Softball swept by UCLA

Claire Nelson, News Contributor

Oregon State University Softball suffered a 7-0 loss against the UCLA Bruins on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the OSU Softball Complex, losing the series 3-0. 

UCLA is currently ranked No. 2 in the Pac-12, and though the Beavers are ranked No. 11 in-conference, that did not stop them from staying aggressive.

After losing 8-1 on Thursday and 10-2 on Friday, Oregon State was determined to avoid a sweep but failed to put any runs on the board. The Beavers had difficulty with baserunners scoring, with the team stranding their own players on base at the end of every inning against UCLA. This inability to keep players on base proved fatal for the team.

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Overall, the OSU defense was strong with only two errors, but their offense wasn’t enough to push past UCLA’s infield with the Beavers, only recording two hits from left field.

OSU Head Coach Laura Berg said the Beavers knew that UCLA was ready to play, but were unable to rise to the occasion.

“We have definitely gotten better at being more aggressive and not being so passive, especially with UCLA’s pitching staff,” Berg said. “[UCLA] is not going to shy away from us, they are going to come right at us and we didn’t accept the challenge.”

In the game, OSU senior outfielder Jessica Garcia recorded two hits, one in the third and another later in the sixth. Senior outfielder Shelby Weeks had a single hit in the first inning, while freshman infielder Frankie Hammoude had a walk in the first inning, another in the sixth and had one hit in the fourth. 

Defensively, Beavers sophomore pitcher Mariah Mazon threw consistently throughout the entire game, allowing just six earned runs and kept UCLA on their toes by pitching six strikeouts.

By the fifth inning, however, UCLA’s infielder Taylor Pack hit a home run over the fence to make the score 4-0. There was still hope for the Beavers to bounce back, but Bruins outfielder Bubba Nickles added to the shutout during the sixth inning by hitting a 3-run homer to push the score to a final 7-0.

With the Bruins having nine hits and the Beavers trailing with only four, the lack of offense did not allow the Beavers to catch up. 

According to Berg, the team has a lot of room for improvement, both at home plate and on the mound.

“We’ve been struggling offensively ever since the third week of the season, I think we are a little bit too passive and we are looking for the perfect pitch,” Berg said. “They will never get the perfect pitch, they just have to be more aggressive and hit the strikes.”

OSU Softball will begin their Civil War series against the University of Oregon in Eugene on Friday, April 26.