With an 8-6 victory in eight innings, Stanford softball (18-24, 1-14 Pac-12) defeated Oregon State (24-19, 6-9) in the final game of the series to claim its first conference win since May 3, 2015.
Freshman Teaghan Cowles played the hero, scoring two runners with a triple in the top of the eighth inning of Sunday’s matchup. It was Cowles’ fourth triple in what has been an impressive debut season: She leads the team in hits and sacrifices and is second in total bases on the year.
The series began inauspiciously with Stanford dropping a 6-0 decision Friday afternoon, but the Cardinal came within one run on Saturday before finally securing a win in Sunday’s contest.
In the series opener, Stanford struggled to contain the Beavers’ offense, which scored in four of six innings. Offensively, the Cardinal made little dent on the basepaths, amassing just four hits and two walks while racking up nine strikeouts.
On Saturday, Stanford fell just shy of a comeback as it took a 4-3 loss after each team added some late runs. The score was tied at one run apiece until the fifth inning, when Oregon State’s shortstop McKenna Arriola hammered a three-run home run to left field to break up the stalemate.
Stanford trailed 4-1 going into the top of the sixth inning, but Cardinal shortstop Kylie Sorenson showed off some power of her own, homering down the left field line. A pair of singles followed, from Cowles and Kristina Inouye, and with two outs, senior Whitney Burks stroked a single down the right field line to plate Cowles and bring Stanford within one run. A groundout ended the rally, and although Lauren Bertroy led off the top of the seventh inning with a walk, the Cardinal were unable to capitalize, stranding the runner and taking the loss.
Sunday’s matchup seemed to have the makings of Friday’s blowout when Oregon State was leading 6-0 after two innings, but a big third inning put Stanford back in the game. A two-run homer from Burks highlighted the inning, but the Cardinal were able to hang six on the scoreboard due more to getting on base than power.
Inouye doubled to lead off the third inning, and Burks brought her home with a homer to right center. Stanford then loaded the bases on two walks and a catcher’s interference. A two-run fielding error by the Beavers put Sorenson on base and plated two runs, and consecutive singles from Cowles and Inouye gave Stanford a 6-5 lead. Oregon State answered with a run in the bottom of the frame to tie the score at six apiece.
After four scoreless frames, the score remained tied at the end of seven and the game moved into extra innings. With two outs in the top of the eighth, Hannah Howell reached on a hit-by-pitch, and Kylie Sorenson singled to put Howell in scoring position. Cowles then ripped a bases-clearing triple to right center field to give the Cardinal a two-run lead. Pitcher Kiana Pancino closed out a day of extremely long relief (7.1 innings pitched, three runs, five hits) by striking out the side to close out Stanford’s fist conference win in nearly two years.
Up next the Cardinal will head home to face off against No. 13 UCLA in a three-game series beginning on Friday. First pitch is at 6 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on GoStanford.com.
Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.