a 3-0 advantage in the third. After a Hannah Bouska single led off the bottom part of that frame for the Beavers, she would eventually move to third on a pair of free passes and score on an RBI groundout by Desiree Beltran.
Oregon State (28-14, 5-7 Pac-12) would face that 3-1 deficit for much of the rest of the game, keeping themselves in it with some staunch defense behind right-hander Tina Andreana. With two on and nobody out in the fourth, Washington's Courtney Gano hit a lined shot which was snagged by Elizabeth Santana at shortstop and flipped to Ya Garcia patiently waiting at second base to double up the runner. It was the Beavers' 16th double play of the season, tops in the Pac-12.
With Washington threatening again in the fifth, Bouska's arm in right field kept OSU within striking distance. The Huskies' leadoff batter, Kimi Pohlman, began the inning with a single and moved into scoring position on a groundout. Kaitlin Inglesby stroked an opposite field single that at first appeared it would score Pohlman with ease. Bouska was having none of it, however, as she raced over to cut the ball off in the gap and then fired a one-hop seed to Ally Kutz, who blocked the dish and laid the tag on Washington's fastest baserunner to swing momentum entirely into Oregon State's dugout.
Just as the Beavers' gloves kept them in the game, UW's defense proved to be its fatal flaw in the sixth. Oregon State crawled back into the game and eventually climbed into the lead, scoring three runs courtesy of four Husky errors, and all without registering a hit.
Erin Guzy began the inning with a walk and was run for by Madison Bundy. A sacrifice bunt attempt by Beltran was thrown away by Inglesby in the circle and another error by the second baseman with Paige Hall at the plate scored Bundy to pull Oregon State within one, 3-2.
Mary Claire Brenner drove in the game-tying run with a pinch-hit groundout and with two outs, Washington's catcher greedily tried to pick Batayola off third, instead hurling the ball down the line and allowing the Beavers to pull ahead, 4-3.
In the seventh, Hall would come on in relief to close things out for Andreana, who lasted 6.0 innings and gave up only three earned. The senior would set the Huskies down in order to earn her fourth save of the season, extending her career high and tying her for the Pac-12 lead.
Oregon State will attempt to seal the series victory tomorrow afternoon. First pitch in game two is slated for 12:00 p.m.
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