Softball Wraps Up Banner Season
June 5, 2001
2001 Cardinal The Best Yet: The Stanford softball team made its first appearance at the Women's College World Series, and went 2-2 to tie for third nationally ... The Cardinal closed out the 2001 season with a school-best 54 wins (54-16-1) ... Three student-athletes were honored as First-Team All-Americans - Jessica Mendoza, Dana Sorensen and Sarah Beeson ... Stanford finished 11-10 in the Pac-10, which tied for third.
Regional Report: The Cardinal went 4-1 on its way to winning the Stanford Regional ... It was the first time an NCAA Regional had been played on The Farm ... Stanford won its first three games before dropping a tough 2-0 decision to Pacific ... But the Cardinal won the second game of championship Sunday in convincing fashion - 9-1 in five innings - to advance to the Series ... The Cardinal had shutout wins over Hofstra (4-0) and Central Michigan (6-0) and followed with a 5-1 win over Nebraska ... Jessica Mendoza was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Region after hitting .471 (8-for-17) with nine RBI ... Joining Mendoza on the All-Tournament team were second baseman Kira Ching, pitcher Dana Sorensen and first baseman Sarah Beeson ... Sorensen went 3-1 on the weekend and threw both games of Sunday's championship ... Ching hit .353 with seven RBI while Beeson had three hits, including a double and a pair of RBI ... Stanford outscored opponents 24-4 in the five games.
Did You Know: The Cardinal posted a school record 33 shutouts in 71 games played this season ... This breaks the 1998 mark (25) for shutouts in a single season ... Last year, the Cardinal had 10 shutouts ... Stanford notched 10 or more hits in a game 17 times this season and scored 10 or more runs on six occasions ... The Cardinal outscored its opponents 290-104 on the year, including a 67-16 advantage in the first inning ... With 102 doubles on the year, the Cardinal led the Pac-10 ... The Cardinal's 44 homers on the year was a school record and was 16 better than the total from last season ... Stanford won its first 12 games of the year for its longest winning streak (12) ... With 54 wins on the year, Stanford completed its best season in the program's eight-year history ... The previous best for wins was 45 from 2000 ... The Cardinal had two of the top eight hitters in the Pac-10 in Jessica Mendoza and Sarah Beeson.
Rankings Review: Stanford was ranked No. 3 (tie) 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 ... It dropped to No. 4 prior to the postseason before moving up again in the final poll ... Stanford was 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 played six of the top 10 teams in the poll and 14 of the top 25.
From The Dugout: The Cardinal broke 12 team season records this year, including doubles (102), home runs (44), RBI (266), stolen bases (80) and lowest ERA (1.20) ... Stanford posted a 19-5 record at home this year and a 22-4-1 record at neutral sites ... In a 15-inning marathon game with Arizona (5/6/01), Stanford broke the school record for longest game ... The Cardinal had three players named to the First Team All-America squad (Jessica Mendoza, Sarah Beeson, Dana Sorensen) ... This is the first time Stanford has had multiple First Team selections ... Junior Sarah Beeson became the single-season record holder for doubles (23) and RBI (66) ... Junior Jessica Mendoza hit .405 on the year to finish the season over .400 for the third consecutive year ... Before her, no Cardinal player had even hit the prestigious mark ... Sophomore Dana Sorensen ranked fifth nationally in strikeouts, averaging just under 11 per seven innings ... Sorensen broke the school record for strikeouts in a game with 16 against New Mexico (2/16/01) ... Both Beeson and Mendoza ranked in the top 30 nationally for batting average.
Sorensen Story: Sophomore All-American pitcher Dana Sorensen led the Cardinal pitching staff with her 0.64 ERA and overall record of 27-5 ... With a 9-1 win over Pacific in the championship game of Regionals, Sorensen became the single-season record holder for wins in a season ... Her 295 strikeouts this year shattered the single-season record for Ks, which was previously 186 ... Her season ERA was also a school record ... Sorensen was among the nation's top in ERA and was third in the Pac-10 ... She led the conference in batters struck out looking (96), while her 295 Ks were second and .141 opponent batting average was fourth in the Pac-10 ... She notched 10 or more strikeouts in 14 games this year, and also registered 18 complete games and 13 shutouts in 37 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.
Mendoza Memo: Junior All-American outfielder Jessica Mendoza continued to make her mark in Stanford's all-time career record books ... This season, she became the Cardinal's all-time hit leader, surpassing Kellie Wiginton's 218 ... Mendoza has 258 hits in her time on The Farm, including 83 this year ... In just her third year, she already holds the school career record for stolen bases (57), home runs (36) and runs scored (165) ... Last year's Pac-10 Player of the Year is among the nation's leaders with her .405 batting average and 14 homers ... She led the Cardinal with 24 multiple-hit games and also had a 12-game hitting streak earlier this year ... Her .737 slugging percentage and .504 on-base percentage were tops on the team as well ... Mendoza was a clutch hitter, as proven in her .444 average with the bases loaded and .420 clip with runners on base ... For the third straight year, Mendoza earned First Team All-American and All-Conference honors.
Beeson Banter: Junior All-American first baseman Sarah Beeson had one of the best season's in Stanford history ... 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 led the team with 23 doubles and 66 RBI, both of which were single-season records ... She finished the season with a .387 batting average(eighth in the conference) with 79 hits (second on team) ... She started all 71 games at first for the Cardinal and was second on the team with a .986 fielding percentage ... She hit .419 with runners on base and .460 with runners in scoring position ... Beeson led the team with 28 two-out RBI ... She was also the top Cardinal with 16 mutliple RBI games and was second with 21 mutliple-hit games ... Beeson was one of four Stanford players selected to the All-Tournament team at the Regional.
Cha Ching: Second baseman Kira Ching put together a solid sophomore campaign ... Her .256 batting average was third on the team as were her seven homers ... She also had 16 doubles, including a two-run double in the Regional championship game to put Stanford ahead 2-0 ... Ching was clutch with a .324 average with runners on base ... In a Regional game against Central Michigan, she went 3-for-5 with four RBI ... She ranks third in the all-time career record books with 20 stolen bases, including 14-of-15 this year ... She was 14-of-14 in the regular season ... Her fielding percentage of .962 is second among Cardinal infielders ... Ching was third on the team with 15 multiple-hit games and 10 multiple RBI games ... She earned All-Pac-10 honors for the first time in her career, being named an Honorable Mention selection.
Notes From Around the Bullpen: The Cardinal pitching staff, comprised of four sophomores, had a school-record ERA of 1.20 ... It had a conference-best 153 batters struck out looking and was third best with 483 strikeouts ... The four pitchers set a school record for most strikeouts in a season (483) and least walks (118) ... The staff held opponent batters to a .169 clip at the plate and allowed only one triple all year (best in the conference) ... Maureen LeCocq and Tori Nyberg anchored the Cardinal pitching staff while Dana Sorensen was sidelined ... LeCocq went 17-7 on the year and sported a 1.20 ERA ... She had a career-high 81 strikeouts along with nine complete games and six shutouts ... LeCocq pitched her first perfect game against Long Beach State (2/17/01) ... Nyberg had a 6-3 mark, including a 5-0 Pac-10 win over ASU ... She fanned 59 in 78.2 innings of work ... She started the Cardinal's final game of the World Series against Arizona ... Jaime Forman-Lau, who led the conference in saves (5), games in relief (22) and games finished (19), was solid from the pen ... She notched her fourth win of the year against Sac State as well as her fourth save against Cal ... She had 48 Ks in 49.2 innings of work.
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. ... Dana Sorensen, Jessica Mendoza and Sarah Beeson were among 51 of the nation's finest fast pitch softball players selected for the camp ... Mendoza was selected to one of 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 six coaches to form the National Team Coaches through the 2004 Olympic Games ... He was selected out of 12 coaches, who 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.
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.
Records Set In 2001
Team Single-SeasonHitting Previous Record (Year)At Bats - 1814 1680 (1999)Doubles - 102 74 (2000)Home Runs - 44 29 (1999)Slugging Pct. - .392 .383 (1999)RBI - 266 255 (1999)Strikeouts - 352 267 (2000)Stolen Bases - 80 58 (2000)PitchingInnings Pitched - 477.1 441.1 (2000)Strikeouts - 483 313 (2000)Walks - 118 184 (1999)Shutouts - 33 25 (1998)Lowest ERA - 1.20 1.30 (1998)
Individual Single-Season Previous RecordDoubles - Sarah Beeson (23) Jessica Mendoza (20)Home Runs - Jessica Mendoza (14) Jessica Mendoza (13)RBI - Sarah Beeson (66) Jessica Mendoza (57)Runs Scored - Jessica Mendoza (70) Jessica Mendoza (57)Stolen Bases - Jessica Mendoza (31) Jessica Mendoza (20)Walks - S. Beeson/J. Mendoza (32) Sarah Beeson (28)At Bats - Jessica Mendoza (205) Jennie Foyle (202)Earned Run Average - Dana Sorensen (0.64) Dana Sorensen (1.06)Wins - Dana Sorensen (27) Becky Blevins (24)Strikeouts - Dana Sorensen (295) Becky Blevins (186)
Tournament TitlesNFCA Leadoff Classic - Columbus, Georgia (Feb. 23-25)Red Desert Classic - St. George, Utah (March 2-4)Speedline Invitational - Tampa, Florida (March 8-11)Region 6 - Stanford, California (May 17-20)
Home Run TrackerPlayer Total Last HR Date TypeJessica Mendoza 14 Pacific 5/20 Grand SlamSarah Beeson 12 LSU 5/24 SoloKira Ching 7 Arizona 5/5 SoloJessica Allister 3 at ASU 4/22 SoloMichelle Thiry 3 Saint Mary's 4/25 2-RunJenni Shideler 3 Pacific 5/20 SoloCassi Brangham 2 at Oregon 5/12 Solo