Cardinal Splits Season Opener With Pacifc

Feb. 1, 2003

Stanford, Calif. - The 14th-ranked Stanford softball team split its doubleheader with No. 21 Pacific on Saturday afternoon in their season-opener at the Boyd & Jill Smith Family Stadium. The Cardinal took the first game 3-1, but fell 15-2 to the Tigers in the nightcap.

In the first contest, Stanford threatened in the first inning when Pacific starter Jennifer Dacre walked three batters to load the bases with two outs. Dacre ended the Cardinal rally when she got Leah Nelson (Oakland, CA) to pop out to the catcher. The Tigers responded with a rally of their own with runners at the corners, but Stanford pitcher Tori Nyberg (Belmont, CA) got Ashlie D'Errico to ground out to second baseman Kira Ching (San Lorenzo, CA) for the third out.

Pacific got on the scoreboard first in the top of the fourth inning when an error allowed Barbara Moody to race home for the 1-0 lead. Stanford got revenge when they caught Estee Okumura leaning off third base to end the inning.

The Cardinal struck back in the bottom of the fourth. Jessica Allister (Nacogdoches, TX) led off the inning with a single through the right side and Cassi Brangham (Clovis, CA) was hit by a pitch. Nelson then sacrificed both runners with a bunt and Maureen LeCocq (Woodland Hills, CA) loaded the bases with a walk. Following a fielder's choice, Meghan Sickler (Houston, TX) battled a 3-2 count with a walk, scoring Brangham and tying the game. Freshman Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, CA) also walked and LeCocq came in to score. Dacre then got Catalina Morris (Sonoita, AZ) to fly out, but not before Stanford held a 2-1 advantage.

Stanford scored an insurance run in the fifth, when Nelson singled to score Ching. Nyberg picked up her first win of the 2003 season and recorded one strikeout and allowed only three hits in seven innings of work. Allister and Nelson accounted for the Cardinal's two hits in the game.

In the nightcap, it was all Pacific. The Tigers jumped out to a 6-0 in the second inning off freshman pitcher Laura Severson (Frankfort, IL), highlighted by a three-run homerun by Brandy Thurman. Stanford got on the board when LeCocq hit a one out RBI single that scored Allister in the bottom of the second. The Cardinal threatened again in the third when three walks loaded the bases, but starter Natalie King got Nelson to ground out.

The Tigers added a run in the fourth off a solo shot by Nicole Inouye. Pacific then continued to do damage in the fifth, scoring eight runs off of seven hits to lead 15-1. Stanford added one more run on Brangham's single, scoring Lappin.

Severson took the loss for the Cardinal in her first collegiate appearance, striking out three. Pacific outhit Stanford in the second game 14-2, led by Thurman's 3-for-4 performance at the plate.

Stanford will make a trip down to Arizona to compete in the ASU Fiesta Bowl Tournament in Phoenix next weekend. The Cardinal are scheduled to play Massachusetts, UNLV, CS Fullerton Southwest Texas and Texas Tech from Feb. 7-9.

Game 1No. 21 Pacific		000 100 0  -  1 3 0No. 14 Stanford	000 210 X  -  3 2 1

WP - Tori Nyberg, 1-0LP - Jennifer Dacre, 0-1

Game 2Pacific 150 18 - 15 14 0Stanford 010 01 - 2 2 1

WP - Natalie King, 1-0LP - Laura Severson, 0-1

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