Softball Heads To Bay Area In Search Of First Pac-10 Win

April 3, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. -

SOFTBALL LOOKS FOR FIRST PAC-10 WIN, BEAVERS FACE SAINT MARY'S THURSDAY BEFORE SHOWDOWNS WITH NO. 3 CAL AND NO. 5 STANFORD

Thursday April 5, 2001
No. 14 OSU at Saint Mary's - 4 p.m. PST, Moraga, CA

Friday April 6, 2001
No. 14 OSU at No. 3 California - 2 p.m. PST, Berkeley, CA

Saturday April 7, 2001
No. 14 OSU at No. 5 Stanford - 2 p.m. PST, Palo Alto, CA

Sunday April 8, 2001
No. 14 OSU at No. 5 Stanford - 1 p.m. PST, Palo Alto, CA

A GLANCE AT THE GAELS: Oregon State will face Saint Mary's College for the second time this season when the teams meet in Moraga, CA on Thursday. The Beavers won the first meeting, 6-3 at the Southern Utah Tournament in the opening weekend of the season. Shawna Feldt finished the game 2-for-4 with a double while Steph Adams went 2-for-3 with a homerun for the Beavers. Jessica Hanaseth and Janelle Yousef each homered for the Gaels. Pitcher Jennifer Eaton's 2.29 ERA leads Saint Mary's while Jennifer Fawkes is one of three players hitting over .300 with a team leading .345 batting average.

A GLANCE AT THE GOLDEN BEARS: California enters its Friday game against Oregon State with a 39-4 record but the No. 3 ranked Golden Bears are riding a three-game losing streak. Four Cal players are hitting over .300 with Veronica Nelson's .398 batting average, 13 home runs and 35 RBI leading the team. California's four pitchers are combining for a 0.68 ERA. Jocelyn Forest (20-3) leads the squad with a .44 ERA and has 15 shutouts this season. OSU swept the two-game series in Berkeley last season but trails in the all-time series against the Bears, 19-51. The Beavers are 6-17 against Cal under head coach Kirk Walker.

A GLANCE AT THE CARDINAL: Stanford enters the week with a 32-3-1 overall record before facing Oregon State on Saturday and Sunday. The No. 5 ranked Cardinal gave No. 1 UCLA its first loss of the season with a 1-0 victory in Palo Alto last Friday. Stanford boasts a pair of players that are batting over .400 with Jessica Mendoza's .441 average leading the team. Mendoza, whose sister Alana has signed a letter of intent to play for OSU next season, has a team-high .853 slugging percentage and has hit 11 home runs. Junior Sarah Beeson is batting .431 and leads the team in RBI with 41. Sophomore Dana Sorenson leads a deadly pitching staff with a 0.24 ERA and 206 strikeouts. Stanford has won four straight meetings with the Beavers dating back to a 3-0 OSU victory in Palo Alto on April 10, 1999.

FAST FACT: Stanford is the only Pac-10 Conference team that Oregon State has a winning all-time record against. The Beavers lead the all-time series with the Cardinal, 18-15.

LOOKING BACK AT ARIZONA STATE: Oregon State dropped its Pac-10 Conference opener against Arizona State, 4-2, last Friday despite solo home runs from senior Shawna Feldt and sophomore Cara Maxey. The Sun Devils out-hit the Beavers and took advantage of a three-run fifth inning to break the game open. Clare Burnum and Steph Adams each added doubles for OSU.

LOOKING BACK AT ARIZONA: Oregon State's two-game series with Arizona was sliced in half as rain washed away one contest and the Wildcats' Jenni Finch recorded a no-hitter to top the Beavers, 5-0 on Sunday. Freshman pitcher Monica Hoffman allowed just six hits and struck out eight in the contest but was plagued by a 3-run first inning homer and 2-run shot in the seventh. OSU was unable to get anything going offensively as Finch struck out 10 batters to keep Arizona as the only undefeated team (2-0) at the end of the first weekend of Pac-10 play.

CAN HARDLY BELIEVE IT: Arizona's no-hitter against Oregon State on Sunday was the first no-hitter pitched against the Beavers since a 4-0 loss at Washington on April 18, 1998. OSU had recorded at least one hit in 193 consecutive games before going hitless against the Wildcats' Jenni Finch on Sunday.

THE SKID: Oregon State is currently in the midst of a three-game losing streak, matching the Beavers longest skid this season. Prior to the three-game slide, OSU had reeled off 10 consecutive victories including its lone pre-season tournament title with a 6-0 record at the New Mexico State Tournament.

NATIONALLY RANKED: Oregon State moved up one spot to No. 14 in the USA Today/NFCA poll for the week of March 28. Four Pac-10 Conference teams rank in the top-10. UCLA is currently ranked No. 1 while Arizona ranks No. 2 and California is No. 3. The Beavers garnered a No. 12 final ranking after last season's 40-21-1 record.

FACING THE BEST: Oregon State finished the 2000 campaign with a 12-17 record against nationally ranked opponents. The No. 14 ranked Beavers are 5-7-1 against ranked teams so far this season. OSU will face a pair of ranked opponents this weekend when the Beavers travel to No. 3 California and No. 5 Stanford.

BACK TO FORM: Senior Shawna Feldt has returned to form after an early season hitting slump. The shortstop has a .405 batting average over the last 11 games, including 15 hits, three doubles, two triples, a home run and eight RBI. Feldt, from Vancouver, WA, is the only Beaver hitting over .300, boasting a .309 batting average. Feldt also leads the team in runs (29), hits (46) and RBI (22). Her eight doubles and two triples are tied for the team-lead.

GETTING THE 'K': Oregon State's pitchers have combined for 240 strikeouts over the first 43 games of the season, an average of nearly six K's per game. The even more impressive number is that OSU's hurlers have walked just 71 batters all season for a 3.4 strikeout-walk ratio.

IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Senior Brooke Rutschman's four runs scored against Colorado State on March 9, set a single-game record for the Beavers. Prior to Rutschman's four runs, 11 different OSU players had scored three times during a contest. Rutschman finished Oregon State's 14-3 trouncing of the Rams, with a 2-for-3 effort from the plate.

DRAPER DATA: Pitcher Crystal Draper enters the week leading the Beavers in wins with a 16-7 overall record. Draper has moved into a tie with Trina Marvin (1981-84) for fourth place in the OSU record books with a total of 48 career wins. The junior needs just two more victories to surpass Denise Smail (1976-79) and move into sole possession of third place. Draper has struck out 115 batters while allowing only 26 walks this season. The opposition is hitting just .181 when the right-handed hurler is on the mound.

HOFFMAN HIGHLIGHTS: Freshman pitcher Monica Hoffman currently has an 11-6 overall record and leads the Beavers with a 1.48 ERA. She has allowed just 28 runs in 122.0 innings of work. The Central Catholic grad has 100 strikeouts on the season.

ON THE BASEPATHS: Senior Brooke Rutschman continues to move up the ladder in the OSU career record books for stolen bases. Rutschman's 27 swipes rank third on the Beavers' all-time list. The centerfielder has eight swipes in 10 attempts this season, which ties her with Clare Burnum (8-for-9) for the team lead. Rutschman need just four more steals to move past Denise Smail (1976-79) and move into sole possession of second place the record books.

MORE BASEPATHS: Senior Shawna Feldt has moved into a tie for fourth place in the OSU record books with 21 career steals while teammate Michelle Chariton's 19 swipes ranks in a tie for seventh place.

TOUGH D: The 2000 Beavers set a school record with a .973 fielding percentage, committing just 47 errors in 1,270 attempts. Oregon State has committed 39 errors in 43 games this season and currently has a .970 fielding percentage, while its opponents have committed 70 errors for a .949 fielding percentage.

FAST FACT: As a team the Beavers have recorded 59 two-out RBI while their opponents have knocked in 23 runs with two-down.

BACK STRONG: Sophomore second baseman Brynnen Guthrie returned to the OSU lineup on March 23 as a designated hitter. Guthrie went 1-for-3 with an RBI against Texas-San Antonio in her first game since undergoing reconstructive shoulder surgery in October. The honorable mention Pacific-10 Conference all-star has seen action in 11 consecutive games, making seven starts. Guthrie is hitting .296 with three RBI and three runs scored. The Roseburg High grad has a .500 batting average with runners in scoring position (4-for-8).

IN THE DUGOUT: Third-year assistant coach Jenni Condon returns to Oregon State after a one-year stint at UNLV last season. Condon helped lead the Beavers to their first NCAA Regional Tournament appearance in 1999. Heather Smith is back for her second season on the sidelines as an assistant after finishing her playing career with Oregon State in 1999.

THE WORD ON WALKER: Head coach Kirk Walker is in his seventh season at the helm for the Beavers. Walker, a graduate of UCLA, has turned around Oregon State's softball program to make it a contender on a national scale. Walker has an overall coaching record of 200-201-3 and a 42-116 mark in the Pacific-10 Conference. Prior to his arrival at Oregon State, Walker spent 11 seasons at national powerhouse UCLA as a manager and assistant coach. During his time in Westwood, the Bruins won six NCAA titles and made 10 appearances in the College World Series.

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