No. 16 Softball Falls Short, 2-1, To No. 2 Arizona

April 28, 2002

TUCSON, Ariz. - The No. 16 ranked Oregon State softball team fell just short, dropping Sunday's Pac-10 contest to No. 2 Arizona, 2-0.

With the loss the Beavers fall to 35-18 overall and 6-9 in the Pac-10 while the Wildcats improve to 44-7 overall and 11-3 in conference play.

Oregon State pitcher Crystal Draper and Arizona hurler Jenny Gladding were in control of the game from the start, allowing just one hit each over the first three innings of action.

OSU threatened in the fourth inning with a pair of baserunners but couldn't get any runs across the plate. Junior Brynnen Guthrie slapped her second hit of the game to shortstop with one-out in the frame and cleanup batter Jessica King reached on a throwing error to put two aboard. Gladding threw 12 pitches to Traci Feldt before the OSU catcher flied out to left field and the rally ended when Shelly Prochaska's fly ball was snagged by rightfielder Candace Abrams.

The Wildcats took the lead in the bottom half of the fourth when Jennie Finch sent the first pitch of the inning over the left field wall for her second home run in as many games against the Beavers. UA leads the Pac-10 with 79 long balls on the year.

Oregon State evened things up in the fifth. For the second consecutive inning, Arizona made an error on a Beaver sacrifice bunt attempt, putting two OSU runners on base, and this time the Beavers capitalized. Freshman Alana Mendoza led-off the frame with a walk and Jenni Jodoin reached base after second baseman Lisha Ribellia misplayed a throw at first. Kelly Petersen followed with another sacrifice attempt but the Wildcats threw out the lead runner on the play, placing runners on first and second with one-out. Junior third baseman Clare Burnum stepped to the plate and roped her 15th double of the season, sending a shot over the UA centerfielder's head and knotting the score.

Burnum's one-out RBI forced the Wildcats to bring Finch in the game to pitch in relief, and the UA ace ended the Oregon State threat.

Arizona added what proved to be the game-winner in the bottom of the fifth. Lovieanne Jung drew a two-out walk and stole second base to get into scoring position. Courtney Fossatti followed with a shallow single to centerfield that plated Jung.

Jodoin's one-out single in the seventh put the tying runner on base but Finch retired the next two players to end the game.

Draper threw well, allowing just five Arizona hits while striking out seven. Guthrie finished 2-for-3 from the plate.

Oregon State makes the flight home tonight to host a double-header with Portland State on Monday. Game-one starts at 2 p.m. at the OSU Softball Complex.

No. 16 Oregon State - 000 010 0 - 1 4 1
No. 2 Arizona - 000 110 x - 2 5 2
Draper and Feldt (OSU), Gladding, Finch (5) and Vandergeest (UA). WP - Finch (25-2), LP - Hunter (11-6). 2B - Burnum (OSU). HR - Finch (UA).

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