UCLA starts strong against the Beavers

Grace Messmer (17), Sarah Haendiges (30), Lici Campbell (24) meet in the infield at Kelly Field on March 9 in Corvallis, Oregon.
Grace Messmer (17), Sarah Haendiges (30), Lici Campbell (24) meet in the infield at Kelly Field on March 9 in Corvallis, Oregon.
Taya Etzell

Oregon State University softball let the first game fall, 6-1, to the twelth-ranked UCLA Bruins to start their April homestead series at Kelly Field on Friday.

The game started off well defensively for both sides, with no team getting on base.

However, in the second, UCLA shot out of cannon with a homerun from sophomore Jordan Woolery, followed by sophomore Megan Grant and senior Thessa Malau’ulu getting on base. They were then advanced home by junior Taylor Stephens, giving the Bruins three points in the inning.

“Sometimes people just hit the ball,” said OSU’s Madyson Clark post-game.

Oregon State managed to stop the scoring run with an impressive double play after a ground out to first and tagging Stephens out as she tried to steal home.

The Beavers got on the board with a homer of their own from Clark, giving a score of 3-1 at the end of the second.

UCLA catcher Sharlize Palacios gave the Bruins back-to-back innings with home runs, with a deep ball past the left field fence, making it 4-1.

Junior pitcher Sarah Haendiges kept the outfield busy, but the defense steady, with multiple pop-outs and fielding multiple direct ground balls, managing the well-hitting Bruins team well.

“It was an offensive thing today, our offense just needs to have their back, we trust our pitchers so much,” Clark said.

On the other side, junior pitcher Taylor Tinsley recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts, keeping the Beavers’ hopes for a comeback slim. Oregon State only accounted for an uncommonly low two strikeouts.

The Bruins loaded the bases with two walks and a single in the fifth. The Beavers managed to get two outs with a double play at first and home, but two runs were still driven home with a hit by Grant in between first and right field. Oregon State then ended the inning with a strikeout. UCLA had stretched the lead to 6-1 going into the sixth inning.

Clark was the lone bright spot of the Beaver offense. She was three for three on her at-bats and scored once.

“That wasn’t the team that we want to be, and we haven’t shown them the team that we are yet,” Clark said.

Neither team scored for the rest of the game after the fifth inning. Leaving the final score at 6-1, giving the Bruins the first win in the series.

The Beavers will take on the Bruins again for the second game of the series on at 2 p.m., Saturday, at Kelly Field.


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