Softball Travels to Long Beach Sporting Best Record In Six Years
March 6, 2012
The Weekend: For the first time in program history the Oregon State softball team will travel to Southern California to participate in a tournament hosted by the 49ers, playing five games in this season's iteration of the Long Beach State Invitational. OSU will kick things off with a pair of games on Thursday, March 8 against North Carolina (1:30 p.m.) and LBSU (6:30 p.m.) followed by a matchup against Pittsburgh on Friday, March 9 at 1:30 p.m. The Beavers close out the tournament on Saturday, March 10 against familiar opponents, with tilts versus Michigan State (9:00 a.m.) and Notre Dame (2:00 p.m.), two teams OSU has already faced this season. Oregon State will drive to Northridge for a single game against Harvard on Sunday, March 11 at noon.
Tracking the Beavs: Live stats will be available online via Gametracker at osubeavers.com.
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A Look Back: Last weekend, Oregon State extended its season-high winning streak to nine games at the DeMarini Invitational before falling in the tournament finale. OSU edged Indiana, 4-3, and Northwestern, 5-3, on Friday, March 2. On Saturday, March 3, Oregon State thumped another Big Ten opponent, downing Michigan State 11-6 before dispatching host Cal State Fullerton by a 5-2 score. Against Florida International on Sunday, March 4, the Beavers struggled to get the bats going, eventually dropping a 4-1 decision to the Panthers.
A Good Start: Oregon State is now 17-5 this season and winners of nine of its last 10. That record through 22 games is the program's best mark since its 2006 team started that campaign 28-2 en route to the Beavers' only-ever appearance in the Women's College World Series. With a .773 winning percentage, the team's 17-5 record is also the first time the program has been at least 10 games over .500 since 2007.
Game 23 - North Carolina: The Tar Heels come into the Long Beach Invite 14-5 overall and ranked No. 24 in the country (NFCA). Most recently, UNC lost three of its last four games at the Citrus Classic in Kissimmee, Fla., dropping contests to Syracuse (6-2), Baylor (2-0) and Oregon (5-4).
Game 24 - Long Beach State: The hosts of the tournament, Long Beach State enters the weekend with a 7-15 record, including four straight losses. The 49ers are paced on offense by Cya Neal (.382) and Ashlynn Booker (.340). Booker also leads LBSU in both home runs (4) and RBI (12). Erin Wesley-Jones is the team's ace, going 7-7 with a 2.52 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 89.0 innings.
Game 25 - Pittsburgh: This will be the first-ever meeting for Oregon State and Pittsburgh. The Panthers' arms have been the strength of this year's 8-4 team. Savannah King is 7-2 with a 0.73 ERA, allowing only six earned in 57.2 innings. Offensively, Ciera Damon is batting .389 with a home run and four RBI.
Game 26 - Michigan State: The Beavers defeated MSU, 11-6, in last weekend's DeMarini Invitational, highlighted by a three-run home run off the bat of Dani Gilmore. The Spartans are 4-12 overall and are led by Kylene Hopkins, who has a .342 average.
Game 27 - Notre Dame: The Beavers and Fighting Irish have already met once this season, with OSU claiming a 3-2 victory in the Campbell/Cartier Classic on Feb. 18. Since that game, Notre Dame has gone 7-3, including wins two wins over then-No. 24 North Carolina. Alexa Maldanado is batting .395 and is tied with Dani Miller for the team lead in home runs with four. Miller also leads her squad with 15 RBI. Laura Winter has thrown 48.2 innings, posting a 3-4 record with a 2.73 ERA.
Game 28 - Harvard: OSU has only played the Crimson once before, claiming a 2-1 win in 2008. So far this season, Harvard has played five games, going 2-3. Kasey Lange has eight hits in 17 at bats (.471) and has the team's only home run.
Double Digits: With its 11-6 victory over Michigan State, the Beavers have now scored 10 or more runs five times this season, a feat the team never accomplished in 2011. OSU scored in double figures six times in both 2003 and 2006. The program record dates all the way back to 1978 when Rita Emery's team turned the trick 11 times in 25 games.
Not A Single One: In the second game of its doubleheader against Maine on Feb. 27, Oregon State shutout the Black Bears, 13-0, dispatching its opponent in only five innings. The final score marked the Beavers' largest shutout victory since a 17-run triumph over UAB on March 29, 2006.
A Game of Firsts: That 13-0 victory over Maine included a number of Beaver firsts. It was the first collegiate win for freshman pitcher Aryn Feickert who pitched all five innings and only allowed two hits. In her first 11.2 innings for OSU, Feickert has yet to give up a run. With her second-inning home run, senior Mary Claire Brenner notched her first hit of the season and the 10th long ball of her career. Junior Elizabeth Santana also launched her first homer for the Orange and Black with a three-run shot down the left-field line in the third. In the fifth inning, sophomore Bailee Niehus came on as a pinch hitter and singled home a run on a line drive to left field for her first career hit and RBI.
Pitchers Dealing: Right-handed pitcher Marina Demore is so far having the best season of her career, posting a 6-1 mark in the circle. She's 10th in the Pac-12 with a .193 BAA and tied for ninth with 54 strikeouts. Junior Tina Andreana picked up two wins and her first career save at the DeMarini Invitational. She has not allowed an earned run in her last 12.1 innings. Paige Hall set a new career high with three saves in OSU's four wins in Fullerton. Her six wins so far this season match her total from all of 2011.
Beavers Bring the Bats: OSU opened up its 2012 season by going 3-2 at the Kajikawa Classic and proceeded to put together the single-best five-game offensive stretch in team history. The squad put up a staggering 59 runs in five games (31 innings), crushing 10 home runs, including two grand slams, while getting on base at a .482 clip and going a perfect 8-for-8 on stolen bases.
Record-Setting Performance: Oregon State's 22 runs in the season-opener against BYU are the most in program history and the 16-run second inning is a school record as well. In that second frame, the team launched five home runs, tying the school mark for an entire game. Senior Paige Hall hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and Erin Guzy and Desiree Beltran smacked the school's first back-to-back jacks since 2009. Guzy also reached base all three times she came to the plate in the inning, doubling, homering and drawing a walk.
The five home runs in one inning ties an NCAA record and is the fifth time it's ever been done. Creighton was the last school to turn the trick when they did it in the first frame against North Dakota State on April 5, 2010. The 16 runs scored in the second are tied for the sixth-most in NCAA history in any one inning.
Big Win: In the final game of the Kajikawa Classic, Oregon State upended No. 20 Nebraska, 11-3, in only six innings. It's the school's first victory over a top-20 team by way of the mercy rule since a 9-0 win over No. 17 Washington on 4/3/05.
What A Difference A Year Makes: With the gaudy numbers put up to start the season, Oregon State's offensive production is on pace to eclipse a number of marks in the Beavers' record books and is gaining ground quickly to pass last year's highs before the start of the Pac-12 season. OSU has already scored more runs (147), accumulated more RBI (129), stolen more bases (27) and hit more home runs (22) through 22 games this year than it did in all of 2011.
Click attached release for graph outlining OSU's offensive pace.
Table Setters: The top of Oregon State's lineup has done a tremendous job getting on base, setting up the middle of the order with numerous RBI opportunities. The team's 1-2 hitters, Dani Gilmore and Hannah Bouska, are third and first on the team in hits, with 24 and 27 respectively. So far this season they are a combined 51-for-142 (.359), with 41 runs scored, 34 RBI, 25 walks and are 13-for-15 on stolen bases.
Mercy Please: The first three of Oregon State's wins this season came without having to go the full seven innings. This marked the first time the Beavers had three wins in a row come in such a fashion since March 2008. That month, the team won three straight games by 8-0 scores in five innings against Mississippi Valley State (twice) and Northern Illinois at the Cascade Clash in Corvallis, Ore. OSU only had four games end before the seventh inning in all of 2011.
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