Shelby Weeks said earlier in the week that the Oregon State softball team would be “Duck hunting” this weekend at Jane Sanders Stadium.
“Oh, you saw that?” the senior center fielder said when asked about the bulletin board quote.
The Beavers had Weeks’ back during the opening game of the Civil War series.
With both rivals trying to make a late push to reach the postseason, Oregon suffered a potentially devastating 8-0 loss to Oregon State in five innings on Friday afternoon.
The Beavers (22-18, 4-13 Pac-12) snapped a four-game losing streak with their first run-rule win over Oregon since 2001 and their first-ever win at Jane Sanders Stadium.
“It means everything,” Weeks said. “We came out with a different energy. We really came to kill today and it really showed.”
The Ducks (21-23, 4-12), who entered the weekend No. 38 in RPI and with two top-10 wins, need to win five of their final eight games to be eligible for the NCAA Tournament.
Softball America had Oregon as one of the “last four in” and Oregon State as one of the “last four out” of its latest projection of the 64-team field.
“We’ve got to let today go,” Oregon coach Melyssa Lombardi said. “It is what it is, unfortunately. But we have to let it go and allow us to fuel us. I’m confident we will. This group, they know how to get it done.”
Oregon starter Jordan Dail (17-11, 3.79 ERA) allowed a season-high eight runs on eight hits. The Beavers said their coach, Laura Berg, had them prepared for the sophomore left-hander.
“We have coach Berg, she’s a lefty, and she’s been throwing to us all week,” said Weeks, who was 1-for-2 at the plate with an RBI from her leadoff spot. “We’ve been really working on the curveball, inside and outside, that’s what we did all week. And I think we crushed it.”
Dail loaded the bases with one out in the second inning after giving up two walks and a single. Izzy Owen hit a sacrifice fly to center field, and Maja Radar added a two-RBI double to give the Beavers a 3-0 lead.
Missy Nunes hit a two-run home run in the third, and Weeks added a sacrifice fly in the fourth to make the score 6-0.
“Right from the first inning on you could tell that Oregon State was ready to come in here and do what they wanted to do,” Lombardi lamented. “They were confident with it. They got it done. …
“They played great. We did not play good enough to win today.”
Oregon freshmen Allee Bunker and Jasmine Sievers had back-to-back infield singles in the bottom of the first inning but were left stranded.
The Ducks had two runners on with no outs in the fourth but did not score as Oregon State starter Mariah Mazon induced a pair of groundouts and a shallow pop fly.
Mazon (13-12, 2.72 ERA) allowed six hits and finished with four strikeouts and one walk over five innings.
“It feels good,” Mazon said. “I think coming out (Saturday) and getting that win will be even better for us as a team.”
Kayleen Shafer’s chopper down the line, which the umpire and third baseman Rachel Cid did not react to, was ruled a fair ball to the dissatisfaction of the crowd of 2,109.
The double by Shafer scored the final two runs of the game in the fifth.
“The information that I got from TV, it was a fair ball,” Berg said. “So that’s all I’m going to go on. I haven’t seen the replay. I’ll see it later.”
Oregon won 16 consecutive Civil War games from May 3, 2013, until a 4-3 loss on March 30, 2018, in Corvallis.
This was the Ducks’ first loss to Oregon State in Eugene since a 2-1 defeat on April 11, 2009, at Howe Field.
“If we only had one game this weekend, that would be pretty tough,” Lombardi said. “But we’ve got two games left, so let’s adjust, let’s learn from what just happened and allow for us to be better in the next two.”