Vanessa Iapala Blasts 7th Inning Two-Out Walk-Off Home Run As No. 3 Seeded Softball Wins, 1-0, To Force Another Championship Game Against Top-Seed Michigan
May 23, 2004
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Sophomore Vanessa Iapala belted a two-out walk-off seventh inning home run to lead No. 3 seeded Oregon State University past top-seeded University of Michigan, 1-0, in Sunday's NCAA Regional Championship, forcing another championship game with the winning team advancing to the Women's College World Series.
The game shaped up to be a pitcher's dual from the start between Oregon State (44-27) senior hurler Monica Hoffman and Michigan (53-11) sophomore Jennie Ritter.
The Wolverines started the game with back-to-back singles, but Hoffman worked her way out of a bases loaded jam to send the Beavers to the plate.
OSU struggled to get things going offensively, managing just one hit, a single by Lisa Allen, over the course of the contest until Iapala blasted her 10th home run of the season, sending the first pitch of she saw over the center field fence for the game-winner.
Ritter had retired 16 straight batters before Iapala's blast.
Michigan didn't fare much better offensively, as Hoffman ended both the third and fourth innings with strikeouts and retired the Wolverines in order in the fourth and fifth.
Hoffman earned the complete game victory for her 22nd win of the year and has tallied 32 strikeouts and just one walk in tournament action.
The win marked Oregon State's first-ever victory against Michigan (5-1).
No. 6 Michigan - 000 000 0 - 0 4 0
No. 20 Oregon State - 000 000 1 - 1 2 1
Hoffman and Allen (OSU), Ritter and Schock (UM). WP - Hoffman (22-17). LP - Ritter (24-7). HR - Iapala (OSU).