#37 Oregon State Softball 2014 Preview

Oregon State Beavers

Overall Rank: #37
Conference Rank: #8 Pac 12
#37 Oregon State Softball 2014 Preview
Oregon State Team Page


Oregon State is coming off of two consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. Last year, the Beavers were able to take games from UCLA, Cal, Stanford and even swept traditional power Arizona. OSU also had a 14-game winning streak from February 10th to March 1st.  The team lost nine seniors from last year's squad, but return eight upperclassmen, including four seniors.  

2013: 34-24, 8-16
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Laura Berg

Field Players:
Natalie Hampton made a big impression in her rookie campaign last season. Not only did she finish second on the team in batting average, hitting .329, she also knocked out 15 home runs, 13 doubles and knocked in 50 runs. All three were team-highs for the sophomore. But Hampton isn't the only player returning who has a power bat. Dani Gilmore knocked eight balls out of the yard last season. Ya Garcia was one of the team's top hitters, even if she was mainly a singles hitter. Hannah Bouska is the last returning regular from last year's team, having started 48 of the 50 games in which she appeared. Like Garcia, Bouska is more of a singles hitter, with 19 of her 30 hits getting her to first base.

The pitching rotation will be an interesting one for the Beavers this season. Both Marina Demore and Tina Andreana are gone from last year's team. Those two combined for 30 of the team's 34 wins, 52 of the 58 starts, 319 of 375 innings pitched and 212 of the 250 strikeouts. Only one player, Sarah Shadinger, started for Oregon State last season and she went 2-3 with an ERA of over six in nine appearances, six of which were starts. The other returning pitcher is Amanda Najdek, who appeared in 13 games. She had an ERA of over four. To replace their top two pitchers, the Beaver coaching staff brought in two pitchers in this year's recruiting class.

Who to Watch:
Oregon State has a good number of holes to fill for a team ranked so high. First the team must replace three of its top five hitters, including Lea Cavestany, who led the team in average (.331), hits (60) and was second in home runs (10) and RBI (44).  With teams knowing about Hampton, will she be able to duplicate last year's performance? Or will she go through a sophomore slump? The biggest question marks might be in the circle though. Having to replace so much experience is hard for a team.

Final Projection:
Oregon State brings back talent. If it can get contributions to replace those who departed, it might be a brighter year than some may imagine. The key will be pitching. Can someone come in and compete for a top spot right away? Can Alleyah Armendariz? Or will it be the returning pitchers? The Beavers will find out quickly, as the season starts at the Kjukawa Classic, Texas A&M Invite, Mary Nutter Classic UCLA Tourney and Long Beach State Invitational. Opponents in those tournaments include Louisville, Michigan, Illinois, UCSB, Oklahoma, Pacific, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas A&M, North Carolina State and San Diego State.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Natalie Hampton, 1B, 173
Hits: Natalie Hampton, 1B, 57
Home Runs: Natalie Hampton, 1B, 15
RBIs: Natalie Hampton, 1B, 50
Runs: Dani Gilmore, OF, 38
Stolen Bases: Ya Garcia, SS, 10

Wins: Amanda Najdek, P, 2; Sarah Shadinger, P, 2
Innings Pitched: Sarah Shadinger, P, 31.2
Strikeouts: Sarah Shadinger, P, 29
Saves: Amanda Najdek, P, 1

Madness 2014 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#39 Alexis Gonzalez


See All Softball Top 44 Previews