Softball Takes Top-Ranked Arizona 11 Innings Before Dropping Heartbreaker, 6-4

April 27, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State's softball squad went head-to-head with top-ranked University of Arizona for 11-innings, before suffering at heartbreaking 6-4 loss as Mackenzie Vandergeest belted a two-out home run to give the Wildcats the victory on Sunday afternoon at the OSU Softball Complex.

Oregon State (29-24; 3-12 Pac-10) became just the second team this season to record 10 hits against the No. 1 Wildcats (45-4; 14-1 Pac-10) and the Beavers' four runs scored were the third-most by any team against Arizona.

The 3 hour and 15 minute contest saw 26 hits and 10 runs scored before Vandergeest's two-out two-run blast in the top of the 11th.Arizona started the game with a run in the second inning as Jackie Coburn's double to right-center field sparked a two-out rally. Crystal Farley's bloop single to shallow left field plated Coburn, giving the Wildcats a 1-0 advantage.

The Beavers used a two-out rally of their own in the bottom of the third inning to knot the score at 1-1, when senior Clare Burnum went deep over the straightaway center field fence. Brynnen Guthrie recorded her second hit of the contest and Adrienne Alo's infield single put runners on first and second, but Arizona ace Alicia Hollowell forced Shelly Prochaska to groundout to end the inning.

The Beavers got back-to-back doubles from Guthrie and Alo in the fifth inning to pull in front by a 3-1 margin.

Vandergeest pulled UA within one after leading off the sixth inning with home run off the scoreboard in left field, and the Wildcats took advantage of two Beaver errors in the top of the seventh that led to an Arizona score, sending the game into extra innings.

Arizona managed to get on the board in its third consecutive inning with a run in the top of the eighth behind a groundout from Farley that plated Coburn. But the Beavers responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning to stay alive and send the game into the ninth tied at 4-4.

Petersen led-off the OSU eighth with a double off the fence in right-center field and scored the game-tying run when freshman Vanessa Iapala roped an RBI double to right.

Neither team crossed the plate in the ninth and 10th frames as Beaver starter Amy Klever continued to keep the Arizona hitters at bay, until the blast from Vandergeest in the 11th.

Hollowell retired nine straight batters to close out the contest, including striking out the side in the 11th en route to her 30th win of the season.

Klever (7-7) allowed just four earned runs while striking out five batters in 11 innings of work.

'It was a great ballgame,' said OSU head coach Kirk Walker. 'Amy (Klever) pitched a superb game. She definitely threw well enough to beat them. There were just a few mistakes that they jumped on, but overall it was a very sound performance.'

Guthrie led the Beavers with a 3-for-5 effort from the plate, while Alo and Iapala both added two hits each.

'Offensively, Kelly (Petersen) had a big hit with the double in the eighth inning, Clare's (Burnum) home run and Vanessa's (Iapala) double were all highlights,' said Walker. 'It's exciting to see us put a lot of runs and hits on the board against a great pitcher.'

Oregon State returns to action on Thursday when the Beavers travel to Portland State University for a non-conference double-header against the Vikings. Game-one is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.

GAME RESULTS:
No. 1 Arizona - 010 001 110 02 - 6 13 1
Oregon State - 001 020 010 00 - 4 10 4
Klever and Prochaska (OSU), Hollowell and Vandergeest (UA). WP - Hollowell (30-3). LP - Klever (7-7). 2B - Coburn (UA), Ribellia (UA), Guthrie (OSU), Alo (OSU), Petersen (OSU), Iapala (OSU). HR - Burnum (OSU), Vandergeest, 2 (UA).

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