Demore's Dominance Derails Wildcats In Four-Hit Shutout
May 11, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. - In a year where it has broken records, toppled perennial powerhouses and accomplished numerous feats for the first time in over five years, the 24th-ranked Oregon State softball team added yet another feather in its cap on Friday night, defeating No. 16 Arizona, 4-0, to notch the Beavers' first win in Tucson since 2005.
Junior right-hander Marina Demore didn't give the Wildcats much of a chance all night, dazzling the crowd of 2,680, the largest at Hillenbrand Stadium all season, with a 98-pitch masterpiece. She allowed just a bloop single through the first five innings, and only four total the entire game, while striking out five. A night after Arizona (34-17, 11-12) collected a season-high 15 hits, Demore calmly held U of A scoreless for only the fourth time all season. The four hits the Wildcats scraped together were their third fewest on the year.
The outing was easily the best of Demore's career, as her third complete-game shutout came this time in front of a hostile crowd, on the road and in the depths of a Pac-12 gauntlet against an eight-time national champion. In 2011 she tossed two moderately comparable games, blanking Utah State 9-0 in five innings on March 19 and shutting out Southern Miss for nine frames in a 1-0 victory on March 5.
The Beavers (34-20, 9-13) threatened early, getting two runners on in the first, before finally putting some runs on the board in the third inning. In that frame, Ally Kutz reached to lead things off when her bunt attempt was thrown away by Arizona's third baseman. Ya Garcia attempted to sacrifice Oregon State's catcher to second, but the Wildcat infield did not take what they were given, instead trying to nab Kutz at second and not taking the out at first. Kutz beat the throw and both runners were safe.
Dani Gilmore then stroked her second hit of the game, a single to center field, to load the bases with nobody out. Arizona hurler Kenzie Fowler set down the next two OSU batters and appeared close to working her way out of the jam unscathed until, with two strikes, Erin Guzy followed Gilmore's lead and knocked her second single of the game to shortstop to score a run and give the Beavers the 1-0 lead. Lea Cavestany would drive in another with a walk to make it 2-0 and Desiree Beltran was hit by a pitch for the second consecutive game to force in another and give Oregon State a 3-0 lead.
Oregon State added another run in the sixth when Gilmore collected her third hit of the game. The Beaver center fielder smoked a drive to left-center field that hit the top of the wall in the power alley and bounced back into play. By the time Arizona had tracked it down; Gilmore was standing at third base with a triple. Two batters later, Elizabeth Santana dumped a single into right field to drive in Gilmore and stake OSU to a 4-0 advantage.
From that point on it was game over. Arizona loaded the bases in the sixth, but Demore struck out Jessica Spigner on three pitches to get her team back in the dugout and send many of the Arizona faithful to the exits. The Wildcats got a one-out double in the seventh, but Demore froze Kristen Arriola and Hallie Wilson looking to seal the win for the Beavers.
The victory over Arizona was not only Oregon State's first in Tucson since 2005, it was also the program's first shutout in Pac-12 play since it downed California, 8-0 in six innings, on April 12, 2008. The last time the Beavers shutout a conference foe in a full seven-inning game was on April 27, 2007 in a 2-0 win against Washington.
Offensively, Gilmore (3-for-3, 2 R) and Guzy (3-for-4, RBI) both had three hits for the Beavers. Gilmore's 42 runs this season are fourth all-time at Oregon State. OSU's 282 total runs so far this year are the second-most in school history, trailing only the 2007 team that scored 296 times.
Santana's sixth-inning RBI came on her 60th hit of the season. She's the first Oregon State player to amass that many hits since Dani Chisholm tallied 61 during the 2008 season.
The final and deciding game of the series begins tomorrow, May 12, at noon.
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