No. 17 Softball Heads To National Invitational Tournament

March 5, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. -

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NO. 17 SOFTBALL HEADS TO NATIONAL INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT IN SUNNYVALE, CA; BEAVERS WRAP UP SIXTH CONSECUTIVE WEEK ON THE ROAD

NATIONAL INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT - SUNNYVALE, CA
Friday, Mar. 7: No. 17 OSU vs. Missouri-Kansas City - 2 p.m.
Friday, Mar. 7: No. 17 OSU vs. San Jose State - 4 p.m.
Saturday, Mar. 8: No. 17 OSU vs. TBA - TBA
Sunday, Mar. 9: No. 17 OSU vs. TBA - TBA
-all times Pacific-

NATIONAL INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT: Oregon State will make its second appearance in the 17th annual National Invitational Softball Tournament hosted by San Jose State University. The Beavers last appeared in the tournament during the 1994 season, boasting a 3-4 record.

TOURNEY FIELD: Oregon State is one of five schools in the tournament field ranked in the top 25. Other nationally ranked squads appearing in the tourney field are: No. 6 California, No.9 Arizona State, No. 22 Oregon and No. 24 Minnesota.

SCOUTING MISSOURI-KANSAS CITY: University of Missouri-Kansas City enters the tourney with a 1-7 overall record. The Kangaroos have lost seven straight contests, including a pair of double-headers against University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State earlier this week. With statistics available for only its first four games, UMKC is batting just .158 as a team. Missouri-Kansas City finished the 2002 season with a 33-26 record.

OSU AND MISSOURI-KANSAS CITY SERIES NOTES: The meeting between Oregon State and Missouri-Kansas City on the opening day of the National Invitational Tournament will be the first between the two squads in program history.

SCOUTING SAN JOSE STATE: Host San Jose State enters the week with a 6-11 record. Senior outfielder Becca Baldridge leads the team with a .385 batting average, 11 runs scored and nine RBI. Three other Spartan players are batting above .300. Carol Forbes has the most action in the circle, boasting a 3-4 record and 2.60 ERA to go along with a team-leading 27 strikeouts. As a team, SJSU is batting .239 while its opponents are hitting .272.

OSU AND SAN JOSE STATE SERIES NOTES: Oregon State holds a 6-4 advantage in the win-loss column all-time versus San Jose State. The Beavers and Spartans last faced each other in a double-header on Mar. 25, 2002. OSU garnered the sweep on the afternoon. Shelly Prochaska drew a bases loaded walk in the seventh inning of the opener to give the Beavers a 1-0 win, while nine different Oregon State batters recorded a hit in the nightcap as the Beavers earned a 6-1 victory.

A LOOK BACK AT NO. 20 OHIO STATE: Oregon State opened the CSUF Worth Tournament last Friday with a 2-1 victory against No. 20 Ohio State. Shelly Prochaska's RBI single in the third inning plated Brynnen Guthrie to give the Beavers an early 1-0 lead. Ohio State answered with a run in the fifth inning but Oregon State rallied in the seventh to pull out the victory. Sophomore Kelly Petersen connected on the game-winner, driving in Adrienne Alo. Junior hurler Monica Hoffman improved to 12-4 on the season, allowing just four hits in the contest and throwing her 10th complete game.

A LOOK BACK AT NORTHWESTERN: Oregon State dropped a 4-3 decision to Northwestern University in Friday's nightcap at the CSUF Worth Tournament. The Wildcats jumped to an early 3-0 lead but a fifth inning 3-run home run from Kelly Petersen tied things up. Northwestern responded however with the game-winner in the sixth inning. Monica Hoffman was credited with the loss after relieving Amy Klever in the fifth inning.

A LOOK BACK AT PURDUE: Oregon State earned a 5-4 victory against Purdue on Saturday in the CSUF Worth Tournament. Three different Beaver pitchers saw action in the game with junior transfer Dena DuBois eventually earning her first career Beaver victory. Brynnen Guthrie finished with a 3-for-4 clip from the plate, including two RBI and a double. Freshman Lisa Allen continued her hot hitting with a perfect 2-for-2 effort from the plate. Freshman Amy Klever recorded her second save after entering the game with two outs in the seventh inning and striking out the final batter.

A LOOK BACK AT NO. 24 MINNESOTA: Oregon State picked up its second win on Saturday at the CSUF Worth Tournament with a 6-2 victory against No. 24 Minnesota. The Beavers scored four runs in the second inning behind an RBI triple from senior Cara Maxey and 3-run home run by Brynnen Guthrie. The Gophers responded with a pair of runs in the fourth inning, but that was as close as they would get as OSU added a run in both the fourth and fifth frames. Guthrie finished the game 1-for-3 with two runs scored and Kelly Petersen went 2-for-4 from the plate. Amy Klever picked up her third win of the season from the circle, pitching for four innings before being relieved by Dena DuBois.

A LOOK BACK AT NO. 7 CAL STATE FULLERTON: Oregon State dropped a 4-1 decision to tournament host CS Fullerton in Sunday's final game of the CSUF Worth Tournament. The Titans got on the board early, scoring two runs in the first inning and adding a third on Krista O-Hanian's home run in the second. The Beavers scored their lone run of the contest when senior Shelly Prochaska singled home Kelly Petersen in the fourth. Amy Klever suffered her first loss of the season after throwing just one inning. Dena DuBois closed out the game, allowing three hits in five innings of relief. Clare Burnum and Steph Adams each recorded a hit in the contest.

TOURNEY TALK: Senior Clare Burnum led the Beavers in batting at the CSUF Worth Tournament, boasting a .357 average and scoring four runs. Burnum picked up a hit in all five tourney games to extend her team-best hitting steak to seven consecutive games. Freshman Vanessa Iapala also performed well at the plate, recording five hits in 15 at-bats for a .333 average. Brynnen Guthrie also posted a +.300 batting average in the five games, hitting .312, with a double, home run, and team-best five RBI. On the weekend, OSU boasted a .244 team batting average while its opponents hit .240. Junior hurler Dena DuBois led the squad in the circle, posting a 1.17 ERA in three appearances. DuBois earned her first win of the season in a 5-4 victory against Purdue on Saturday.

SCORING RUNDOWN: Oregon State has outscored its opponents by a 99-54 margin on the season. The Beavers are averaging 4.3 runs per game and have scored five or more runs in nine of their 23contests on the year. OSU has won six games by five runs or more.

LOVIN' THE LONG BALL: Through the first 23 games of 2003, Oregon State has smashed 21 home runs - the Beavers totaled 17 home runs after 65 games played in 2002. Seven different Beavers have gone deep on the season with senior Cara Maxey and Shelly Prochaska's four homers leading the squad. Maxey belted a pair of home runs and tallied six RBI against Iowa State on Feb. 7, making her just the second player in OSU history to hit two home runs in a single game. Prochaska joined Maxey in the record book when she belted a pair of home runs just two games later against UNLV on Feb. 8. Freshman Adrienne Alo has three home runs this season, while Steph Adams, Clare Burnum, Brynnen Guthrie and Kelly Petersen each have recorded two. Vanessa Iapala and Lisa Allen have both posted one home run so far this season. As a team, Oregon State has belted at least one home run in 10 different games.

BIG NUMBERS: Oregon State has registered big offensive numbers on the season. The Beavers have compiled a 263-166 total base advantage over its opponents. The 263 total bases is more than half of the 522 the 2002 squad recorded. Seniors Shelly Prochaska and Brynnen Guthrie lead the team in total bases, recording 41 and 40, respectively. The Beavers are currently averaging 7.2 hits per game compared to their opponents' 5.3.

FACTS AND FIGURES: Oregon State boasts 10 players that have scored at least five runs on the season... Shelly Prochaska leads the team in batting with .379 average and posts a team-best 20 RBI...Senior Brynnen Guthrie leads the team in runs scored with 17... Clare Burnum currently boasts a team-best seven game hitting streak... Monica Hoffman's 19 appearances and 104.2 innings pitched are the most in the Pac-10...Freshman first baseman Vanessa Iapala has been a part of a conference-leading six double plays... Kelly Petersen leads the Pac-10 in assists with 67... Cara Maxey is tied for the Pac-10 lead with a 1.000 field percentage... Brynnen Guthrie has tallied seven multiple hit games, including six three-hit performances...Four different Beaver players have recorded four RBI in a single game this season...Oregon State boasts a 3-0 record in games played at night...The Beavers are 3-0 in games that are shutouts...Oregon State boasts a 4-4 record against teams ranked in the Top 25...OSU has a 2-1 record against teams ranked No. 20...Oregon State's five triples are tied for the most in the Pac-10...The Beavers' 34 stolen bases rank second in the Pac-10...Oregon State's 95 RBI on the season rank fourth in the Pac-10...The Beavers have been hit by pitch a Pac-10 leading 20 times on the season - the school record is 24, set in 2001.

ON THE BASEPATHS: Senior Cara Maxey is a perfect 9-for-9 on stolen bases this season, ranking fourth in the Pac-10, while sophomore Kelly Petersen's seven swipes rank fifth in the conference. Nine different Oregon State players have tallied at least one steal on the year and as a team, the Beavers are 32-for-43 on stolen base attempts. OSU tallied 41 steals in 59 attempts after 65 games in 2002.

STINGY DEFENSE: Through 23 games the Beavers are holding their opponents to just 2.3 runs per game while scoring 4.3 runs per outing. OSU leads the Pac-10 in putouts (459) and assists (232). Oregon State also leads the conference in runners caught attempting to steal (9). OSU ranks second in the Pac-10 in double plays with seven.

IN THE POLLS: Oregon State remained at No. 17 in the Mar. 5 USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll. All eight Pacific-10 Conference teams appear in the poll with UCLA and Arizona remaining the top two spots, respectively. Washington stays at No. 4 while California slipped to No. 8. Arizona State and Stanford rank No. 11 and No. 12, respectively. Oregon State holds down No. 17 in the poll while Oregon remains at No. 23.

PROCHASKA POWER: Senior catcher Shelly Prochaska went a perfect 4-for-4 from the plate with two home runs and four RBI against UNLV on Feb. 8. Prochaska is one of just five Oregon State players to finish a game a perfect 4-for-4 from the plate - a feat she has accomplished a school record three times in her career. Prochaska currently leads the team in batting with a .379 average. She also ranks first on the squad in home runs (4), RBI (20), slugging percentage (.606), and on base percentage (.449). The senior catcher has posted six multiple hit games and four multiple RBI outings. Prochaska's 92 career RBI moves her into a tie for second place on the Oregon State all-time list. Prochaska has proven to be clutch with runners in scoring position, bringing runners across the plate on 13-of-30 occasions (.433).

GUTHRIE GAB: Senior Brynnen Guthrie continued her solid play at the CSUF Tournament, recording five RBI, a home run and a double. Guthrie is leading the team in multiple statistical categories on the year; ranking first in at-bats (73), runs scored (17), hits (27), doubles (6), total bases (41), and multiple hit games (7). With no runners on base, Guthrie boasts a team-leading .441 batting average (15-for-34).

HOFFMAN HIGHLIGHTS: Junior pitcher Monica Hoffman boasts a 12-5 record on the season for the Beavers. Hoffman's 12 victories and 19 appearances rank first in the Pac-10. Hoffman is just two wins away from matching the number of victories she posted in 2002. Hoffman's 84 strikeouts on the year put her in third place on the OSU career strikeout list with 381. She currently ranks second in the Pac-10 for batters struck out looking with 29. Hoffman ranks sixth on the Oregon State all-time list with 39 career victories and is fifth in career shutouts with 16. On the season she boasts a team-best 1.87 ERA and has pitched more innings than any other pitcher in the Pac-10 (104.2 innings).

FAB FROSH: Freshmen Vanessa Iapala, Adrienne Alo and Lisa Allen have made an immediate impact for the Beavers. Iapala belted a grand slam home run in her first collegiate at bat at the Southern Utah Tournament against BYU on Jan. 31 and currently boasts a .284batting average. The San Diego, CA product is second on the team in doubles with five and tied for third in RBI with 12. Alo is batting .258 in 23 starts on the year. The speedy outfielder is 4-for-6 on the season in stolen bases and tied for third on the squad with 12 RBI. Allen continues her hot hitting with a 10-for-31 effort from the plate for a .323 batting average. Allen is one of just three Beaver players currently hitting above .300 and is batting a team-leading .500 (9-for-18) with runners on base.

RECORD AGAINST RANKED: Oregon State has seen action against eight ranked opponents on the season, posting a 4-4 record. The Beavers most recently encountered three ranked squads at the 2003 CSUF Worth tournament, defeating No. 20 Ohio State and No. 24 Minnesota, before falling to No. 7 CS Fullerton. Currently all eight teams in the Pacific-10 Conference are ranked in the Top 25.

ONE MORE ON THE ROAD: Oregon State wraps up its six-week road tour this weekend at the National Invitational Softball Tournament in Sunnyvale, CA. The Beavers open play in the friendly confines of the OSU Softball Complex on March 15, when they host rival University of Oregon.

SUPER START: Oregon State opened the 2003 season with its hottest start in school history, rattling off eight consecutive wins before falling at the hands of Wisconsin (3-1) on Feb. 9 at the Fiesta Bowl Tournament. The previous best start in school history was held by the 1998 squad, who reeled off six straight wins before falling to UC Santa Barbara, 8-6, on Feb. 14 in the Hawaii Tournament.

FOUR MORE: Oregon State's softball program has made four consecutive NCAA Regional Tournament appearances, recorded four straight 40-plus win seasons and has been ranked in the final Top 25 poll four years in a row.

THE NUMBERS BREAKDOWN: Oregon State returns nine players from last season's squad that finished with a 40-25 overall record and made its fourth consecutive NCAA Regional Tournament appearance. Five seniors, who have contributed in three postseason appearances, dot the roster; Steph Adams, Clare Burnum, Brynnen Guthrie, Cara Maxey, and Shelly Prochaska. Seven newcomers join the mix for 2003.

BATTLING THE TOP 25: Oregon State played 26 games against teams that were ranked in the Top 25 during the 2002 season and garnered victories in eight contests. Thirty-four percent of OSU's opponents (12-of-35) were nationally ranked a year ago. The Beavers held a Top 25 ranking throughout the season. OSU is currently 4-4 in games against Top 25 squads.

PAC-10 POWER: Seven of the eight Pacific-10 Conference squads finished the 2002 season ranked in the final May 6 USA Today/NFCA Poll, a listing follows: 1. California, 2. Arizona , 3. Arizona State, 5. UCLA, 14. Washington 24, Oregon State. For the second consecutive year, the Pac-10 had a pair of teams compete in the Women's College World Series (California and Arizona). California won its first softball national championship in 2002.

PAC-10 COACHES POLL: In a poll voted on by the Pac-10 coaches, Oregon State has been tabbed to finish seventh in the conference. Last year's regular season champion, UCLA, has been picked to finish first.

IN THE DUGOUT: Fifth-year assistant Jenny Condon was promoted to associate head coach during the summer of 2002. Condon helped lead the Beavers to their first NCAA Regional Tournament appearance in 1999. After a one-year stint at UNLV during the 2000 season, Condon rejoined the Beaver staff. Crissy Buck ,a former player for the 1999 NCAA Champion UCLA Bruins, joins the Beavers for her first season as assistant coach. A four-year letterwinner, Buck graduated from UCLA in 2002. Traci Feldt is also a new edition to the coaching staff and joins the team as a student assistant coach for the 2003 season. Feldt has called pitches for three Oregon State no-hitters - the most of any Beaver catcher.

THE WORD ON WALKER: Head coach Kirk Walker is in his ninth 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 led the Beavers to four consecutive NCAA Regional Tournament appearances. The winningest coach in program history, Walker, has an overall coaching record of 271-240-3 and a 59-138 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, and has 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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