No. 3 Softball Escapes With 4-3 Victory Against Oregon

April 5, 2002

EUGENE, Ore. - No. 3 Stanford softball (31-5, 2-2 Pac-10) managed to escape with a 4-3 victory over Oregon on Friday afternoon in Eugene, extending its winning streak to three games. The Cardinal left 10 runners on base, but took advantage of four Oregon errors to capture its second conference win.

Oregon (18-13, 0-4 Pac-10) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Andrea Vidlund's double to right center brought home Lakeesha Eversley, who reached base safely on a fielder's choice.

After Oregon starter Anissa Meashintubby limited the Cardinal to just one hit over the first three innings, Stanford broke back with one run in the top of the fourth. Senior Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.) led off the inning with a single, stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Mendoza would continue to round third base and eventually come home to score when second baseman Alyssa Laux failed to field the relay throw from the outfield cleanly.

The Cardinal would load the bases later in the inning following consecutive singles by Jessica Allister (Nacogdoches, Texas), Cassi Brangham (Clovis, Calif.) and Maureen LeCocq (Woodland Hills, Calif.), but came up empty when Elizabeth Bendig (Santa Ana, Calif.) struck out swinging to end the threat.

Stanford would take control in the top of the fifth, taking advantage of the third Oregon error of the afternoon. Jessica Draemel (Omaha, Neb.) walked to open the inning, Robin Walker (La Palma, Calif.) singled up the middle and Mendoza walked to load the bases with no outs. Oregon's Meashintubby got Sarah Beeson (Tucson, Ari.) to hit into a fielder's choice, as Draemel was thrown out at home for the first out. Kira Ching's (San Lorenzo, Calif.) ground ball to shortstop appeared to be yet another routine fielder's choice for the Ducks, as Walker was cut down at home for the second out of the inning. However, when Oregon catcher Jen Poore attempted to throw Ching out at first base for a double play, her throw went into right field and allowed Mendoza to score from third and take a 2-1 advantage.

Oregon answered back in the bottom of the fifth when Lynsey Haij hit a solo home run over the right field fence to knot the game at 2-2.

However, the Cardinal would rally for two runs in the sixth courtesy of an RBI single and a fourth Oregon error. Brangham led off with a walk and LeCocq followed with a single to put Cardinal runners on first and second against the Duck's second pitcher of the afternoon, Lindsey Kontra. Pinch-hitter Leah Nelson (Oakland, Calif.) grounded to the right side of the infield, where Oregon first baseman Vidlund's throw to first hit Nelson, allowing Brangham to score. Draemel's RBI single to left field would then bring home LeCocq and make it 4-2.

The Duck's Ashley Richards led off the bottom of the seventh with a double and came around to score two batters later on Laux's second single of the game, cutting the Cardinal lead to 4-3. Haij followed with a basehit up the middle, but Laux was thrown out at home trying to score the game-tying run to end the contest, which took two hours and twenty minutes to complete.

LeCocq picked up her 12th victory of the season in two innings of relief work, after Tori Nyberg (Belmont, Calif.) scattered seven hits over the first five frames.

Stanford now travels to Corvallis, where it will face No. 14 Oregon State at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

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