Alysha Everett had a career day with five RBIs and Natalie Hampton also had a career milestone as the Oregon State softball team’s offense blistered UNLV pitching for a 9-0 nonconference win in five innings at the OSU Softball Complex on Sunday afternoon.
Everett and McKenna Arriola each had three hits as the Beavers pounded out 11 in four trips to the plate after collecting a season-high 17 on Saturday in a 9-2 win over the Rebels (19-15).
“That’s the team that I know,” coach Laura Berg said of the last two games. “Everything was clicking. Defensively we made a few blunders (Sunday) but afterward we were able to respond. Errors are going to happen, it’s just how you respond after that. (Sunday) and (Saturday) we responded the way we’re capable of responding.”
The Beavers (18-15, 1-5) return to Pac-12 play with a three-game series at Washington. The teams play at 5 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday.
Nerissa Eason had a solid outing in the circle to pick up here eighth win of the season, working all five innings.
The freshman righty allowed just three hits and did not walk a batter while striking out two. She walked seven in a loss to BYU on Friday.
“That shows her what she’s capable of when you get ahead of the hitters,” Berg said. “She throws so hard and has such great movement that when you throw ahead of the hitters, you get them swinging at your pitch instead of when you’re behind, now you’ve got to throw it down the gut and that’s when it gets hit.”
Added Everett: “I know she was fired up after (Friday) and she came in and proved it. She did really well (Sunday) and it was nice to watch.”
Eason got plenty of offensive support as Oregon State batted around the first two innings and sent seven to the plate in the third in scoring nine times.
The Beavers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first. Arriola opened the game by beating out a bunt at first. The junior shortstop then beat the throw to second on Shelby Weeks’ sacrifice bunt and Lovie Lopez was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Hampton worked a walk on a 3-2 pitch to force home Arriola for a 1-0 lead. The RBI was the 143rd of Hampton’s career to tie Tarrah Beyster’s career record (1997-2000) at Oregon State.
Everret followed with a single to right to drive in Weeks for a 2-0 lead. After a strikeout, Sammi Noland drew a walk after fouling off several 3-2 pitches to make it 3-0.
Everett’s hit helped allow the Beavers to do something they failed to do in Friday’s loss to BYU — get a clutch hit with the bases loaded in the first inning.
“I think we came together and we talked about and we didn’t want to see what happened on Friday happen again so we took advantage of everything we didn’t take advantage of (against BYU),” Everett said.
After Eason needed only five pitches to retire the Rebels in the second, the Beavers opened the bottom of the frame with singles from Arriola, Weeks and Lopez.
After Hampton popped up to second, Everett delivered a two-run single up the middle to make it 5-0. Stephanie Merwin’s fielder’s choice drove in Lopez for a 6-0 advantage.
After Noland singled, Kayleen Shafer beat out a double as Merwin scored for a 7-0 lead.
The Rebels turned to Mara Kemmer in the third but the Beavers loaded the bases on a single, fielder’s choice and error for Everett, who delivered a two-run single to make it 9-0.
UNLV starter Morgan Ettinger allowed seven runs, all earned, while giving up eight hits with two walks, one hit batter and one strikeout in two innings.
Arriola led off three straight innings with singles to set the table. She scored twice while Weeks and Lopez scored three times each.
“That’s what she’s in the leadoff role,” Berg said. “She’s a sparkplug and she really gets the team going.”
It was a nice way to cap the weekend and prepare the Beavers to face the Huskies this coming weekend.
“This is just a good two wins to get into out next Pac-12 games,” Everett said. “I think we’re ready after this.”