No. 11 Softball Splits On First Day Of Leadoff Classic

Feb. 22, 2002

COLUMBUS, Ga. - -

The No. 11 Oregon State softball team opened its day at the NFCA Leadoff Classic with a 7-6 loss to Texas A&M, but then bounced back for a 4-0 shutout of No. 19 Notre Dame on Friday.

In the first game, the Beaver offense exploded in the third inning to take a 5-0 lead when senior catcher Traci Feldt belted her first homerun of the season, a grand slam, off of A&M's Lindsay Wilhelmson to bring in Jenni Jodoin, Kelly Petersen, and Shelly Prochaska. Junior second baseman Brynnen Guthrie had scored to open the inning when Jodoin walked with the bases loaded.

After a scoreless fourth, Petersen blasted a solo shot over the fence in the fifth with nobody out to give the Beavers a 6-0 advantage.

The lead wouldn't hold up, however, as the Aggies came back with four runs in the bottom of the inning to make it 6-4 on the strength of a two-RBI triple from shortstop Crystal Martin and a Selena Collins two-run homerun off of starter Kristen Hunter.

The Beavers (13-3) had runners at the corners with two out in the sixth inning, but were unable to bring in junior Clare Burnum from third.

Down two runs in the seventh with one out, A&M took advantage of the opening as Martin hit a two-run homerun and Collins followed her second homerun of the game, a solo shot, to win the game.

Hunter started for OSU and lasted 4 1/3 innings before being relieved by sophomore Monica Hoffman, who surrendered one run. Crystal Draper gave up the final two homeruns and took her first loss of the year, dropping her record to 6-1.

'This was a very disheartening loss,' OSU coach Kirk Walker said. 'We were up 6-0 and should have continued to put on the offense.

'Defensively, we opened up the door, and unfortunately our pitchers weren't able to close the door either. It was a frustrating loss.

'We didn't play as focused and intense as we should have for seven innings. That's coming back to bite us.'

Feldt ended up 2-for-3 against A&M with four RBI, while Burnum and Guthrie were 2-for-4.

OSU bounced back with a stronger performance against No. 19 Notre Dame, as Draper went the distance to shutout the Irish with the help of four runs from the offense in the second inning.

With the bases loaded in the second, Chariton poked an infield single toward first base that scored Petersen. Burnum then hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Jodoin. Petersen singled to center field to score Chariton and Adams, but was thrown out at second base and was not credited with any RBI.

Draper scattered four hits throughout the day en route to improving to 7-1, and struck out 10 while walking only her second batter of the year. The senior's strikeout-to-walk ratio is a whopping 66-2.

'We turned it around and came out strong in the first four innings of the second game,' Walker said. 'Crystal threw very well and shut them down, and offensively we scored early.

'We'll take the win, but it's unfortunate that we're not doing a very good job of playing seven innings.'

The Beavers take on Southern Mississippi on Saturday at 7 a.m. PST, then begin bracket play later that day.

GAME 1 RESULTS

Oregon State 005 010 0 - 6 8 3

Texas A&M 000 040 3 - 7 5 1

Hunter, Hoffman (5), Draper (7) and Feldt. Wilhelmson, Ripper (4) and Collins. WP- Wilhelmson. LP- Draper (6-1). 3B- Martin (A&M). HR- Petersen (OSU), Feldt (OSU), Martin (A&M), Collins 2 (A&M).

GAME 2 RESULTS

Notre Dame 000 000 0 - 0 4 1

Oregon State 040 000 x - 4 7 1

Wisen, Stenglein (3) and Myers. Draper and Prochaska. WP- Draper (7-1). LP- Wisen (1-1). 2B- Ciolli (ND), Jodoin (OSU).

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