CORVALLIS, Ore. – Freshman first baseman Natalie Hampton’s two RBIs on Thursday afternoon not only pushed the Oregon State softball team to a 3-2 home victory over No. 15 UCLA, they also vaulted her into first place on the school’s all-time single-season RBI list. Senior pitcher Marina Demore earned the victory to become the first Oregon State pitcher with 20 wins since 2007.
UCLA put two runs on the board in the first, but the Beavers (33-20) came back in a hurry in the bottom of the second. Hampton led off the inning with her 15th homer of the season – now just one behind the single-season co-leaders in that category – on a high drive to right field to cut the deficit to 2-1. Senior third baseman Desiree Beltran followed with a line drive homer to left center to bring Oregon State back even with back-to-back home runs. It’s Beltran’s seventh home run of the season.
Demore stranded two runners in the top of the third to keep the score tied, and that paved the way for OSU to jump ahead in the home half. Senior outfielder Ashley Sanchez singled up the middle after one out. She stole second and moved to third after a second out on a wild pitch. Hampton’s RBI single through the middle put the Beavers ahead and gave her the school record, topping Brianne McGowan’s (2007) and Shelly Prochaska’s (2003) 48 RBIs. It also proved to be the game-winning run, thanks to Demore’s efforts in the circle.
She went 6 1/3 innings, allowing just four hits and striking out five. With the winning run in scoring position with one out in the seventh, Demore got a pair of called strike threes to end the game. She becomes the first Oregon State pitcher to record 20 wins since McGowan’s 25 in 2007.
Beltran finished 2-for-2 with a walk. Hampton is now batting .571 (8-for-14) in her last six games. The Beavers and Bruins continue the three-game series tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Networks.