No. 14 Ranked Softball Opens Pac-10 Action Against Oregon

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March 28, 2002



Friday, March 29, 2002
Oregon at OSU - 2 p.m. PST, Corvallis, OR

Saturday, March 30, 2002
Oregon at OSU - 2 p.m. PST, Corvallis, OR
(Fox Sports Northwest)

SCOUTING OREGON: Oregon brings an 18-9 overall record into Friday's Pacific-10 Conference opener against Oregon State. The Ducks have won two-straight after sweeping a double-header with UNLV on Tuesday. Senior hurler Connie McMurren threw her first career no-hitter against the Rebels and the Ducks took advantage of a pair of home runs to win 5-0. Andrea Vidlund, a pitcher/outfielder leads the squad with a .412 batting average on 33-for-80 hitting. She also has a team-best seven homeruns and 31 RBI. Anissa Meashintubby leads the Ducks from the circle with a 1.70 ERA. Six UO players bat above .300, while the team hits at a .290 clip. Duck opponents are batting just .249.

CIVIL WAR SERIES NUMBERS: Against Oregon - OSU's longest running opponent at 136 games - the Beavers are 64-71-1, and 16-12-1 under Walker. OSU owns an eight-game winning streak against the Ducks - dating back to May 15, 1999 - which includes a three-game sweep in 2001 by a combined score of 23-5.

BEAVERS AND DUCKS LAST TIME OUT: In last season's April 24 Civil War game in Corvallis, Oregon State senior Shawna Feldt blasted the first-ever home run in the OSU Softball Complex with a 3-run shot in the first inning. With the score knotted at 3-3, OSU's Steph Adams sent a seventh inning, two-out, 3-2 pitch over the left field wall for the game-winner.

PAC-10 OPENER: Oregon State has not won a Pacific-10 Conference opener since the 1998 season when the Beavers beat Arizona State, 2-0, on Mar. 28, in Corvallis.

STRIKE OUT CANCER: Oregon State will host Strike Out Cancer Days on Friday and Saturday when the Beavers face in-state rival University of Oregon. Strike Out Cancer is a program sponsored by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) in an effort to raise funds and awareness in the fight against cancer. 2001 marked the first full year of the Strike Out Cancer program and NFCA member schools raised a total of $39,000. Donations during the Civil War games will be taken to local American Cancer Society's Linn-Benton Relay for Life which is located in Eugene. Those contributing $10 or more will be eligible for an array of prizes from the OSU Athletic Department.

TV TIME: The Oregon State-Oregon Civil War game on Saturday, Mar. 30, at 2 p.m. will be televised on a tape-delayed basis by Fox Sports Northwest. The game broadcast will air at 12 p.m. on Sunday, Mar. 31. Scott Lynn will provide the play-by-play with Elise Woodward adding the color commentary.

LOOKING BACK AT SAN JOSE STATE: Oregon State opened up its home-campaign at the OSU Softball Complex with a double-header sweep of San Jose State University on Monday. OSU hurler Crystal Draper struck out nine in a complete game, 1-0 victory in the opener. With the contest scoreless, Shelly Prochaska drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the seventh inning that allowed Miranda Dellinger to score the game-winner. OSU pounded 10 hits, by nine different players in the nightcap and took advantage of five singles to score four runs in the third inning, en route to a 6-1 victory. Clare Burnum led the Beavers with a 5-for-8 effort on the day, including her 11th double of the season.

LOOKING BACK AT UNLV: Timely hitting and a bases loaded walk helped Oregon State escape with a 1-0 victory against UNLV on Wednesday afternoon. Junior Clare Burnum's one-out double in the sixth inning helped spark the OSU offense. Senior Michelle Chariton, who had two of OSU's three hits on the day, crossed the plate as the game-winning run when freshman Kelly Petersen drew a two-out, full-count walk. Monica Hoffman allowed just three hits in the contest to improve to 9-4 on the year.

SCHEDULE NOTES: Oregon State has rescheduled a double-header with Portland State University on April 9, in Corvallis with game one starting at 2 p.m. The Beavers will face Oregon in Eugene on April 2, after the contest was halted in the bottom of the first inning due to snow on Mar. 16. The Civil War game will pick-up where it left off, with the Ducks at bat in the bottom of the first, one-out, and a runner on second base. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Beavers play 16 home games this year, including 10 of their next 11. OSU opened home action with a double-header sweep of San Jose State on Monday and a 1-0 victory against UNLV on Wednesday. Oregon State wrapped up its first season of play at the OSU Softball Complex with a 7-2 record in 2001 including five victories against Top-25 teams (No. 1 UCLA, No. 4 Stanford, No. 6 California (2) and No. 12 Washington). OSU has a current eight-game winning streak in Corvallis.

STREAKS TO WATCH: Sophomore pitcher Monica Hoffman has not allowed an earned run in 26 consecutive innings ... Junior third baseman Clare Burnum has a current five-game hitting streak ... As a team, Oregon State is 10-0 in games that Monica Hoffman starts on the mound ... OSU has won eight-straight games at the OSU Softball Complex, including five-straight against Pac-10 opponents.

BURNED 'UM: Junior Clare Burnum led the Beavers with a .600 batting average (6-for-10) in this week's opening three games at the OSU Softball Complex. Burnum belted a pair of doubles and stole a base while leading the squad with a .636 on base percentage. Her one-out double down the leftfield line helped spark the Beavers' offense in their 1-0 victory against UNLV and according to the Rebels' Sports Information Director, Burnum wins the award for 'Best Name for a Leadoff Hitter.'

HITTIN' THEM IN: Junior second baseman Brynnen Guthrie leads Oregon State in RBI after 36 games, driving in 20 runs while batting .333 (40-120), with a team-best four home runs. She is tied with Clare Burnum for the lead in runs scored with 23, and is tops on the squad with 120 at-bats.

GOOD EYE: Junior Shelly Prochaska leads the Beavers with 18 walks on the season. Prochaska has reached base on four balls, 60 times in her career, ranking third in the OSU record book. Her walk against San Jose State in the seventh inning on Monday, forced the winning run across the plate for the Beavers.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Junior third baseman Clare Burnum leads the Beavers in doubles with 12 on the year, moving into a tie for fourth place in the OSU record book with 24 doubles in her career. The Canby, Ore., native has equaled the school record of two doubles in a game twice already this year, doing so in wins over San Diego and St. Mary's (Calif.). The Beavers have four active players among the top six on the career doubles list, senior first baseman Jenni Jodoin (26), junior third baseman Clare Burnum (24), junior outfielder Steph Adams (24), junior catcher/dp Shelly Prochaska (23), are third-through sixth.

TRIPLE TIME: Clare Burnum tied a school record when she hit two triples in a 5-0 win over San Jose State on March 3 at the Fullerton Worth Tournament. Andrea Talcott set the original record on April 2, 1993 against Stanford. The triples were the first of the season for Burnum, she now has five for her career at OSU.

CLUTCH HITTING: Senior Traci Feldt and freshman Kelly Petersen each have 13 two-out RBI on the season. Junior Clare Burnum leads the Beavers with a .400 (12-for-30) batting average with two-outs.

ON THE BASEPATHS: Senior Michelle Chariton is tied for the team-lead with four stolen bases on the season. Chariton ranks in third place in the OSU record book with 29 steals in her career. The Boise, ID, native needs just four swipes to surpass Lianne Watanabe (1984-87) and become the Beavers' all-time leader. Last season, Chariton led Oregon State with a perfect 13-for-13 mark on stolen bases, setting the OSU single-season record for swipes.

THE MORE, THE MERRIER: Brynnen Guthrie and Clare Burnum each have more hits than games played this season. Guthrie leads the team with 40 hits in 36 games, including a team-best four homeruns while Burnum has tallied 38 hits on the year, including 12 doubles.

DRAPER DOMINANCE: Senior pitcher Crystal Draper ranks as the Oregon State career leader for strikeouts with 721. Draper has struckout 130 batters this season, ranking fourth in the Pac-10. Her five complete games on the year have moved her into third place in the OSU record book with 68 complete games. Her 69 victories are second only to All-American Tarrah Beyster (91). On the season, Draper has a 9-2 record with a 1.48 ERA.

HOFFMAN HIGHLIGHTS: Sophomore hurler Monica Hoffman leads the Beavers with a 0.79 ERA and has not allowed an earned run in 26 consecutive innings. Hoffman has thrown a pair of no-hitters, including a perfect game, within six days of each other earlier this season. She's tied for first in the Pac-10 for games finished in relief with 12.

WELCOME BACK: The Beavers opened their season with six straight weeks on the road at various tournaments, which works out to 33 games. After starting the home-campaign this week with three victories, the Beavers play 10 of their next 11 games in the friendly confines of the OSU Softball Complex.

FRESHMAN INFLUENCE: Four freshmen have seen action so far this year. Kelly Petersen has started all 36 games and done a good job of filling the shoes of former three-time All-Pac-10 shortstop Shawna Feldt. Petersen is batting .262 with four doubles and 16 RBI. Petersen also sported the longest hitting streak of the season for the Beavers, at 10 games. Alana Mendoza has started 31 of 33 games at left field, second base and designated hitter. Mendoza is batting .286 and ranks third on the squad with seven multiple-hit games. Miranda Dellinger has seen limited action at the plate (2-for-4), but has appeared in 17 games, mostly as a pinch runner, while pitcher Kathryn Neufeld has a 2.10 ERA in 3 1/3 innings of work.

NOW THAT'S BALANCE: Oregon State boasts one of the toughest pitching rotations in the country, and all three significant contributors - Monica Hoffman, Kristen Hunter and Crystal Draper - have recorded nine victories on the season. Hoffman entered the week ranked sixth in the Pac-10 for ERA and leads the Beavers with a 0.79 mark. Hunter holds a 1.44 ERA while Draper rounds out the squad allowing just 1.48 earned runs per outing and leads the team with 130 strikeouts.

GETTING THE 'K': Oregon State's pitching staff has an incredible 299-53 strikeout-to-walk ratio entering the weekend. Senior hurler Crystal Draper leads the way with a 130-10 ratio. Draper has not allowed a walk over the last 12 innings of action. Junior Kristen Hunter boasts a 72-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio while sophomore Monica Hoffman has a 97-27 mark.

BEATING THE COMPETITION: Oregon State has a significant advantage over its opponents in several categories:
- Team batting average: .277-.165
- Runs scored: 131-63
- Hits: 260-146
- RBI: 113-51
- Total bases: 341-220
- Walks: 83-53
- On base percentage: .339-.221
- Earned run average: 1.20-2.92
- Strikeouts (pitching): 299-129

MAKING THE START: Junior Clare Burnum and freshman Kelly Petersen are the only players to start all 36 games at the same position. Burnum has anchored third base and Petersen has performed well at shortstop.

OWNING THE MIDDLE INNINGS: OSU has outscored opponents 45-7 in the third and fourth innings, and has a 131-63 advantage in total runs on the season.

NO EXTRA INNINGS, JUST BIG WINS: Oregon State fields just a 1-4 record in games that have gone an extra frame. The Beavers have been outscored 5-0 in the ninth inning. OSU is 7-0 however, in contests decided by five runs or more.

DOUBLE-DUTY: Senior first baseman Jenni Jodoin rejoins the softball team full time after completing competition with the OSU women's basketball team on Mar. 17. The two-sport athlete saw action in 15 basketball games, knocking down 4-of-8 field goals and 7-of-9 free throws, while pulling down 13 rebounds. Jodoin ranks among the OSU softball career leaders in several statistical categories, including second in RBI with 90 and tied for second with 14 home runs. Jodoin has played in 23 games entering Friday's Pac-10 opener.

PAC-10 POWER: Seven of the eight Pacific-10 Conference squads are ranked in the March 24 USA Today/NFCA Poll as follows: 1. UCLA (26), 2. Arizona (1), 3. Stanford, 6. Arizona State, 8. California, 12. Washington 14. Oregon State.

FACING THE BEST: So far this season Oregon State is 4-3 against opponents ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Poll Top-25. OSU finished the 2001 campaign with a 12-16-1 record against nationally ranked opponents. Of the Beavers' 69 games in 2001, 29 (42-percent), were against top-25 squads.

THEY'RE BAAACK: Of last year's 15 letterwinners, 13 returned to the squad this year, along with seven newcomers. Seven of OSU's nine starters from last year are back as well.

IN THE DUGOUT: Fourth-year assistant coach Jenny Condon is back at Oregon State after a one-year stint at UNLV during the 2000 season. Condon helped lead the Beavers to their first NCAA Regional Tournament appearance in 1999. Heather Smith is back for her third season on the sidelines as an assistant after finishing her playing career with Oregon State in 1999. Shawna Feldt returns to OSU as a student assistant coach after completing her standout career last season. The former shortstop, who ranks as OSU's all-time leader in runs scored, was a three-time All-Pac-10 selection and ranks in Oregon State's career top 10 in eight different batting categories.

THE WORD ON WALKER: Head coach Kirk Walker is in his eighth 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 an overall coaching record of 242-219-3 and a 52-124 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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