Softball Signs Two Prep Standouts For 2002

Nov. 10, 2000

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University head softball coach Kirk Walker announced Friday, that Alana Mendoza of Camarillo, CA, and Kelly Petersen of San Diego, CA, have signed letters of intent to join the Beaver softball program for the 2002 season.

Walker believes Mendoza and Peterson will make an immediate impact on Oregon State's squad, which has reached the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons.

'Both Kelly and Alana are very similar as to what they bring with their experiences as team players and we're very excited about that,' said Walker.

Mendoza, a utility player, has earned numerous awards in her three seasons at Adolfo Camarillo High School. Following her junior season, Mendoza was named first team all-league and first team all-county as well as being named the Camarillo High best defensive player. Camarillo won the Maramonte League championship Mendoza's freshman season and was Pacific View League champions her sophomore and junior seasons. Last season Mendoza helped lead her team to the Division I Southern Section CIF semi-finals and was a member of the Gordon's Panthers 18U Gold summer squad.

'Alana is a very dynamic and versatile athlete. She has played at a very, very high level in summer ball on a very competitive team. She's going to bring us a lot of experience, not only as an individual athlete but also as a team - being in competition for a national title,' commented Walker. 'Specifically, she will help us with speed. We're hoping that offensively she will be able to step in and have a high on-base percentage and help us with her bat. Defensively, she's extremely versatile, she's a strong infielder but it's highly likely that she will be playing in the outfield if she's not in the infield. It's highly likely that she could be in our starting lineup as a freshman.'

Mendoza's sister, Jessica, was named the 2000 Pac-10 Softball Player of the Year at Stanford as a sophomore and earned All-America honors after leading the nation in hitting with a .475 average.

'Alana comes from a very athletic family with rich tradition, her sister is an All-American at Stanford,' added Walker. 'She's been coached by her father for a number of years and is right on line to be an impact, just as her sister is in the Pac-10.'

Petersen, a 5-7 shortstop, finished her junior season at Mt. Carmel High School with a .393 batting average, a .990 fielding percentage and 14 stolen bases. Petersen was named first team All-Palomar League in 2000 and as well as the most valuable defensive player. Petersen was a member of the Orange County Batbusters 18U Gold summer squad and earned All Southern-California ASA Team honors as a shortstop in 1998.

'Kelly plays on the rival team of Alana,' said Walker. 'She is a shortstop primarily and we are looking for her to come in and be a strong contender to step in at Shawna's (Feldts) spot at shortstop. Kelly has great range and is a very, very consistent defensive player. Offensively she has all of the tools and hopefully will be able to help us out with her bat as well. Defensively she's also very versatile, she can play infield or outfield as well, so we look for her, similar to Alana, as someone coming in and for some reason she's not in the shortstop spot, she very likely could be in one of our outfield spots. Her experience level once again is CIF championship level and she has been on one of the top 18-under Gold teams in the country, competing for a national title at the 18U Gold level.'

Petersen not only excels on the field but also in the classroom. The honor roll student, maintains a 3.5 GPA and was named to the San Diego Union Tribune All-Academic Team in 2000.

'Kelly comes from a great family and is a really neat kid as well as Alana and we're really excited about having them involved,' added Walker.

Mendoza and Petersen are the first two, of five athletes expected to sign with the nationally ranked Beavers for the 2002 season.

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