Softball Tops New Mexico State, 3-1, But Drops Championship To Hawai'i, 2-1

March 10, 2002

HONOLULU, HI - The No. 14 ranked Oregon State University softball team defeated New Mexico State University, 3-1 on Sunday afternoon but lost to Hawai'i, 2-1, in the championship game of the Malihini Tournament in Honolulu.

OSU junior pitcher Kristen Hunter allowed just four hits and struck out eight batters as the Beavers rallied for a 3-1 win against the Aggies.

New Mexico State took advantage of a pair of Oregon State errors in the fifth inning to score its lone run of the game.

The Beavers got on the board in the sixth. Shelly Prochaska opened the inning with a double down the right field line and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kelly Petersen. Freshman Alana Mendoza followed with an RBI single to right.

OSU added two more runs in the seventh. Clare Burnum led off the frame with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Michelle Chariton. Prochaska belted a one-out double to left-center field to plate Burnum and later came around to score herself on an Aggie throwing error.

Prochaska and Chariton led all players with two hits each.

'We were more prepared and focused today,' said OSU head coach Kirk Walker. 'Mentally we played a stronger game, but physically we struggled on the offensive end.'

In the close-fought championship contest, Oregon State used three consecutive two-out singles to get on the board in the second inning. Jessica King singled to center and was followed by a single to left from Jenni Jodoin. Traci Feldt recorded the RBI when she knocked in King after a single up the middle.

Hawai'i answered in the top of the sixth when Kate Judd sent a two-out single to right field that plated Natalie Gonzales.

With the score knotted at 1-1 at the end of regulation, the international tie-break rule was imposed (each team places a runner on second base to start the inning). Neither team scored during the eighth but Hawai'i broke the tie in the ninth inning.

Stacie Hirano advanced to third on a passed ball to open the inning and scored what proved to be the game-winner on a wild pitch.

Senior pitcher Crystal Draper struck out 12 batters and allowed just five hits in eight innings of action. Sophomore Monica Hoffman entered the game in the ninth and recorded the loss.

'We had two strong pitching performances,' said Walker. 'Kristen (Hunter) threw a nice complete game in the opener and Crystal (Draper) threw well for eight innings.'

Five different Beavers had one hit in the contest.

Three OSU players were named to the All-Tournament squad as Shelly Prochaska, Brynnen Guthrie and Kristen Hunter were all recognized. Prochaska, who hit .435 (10-for-23) and scored five runs, was named Tournament Most Outstanding Player.

'Shelly (Prochaska) was very consistent at the plate,' said Walker. 'She came up with big hits in crucial situations - she got the job done.'

Oregon State (24-9) returns to action on Friday when the Beavers open the home-campaign with a double-header against Portland State. The Beavers will play 12 of their next 13 games in the friendly confines of the OSU Softball Complex, after starting the year with 33-straight road contests.

Game-one against the Vikings will start at 2 p.m.

GAME RESULTS:
Oregon State - 000 001 2 - 3 9 3
New Mexico State - 000 010 0 - 1 4 2
Hunter and Prochaska (OSU), Adams and Spino (NMS). WP - Hunter (8-3), LP - Adams. 2B - Prochaska, 2 (OSU). SB - Prochaska (OSU), Petersen, 2 (OSU), Briggs (NMS)

Hawai'i - 000 001 001 - 2 6 1
Oregon State - 010 000 000 - 1 5 0
Draper, Hoffman (9) and Feldt (OSU), Oronoz and Tandarich (UH). WP - Oronoz, LP - Hoffman (8-4). 2B - Burnum (OSU), Ramos, 2 (UH).

ALL TOURNAMENT TEAM:
C - Shelly Prochaska, OSU
IF - Brynnen Guthrie, OSU
IF - Sami Strinz, LMU
IF - Stacey Porter, UH
IF - Danielle Kaminaka, LMU
OF - Denise Dahlberg, UH
OF - Christy Cerecedes, LMU
OF - Stacey Hirano, UH
DP - April Crowell, UH
P - Kristen Hunter, OSU

Most Outstanding Player: Shelly Prochaska, OSU
Most Outstanding Pitcher: Sheri Oronoz, UH

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