#24 Oregon State Aims To Increase Top-10 Win Total Against #9 UW
April 18, 2012
Note: Scroll to bottom for video featured in last week's edition of Beavers All Access on ROOT Sports
The Weekend: The 24th-ranked Oregon State softball team will be back in action, hosting its penultimate Pac-12 home series, when it welcomes No. 9 Washington to the OSU Softball Complex this weekend. The Beavers and Huskies will match up for a mid-afternoon game on Friday, April 20 (3 p.m.), following that up with 12 p.m. affairs on Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22.
Tracking the Beavs: Live stats will be available online via Gametracker at osubeavers.com.
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A Look Back: Oregon State is coming off of a week in which it went 1-4 in a quintet of Pac-12 games against top-15 foes. The Beavers began with a huge extra-innings upset (4-2) of No. 3 Arizona State on Tuesday, April 10, before dropping the continuation of a rain delayed game the next afternoon to the Sun Devils, 3-2. OSU then traveled to Northern California and lost three games to No. 15 Stanford, 8-4, 7-0 and 8-0.
Beating The Best: The win over Arizona State was OSU's sixth over a ranked opponent this season, it's most over top-25 teams since its 2007 squad claimed eight such victories. This year also includes the program's first set of back-to-back wins (not necessarily in consecutive games) against ranked foes in non-conference since OSU won six straight such games in 2006 and the Beavers' first consecutive victories over ranked teams in Pac-12 play for only the third time in the last four years (vs. No. 15 Oregon - 3/25 & 3/26).
A Good Pace: Oregon State is now 27-14 this season. That record through 41 games is the program's best mark since its 2007 team started that campaign 29-12 en route to the Beavers' last appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Welcome Back: Following a renaissance on the diamond this season, Oregon State has worked its way back into the top-25 for the first time in over four years. OSU, now ranked for three straight weeks, sits at No. 24 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and is receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA rankings. Prior to this year, Oregon State was most recently ranked on February 12, 2008 when it came in at 25th in both polls. The last time the program was any higher was in 2008's preseason rankings, which tabbed Kirk Walker's squad 18th (USA Today/NFCA) and 19th (ESPN.com/USA Softball), respectively. The most recent time OSU was featured in either poll this late in the season was in the final rankings of 2007 (June 20) when it finished the season as the 15th-best team in the country according to the USA Today/NFCA voters.
The national recognition first came on the heels of an impressive seven-game stretch which saw the Beavers claim two wins over then-No. 15 Oregon (5-4 (8); 7-1) on Monday, March 26 in addition to a road upset of then-No. 14 UCLA (7-5) on Sunday, April 1. Oregon State hadn't beaten three ranked teams in the same week in six years, since defeating No. 1 UCLA (2-0) and No. 14 Washington (3-2; 5-0) on three consecutive days in 2006 (April 21-23).
The Beavers' resume was further strengthened when they toppled defending national champion and then-No. 3 Arizona State, 4-2, in nine innings on Tuesday, April 10, in what was the program's first victory over a top-5 team since 2008.
Games 42-44 - Washington: The Huskies, who have made 18 consecutive postseason appearances, come to Corvallis with a 35-9 overall record and a 6-8 mark in conference play. Washington is led by sophomore Kaitlin Inglesby, both the team's best hitter and pitcher. At the plate she is 10th in the nation with a .448 average and fourth in the country with 58 RBI to go along with nine home runs. In the circle, she has posted a 1.80 ERA and an 18-6 mark with 17 complete games in 29 appearances.
Cool Down Devils: The Beavers' triumph over defending national champion and No. 3 Arizona State was the program's first over a top-5 team since it defeated No. 3 UCLA, 5-3, on May 9, 2008.
Stay Hot Santana: Junior Elizabeth Santana was a huge factor in OSU's win against Arizona State, going 2-for-3 with a game-tying solo home run in the seventh and a walk-off two-run job in the ninth. It was Oregon State's first walk-off long ball since Nikki Chandler hit one against UC Davis on March 5, 2010 in a 5-3 win. Since the Beavers' played their first Pac-12 game on March 24, Santana is batting a robust .385 (15-for-39) with three home runs, 11 RBI and seven runs scored.
California Love: The win over UCLA on April 1 was exceptional in many respects. It was Oregon State's 11th all-time victory against the perennial powerhouse from Southern California and was only the Beavers' fourth win against the Bruins in Westwood. OSU last came away from Easton Stadium on top on April 21, 2006 in a 2-0 triumph over then-No. 1 UCLA.
It was also Oregon State's first Pac-12 road win of any sort since 2009 (4/11/09 vs. Oregon; W, 2-1) and was the program's first true road win against a top-15 team since it defeated No. 11 Washington, 2-0, on April 27, 2007. The 7-5 final also snapped UCLA's 12-game winning streak, handed the Bruins (25-7, 2-1 Pac-12) their first home loss of the season and only their first home defeat at the hands of an unranked opponent since 2009.
Civil War Records: The victories against Oregon in March gave Oregon State its first back-to-back wins against the Ducks since 2008 and sealed only the Beavers' third Pac-12 series victory since that year. The six-run margin of victory in the finale was OSU's largest in a Pac-12 game in almost four years, going back to an 8-0 win in six innings against then-No. 22 California on April 12, 2008, and the 7-1 final was also the Beavers' largest victory against Oregon in over a decade, since an 11-2 win on April 14, 2001.
Double Digits: In scoring 13 runs against Cal State Northridge on March 28, Oregon State pushed more than 10 runs across the plate for the seventh time this season, which is second in team history. The school record dates back to 1978 when OSU scored 10 or more 11 times in 25 games.
Cruising to Victory: The 13-1 final against the Matadors was also Oregon State's fifth win this year in which the margin of victory was at least 10 runs, tying for second in program history. The last time the Beavers defeated five opponents by double-digits was in 1993. The same 1978 holds the record in that category as well, as they won eight games by 10 or more that season.
Beavers On National Radar: Improved play has also landed Oregon State (27th in NCAA RPI) among the nation's statistical leaders. Through games as of April 15, the Beavers are 27th in the nation in runs scored, averaging 5.63 per game, and are tie for 44th in double plays, turning an average of 0.37 each contest. Individually, Paige Hall is tied for 21st in the country with three saves and Desiree Beltran is tied for 18th after being hit by a pitch 13 times. Freshman Dani Gilmore is tied for 36th in walks, patiently drawing 0.73 per game. Against Long Beach State, Gilmore tied an Oregon State record by drawing four free passes. It's the fifth time that had been done in team history and first since teammate Mary Claire Brenner walked four times against Ohio State in 2010.
Making Their Mark: A number of players this season are beginning to make their mark in the Beavers' record book and will be looking to maneuver their way higher during the home stretch of the 2012 season. Paige Hall is sixth all-time at OSU in strikeouts with 361. Next up is Kelly Dyer (2007-10) with 374. Hall also needs just one more victory to become only the sixth pitcher in Oregon State history to amass 50 victories. Lea Cavestany is tied for 10th in career doubles (30) and will be joined shortly on that list by Erin Guzy, who currently sits at 28. Dani Gilmore's 30 walks this season are already the ninth highest for any one year at OSU. Additionally, several Beavers are close to breaking into the single-season top 10 rankings in runs, triples, RBI and stolen bases.
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.
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. 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 April 3, 2005.
What A Difference A Year Makes: With the gaudy numbers put up so far this season, Oregon State's offensive production is on pace to eclipse a number of marks in the Beavers' record books. OSU has already scored more runs (231), accumulated more RBI (203), stolen more bases (42) and hit more home runs (31) through 41 games this year than it did in all of 2011.
Click attached release for graph outlining OSU's offensive pace.
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 has ended five games this season by way of the mercy rule. The team only had four games end before the seventh inning in all of 2011.
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