By Jeff Schimidt
BERKELEY, Calif. – The Oregon State softball team’s bats showed up in the series finale against California, as the Beavers rambled off 12 hits in a 5-3 win in the regular-season finale at Levine-Frcke Field.
The Beavers conclude the regular season 28-25 overall and 9-15 in the Pac-12 for the second-consecutive time that head coach Laura Berg reached nine conference victories.
The Beavers jumped on the board first in the opening frame after Jessica Garcia got on base with one out before Alysha Everett blasted an RBI double to center to bring her around to score.
The Bears made their mark in the second after an error allowed their first batter to get on base. A single later in the inning allowed the unearned run to score and tie the game at 1-1.
Oregon State would not let the game stay tied for long as Natalie Hampton hit her seventh home run of the year in the top of the third. The inning started with McKenna Arriola knocking a base hit before Shelby Weeks reached safely from some help from a Cal error to put runners on the corners. Hampton stepped to the plate with two outs and sent the 0-1 pitch over the right-field fence to give the Beavers a 4-1 lead.
The Beavers added a run to their lead in the fifth after Shelby Weeks led the inning with a single and stole second to get into scoring position. Lovie Lopez (Wintu Tribe)hen knocked a hit into right field to allow Weeks to score.
Oregon State put runners in scoring position in every inning, but did not add to its lead, heading into the final three outs leading by four runs.
California looked to make a comeback in its senior day as it scored a pair of runs in the final frame and had a runner in scoring position with two outs, but a fly out eliminated any kind of retaliation and gave the Beavers the series finale win.
Lovie Lopez led the team with three hits in her four trips to the plate and Natalie Hampton added two hits and three RBIs. Taylor Cotton picked up her 14th win of the season throwing the complete game and allowing just one earned run. The lefty allowed five hits while striking out four batters.
Oregon State will look to the postseason and will know its fate on Sunday night during the selection show aired on ESPN2 starting at 7 p.m.