Cardinal Beat Long Beach, Place Third In Stanford Classic

March 2, 2003

Stanford, Calif. - Catalina Morris (Sonoita, AZ) and Kira Ching (San Lorenzo, CA) each drove in a run and Dana Sorensen (San Diego, CA) fanned 10 batters as the 11th-ranked Stanford softball team defeated Long Beach State 3-2 on Sunday morning in the third place game of the Stanford Classic. The Cardinal improve to 14-6 on the season, while the 49ers fall to 7-9.

Long Beach put the pressure on early, loading the bases with one out in the first inning. Stanford starter Tori Nyberg (Belmont, CA) got Colleen Burdick to ground to shortstop Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, CA), who threw Wedell out at the plate. With two outs, Nyberg struck out Jamie Farnworth to end the 49er threat and hold the 0-0 tie.

The Cardinal offense came alive in the third inning when Elizabeth Bendig (Santa Ana, CA) led off with a single to right center. Meghan Sickler (Houston, TX) followed with a base hit of her own and Heather Shook (Whittier, CA), pinch running for Bendig, moved to third on Lappin's fielder's choice. Morris flied out to the 49er left fielder, but it was enough to plate Shook for the 1-0 lead.

Ching continued the Stanford rally with a triple down the right field line, scoring Lappin. Ching scored two pitches later on a wild pitch by Long Beach starter Meredith Cervenka to go up 3-0. Cervenka then got Jessica Allister (Nacogdoches, TX) swinging on the third strike to end the inning.

The 49ers answered back with two runs of their own on a double by Arleigh Thorp and a fielder's choice by Roxanne Staniorski. Sorensen came in relief for Stanford and fanned the next three Long Beach batters to preserve the 3-2 Cardinal advantage.

Stanford looked to add insurance runs in the seventh on three consecutive singles by Bendig, Sickler and Lappin to start the inning, but could not manage to get a run across the plate. Sorensen fanned the side in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Cardinal prevailed 3-2.

Sickler led the Stanford offensive attack, going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, while Bendig had a 2-for-3 performance. Sorensen picked up her fifth win of the year to stand at 5-1, finishing with 10 strikeouts and allowing no Long Beach hits.

In the championship game, Texas A&M starting pitcher Lindsay Wilhelmson helped her own cause by hitting a bases loaded double in the eighth inning as the Aggies defeated Georgia 3-1.

Stanford will make a trip back to the east coast next weekend to compete in the Speedline Invitational in Tampa, Fla. The Cardinal will face Coastal Carolina, Western Michigan, South Florida, Long Island and Illinois before starting tournament play.

Third Place GameNo. 11 Stanford	003  000  0	3-8-2Long Beach State	002  000  0	2-4-0WP: Dana Sorensen (5-1)LP: Meredith Cervenka (2-5)2B: Arleigh Thorp, LBSU3B: Kira Ching, STANRecords: Stanford (14-6), Long Beach State (7-9)

Championship GameNo. 21 Texas A&M 000 000 03 3-5-0No. 12 Geogia 000 000 01 1-2-0WP: Lindsay Wilhelmson (7-2)LP: Michelle Green (13-2)2B: Wilhelmson, TAMRecords: Texas A&M (18-7), Georgia (21-3)

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