No. 2 Seeded Softball Eliminated From NCAA Regional Tournament

May 18, 2002

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The No. 2 seeded Oregon State softball squad lost a pair of games on Saturday to be eliminated from the NCAA Regional Tournament. The Beavers fell to No. 1 seed Nebraska, 7-0, and dropped an elimination round contest against No. 3 seeded University of Notre Dame, 2-0. OSU finished the 2002 season with a 40-25 overall record - its fourth consecutive 40-win season - and made its fourth-straight postseason berth.

The Beavers graduate five seniors who brought a great deal of success to the program. Pitcher Crystal Draper, first baseman Jenni Jodoin, catcher Traci Feldt, and outfielders Michelle Chariton and Michelle Notaro finished their career as the first Oregon State class to earn four trips to NCAA Regional Tournament.

'It's a unique group of seniors,' said Walker. 'Crystal re-wrote our record book in many ways and will be a tough person to replace...not only on the field but also her personality. Jenni's story is very special, for her to leave school for a year and then come back and play basketball to be on scholarship. She missed half of our season but finished so strong. The last 10 or 12 games of the year she had a lot of hits and was playing really well, it was very special.'

'Traci, Idaho (Michelle Chariton) and Notaro (Michelle Notaro) are so special,' said a moved Walker. 'It's a tough loss, very tough.'

Juniors Brynnen Guthrie and Steph Adams expressed nothing but admiration for the five seniors.

'They are our mentors,' said Guthrie. 'They've shown us how to become leaders and how to become the next generation of Beaver softball - I couldn't have asked for a better group to show me what to do.'

'I couldn't have played alongside better athletes with better attitudes or with better intensity,' said Adams. 'Like Brynnen said, 'they are our mentors' and we can only hope to bring what they have this year.'

The first game shaped up to be a pitcher's dual for the first two innings but the Cornhuskers took advantage of three back-to-back two-out singles to earn a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Nebraska added its first run on an infield single by Kim Ogee. Ogee hit a shot up the middle that Guthrie fielded but slipped while making the throw to first base and Ogee was called safe, allowing pinch runner Anne Steffan to score. The Huskers added another run on Amanda Buchholz's single to left.

Nebraska pitcher Peaches James kept the Beaver batters on their heals, allowing just a pair of hits on the day. Guthrie singled for the Beavers to breakup a no-hitter in the fourth inning while Adams added a hit in her first at bat.

Monica Hoffman started in the circle for Oregon State and had retired seven-straight with five consecutive strikeouts before the Nebraska batters found the range in the third inning.

Kristen Hunter entered the game in relief to finish the third but lasted just one frame as Nebraska used five hits and took advantage of an error to score four runs in the fourth inning and extend its lead.

In the nightcap, Draper dominated the contest, as she has throughout her career in big games, but the Beaver offense was only able to muster a pair of hits when Feldt and freshman Kelly Petersen put together back-to-back two-out shots during the fifth inning.

'This time of the year you'd rather be lucky than good - there's no doubt, because everyone is good,' said Walker. 'You want to get breaks and you want to get those opportunities to make something happen. Our offense was struggling but we were getting some breaks and had some luck going our way - it just wasn't there today and that was the difference.'

Irish catcher Jarrah Myers belted a two-run home run over the left field wall in the sixth to provide all of the game's scoring.

'Crystal threw well and really shutdown their offense, it was just one mistake pitch to a great hitter,' said Walker.

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