FRESNO, Calif. – The No. 23 Oregon State softball team scored five runs in the first three innings to defeat St. Mary’s (Calif.), 7-3, Friday afternoon during the first day of the Bayer CropScience Classic. OSU’s game against Fresno State, scheduled for Friday night, was postponed with no makeup date announced.
Before the rains came down, though, the Beavers’ offense poured it on the Gaels. Offense came in buckets, as OSU scored three runs before the Gaels were able to make it to the bat rack. Sophomore Dani Gilmore led off with a walk and scored the team’s first run on a single to center by first baseman Natalie Hampton. With Hampton on second and shortstop Elizabeth Santana on third, third baseman Desiree Beltran came through with a two-out, two-run single to right to extend the lead to 3-0.
Gilmore pushed the lead to 4-0 with a no-doubter home run to right with two outs in the second. A hustle play on the base paths led to the Beavers’ fifth run. With runners at first and second and one out, Beltran grounded to short. The Gaels got the force at second, but Lea Cavestany slid hard into the bag to break up the double play. The slide also forced an errant throw to allow Hampton to plate the fifth Beavers’ run.
While the Beavers were scoring runs, freshman pitcher Sarah Shadinger didn’t allow a hit through the first three innings. Her eight strikeouts Friday were just one shy of matching her career high, set in her career debut against Creighton last month. The Gaels didn’t push any runs across until their last at-bat when the game was already far out of reach.
The Beavers (18-4) found a new offensive weapon to score their last two runs Friday. With two on, freshman Christie Langlois had her first career at-bat after recovering from an injury. She chopped a single into right field, scoring Cavestany and senior Maggie Doremus.
Hampton led the team with three hits in three at-bats. She also walked once. Gilmore walked twice to go along with her home run, and Beltran had two hits in four trips.
The Beavers play Iowa State tomorrow morning at 11:15 a.m.