The University of Washington Huskies made it two wins in a row against the Oregon State Beavers defeating them 5-0 on Saturday, March 30 at Husky Stadium in Seattle.
The Huskies won the first of their three game series on Friday when sophomore pitcher Gabbie Plain (11-1) struck out eight to take the 5-2 win.
Washington (28-6, 5-3) continued their run production getting five runs on five hits behind the complete game pitching performance of senior Taran Alvelo who had another double-digit strikeout performance with 11.
“She and Morganne [Flores] called their own game today and have been the last couple of outings,” said Huskies Head Coach Heather Tarr. “And I know it’s giving Taran more control of what she wants to do and that doesn’t mean that we can’t help her,but I think she deserves the opportunity to be experiencing that and that’s going to help her have more control of what she wants to do versus feel like she can’t do what she wants to do. She just has that strong personality that fits well for her.”
Flores had a quiet day at the plate after hitting five homers in her last three games, but she behind the plate completing the battery with Alvelo the pair showed that being given the go-ahead to call their own game is working out well for Washington.
It’s a trust that Coach Tarr has in these two veterans to give them this opportunity and to know that it’s helping Taran to continue to grow and discover how to stay in the game no matter what is happening.
“It’s Morganne and its Taran in combination,” said Tarr. “(It’s) their ability to, they’re done with school now and so they can do more scouting film and they can study a little bit more on the game where as a lot of times we don’t have time to demand of them in that capacity. So we trust them to work through it with us and you know there’s maybe different things that we can do…that would work better or not work better but you knew she was going to be okay. You could see her staying in her routine and going through the process to getting to her next pitch and she wasn’t getting outside herself.”
With a near capacity crowd of 1,436 watching Alvelo and her teammates the Huskies produced their 11th shutout of the season and second in five Pac-12 wins so far.
The Huskies got on the board first behind the hustle of sophomore Sis Bates. Bates lead off with a double in the bottom of the first inning. On a swinging strikeout by Flores Bates stole third and continued home to score after a throwing error on the thrown to third.
Bates added another run in the third on an RBI single that scored sophomore Nawai Kaupe who had walked and then advanced to second on Amirah Milloy’s single. Kaupe scored on Bates hit and Milloy moved to second.
After a double steal by Milloy and Bates moved them to third and second respectively Flores advanced Milloy for another score on a fielder’s choice.
The score stayed 3-0 and the Beaver’s managing only one hit so far until the bottom of the sixth when Washington added their final two.
Freshman Sami Reynolds took first after being hit by a pitch and scored on a double error play by OSU.
With Reynolds on sophomore, Emma Helm bunted to move her over. The play was made to first to get the out on Helm instead the ball was misplayed and when the left-fielder, who was backing up first, didn’t catch the errant throw the ball rolled all the way down left field.
Helm who realized the ball had gotten away put on the jets and ran all the around to score causing her teammates to go crazy with excitement as they greeted her out of the dugout.
With the score 5-0 the Beavers tried to rally with two outs in the top of the seventh. After getting the first two outs with a strikeout and ground out OSU managed back-to-back singles to put two runners on.
But just as it looked like the Beavers (17-12, 1-7) might break the shutout Alvelo got the next batter to ground out and Washington took the win.
The Huskies are starting to find their consistency in offense to go with their consistently good defense and its due in large part to the team staying focused and patient to allow themselves to find their footing.
“I would say we’re kind of getting used to our roles and embracing our roles,” said Flores. “We were hitting it pretty hard in the beginning of the season. I think they’re just starting to go in our favor now so we’re just putting good swings on good pitches and seeing what happens.”
Bates ended the game with two hits and Helm, Milloy and senior Kaiya Gibson each getting one hit. Along with 11 strikeouts Alvelo (15-4) only walked one batter behind her three-hit shutout.
OSU got singles from senior Lovie Lopez, sophomore Camryn Ybarra and senior Michelle Sass while sophomore pitcher Mariah Mazon (9-7) ended the game giving up five hits, one walk and seven strikeouts.
The teams meet in the final game of the series at 12pm on Sunday, March 31 at Husky Stadium on the UW campus.