Record crowd, but no wins

Josh Worden Senior Beat Reporter

After the Oregon State softball team lost 9-0 on Sunday to No. 6 Oregon, finishing a three-game sweep in Corvallis, OSU head coach Laura Berg took an extra moment to talk with Oregon head coach Mike White.

Berg and White both played on the women’s and men’s USA National Softball teams at the same time, respectively, and Berg has “a great deal of respect” for White. Now, Berg wants her team to use White’s squad as an example of how a team adjusts in games.

“Look at the teams that win,” Berg said. “Look at what Oregon has done. They made the adjustment, look what happened. We played against California, they made the adjustment, look what happened. Same thing with Utah.”

After the 6-1 loss Friday to Oregon, a 4-3 loss Saturday and 9-0 defeat Sunday, OSU is 24-12-1 on the season and 4-8 in the Pac-12. The Beavers will play again in Corvallis on Tuesday against Portland State at 3 p.m.

On Sunday, the 1,155 fans on hand broke the program record for the second time in as many days; Saturday’s 1,012 fans broke the record last set in 2007.

“It’s awesome to have this kind of atmosphere,” Berg said. “This is postseason atmosphere. To have everybody here supporting the Beavers, it’s fantastic.”

“I loved having the crowd,” added sophomore shortstop McKenna Arriola. “It was a lot more fun.”

The Beavers’ game Tuesday versus Portland State offers an opportunity to bounce back quickly from the weekend sweep, instead of having to wait a whole week before the UCLA road trip that starts Friday at 7 p.m. The PSU game also gives the Beavers a chance to boost postseason chances, since OSU is likely just a few wins away from earning an NCAA Tournament berth. OSU hasn’t made the postseason since 2013, narrowly missing the tournament last year with a 26-26 record. OSU played PSU in Portland last year in a doubleheader, splitting the two games.

“We’ve got 56 games in a season, you know you’re going to get another one,” Berg said. “You’ve got to flush it and come out ready to play on Tuesday.”

“I’m just trying to get back in the groove,” Arriola added, who went 3-for-9 in the series with a double. “It helps to see live pitching going into UCLA.”

In the Civil War series, Oregon’s pitchers stymied OSU’s offensive attack by allowing just four runs across three games. Junior third baseman Madison Anthony had a two-run home run in Saturday’s game, helping cut into a 4-0 deficit, but OSU couldn’t muster enough offense to complete the comeback that game or keep up with the Ducks on Sunday. OSU had just three hits on Sunday, going 1-for-6 with runners on base and 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.

OSU did almost match Oregon in the first two games, recording 10 hits to Oregon’s 13. Senior second baseman Mikela Manewa went 3-for-7 in the series with a double and a run batted in, and freshman outfielder Shelby Weeks added two hits and a run scored.

“[We need to] make adjustments in the batter’s box,” Arriola said. “I feel like that will take pressure off the pitchers. If we start producing more runs, they won’t feel so much pressure on themselves.”

On Twitter @BrightTies

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