CORVALLIS, Or. — A three-run fourth inning and impressive pitching performances from Ellie Garcia and Tarni Stepto helped the Oregon State Beavers top ASU, 3-2, to win the series finale.
Kylee Magee ended up on the hook for the loss despite six strong innings. She gave up seven hits and struck out five, and only one of the three runs she allowed was earned.
The Devils (22-25, 6-18 Pac-12) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third, as Alexa Milius drove in Makenna Harper with a two-out single.
After allowing just one hit through the first three innings, the Beavers (15-28-1, 6-17-1 Pac-12) got to Magee in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases on two hits and an error.
Eliana Gottlieb tied the game on a single to left, a soft Madyson Clark fly ball found the grass to give the Beavers the lead two batters later. Then Magee hit Erin Mendoza with a pitch to make it 3-1.
Give us the lead, Maddy! pic.twitter.com/xMhtldarAq— Oregon State Softball (@BeaverSoftball) May 7, 2023
ASU got within one in the top of the fifth thanks to a Jazmine Hill sacrifice fly, but Stepto left the tying run stranded in both the fifth and sixth innings.
The Beavers had a chance to add some insurance in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with one out, but Magee struck out Aubree Seaney and got Abby Doerr to fly out to left to keep the deficit at one.
Stepto worked quickly in the top of the seventh, however, retiring the side in order to win it.
With the victory, the Beavers not only clinched the series but also the seventh seed in this week’s Pac-12 tournament, putting them in the quarterfinals against Washington on Thursday.
With the loss, the Sun Devils will now have to play their way into the quarterfinals, taking on rival and tournament host Arizona on May 10 at 6 p.m. in Tucson.
The Wildcats and Devils finished the regular season with identical 6-18 conference records, but the Wildcats will be the No. 8 seed thanks to their series win over ASU in March. ASU is the No. 9 seed.
The winner will take on No. 1 UCLA in the quarterfinals on Thursday, May 11.