Oregon State's Mariah Mazon Is Ready For Her Big Moment
The easy reaction for freshman Mariah Mazon was to hang her head after losing the rubber match to Arizona State. However, that’s not what she took away from that day. For Mazon, the rain that poured down on that Sunday in Corvallis, Ore. brought her a glimpse of the bright future to come.
Mazon set the record for the most innings thrown by an Oregon State pitcher after going toe-to-toe with eventual All-American Giselle “G” Juarez for 15 innings in early April 2018. The pitcher’s duel marathon opened her mind to her own talents.
“I learned how far I could go,” Mazon said in a phone interview with Softball America. “Mentally that day I was like, ‘I’m going to keep going. This is my game, I’m going to finish it, I’m going to win.‘ Obviously, I didn’t come out on top, but I learned how much my mental game played into this sport.”
Mazon kept on going that season, and she eventually earned the honors of Pac-12 All-Conference Third Team, Pac-12 All-Freshman Team and Oregon State’s MVP award. Last year, she improved her earned run average, strikeouts and batting average against to move her up to the All-Conference Second Team.
Despite the accolades already stacking up in her young career, Mazon isn’t quite the household name outside of the Pac-12 as other pitchers in the conference are. She sees that as an advantage when Oregon State goes against non-conference foes, and believes it will play a role in whether or not she can help guide the Beavers back to the postseason.
The on-field play is important for her, but in Mazon’s junior season, she wants to make the jump in her leadership. Meehra Nelson’s graduation means Mazon needs a new partner in the circle. Oregon State brought in Trystan Melancon from Houston as well as having the inexperienced arms of Payton Goodrich, Nerissa Eason and Xiao Gin.
“I think our staff this year fits really well,” Mazon said. “We all complement each other really well. We have a lot of depth in the pitching circle...Being the veteran is pretty new to me, coming out with the right composure, the right attitude is what is going to bring my team together.”
Stepping up as a leader means a lot to Mazon because of the passion she has for being a Beaver. That pairing seemed to be destined to happen from the beginning. During her freshman year in high school, while playing for the Corona Angels and Marty Tyson, she took her first college visit, which happened to be to Oregon State. She instantly fell in love, and truly didn’t want to take any other recruiting trips.
Tyson convinced her to at least see a few more schools before making her decision. Regardless of her visits to Fresno State, Arizona State, Cal, UCLA and Oklahoma, her heart was set on being a Beaver. For that reason, it shouldn’t be a surprise that through two years at Oregon State, Mazon’s favorite memory came against Oregon.
Back in her freshman year, she recorded a win over the Ducks and Miranda Elish. The two-run, 4.2-inning performance resulted in Elish’s first collegiate loss and Oregon State’s first win over its rival since 2012. Mazon also won all three of the Beavers’ games over the Ducks in the team’s 2019 sweep of Oregon, which earned her Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week honors.
Of course playing under Oregon State head coach Laura Berg was attractive to Mazon. The Beavers have monthly meetings with Berg, not about softball, but rather life away from the field.
“In those meetings I get to know a lot about her,” Mazon said. “She gets to know a lot about me. It’s about finding out who we are outside of softball. That’s something I really enjoy about her is that she’s the Laura Berg, but she’s also a person outside that. To see how she is outside of softball is really interesting to see.”
Mazon is at her dream school, has a great relationship with her coach, and is finding ways to improve her game while already having a list of achievements. What’s the next box she wants to fill on her checklist?
“I really want to become an All-American,” Mazon said. “I believe I‘m fully capable of doing so. I know that in trying to reach that goal, my team will have my back, supporting me on and off the field. I’m really excited for how it’s going to go.”