Softball Ready For Postseason Play
May 16, 2001
This Week: The fourth-ranked Stanford softball team enters postseason play for the fourth consecutive year ... As the top seed, the Cardinal will take on sixth-seeded Hofstra on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. ... The winner plays on Friday at 4:00, while the loser will play immediately following the 2:00 game on Thursday.
NCAA Regional On The Farm: For the first time ever, Stanford has been selected to host an NCAA Regional with six teams competing ... The winner of each of the eight Regionals will advance to the Women's College World Series in Norman, Oklahoma May 24-28 ... The Stanford Regional, Region 6, features the Cardinal (48-13-1), Nebraska (49-13), Pacific (47-11), Central Michigan (36-18), Brigham Young (35-24) and Hofstra (36-24) ... The double-elimination tournament could have up to 12 games over the four days with the championship game(s) at 1:00 on Sunday and 3:30 (if necessary).
Last Week: Stanford went 2-1 to close out Pac-10 play at the Oregon schools ... The Cardinal dropped a 1-0 decision to No. 14 Oregon State, but bounced back to sweep Oregon in a doubleheader ... The Beavers got a solo home run in the second inning and made it stand up ... Against the Ducks, the Cardinal pounded out 17 hits and 11 runs ... Kira Ching had a 3-for-4 outing in Game 2 while Michelle Thiry was 2-for-4 with four RBI ... In Game 1, Cassi Brangham went 3-for-3 with a home run while Jessica Mendoza went 2-for-4 with two runs scored ... In the circle, Dana Sorensen and Tori Nyberg combined for a 6-0 shutout while Maureen LeCocq, Jaime Forman-Lau and Nyberg pitched in the second game, allowing just one run ... Sorensen struck out 16 on the weekend and LeCocq didn't give up a run.
Did You Know: The Cardinal has posted a school record 30 shutouts in 62 games played this season ... This breaks the 1998 mark (25) for shutouts in a single season ... Last year, the Cardinal had 10 shutouts ... Stanford has notched 10 or more hits in a game 15 times this season and scored 10 or more runs on six occasions ... The Cardinal has outscored its opponents 266-100 on the year, including a 60-14 advantage in the first inning ... With 92 doubles on the year, the Cardinal leads the Pac-10 ... The next closest team, Arizona, has 83 doubles ... The Cardinal's 41 homers on the year is a school record and is already 13 better than the total from last season ... Stanford won its first 12 games of the year for its longest winning streak (12) ... With 48 wins on the year, Stanford is in the midst of its best season in the program's eight-year history ... The previous best for wins was 45 from 2000 ... The Cardinal has two of the top five hitters in the Pac-10 in Jessica Mendoza and Sarah Beeson.
Rankings Review: Stanford was ranked No. 4 in the final NFCA/USA Today Poll of the year ... The Caridnal spent five weeks at No. 3, which is the highest ranking in school history ... Stanford has been ranked in the top five since March 7th of this year ... The Cardinal has appeared in the top 25 of every regular-season poll since early in the 1998 season, reaching a then-high of No. 7 during 1999 ... Stanford peaked at No. 8 in 2000 ... Pac-10 teams hold three of the top five spots in the poll, and five of the top 10 ... Seven of the eight Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top 25 and advanced to the postseason ... This year, Stanford is scheduled to play five of the top 10 teams in the poll and 11 of the top 25 ... The Cardinal will play at least 24 games against teams ranked in the top 25 nationally this season.
Regional Rivalries: Of the six teams in the Stanford Regional, the Caridnal has played two this season - Pacific and Nebraska ... In the second week of the season, Stanford swept Pacific in a doubleheader on The Farm ... Game scores were 2-0 and 4-0 ... The Cardinal faced Nebraska in March at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah ... Stanford won 6-4 and went on to win the tournament title ... Stanford also has some history with Central Michigan from the 2000 Regional at Ann Arbor, Michigan ... Stanford went in as the No. 1 seed and lost the opening game to the Chippewas (2-1) and then fell to hosting Michigan (5-4) in the second game ...The two teams could meet again if they both win their first two games of the Regional.
About the Pride: Hofstra enters the tournament with a 36-24 overall record as the sixth-seed in the Regional ... The Pride is four-time defending America East Champions after winning this year's conference tournament with a 4-3, 11-inning win over Towson in the title game ... They posted a 20-6 record in conference play ... America East Player of the Year Lisa Ciavardini is second on the team with her .341 batting average ... She had a team-leading 13 doubles and 39 RBI ... In the circle, Hofstra has three pitchers with an ERA under 2.00 ... Shannon Luther (1.81 ERA) leads the staff with her 18-13 record ... Kelly Bios (1.86 ERA), a Second Team All-Conference selection, has 113 Ks in 150.1 innings of work ... First baseman Amanda Hallaway leads the Pride in hitting (.348) and homers (8) ... LaMeka Anderson (.276, 10 doubles) joined Hallaway as First Team All-Conference selections, while Christine Moran (.253, 47 hits) was named to the Second Team.
From The Dugout: The Cardinal ERA is 1.21, down from last year's 1.38 mark ... Stanford pitching has only allowed 15 home runs this season ... The Cardinal has posted a 17-4 record at home this year and a 20-2-1 record at neutral sites ... In a 15-inning marathon game with Arizona (5/6/01), Stanford broke the school record for longest game ... Junior Sarah Beeson became the single-season record holder for doubles (22) and RBI (63) ... Junior Jessica Mendoza is currently batting .409 ... If she finishes the season over .400, it would be the third consecutive year Mendoza has accomplished the feat ... Before her, no Cardinal player had even hit the prestigious mark ... Sophomore Dana Sorensen ranks third nationally in strikeouts, averaging 11.0 per seven innings ... Sorensen broke the school record for strikeouts in a game with 16 against New Mexico (2/16/01) ... Both Sarah Beeson and Jessica Mendoza are ranked in the top 30 nationally for batting average.
Sorensen Sweet In Circle: Sophomore pitcher Dana Sorensen leads the Cardinal pitching staff with her 0.42 ERA and overall record of 22-3 ... She has tied her career best for wins in a season (22) and her 259 strikeouts this year have shattered the single-season record for Ks, which was previously 186 ... Sorensen is among the nation's top in ERA and is second in the Pac-10 ... She leads the conference in batters struck out looking (87 while her 259 Ks and .125 opponent batting average are both second in the Pac-10 ... She has notched 10 or more strikeouts in 14 games this year, and has also registered 17 complete games and 13 shutouts in 28 appearances ... Sorensen was forced to miss three weeks of Pac-10 play with a sore back ... She made her return to the circle in a relief outing against Arizona State ... She was also used in relief for six innings in a 15-inning game with Arizona ... Against the Wildcats, she pitched six scoreless innings with six strikeouts.
Mendoza Memo: Junior All-American outfielder Jessica Mendoza continues to make her mark in Stanford's all-time career record books ... Earlier this season, she became the Cardinal's all-time hit leader, surpassing Kellie Wiginton's 218 ... Mendoza has 247 hits in her time on The Farm, including 72 this year ... In just her third year, she already holds the school career record for stolen bases (56), home runs (35) and runs scored (162) ... Last year's Pac-10 Player of the Year is among the nation's leaders with her .409 batting average and 13 homers ... She leads the Cardinal with 21 multiple-hit games and also had a 12-game hitting streak earlier this year ... Her .739 slugging percentage and .518 on-base percentage are tops on the team as well ... Mendoza's .409 hitting clip is fourth in the Pac-10 and her 15 double are tied for second in the conference.
Beeson's Hot Bat: Junior first baseman Sarah Beeson has been clutch for the Cardinal all season ... With her four doubles and six RBI in a twinbill at Sacramento State, Beeson broke the Stanford single-season RBI record and tied the season record for doubles ... She now leads the team with a season-record 22 doubles and 63 RBI ... She is hitting at a .409 clip(fifth in the conference) with a team-high 74 hits ... She has started all 62 games at first for the Cardinal and is second on the team with a .986 fielding percentage... She is hitting .455 with runners on base ... Beeson leads the team with 27 two-out RBI and 15 multiple RBI games this season.
Notes From Around the Bullpen: The Cardinal pitching staff, comprised of four sophomores, has an ERA of 1.21 ... It has a conference-best 141 batters struck out looking and is third best with 434 strikeouts ... The staff is holding opponent batters to a .170 clip at the plate ... With six saves, Stanford leads the Pac-10 (along with ASU) ... Maureen LeCocq and Tori Nyberg anchored the Cardinal pitching staff while Dana Sorensen was sidelined ... LeCocq is 16-7 on the year and sports a 1.23 ERA ... She has a career-high 79 strikeouts along with nine complete games and six shutouts ... LeCocq pitched her first perfect game against Long Beach State (2/17/01) ... Nyberg has a 6-2 mark, including a 5-0 Pac-10 win over Arizona State ... She has fanned 50 in 69.1 innings of work ... Jaime Forman-Lau, who leads the conference in saves (4) and games in relief (19), has been solid from the pen ... She notched her fourth win of the year against Sac State as well as her fourth save against Cal.
Stanford's Stars and Stripes: The Cardinal had three players selected to participate in the USA Women's National Team Camp, May 30-June 3 in Chula Vista, Calif. ... Sophomore pitcher Dana Sorensen, junior centerfielder Jessica Mendoza and junior first baseman Sarah Beeson were among 51 of the nation's finest fast pitch softball players selected for the camp ... USA Softball will select two 16-player teams to represent the U.S. in international competitions such as the U.S. Cup in Honolulu, the Canada Cup in Vancouver and the Pan Am Qualifier in Maracay, Venezuela during the 2001 season ... Fifth-year head coach John Rittman was also selected as one of 12 coaches to form the National Team Coaches Pool through the 2004 Olympic Games ... These 12 coaches will also participate in the camp later this spring and will be eligible for selection to such important coaching assignments as the 2001 U.S. Cup in Hawaii, 2001 Canada Cup in Vancouver the 2002 ISF Women's World Championship in Canada, and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
All-Pac-10 Honors: The Cardinal landed three players on the All-Pac-10 First Team, while two received Honorable Mention honors ... Head Coach John Rittman was also named Co-Coach of the Year ... For the third straight season, Jessica Mendoza was a First Team selection, while Sarah Beeson and Dana Sorensen earned First Team honors for the fist time in their careers ... Shortstop Robin Walker and second baseman Kira Ching were named Honorable Mention selections ... Walker was a Second Team selection last year, while Ching earns the accolade for the first time ... This is also the first award for Rittman in his five-year tenure on The Farm.
Catch Me If You Can: Stanford is averaging a little over a stolen base per game ... Jessica Mendoza leads the team with 30 stolen bases followed by Kira Ching, who is a perfect 13-of-13 ... Robin Walker is also 8-of-9 ... The Cardinal has 72 swiped bags on the year while opponents have just 20.