No. 16 Softball Opens Action At New Stadium

April 18, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. -

No. 16 SOFTBALL OPENS ACTION AT NEW STADIUM AGAINST No. 1 UCLA FRIDAY, BEAVERS HOST No. 12 WASHINGTON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY

Friday April 20, 2001
No. 1 UCLA at No. 16 OSU - 2 p.m. PST, Corvallis, OR

Saturday April 21, 2001
No. 12 Washington at No. 16 OSU - 2 p.m. PST, Corvallis, OR

Sunday April 22, 2001
No. 12 Washington at No. 16 OSU - 1 p.m. PST, Corvallis, OR

A GLANCE AT THE BRUINS: UCLA enters Friday's game with Oregon State with a 42-3 overall record and ranked No. 1 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I poll. The Bruins have five players batting over .400 and eight players currently hitting plus .300. Freshman Claire Sua leads the squad with a .428 average while teammate Stacey Nuveman ranks second on the team with a .424 mark, 12 homeruns and 53 RBI. UCLA's four pitchers have a combined 0.83 ERA while its opponents' hurlers are giving up 5.85 runs per game. Junior Amanda Freed leads the team with a 0.51 ERA and has 128 strikeouts and just 18 walks on the year. The Bruins have won three-straight but all three of their losses on the season have come during Pac-10 play. UCLA leads the all-time series with Oregon State 57-4, but the Beavers are 4-24 against the Bruins with Kirk Walker at the helm.

SERIES NOTE: UCLA has won five-straight against Oregon State including a 3-2 victory earlier this season (Mar. 10) in the CSUN/UCLA Tournament. OSU pounded six hits compared to the Bruins' four, but a pair of unearned runs and Lupe Brambila's one-out homerun in the bottom of the seventh inning gave No. 1 ranked UCLA the victory. The last Beaver win against the Bruins came on May 2, 1999 when Oregon State's Jenni Jodoin smashed a 3-run homer in the seventh inning to give OSU a 5-3 come-from-behind victory.

NOTABLE: Junior pitcher Crystal Draper pitched her second career no-hitter on March 11 against New Mexico State, one day after the Beavers dropped their game with UCLA.

A GLANCE AT THE HUSKIES: Washington enters the weekend series with the Oregon schools with a 27-16 overall record and 3-5 Pac-10 mark. The No. 12 Huskies have dropped two-straight to travel partner UCLA including a 5-4, 4-hour, 14-inning thriller last Friday. Four UW players are hitting over .300 led by senior Kelly Hauxhurst's .359 average and six doubles. Tia Bollinger leads the squad with a 0.98 ERA. The freshman hurler leads the Pac-10 with 24 wins (24-4) and ranks third in strikeouts with 175. Washington leads the all-time series with OSU, 27-4 but the Beavers are 4-20 against the huskies under head coach Kirk Walker.

SERIES NOTE: Washington has won four of the last five meetings with Oregon State but the Beavers took last season's Pac-10 finale on May 13, by a score of 1-0. Senior Tarrah Beyster's home run in the ninth inning provided all of the scoring in the contest. The victory marked the first-ever win for OSU in Seattle.

LOOKING BACK AT OREGON: Oregon State picked up its first Pac-10 Conference victories of the season last Saturday with an 8-0 and 11-2 double-header sweep of in-state rival University of Oregon. Junior Crystal Draper allowed just two hits in Game 1 while recording eight strikeouts and earning her seventh shutout. OSU broke the game open with seven runs on five hits in the third inning, capitalizing on three Oregon errors. Traci Feldt's RBI single in the seventh knocked in the Beavers' final run. Senior Brooke Rutschman led all players, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored. In the nightcap, Oregon State pounded 12 hits including eight for extra bases en route to the dominating victory. Clare Burnum doubled and tripled in the contest while Shelly Prochaska pounded a double and her first home run of the season. Rutschman added a two-run homer over the centerfield fence in the second inning to give the Beavers the lead for good.

LOOKING BACK AT PORTLAND STATE: Pitchers Crystal Draper and Monica Hoffman combined to shutout Portland State 3-0 on Monday afternoon as Oregon State's offense utilized timely hitting to pick up the victory. The Beavers got on the board with a pair of runs in the third inning as Shannon Sorg and Michelle Chariton (who both reached on singles) were knocked in by sophomore Clare Burnum's two-out double to left-center. OSU added another run in the seventh when Steph Adams recorded an inside-the-park homerun. Adams' hit to center field snuck under the glove of the Vikings outfielder and rolled to the fence. Draper earned the victory, her 19th of the season, while Hoffman picked up her second save of the year.

SCHEDULE NOTE: Oregon State has re-scheduled its rained out contest with Portland State for Thursday, May 3 at 4 p.m. at Erv Lind Stadium. The game was originally scheduled for April 12.

FREE FOR ALL: Admission will be free for this weekend's home opening games at the new OSU Softball Complex. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive a free pennant and numerous promotions will be held throughout the games. Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart will throw out the first pitch in Friday's game against UCLA while OSU President, Paul Risser, and Benny Beaver will throw out the first pitch on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. The $1 million dollar complex contains 750 bleacher-backed seats.

FAST FACT: Oregon State head coach Kirk Walker is the only Beaver coach to ever defeat UCLA. Walker owns a 4-24 mark against his alma mater. Walker is also the only OSU coach to defeat Washington (4-20).

NATIONALLY RANKED: Oregon State remained ranked at No. 16 in the USA Today/NFCA poll released on April 18. Four Pac-10 Conference teams rank in the top-5. Friday's opponent UCLA, remains ranked No. 1 while Arizona ranks No. 2, Stanford is No. 3 and California is No. 4. Arizona State sits at No. 9 while Saturday and Sunday's opponent, Washington has moved into a tie for No. 12. 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. 16 ranked Beavers are 5-9-1 against Top-25 teams so far this season.

GETTING THE 'K': Oregon State's pitchers have combined for 280 strikeouts over the first 49 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 80 batters all season for a 3.5 strikeout-walk ratio.

TAKING THE LEAD: Junior Michelle Chariton, a career .250 hitter, is the only Oregon State player currently hitting over .300. Chariton ranks first on the team with a .303 batting average and has 36 hits in 119 at bats this season. The 5-7 outfielder had 14 hits in 52 games as a sophomore and just four RBI. Chariton has more than tripled her RBI total from a year ago with 13 this season and is tied for the team lead in stolen bases, a perfect 8-for-8 thus far.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Sophomore Clare Burnum's two-RBI double against Portland State on Monday was her team-leading 10th of the season. Burnum is tied for the team lead in triples (3) with senior Shawna Feldt and leads the Beavers with a .356 on base percentage.

GOOD GUN: Junior catcher Traci Feldt ranks third in the Pac-10 Conference with nine runners thrown out stealing this season.

HITTIN' IT OUT: Sophomore Steph Adams continues to add to her career homerun total. Adams is currently ranks in third place in the Oregon State record book with 12 long balls. The former North Medford High grad hit her fifth round-tripper of the season on Monday with an inside-the-park shot at Portland State. The homerun moves her into the team lead and a tie for seventh place with Jenni Jodoin (2000) in OSU's single season record book.

DRAPER DATA: Pitcher Crystal Draper (19-7) enters the week needing just one more victory to reach the 20-win plateau. Draper has moved into sole possession of third place in the OSU record books with a total of 51 career wins. The junior needs five more victories to surpass Joan Harvey (1982-85) and move into sole possession of second place. Draper has struck out 141 batters while allowing only 30 walks this season, a 4.7 strikeout-walk ratio. The opposition is hitting just .177 when the right-handed hurler is on the mound. The Hood River Valley High grad also leads the squad with a 1.21 ERA.

LEADING THE PAC: Pitcher Crystal Draper leads the Pac-10 Conference in games started this season with 25. Draper's name dots five other conference pitching categories, ranking third in innings pitched (174.0), third in appearances (31), fourth in wins (18), fifth in batters struck out looking (33) and sixth in total strikeouts (137).

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 Michelle Chariton (8-for-8) and 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 remains in a tie for fourth place in the OSU record books with 21 career steals while teammate Michelle Chariton, who is a perfect 8-for-8 on stolen bases this season, has moved into sole possession of seventh place with 20 swipes in her career.

IN THE CLUTCH: As a team the Beavers have recorded a whopping 76 two-out RBI while their opponents have knocked in 29 runs with two-down. Oregon State is batting .251 in 426 at bats with two outs while its opponents are hitting just .191 in 393 plate appearances.

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 43 errors in 49 games this season and currently has a .970 fielding percentage, while its opponents have committed 77 errors for a .951 fielding percentage.

REHABED AND READY: After undergoing reconstructive shoulder surgery in October, sophomore Brynnen Guthrie has been cleared to play both offensively and defensively for the Beavers. 'In the beginning you talk about what a 4-6 month rehabilitation program will entail and with an athlete like Brynnen, it is always a race to the finish line on both sides - her desire to play and our desire that she return with the best shot at staying on the field for her entire career,' commented OSU trainer Kelli Eberlein. 'I am extremely proud of her commitment over the past 5 1/2 months.' The honorable mention Pacific-10 Conference all-star has seen action in 15 games with 10 starts. Guthrie is currently batting .294 (10-for-34) with three RBI and is a perfect 3-for-3 on stolen base attempts.

IN THE DUGOUT: Third-year assistant coach Jenny 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 204-203-3 and a 44-118 mark in the Pacific-10 Conference. Walker has been selected as one of just 12 coaches named to the USA Softball National Team Coaches Pool with a chance to coach in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. 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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