No. 23 Softball Stuns Top-Ranked UCLA, 3-2

March 14, 2004

FRESNO, Calif. - The No. 23 ranked Oregon State softball team used a two-out seventh inning rally to upset top-ranked UCLA by a 3-2 margin on Sunday afternoon at the Clovis Auto Row Classic hosted by Fresno State University. The Beavers (24-8) recorded just their sixth all-time victory against the Bruins (25-1) and gave UCLA its first loss of the 2004 season.

'This was a great all-around ballgame,' said OSU head coach Kirk Walker. 'The outcome makes it even more special. Our team showed a lot of character and maturity.'

UCLA broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the seventh inning when Andrea Duran sent a two-out, full-count pitch just fair down the left field line for her fifth home run of the year, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead.

Oregon State freshman Natalie Johnson led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a single, and would advance to second on a sacrifice bunt by Adrienne Alo. A ground-out by Mia Longfellow gave the Bruins the second out of the inning, but advanced Johnson to third base. The freshman scored easily on the next at-bat, when junior Kelly Petersen singled to left. Vanessa Iapala then pushed a single into shallow right center field and gave the Beavers runners on first and second with two outs. Freshman Brianne McGowan then stepped to the plate and hit a flair into shallow center field. With the base runners on the move, Petersen was able to beat the throw in from the outfield and scored the game-winning run.

'Brianne had the biggest hit of her career,' said Walker. 'We had great intensity from our entire bench throughout the game, with Dena DuBois leading the way.'

The Bruins hold a 65-6 advantage in the all-time series with Oregon State, but the Beavers have recorded all six victories under the direction of Walker, a UCLA graduate.

UCLA took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Caitlin Benyi led off the game with a solo home run to left-center field.

The Beavers looked to counter in the bottom half of the frame when Alo reached on a Bruin error and Longfellow followed with an infield single, but UCLA hurler Lisa Dodd (10-1) retired the next three batters to put an end to the threat.

OSU knotted things up in the bottom of the third when Alo drew a walk to lead off the inning. After advancing to second on a sacrifice from Longfellow, Alo came around to score on a two-out double to right-center by Iapala.

'Vanessa came through big for us again,' said Walker.

Iapala finished the game with a 2-for-4 effort from the plate, while freshman Sherina Galvan went 2-for-3. Iapala earned All-Tournament honors after finishing OSU's six games with a .474 batting average (9-for-19), four doubles and six RBI.

UCLA loaded the bases in the fifth inning but Beaver senior hurler Monica Hoffman worked her way out of a jam by forcing Clare Sua to ground out and end the inning.

'Monica pitched great,' said Walker. 'She was able to get out of some big situations with some of their better hitters at the plate.'

Hoffman finished with six strikeouts and the Beavers out-hit the Bruins by an 8-4 margin.

Both teams performed well defensively throughout the game.

UCLA's Duran made a diving catch of a foul ball to start the fifth inning. From there, Alo was hit by a pitch and stole second base before Longfellow hit into a fielders choice where the Bruins were unsuccessful in trying to get the out on Alo at second base. A ground-out by Iapala for the second out of the inning advanced the runners to second and third, but the Beavers were unable to push a run across, leaving the score tied at 1-1.

OSU shined defensively in the seventh when Benyi sent a flair to left field that was snagged on the run by Longfellow for the second out in the inning.

After playing 32 games away from Corvallis, Oregon State takes a week off for finals before opening action on Sunday at the OSU Softball Complex with a double-header against Kansas. Game-one is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

GAME RESULTS:

Oregon State 3, UCLA 2 (Mar 14, 2004 at Fresno, Calif.)----------------------------------------------------------------------UCLA................ 100 000 1 -  2  4  1      (25-1)Oregon State........ 001 000 2 -  3  8  0      (24-8)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: UCLA - Dodd. Oregon State - Hoffman.Win-Hoffman(13-5)  Loss-Dodd(10-1)  T-2:17  A-0HR UCLA - Benyi (10); Duran (5).
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