Softball Season Wrap-up

May 25, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - A list of season highlights can be found in the attached pdf.

If you didn't get the opportunity to catch an Oregon State softball game this season, you missed out.

The No. 14 ranked Beavers once again proved they are one of the top softball programs in the nation, posting their third straight 40-plus win season (44-24-1) and making their third consecutive trip to the NCAA Regional Tournament.

After a busy pre-season schedule and stellar finish in Pacific-10 Conference play, OSU fell just short of its goal of reaching the College World Series for the first time in program history.

The Beavers can't hang their heads however, after breaking four single-season team records (runs scored, doubles, RBI, complete games), marking their second best Pac-10 finish ever (10-10) and bolstering several outstanding individual accomplishments.

The 69-game season started with a trip to the Southern Utah Tournament in early February, where the Beavers won three of their first four games and obtained the pre-season tourney title.

The next two tournaments were much the same. OSU won five of six contests at the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Tournament with its only loss coming against Regional Tournament qualifier, Southwest Texas State, followed with a 4-1 finish at the UNLV Tournament with their lone loss coming at the hands of then-ranked Utah.

Freshman hurler Monica Hoffman allowed just three hits against national power Oklahoma in the opening game of the highly touted NFCA Leadoff Classic, but the Sooners came out on top 1-0. Oregon State recovered however, with three straight victories including a 3-1 win against a dominating Fresno State squad before its eight-inning scoreless game against nationally ranked DePaul was called due to rain.

After such a strong performance over the opening month of the season, the Beaver faltered during the first two weeks of March, managing just four wins in 10 games with three victories coming against Colorado State and the other against South Florida. OSU suffered its third straight loss on a seventh inning home run by top-ranked UCLA despite out-hitting the Bruins 6-4.

Bouncing back from the tough loss to UCLA, the Beavers reeled off 10 consecutive victories, for their longest winning streak of the season. Junior Crystal Draper got the Beavers back on the winning track when she pitched a perfect game against New Mexico State to become just the second OSU hurler to throw two no-hitters in her career and the first since 1984. Oregon State followed the NMS victory with a 1-0 win against DePaul as Hoffman allowed just four hits in the contest.

The Beavers blew through the field on the following weekend at the New Mexico State Tournament, taking the title with a perfect 6-0 record. Junior catcher Traci Feldt earned Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Week honors for the first time in her career after leading the squad with a .471 batting average (8-for-17) and knocking in eight runs including her first ever home run against Texas-San Antonio. Feldt was also named to the All-Tournament squad as well as Hoffman, Shelly Prochaska and Shawna Feldt.

Oregon State followed the tournament victory with a pair of wins against Sacramento State to give head coach Kirk Walker his 200th career victory heading into the start of Pac-10 play.

In a hectic opening weekend of conference action OSU dropped games to No. 2 Arizona and No. 9 Arizona State at Wallace Marine Sports Park in Salem. The Beavers were forced to open the home campaign on the road while construction was completed at the new OSU Softball Complex.

No stranger to games played away from Corvallis, the Beavers packed their bags again and headed to the Bay Area where they earned a non-conference victory against Saint Mary's College but then dropped a pair of games at No. 3 Stanford.

OSU earned its first Pac-10 victories with a double-header sweep of in-state rival Oregon and then shutout Portland State before starting the season at their new home.

The Beavers opened the new OSU Softball Complex in style with a 3-2 victory against top-ranked UCLA, marking just the fifth win ever for the Beavers against the Bruins, and then split a pair of games against No. 12 Washington. Senior centerfielder Brooke Rutschman was named Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Week while Draper earned Pitcher of the Week honors.

The following week, Senior Shawna Feldt blasted the first home run in the stadium with a three-run shot to right field against rival Oregon. OSU earned the series sweep of the Ducks when sophomore Steph Adams belted a two-out, full-count pitch over the left field fence in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Beavers a 4-3 victory.

Oregon State won four of its next 10 games, earning a pair of victories at Arizona State and then knocking off Portland State in two games including a five-inning 8-0 no-hitter by Draper, making her the only Beaver player to ever throw three no-hitters in her career.

In an emotional final weekend of the regular season the Beavers were at their best. OSU opened action with a 1-0 win against No. 4 Stanford as Adams' solo home run provided all of the scoring. On the final day of the season the Beavers knocked off No. 6 California in a pair of 1-0 games with seniors Rutschman and Shawna Feldt scoring the game-winning runs in their final day of action at the OSU Softball Complex. Four-time All-American Tarrah Beyster was honored as her number double-zero jersey was retired between games of the double-header.

Draper earned Pac-10 Conference Pitcher of the Week honors after throwing a pair of shutout victories and winning her 28th game of the year to tie the OSU record for single-season victories.

Draper and Shawna Feldt each earned Second Team All-Pac-10 Conference recognition and sophomore Clare Burnum was named to the honorable mention squad.

Selection Show Sunday revealed that the Beavers would be seeded No. 3 in the NCAA Regional 4 Tournament in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, as seven of the eight Pac-10 teams made post-season play.OSU opened action against South Florida and struggled to get things going offensively, managing just three hits before losing 2-1.

With their backs against the wall, the Beavers recovered for the most decisive victory in the Regional with a 13-0 pounding of No. 5 seeded Chattanooga. Oregon State's bats came alive as 11 players combined for a season-high 15 hits in the contest. The Mocs were stymied from the plate as Hoffman pitched a one-hitter and the game was called after just five innings of action.

Later that evening the Beavers' season came to a disappointing end, as host school Alabama used timely hitting and took advantage of an OSU error to pick up a 1-0 victory and put Oregon State's hopes of a trip to the College World Series aside for another year.

Shawna Feldt and Shelly Prochaska were both named to the All-Regional Tournament squad. Feldt earned All-Regional Tourney recognition for the second consecutive season and ends her career at OSU as the Beavers' all-time leader in runs scored with 103.

Feldt and fellow senior Rutschman have helped put Oregon State softball on the map as a national contender. They finish their careers ranked in the OSU Top-10 in a combined 22 single-season batting categories and 14 career batting categories.

Thirteen players from the 2001 squad will be back next season for another run at the College World Series - just watch.

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