CORVALLIS, Ore. - With the sun shining on a picture-perfect day at the diamond, the Oregon State softball team and NPF All-Stars squared off in an exciting exhibition contest on Sunday afternoon in front of hundreds of fans at the OSU Softball Complex, with Team NPF eventually claiming a 2-0 victory.
Prior to the game, nearly 100 young players participated in a skills camp, learning the ins and outs of softball from some of the sport's greats with help from current Beaver student-athletes.
"It was a great day all around," Oregon State head coach Kirk Walker said. "It meant a lot to have the NPF All-Stars here and it was definitely a great experience for the girls who participated in the clinic to be able to receive instruction from those who play the game professionally."
Following the clinic the two squads played a close game, with Team NPF breaking through late for a 2-0 win.
Lisa Norris (Akron Racers/North Carolina) and Danielle Lawrie (USSSA Florida Pride/Washington) combined to hold the Beavers to just two hits as the All-Stars upped their record in the Pacific Northwest to 2-0, coming off a 1-0 win against the Washington Huskies on Saturday.
Despite the result, a young Oregon State squad equipped themselves well against their professional counterparts, especially on defense.
In the top of the fifth, Brittany McKinney (NPF Diamonds/North Carolina) hit a rocket out toward the left field fence, but a lunging grab by Lea Cavestany prevented extra bases and kept the game scoreless. The very next batter, Jamee Juarez (Chicago Bandits/Ohio State) singled, but was gunned down by catcher Ally Kutz trying to steal second base.
Already holding a 2-0 advantage, in the top of the seventh inning Juarez tried to score from second base on a hit to center field by Roya St. Clair (Akron Racers/Michigan), but freshman Dani Gilmore fired a strike to home, Kutz sealed off the plate and put the tag on Juarez for the out.
"I thought we played very well, especially defensively, and got out of some jams thanks to our arms in the field," Walker said. "We had some trouble getting it going offensively, but that will happen when you play a team like the NPF All-Stars. There are a ton of positives we can take from this entire day as we prepare for the spring."
Cavestany hit a bloop single in the fifth and Hannah Bouska laid down a two-out bunt single in the sixth for the Beavers' only hits in the game.
Oregon State will wrap up its fall schedule when it travels to Eugene, Ore. for a doubleheader against the Ducks next Sunday, Oct. 30. First pitch is slated for noon.