CORVALLIS, Ore. – Freshman first baseman Natalie Hampton had three hits and three RBIs as the No. 24 Oregon State softball team beat No. 14 Stanford, 4-3, Wednesday afternoon in the Pac-12 series finale. Senior shortstop Elizabeth Santana added a pair of singles.
Oregon State (24-11) jumped ahead in the second on Hampton’s 11th homer of the season. She crushed a 2-0 pitch to right center to give the Beavers a 1-0 lead. Hampton is now hitting .385 when leading off an inning. She also played a part in a very eventful three-run third inning.
Sophomore Dani Gilmore led off the inning with an infield single and came around to score one hitter later. Senior Ashley Sanchez grounded to third, but the throw to cut Gilmore off at second sailed into center field. Gilmore raced around to make it 2-0 Beavers. After an infield single for Santana that struck the pitcher, things got really interesting.
With one out, senior Lea Cavestany grounded to second. Stanford attempted to cut Sanchez down at the plate and had her in a rundown. Sanchez managed to successfully retreat to third base while Santana went the entire way back to second without a play. With Cavestany aboard at first and the bases loaded, Hampton ripped a single up the middle to score two runs to make it 4-0.
Stanford (26-10) came back with two runs in the fourth, but the inning could have been bigger without an outstanding catch by junior Hannah Bouska in right field. On a ball that carried to the fence, Bouska made the catch as she hit the fence at full speed.
Stanford added another run in the fifth but was subsequently shut down by senior Marina Demore. She came in relief to pick up the win by pitching three effective innings, allowing just one hit. The win is her 17th of the season, tying her with Paige Hall in 2010 for ninth place on the team’s season list since 2000.
OSU moved to 7-1 in one-run games. The Beavers next travel to Washington for a weekend series. The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1:00 p.m., while the third game will be Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in a game broadcast by the Pac-12 Networks.