Softball's Regional Run Ends With Loss To No. 4 Oklahoma
May 20, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. - The Oregon State softball team's most successful season in the last half-decade came to an end at the hands of No. 4 Oklahoma on Sunday afternoon, as the Beavers dropped a 6-0 regional contest to the host Sooners at Marita Hynes Field in Norman. With the result, Oklahoma advances and will host Arizona in NCAA Super Regional action next weekend.
Oregon State finishes the 2012 season with a 36-23 overall record, the team's best since 2007. This year the Beavers also set school records for runs (301) and RBI (269). Their .273 team batting average is tied for fifth, their 202 walks are second and their 70 steals are tied for third.
The 18 runs OSU scored in Norman are the most for the team in a regional since they plated 26 in Madison, Wisc. in 2005.
The Beavers had trouble getting the bats going against one of the top pitchers in the country, as Keilani Ricketts tossed a complete game, allowing only two hits and striking out 10.
Oklahoma scored four times in the first inning on just one swing of the bat. Georgia Casey led off the game with a walk and moved to third when Destinee Martinez's ground ball snuck under the glove of Ya Garcia at second base. Martinez stole second to put two runners in scoring position with nobody out for the Sooners.
Lauren Chamberlain hit a routine grounder to shortstop and Casey attempted to score, but Elizabeth Santana saw the Sooner racing home and nailed her at the plate for the first out. Ricketts would walk to load the bases, however, and on a 1-0 pitch Jessica Shults hit a grand slam into the stands in right field to put Oklahoma on top, 4-0.
The Beavers threatened in their half of the opening frame when Hannah Bouska walked and Erin Guzy singled into shallow left field to put runners on first and second with two away. Ricketts would induce a slow roller down the first-base line, which she fielded unassisted, to keep Oregon State off the board.
The Sooners left two on in the third and one on base in the fourth before extending their lead in the fifth. Ricketts struck out looking to start things off, but Shults hit her second home run of the game, this one a solo shot, to add another run for the hosts. Katie Norris singled home another run later in the frame to give Oklahoma a 6-0 lead, the eventual final score.
Despite the bitter ending, the year proved fruitful for a number of players whose individual performances set personal bests and helped push the team to new heights. Junior Elizabeth Santana finished the season batting a team-leading .344 (64-for-186) and her 41 RBI are eighth all-time in single-season history at Oregon State.
Dani Gilmore concluded her freshman season second on the team with a .322 average. Her 48 runs scored are third in OSU history for one season, her 39 walks are fifth and her 17 stolen bases are good enough for second. Gilmore's nine home runs also led the Beavers and are the most for a freshman at OSU since Tarrah Beyster hit 12 in 1997.
Hannah Bouska's 12 sacrifice hits this season are tied for seventh in school history and her 14 stolen bases are tied for sixth for any one year. Erin Guzy and Desiree Beltran also set person highs for average, home runs, hits, runs, doubles and RBI. Beltran was also hit by a pitch 19 times, which beats her OSU record of 14 set last year. Senior Paige Hall had one of the best seasons for an Oregon State pitcher in the last 20 years, winning over 75 percent of her games (14-4) while also successfully closing out six Beaver wins. Her six saves tie an Oregon State single-season record, lead the Pac-12 and are sixth nationally.
The team will return much of its firepower in 2013, including Santana, Gilmore, Bouska, Beltran, outfielder Lea Cavestany, second baseman Ya Garcia, catcher Ally Kutz and pitchers Tina Andreana, Marina Demore and Aryn Feickert, as well as welcome in a group of talented freshmen, as it looks to secure the program's first back-to-back postseason bids since 2006-07.
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