Oregon State cracks Top 25 coaches' poll on strength of 11-game winning streak
CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Oregon State entered the Top 25 for the first time this season with its No. 24 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll released Tuesday. The Beavers are riding an 11-game winning streak as they head to the Easton Invitational this weekend in Fullerton, Calif.
Oregon State (13-3) received votes in last week's poll before sweeping its second consecutive five-game invitational in Palm Springs, Calif. In the five games, the Beavers outscored their opposition 39-7.
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Freshman first baseman Natalie Hampton continued to dominate the opposition. Her overall hitting streak has reached 10 games as she hit .400 at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Four of her six hits this past weekend were home runs. She drove in seven runs while slugging 1.200. She also walked four times to push her on-base percentage to .526 for the weekend.
Senior shortstop Elizabeth Santana hit .467 in Palm Springs with one homer and six RBIs. In the team's win against Maryland, Santana was just a double shy of hitting for the cycle. She also scored six runs and walked four times to give her a .550 on-base percentage.
Senior pitcher Marina Demore went 4-0 with a 0.58 ERA at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Her outstanding weekend included allowing just two hits and striking out seven in five innings in the team's first win against Colorado State. Against Nevada, Demore came in relief in the seventh inning of a tie game and allowed just one hit in five innings. She allowed just one run each against Illinois and Georgia Tech. In 24 innings of work at the Mary Nutter Classic, she allowed just two earned runs while striking out 15.
The Beavers are one of eight teams from the Pac-12 in the USA Today/NFCA rankings, which are voted on by 31 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference.
Alambama held on the top spot for the third consecutive week as the Crimson Tide (16-0) capped off a perfect 6-0 week by rolling through its home-hosted Easton Bama Bash.
Alabama garnered 20 of a possible 31 first-place votes for the second consecutive week while actually extending its advantage on No. 2 Oklahoma (15-0) from seven to nine total points. The Sooners received 10 first-place nods after flexing their muscle at the Mary Nutter Classic, registering a 5-0 mark with marquee victories over then-No. 13 Georgia, No. 14 Arizona and No. 23 Florida State.
Arizona State (16-0) held firm at No. 3 after its four-game home sweep of Portland State, while Florida (16-1) and Texas (16-1) each climbed a single spot to Nos. 4 and 5, respectively.
National Fastpitch Coaches' Association contributed to this report.