SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – With the Beavers needing to take two-of-three games at Utah to have a shot at the postseason, the bats came alive as the Oregon State softball team ended a nine-game losing streak by beating Utah 9-5 in the first game of a three-game series on Thursday night at Dumke Family Softball Stadium.
The Beavers improve to 27-26 overall and 8-14 in Pacific-12 Conference play. Meanwhile the Utes fall to 20-29 overall and 2-20 in the Pac-12.
OSU had six players register two hits in the game; McKenna Arriola, Shelby Weeks, Alysha Everett, Hope Brandner, Camryn Ybarra and Jessica Garcia. Hope Brandner pushed her RBI season total to 32 with a three-RBI performance.
Meehra Nelson (14-10) started in the circle for the Beavers tossing 6.1 innings while giving up just two earned runs and striking out four batters. Mariah Mazon picked up her fifth save of the season in 0.2 innings of relief.
The Beavers fell behind from the start as the Utes put up three runs in the first inning, one of which was unearned. The bats started rolling for OSU as they put up runs in the following three innings.
Missy Nunes led off the second inning reaching safely on a fielding error and advanced to third following Ybarra’s first double of the night. With runners on second and third and two outs Garcia hit an infield single beating the throw to first allowing Nunes to cross home. Garcia stole second causing an errant throw from the Utes defense, Ybarra took advantage and scored the second run of the game for the Beavers.
Oregon State trailed 3-2 entering the third inning and got the equalizer from Brandner. Weeks led the inning off with a single to third, and stole second in the next at bat. Brandner struck a 2-2 pitch back up the middle scoring Weeks and tying the game at 3-3.
The Beavers added four runs in the fourth inning taking the lead for the first and final time. Ybarra opened up with her second double of the evening. Garcia followed up with a walk and stolen base after battling through a nine-pitch at bat. Senior Arriola took advantage hitting a two-RBI single to right center field.
Leading 5-3 with two outs in the fourth Everett hit her fourth homer of the season, a two-run blast over the right field wall. Oregon State led 7-3 after three and a half innings.
Utah cut into the lead with a run of their own in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Beavers scored their final two runs of the game in the sixth inning behind Brandner’s two-RBI single scoring Arriola and Garcia.
The Utes scored one last run in the bottom of the seventh forcing a pitching change from the Beavers. Mazon and the OSU defense held their ground winning 9-5.
Oregon State continues its final Pac-12 series on Friday night at Dumke Family Softball Stadium at 7 p.m.