For a moment, Elizabeth Santana wasn’t sure what had happened.
She didn’t realize that Jessica Moore’s inside drop pitch had clipped her cleat.
“It happened to get me on the back right foot,” Santana said. “When it hit me I was kind of like, ‘Oh.’ And then I felt it afterwards.”
The home plate umpire definitely noticed the contact and gave Santana first base.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, that pushed Isabelle Bayatola home and gave Oregon State a 5-4 win over Oregon in the second game of a three-game Pac-12 Conference series on Monday at the OSU Softball Complex.
The Beavers were on the brink of a series loss. They were down one game after an 8-2 defeat on Saturday and had squandered a 4-0 lead forged in the first inning of the second game on Sunday before rain forced a delay to Monday.
The game-winning hit by pitch gave the Beavers (23-8, 2-1) a chance and they came through with a 7-1 win in the second game to take the series.
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“I thought this day was huge,” OSU designated player/pitcher Paige Hall said. “After them beating us the first day I thought it was huge for our confidence to come out today and win both games.”
When Oregon scored three runs in the sixth, sparked by a two-run double by Christie Nieto, it looked like the Ducks were closing in on a series win.
The Beavers were sputtering at the plate after the first inning and responded to UO’s big inning with four straight strikeouts.
There were some signs of life in the bottom of the seventh when Santana walked and Desiree Beltran singled. The runners were on second and third with two outs when Erin Guzy struck out.
The momentum continued in the eighth when Ally Kutz led off with a single, followed by a Lea Cavestany single. A perfectly placed sacrifice bunt by Ya Garcia moved them to second and third and an intentional walk to Dani Gilmore loaded the bases.
Santana was 3 for 3 with two RBIs for OSU.
Paige Hall stepped up in the circle in both games and held the fort while the Beavers were looking for their defense.
Hall was the winning pitcher in both games.
She was called on to come in and clean up a mess in the fourth inning of the second game and stranded runners at second and third.
“That’s been my role this year has just been the closer, so I come in for the tough situations,” Hall said. “Sometimes it’s not very fun but that’s what the team needs me for. So I come in when we’re kind of in a hole and I try to come out of it. That’s what I do.”
Then she led off the bottom of the inning by knocking out the first pitch of her at-bat to give OSU a 1-0 lead. Guzy doubled, then scored on a single by Cavestany.
It was Hall’s first hit of the series.
“I knew that if it was a changeup I’d probably swing and miss,” she said. “But it was an inside pitch and I swung at it and I hit it.”
The Beavers put it away in the bottom of the fifth. Beltran blasted a three-run homer. Guzy doubled again and scored when Cavestany doubled. Mary Claire Brenner knocked in Cavestany for a 7-0 lead.
Beltran said Moore, as the UO ace, was getting a little frazzled by then, with several smaller plays and Hall’s homer.
“I think that was what was getting her more frustrated and more tired and fatigued,” Beltran said. “We just happened to capitalize on it.”
The Beavers finished with 10 hits. Beltran, Guzy and Cavestany all had two.
“Everyone was just getting a nice piece of the ball,” Beltran said. “Everyone was just seeing it.”
Oregon State 5, Oregon 4 (8)
OREGON 000 103 00 — 4 7 1
OREGON STATE 400 000 01 — 5 8 1
Moore, Hovinga (2), Moore (8) and Peterson. Demore, Hall (6) and Kutz. WP: Hall. LP: Hovinga (6-1). 2B: K. Chambers (UO), Nieto (UO).
Hits: UO 7 (Takeda, K. Chambers, Cuico, Howard, Nieto, Pappas 2). OSU 8 (Gilmore, Bouska, Santana 3, Beltran, Kutz, Cavestany).
RBIs: UO 4 (Howard 2, Nieto 2). OSU 3 (Santana 2, Cavestany).
Oregon State 7, Oregon 1
OREGON 000 001 0 — 1 3 2
OREGON STATE 000 250 x — 7 10 0
Moore, Hovinga (5) and Peterson. Andreana, Hall (4) and Kutz. WP: Hall (10-1). LP: Moore (13-5). 2B: Howard (UO), Guzy 2 (OSU), Cavestany (OSU). HR: Beltran (OSU), Hall (OSU)
Hits: UO 3 (Takeda, Cuico, Howard). OSU 10 (Gilmore, Santana, Beltran 2, Hall, Guzy 2, Cavestany 2, Brenner)
RBIs: UO 1 (Pappas). OSU 7 (Beltran 3, Hall, Cavestany 2, Brenner)