The Oregon State softball team had struggled in specific areas in the first two games against No. 1 Oregon.
In Game 1, five errors overcame a strong game at the plate. In Game 2, the Beavers did not make an error but could not hit the ball.
The Beavers figured if they were able to combine the positives, they might be able to take Game 3.
Oregon never gave them a chance to find out.
The Ducks pushed across 11 runs on 11 hits in the first inning and the Beavers could not recover in an 18-0 loss in five innings.
“It’s a learning experience, especially for these new ones,” OSU coach Laura Berg said. “That if you don’t come out ready to play against the No. 1 team in the country, you’re going to get your butt handed to you and you’re going to be embarrassed and that’s what happened.”
Oregon (37-5, 11-1 Pac-12) quickly loaded the bases and then just kept moving runners around.
Back-to-back two-run doubles by Alexa Peterson and Koral Costa sparked UO to eight runs on eight hits and starting pitcher Amanda Najdek was done for the day.
A three-run home run by Kailee Cuico capped the inning.
“One thing we can take is if we look at the first two days, they weren’t horrible. They weren’t bad,” OSU junior Ya Garcia said. “You can see our fight and you can see how we came together at certain points in the game, but it’s when we have mishaps and constant hitting and it just piles up and piles up and that’s what brings us down.
“But I think the thing we have to come away with is fight and never give up.”
Dani Gilmore had a double in the first but that turned out to be the Beavers’ lone hit.
The Beavers (13-23, 3-10) finished the series with 11 hits.
They struggled at the plate after the first game.
“We can’t do that. That’s not going to win ballgames.,” Berg said. “These guys got more hits in one game than we got the entire weekend. That’s not going to win ballgames and that’s definitely not going to win ballgames in the Pac-12.”
Oregon added six in the third. Cuico had a solo home run and Nikki Udria launched a three-run homer.
Berg was searching for an answer as to why the Beavers did not come out competitively against a team that is not only the No. 1-ranked team but is their rival.
They have to get to a point where they’re just sick and tired of it. They’re sick and tired of losing like this. And they’ve got to start coming out and doing the simple little things in this game that will win ballgames. And right now, we’re not doing it. We’re not playing defense, we’ve got three errors, we’ve got one hit. One hit. We can’t do that.
(1) Oregon 18, Oregon State 0
OREGON (11)06 10 — 18 19 0
OREGON STATE 000 00 — 0 1 3
Hawkins, Smithson-Willett (4) and Smithson-Willett, Lindvall. Najdek, Shadinger (1), Armendariz (3) and Padilla. WP: Hawkins (22-3). LP: Najdek (9-14). 2B: Peterson (UO), Costa (UO), Gilmore (OSU). HR: Cuico 2 (UO), Udria (UO)
Hits: UO 19 (Ceo 2, Gillespie, Takeda, Cuico 2, Beaudrie-Pierson, Lindvall 3, Peterson 2, Costa 4, Puentes, Udria 2). OSU 1 (Gilmore)
RBIs: UO 16 (Ceo 2, Cuico 4, Lindvall, Peterson 2, Costa 3, Udria 4)
Kevin Hampton is sports reporter for the Gazette-Times. He can be reached at 541-758-9519 or email@example.com.