Softball Senior Profile -- Clare Burnum
April 24, 2003
CORVALLIS, Ore. - After transferring from Nebraska in 2000, senior third baseman Clare Burnum has been a standout performer in her three seasons at Oregon State. Burnum became OSU's all-time doubles leader earlier this season and enters the week with 42 two-basers in her career. As of late, Burnum has been on an offensive tear, hitting home runs in three consecutive games, including a walk-off grand slam, and batting .778 (7-for-9) with five runs scored.
A native of Canby, OR, Burnum currently boasts a .290 batting average and leads the Beavers with 32 runs scored on the season. This 2002 second team All-Pacific-10 Conference performer has her name listed in the OSU record books in six different career batting categories. When she puts down her bat for the final time at the end of May, Burnum's confident presence will be missed in the OSU line-up but will help bring her success in her chosen career of law enforcement.
Burnum is one of five seniors on the Beavers' softball roster - a group of individuals that have helped re-write the OSU record book throughout their careers.
A weekly player profile will highlight each of the Beaver seniors through the end of the season and give you an inside look at five outstanding individuals.
The following is a question and answer session with Clare Burnum after a recent practice:
Q. How long have you been playing softball and what do you enjoy most about the sport?
A. I started playing softball when I was 10. It's fun to play. The friendships that you make and the people you meet from different cities and states are the neatest part about it.
Q. You attended University of Nebraska for a year. What made you decide to go to Nebraska?
A. I chose Nebraska because I went on my visit and was overwhelmed by everything the athletes got, and being in a big city - not a town like Canby (Oregon). It was just so much bigger, there were so many more people, and I had so much more freedom than I was used to - it was just awesome, especially for a 17-year-old. But when I was there it really didn't pan-out like it did on the visit.
Q. Why did you decide to transfer to Oregon State?
A. I was originally recruited here and had friends on the team. My boyfriend at the time went to Oregon State and I just wanted to be closer to home. I actually thought about trying to walk-on the volleyball team instead of playing softball. I played softball that summer though, and it kind of rekindled my 'love for the game', so I went back to softball.
Q. (OSU head coach) Kirk Walker says you are one of the best third basemen in the Pac-10. What do you think it takes to be good at third?
A. I think you have to have some guts. I don't know what to call it, but I guess you have to have a mean-streak. You have to get into peoples' faces and you have to risk yourself at times to be able to take away bunts and hard shots. I think it takes a different type of player to play third and first then it does the other positions.
Q. At third, you're one of the closest players to the batter. Do you ever get scared when a pitch is thrown down the middle?
A. Yes, depending on the hitter - and our conference has a lot. I always tell Kelly (Petersen) to let me know when certain signals are on and I try to pay attention to how our pitchers throw certain batters so I know what to expect. I get nervous some of the time on certain people that I have to play up close, but you have to relax, otherwise you'll just get hit in the face!
Q. What has been your most memorable moment over your career at Oregon State?
A. There have been some good ones lately, but I'd have to say opening day at our field (April 20, 2001) when I had two RBIs in our victory against No. 1 UCLA. That's something I will probably never forget, but the people that I've met not only on my team but at other schools through playing in the Pac-10 and the friendships I've made have been the best part of it.
Q. You've accomplished numerous things while playing here, becoming the school's all-time doubles leader, the single-season doubles leader, hitting a walk-off grand slam. Is there anything you haven't accomplished that you'd like to before the end of the season?
A. After reading Brynnen's (Guthrie) profile I thought about that question and I wanted to hit a home run at our field - but I've done that now. (Burnum hit a walk-off grand slam to end game-one of a double-header with Portland State on April 22, 2003, and hit another home run in her next plate appearance while leading off game-two). But, I've always wanted to be the Pac-10 Player of the Week. I've wanted to have one weekend where I did better than all of the players in a really good conference. It might not be the best goal, but I think it's attainable.
Q. What do you see yourself doing after you graduate from Oregon State?
A. I will be doing practicum for my degree at the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office in Oregon City and will be working with juveniles as a court counselor. I'll be living at my mom's house in Mollala and will probably find another job. I'll just go from there. I don't know if I will go to a police academy or if I'll just stick with juveniles and work as a court counselor. I'm going to coach softball though, and want to start my own business with giving lessons. I've been joking with my mom and dad that I'm going to take up rodeo now, and move on and master another sport. My step-dad does pro rodeo so we have all of the facilities to do it...rodeo is my next adventure!
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