Tarni Stepto Leads Oregon State in Double Dip Action Friday
SAN DIEGO – In the first day of the Torero Classic, hosted by San Diego, on Friday, the Oregon State (4-3) softball team split a pair of games. Australian pitcher Tarni Stepto dished out another dominant performance for her second victory in the circle as the Beavers defeated UC Riverside (1-0) after falling in extras to South Dakota State (2-1).
Despite a complete eight-inning performance from starter Mariah Mazon, the senior was credited with the loss against SDSU after giving up six hits and two runs all while tying a career-high in strikeouts with 13.
The Beavers notched just four hits against South Dakota State that was highlighted by Mazon's 1-for-4 performance with a double and a run scored. The game was also the first of the season that OSU did not collected a home run.
After three hitless innings, Mazon broke through the Jackrabbit pitcher in the bottom half of the fourth with a one-out double. Grace Messmer tied the game at 1-1 with a rope down the left field line, bringing home Mazon and adding her third RBI of the season.
The Beavers left one runner stranded in the fifth and sixth before Kaylah Nelson got the offense started in the seventh with a leadoff single to center field. Erin Mendoza advanced to second on a wild pitch but OSU's next three batters were retired by ways of two strikeouts and a pop up.
The Jackrabbits took the Torero Classic opening victory with their sixth hit of the morning to center, driving home the runner that was placed on second. The Orange & Black's comeback fell short as the SDSU pitcher retired the side in the bottom of the eighth.
Messmer collected her second RBI of the day in the top half of the inning against UC Riverside. The third baseman singled to left, driving home Kiki Escobar who drew a walk as the leadoff to give the Orange & Black the early 1-0 advantage.
From there, the rest of the game was a pitcher's duel as Stepto earned her second career victory in the circle for Oregon State in the final game of the day after tossing five innings against UC Riverside. The Aussie pitcher delivered a career-high 12 strikeouts in the win while giving up just three hits.
Freshman Sarah Haendiges earned the save after tossing the final two innings. Escobar was the other Beaver to collect a hit in the finale, going 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
The Beavers continue Torero Classic play tomorrow with a single against DePaul. First pitch is slated for 9:00 a.m. PT in San Diego. OSU concludes weekend play on Sunday, Feb. 20 with games against Iowa (9:00 a.m.) and San Diego (2:00 p.m.).
For more information on the Oregon State softball team, visit OSUBeavers.com or follow the team @BeaverSoftball on Twitter and Instagram.
Oregon State Athletics strives to Build Excellent Authentic Visionary Student-Athletes (Go BEAVS).