The Oregon State softball team defeated the eleventh-ranked Tennessee Volunteers 8-3 on Sunday morning in game six of the Knoxville regional.
The result sets up a game 7 winner take-all match between Oregon State and regional host Tennessee, to decide who will advance to the super regionals.
From the start, Oregon State was in control. In the top of the second inning, sophomore Madison Simon doubled to center, scoring Oregon State freshman outfielder Kaylah Nelsen and giving the Beavers a 1-0 lead.
The offense didn’t stop there. With one on and two down in the top half of the third, Oregon State junior infielder Frankie Hammoude crushed her sixteenth home run of the season, giving the Beavers a 3-0 edge. Oregon State added two more runs in the fifth, and increased their lead to five.
Tennessee didn’t go away quietly, however, as the regional hosts showed signs of life in the bottom of the fifth. With runners on first and second, sophomore Rylie West doubled to right center, bringing home two runs. In the ensuing at-bat, junior Kiki Milloy hit an rbi single which cut the lead to two.
In the very next frame, however, the visitors responded with a dagger. After back-to-back two-out singles, Oregon State senior pitcher Mariah Mazon came to the plate and belted a three-run homer, putting the Beavers back in front by five. Oregon State’s defense held strong from there, and the Beavers secured an 8-3 win.
Sunday morning marked the second straight game where both Hammoude and Mazon went the distance. Oregon State freshman outfielder Kiki Escobar also had a big game, going two for three at the plate and scoring three runs. As a team, the Beavers combined for seven hits and drew five walks.
In another masterful pitching performance, Mazon went the full seven innings and gave up just four hits on her way to picking up the win. Mazon struck out three batters and walked just one.
Oregon State’s game one victory sets up a winner take-all match against regional host Tennessee, which is scheduled to start at 2:20 PM.