DePaul 8, Oregon State
DePaul 8, Oregon State 6May 22, 2005
MADISON, Wis. - No. 23 DePaul defeated sixth-ranked Oregon State 8-6 in the second regional final game Sunday afternoon at Goodman Diamond to advance to Super Regional round action next weekend.
OSU had defeated the Blue Demons 7-0 in the first game of the day to force one final game, but DePaul jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the nightcap and then hung on for the victory.
Linda Secka got DePaul out to an early lead with a three-run homer in the bottom of the first and the Blue Demons never looked back. Oregon State closed to within 4-2 with two runs in the top of the fourth, but DePaul answered with four runs in the bottom half of the inning to build its lead to six. The Beavers got three in the sixth in the sixth and one more in the seventh but it wasn't enough.
Megan Huitink (20-10) earned the complete-game win, allowing just one earned run while striking out seven. Brianne McGowan (36-10) suffered the loss, lasting just 3.2 innings, surrendering nine hits and eight earned runs.
In the first game of the day, Oregon State broke open a close game late, scoring six times in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull away. Pinch hitter Lisa Hill, who was just 1-for-18 on the season, broke things open with a grand slam to cap the six-run outburst.
McGowan allowed just four hits and carried a no-hitter into the fifth. Her 12 strikeouts in the contest marked her fourth consecutive double-digit strikeout performance of the tournament.
With the victory in the second game, DePaul advances to take on Northwestern in next weekend's Super Regional at a site to be determined.
Saskia Roberson of DePaul became Conference USA's all-time RBI leader with a two-run double in the fourth inning of the second contest. Roberson now has 177 career RBI, two more than Houston's Kristin Glowacz. Roberson is just two RBI behind Karen Stewart (1996-99) for DePaul's all-time lead.
Brianne McGowan of Oregon State posted 50 strikeouts and had allowed just 16 hits and three runs through 28 innings in her first four games she pitched in the tournament. However, DePaul reached her for nine hits and eight earned runs in the 3.2 innings she pitched in the second regional final contest.
McGowan's complete-game shutout in Sunday's first game was her 12th of the season. The mark ties her with Tarrah Beyster (1999) for the OSU single-season lead.
Linda Secka of DePaul drove in three runs in the second game, marking the sixth time this year she reached that total in a game this season. Secka leads the Blue Demons with 46 RBI this season.
DePaul Head Coach Eugene Lenti
On advancing to Super Regionals:
"It's a great feeling. This is totally unexpected for us. We kind of thought it would be a year where we would be a good team but not a team that could rise to this level because we returned two pitchers who had five collegiate wins. We're sitting at 43 wins right now and we just beat the Pac-10 co-champs. That's a phenomenal feeling. They're a great team, but we were just better today. I think it speaks volumes about the strength of softball in the Midwest too."
On getting to Oregon State pitcher Brianne McGowan:
"She's thrown a lot of innings all year long, she had to throw a lot of games here. Our game plan was to make her work the first game. We wanted to try to keep her out there as long as we could. We knew that we were going to see her the second game. We also knew what she had thrown us the first game and we made some mental notes. We're a good enough hitting team that if we see you four, five, six times, we're going to get you."
On getting out to the early lead
"That was really big because not that put them on their heels. They're in like 'oh my God' mode, 'we could lose this game.' I've got to give them credit, though, they battled back. They never folded, but neither did we. We bent a lot, but we didn't fold at all. We didn't break."
-- Courtesy Wisconsin