Oregon State gave away a lot against a Washington team that probably didn’t need the help.
The 11th-ranked Huskies took advantage of six walks and four Beaver errors Saturday in an 11-1 Pac-12 win in five innings at the OSU Softball Complex.
The free passes opened the way for run-scoring hits and the errors kept rallies alive.
All of it added up to another loss for Oregon State, which is looking for any kind of momentum after an eighth straight defeat.
“With a team like this, any Pac-12 team, you can’t give them (10) free bags,” said Beavers coach Laura Berg, whose team has allowed eight or more runs in the seven of the past eight games. “That’s going to be the end result every single time. You give them more at bats, that’s what happens.”
OSU’s pitchers, starter Melanie Dembinski and reliever Alleyah Armendariz, struggled with the free bases, both with the walks and errors.
Washington’s three big innings Saturday — the third, fourth and fifth — each included at least one walk and one error.
Both Beaver pitchers got behind in counts and the Huskies got pitches they liked.
“It’s one day our offense is there and our defense is struggling, then another days our defense is there and our offense is struggling,” OSU’s Dani Gilmore said. “I think it’s just a matter of putting two and two together.”
The Beavers (13-28, 3-15 Pac-12) had problems with both Saturday.
Washington’s Whitney Jones led off the second with a double to deep center field and Dani Braun followed with a single over the third base bag to score Jones.
The Huskies (27-12, 7-8) made Dembinski pay for her control issues in the third.
She walked the first two batters and Kylee Lahners then sent a ball over the left-field wall for a three-run homer and a 4-0 Washington lead.
Armendariz replaced Dembinski after the next two batters reached base. Armendariz got three straight outs to limit the damage.
Lahners had four hits in all, three for extra bases.
The Beavers got a run back in the bottom of the third.
Amee Aarhus led off with a bunt single and went to second on a two-out wild pitch. Dani Gilmore then extended her hitting streak to 10 games with a single through the infield to center field to score Aarhus.
Gilmore, a junior outfielder batting .398, said she’s feeling good in the batter’s box and likes the at-bats she’s getting.
“Dani’s an all-around athlete ... offensively, defensively, mentally,” Berg said. “She a beast and she’s one of those kids you want to call on.”
The Huskies kept the pressure on in the fourth, with some help from the Beavers. Washington got three runs in the frame on two hits, two OSU errors and a walk.
The visitors put up four more in the fifth on three hits, one walk and another error.
Gilmore said her team just needs to just keep chipping away to break through its current bad stretch.
“There’s only so much you can do. When we control the things we’re able to control I think it will make the game a lot easier for us,” she said.
“But when we get into our heads and try to control things we can’t control, it’s hard to win games like that.”
Washington 11, Oregon State 1 (5)
WASHINGTON 013 34 — 11 10 0
OREGON STATE 001 00 — 1 4 4
Walker, Inglesby (5) and Braun, Myers (5). Dembinski, Armendariz (3) and Padilla. WP: Walker (15-7). LP: Dembinski (2-9). 2B: Lahners 2 (UW), Nishitomi (OSU). 3B: Jones (UW). HR: Lahners (UW)
Hits: Washington 10 (Lahners 4, Jones 2, Braun 2, Fagaly, Inglesby). Oregon State 4 (Nishitomi, Gilmore, Chirichigno, Aarhus)
RBIs: Washington 9 (Lahners 4, Braun 4, Fagaly). Oregon State 1 (Gilmore)
Sports reporter Jesse Sowa can be reached at 541-758-9565 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSowaGT