#22 Beavers Host #1 Cal For Top-25 Softball Showdown In Corvallis
May 2, 2012
The Weekend: The 22nd-ranked Oregon State softball team will be back in action this coming weekend when it hosts No. 1 Cal in its final home dates of the season. The Beavers and Bears will go head-to-head at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 4 before wrapping up the series with early games on Saturday, May 5 (noon) and Sunday, May 6 (11 a.m.).
Strike Out Cancer: OSU will hold its annual Strike Out Cancer event this weekend against Cal in support of the Corvallis Clinic and Project H.E.R. Admission is free, fans will be able to meet the team for autographs on Saturday and free pink pom poms will be available while supplies last.
Senior Day: After the series finale on Sunday, the Beavers will honor the team's five seniors, Mary Claire Brenner, Nikki Chandler, Erin Guzy, Paige Hall and Emily Richardson, with a presentation on the field.
Tracking the Beavs: Live stats will be available online via GameTracker at osubeavers.com.
Social Media: Stay informed with Oregon State softball social media. Follow @OregonStateSB on Twitter for all game day information, including score updates, photos and observations. "Like" facebook.com/OregonStateSB to stay in touch with all OSU stories and other great news and notes.
A Look Back: The Beavers took two of three from Utah over the weekend, sandwiching a game two loss with 10-2 and 5-4 wins.
Beating The Best: The wins over Washington on April 20 and 22 were OSU's seventh and eighth over a ranked opponent this season, its most over top-25 teams since its 2007 squad claimed eight such victories. The last Oregon State squad to defeat a greater number of ranked opponents was its 2006 WCWS team, which accomplished the feat 17 times. The Beavers also have seven wins over teams currently in the USA Today/NFCA poll, which is more than all but 11 ranked teams. Seven of those 11 squads are in the top 10 in the country.
Fab Frosh: With a big series against Utah (5-for-11, 3 HR), Dani Gilmore continued one of the more impressive seasons for a Beaver freshman in recent memory. Through 49 games she is batting .302 (45-for-149) with nine home runs and 32 RBI. Her 38 runs scored and 12 stolen bases tie her for 10th in single-season history at Oregon State in each respective category. Her nine long balls in her first year in Corvallis are the most for any Oregon State freshman since All-American Tarrah Beyster launched 12 in 1997.
Undercutting The Utes: The series win against Utah gave the Beavers their second consecutive Pac-12 series victory and third of the season. OSU had never won back-to-back series since the conference switched to the current format for league play in 2010, with three games in three days against the same opponent. In taking two of three from the Utes, Oregon State also won its third Pac-12 series of the year for the first time since 2007. This year the Beavers also won all but once in three-game sets against then-No. 15 Oregon and then-No. 9 Washington. In 2007 they did the same against Stanford, California and Washington.
The eight-run margin of victory in the opener (W, 10-2) 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.
Double Digits: In scoring 10 runs against Utah on April 27, Oregon State pushed more than 10 runs across the plate for the eighth 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. The Beavers' 10-run output was the team's most in a conference game since 2010, when OSU plated the same number in a 10-8 victory over Stanford on April 11. Including the Utah performance, the Beavers have only scored 10 or more runs in conference games five times since 1994.
Oregon State's seven-run seventh in in game one against Utah on April 27 also marked the largest run total for the Beavers in any one frame in a Pac-12 game since they scored 10 in the ninth inning of a 15-5 win over Stanford on April 5, 2003.
Welcoming No. 1: Cal comes into this weekend's series the undisputed No. 1 team in the country. It will be Oregon State's first home games against the nation's top squad since it hosted Arizona State on April 4-5, 2008. The Beavers haven't been a No. 1 team since they knocked off UCLA, 2-0, on April 21, 2006.
A Good Pace: Oregon State is now 33-16 this season. That record through 49 games is the program's best mark since its 2007 team started that campaign 34-15. Oregon State has also now won 30 or more games in 12 of its 38 seasons as a Division I program. OSU last reached the mark in that 2007 season when it finished 41-23 en route to an NCAA Regional appearance in Ann Arbor, Mich., the team's last postseason berth.
Offensive Fireworks: Oregon State's offensive production is on pace to eclipse a number of marks in the Beavers' record books. OSU has 270 runs so far this season, which is the fourth most in school history for any one year. The school record dates from 2007 when OSU plated a runner 296 times in 64 games. The Beavers are also on pace to break the school record for RBI (262 - 2007). If the season ended today, the team's .282 batting average would be tops all-time at OSU.
Stay Hot: Junior Elizabeth Santana has been a huge factor in OSU's strong play in conference. In the win against Arizona State, she went 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 .375 (24-for-64) with four home runs, 13 RBI and 15 runs scored. In those same 21 games, senior Erin Guzy has also put together the best stretch of her career, batting .345 (20-for-58) with five doubles, seven runs scored and seven RBI. Against Utah on April 29, Guzy hit the 30th double of her career, which places her 10th all-time at OSU.
Making Her Mark: Senior Paige Hall has been a dual threat for Oregon State throughout her entire career and is looking to cement her legacy in the Beaver record books in 2012. The Portland native notched her 13th win of the season against Portland State on April 24 and in doing so became just the sixth player in OSU history to reach the 50-win plateau for her career (51-42). Her 373 strikeouts in 573.0 innings put her just two shy of passing Kelly Dyer (2007-10) for fifth all-time at OSU. Additionally, her five saves this year are tied for third in program history for a single season, are tops in the Pac-12 and tied for seventh in the nation.
Taking Care Of Business: Following the wins over Portland State on April 24, OSU closed out the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 25-7 mark (.781). That represents the Beavers' highest number of non-league wins since 2007 (31) and their best winning percentage outside the Pac-12 since 2006 (.846).
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 five straight weeks, sits at No. 22 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).
Hurting The Huskies: Oregon State's series victory over No. 9 Washington was only its second series victory over a top-10 team in the last six years. OSU took two of three from No. 7 Arizona State in 2010.
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.
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 7-1 final in the finale was the Beavers' largest victory against Oregon in over a decade, since an 11-2 win on April 14, 2001.
Cruising to Victory: The 13-1 final against Cal State Northridge on March 28 was 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.
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.
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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