Beavers fall into cruise control against Stanford

Amy Schwartz, Multimedia Contributor

The Oregon State softball team fell in extra innings to the Stanford Cardinal 8-6 in the final game of the weekend series.

The Beavers (24-19, 6-9 Pac-12) led the game 5-0 after two innings, but a six-run third inning from the Cardinal (18-24, 1-14) stopped the Beavers’ chances at the sweep, and gave Stanford their first conference win of the year.

The Beavers jumped out to a hot 5-0 start in two innings with hits from Alysha Everett, Kayleen Shafer and Natalie Hampton but failed to keep the lead. Head coach Laura Berg was unhappy that her team coasted once the team built a lead.

“We thought we could just throw our gloves out there on the ball field and win a game,” Berg said.” (Stanford) is the most dangerous team in the conference because they’ve got nothing to lose. (We) put it on cruise control when we got up 5-0 and didn’t take care of business.”

The Beavers won the first two games of the series against the Cardinal, before dropping the final game of the series. Redshirt senior infielder Sammi Noland, who scored two hits for the Beavers on Sunday, was happy with her team’s overall play from the weekend.

“I think this was kind of a tough weekend,” Noland said. “It was definitely a grind. It’s getting late in the season and everyone’s a bit tired…we got a little bit tired. We need clutch base hits. Overall, I think we played really well.”

Junior outfielder Lovie Lopez hopes the team can improve after falling in the final game of the series.

“The first two games we definitely came out fired up,” Lopez said. “This game we kind of let get away from us. We got on top of them early and then put it in cruise control a little bit. We can’t do that. I think this game was definitely a big learning experience for us. It’s all about timely hitting and we have to get good outs on defense.”

Lopez hopes her team can make the needed adjustments for the next series.

“We have to keep our foot on the gas pedal the whole time, no matter what.” Lopez said, “We’ll definitely remember this game for the rest of the season.”

In the last inning of the game, the Beavers were unable to answer to the Cardinal’s two-run lead with a trip to the right center to clear the bases with two outs.

“We started to force things,” Berg said. “We started to make things happen instead of letting them happen which is what we did in the first game. This last game, we didn’t take care of business at the plate. We didn’t make the adjustment.”

The Beavers head to Eugene next weekend for the Civil War. Coach Laura Berg is looking for a quick turn around from her team.

“We’ve got to come out,” Berg said. “Gather ourselves, brush ourselves off and get back to it.”

Lopez knows her team has to handle the ball better during the next series.

“As a team, we really need to improve on taking care of the ball.” Lopez said. “Getting outs when they’re given to us, and not letting our opponents get too many free bases.”

Noland knows the Beavers will improve if they adjust back to the way they were playing against UCLA

“Timely hitting. Cleaning up the errors. I think if we go back to how we played against UCLA we’ll be just fine.”

On Twitter, @TheAmySchwartz

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