18th-ranked Softball Splits Final Two Games At UNLV Tourney

Feb. 17, 2002

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - -

Facing its first two ranked opponents of the season, the 18th-ranked Oregon State softball team (12-2 overall, 0-0 Pac-10) split its final two games of the UNLV Softball Classic, offing No. 13 Alabama 2-1 Saturday night and losing a Sunday morning contest 3-1 to No. 12 Nebraska.

OSU ran its winning streak to 12 with its win over Alabama, tying the school record and getting off to its best start in school history at 12-1.

Against Alabama, freshman shortstop Kelly Petersen broke open a scoreless ballgame in the bottom of the fifth when she drove in junior third baseman Clare Burnum and junior first baseman/catcher Shelly Prochaska with a two-out double to left-center to give the Beavers what proved to be the winning runs.

OSU survived a scare in the seventh, when the Crimson Tide put one run on the board and had the winning run on second with two outs, but senior Crystal Draper slammed the door shut with a strikeout to end the threat.

OSU had a chance to break the ice early, when the Beavers loaded the bases with no outs in the first but were unable to bring anyone in.

Kristen Hunter started the game and was charged with one run on five hits in 6 1/3 innings while striking out seven before Draper came on in relief.

'This was a huge game,' eighth-year OSU coach Kirk Walker said. 'It was pretty intense. We hit extremely well today, we had runners on in every inning, and had the bases loaded in the first but didn't get any runs. We were hitting shots off of their All-American (Shelley Laird). Kelly Petersen came up with a huge two-out double that broke it open in the fifth.

'Kristen Hunter threw a phenomenal game,' Walker said of the junior transfer from Fresno State. 'She shut down their offense and kept them off balance.

'This was a very nice win, especially since they knocked us out of the NCAA Tournament last year.'

In Sunday's game, the Beavers jumped out to an early 1-0 advantage over No. 12 Nebraska thanks to a RBI single by Petersen that brought in Burnum.

The Beavers, who outhit the Cornhuskers 4-3, lost intensity as the game went on, according to Walker, and gave up a run in the fourth and two in the fifth to seal their fate.

Crystal Draper started and allowed one run in 3 2/3 innings before Monica Hoffman came out of the bullpen in relief. Hoffman then surrendered the final two runs before Hunter came on to pitch the final 2 1/3 in perfect fashion while striking out four.

'This was a tough game,' Walker said. 'We started off up, focused and intense, but ended up getting outplayed intensity-wise later in the game. We had runners on base with opportunities to bring them in, but didn't do it. We had a chance to really put the pressure on them.

'We had lost our momentum by the time Kristen Hunter came in, and we couldn't get it going late in the game. It was a disappointing loss - we felt like we should have competed better.'

Nine different Beavers had hits in the two games, including Petersen, who drove in all three OSU runs on 2-for-6 hitting.

Oregon State's next action is at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga., Feb. 22-24. OSU opens with Texas A&M and Notre Dame on Friday.


Alabama 000 000 1 - 1 5 0

Oregon State 000 020 x - 2 9 0

Laird and Prejean. Hunter, Draper (7), and Feldt. WP- Hunter (4-1). LP- Laird. Save- Draper (1). 2B- Petersen (OSU), Feldt (OSU), Mendoza (OSU).


Nebraska 000 120 0 - 3 3 2

Oregon State 100 000 0 - 1 4 1

James and Burgess. Draper, Hoffman (4), Hunter (5) and Prochaska, Feldt. WP- James (3-3). LP- Hoffman (2-1).

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