No. 12 Cardinal Upset No. 4 Washington, Fall To Oklahoma State In Championship Game
March 9, 2003
Plant City, Fla. - Dana Sorensen (San Diego, CA) struck out 14 and Meghan Sickler (Houston, TX) delivered the game-winning hit in the sixth inning as the No. 12 Stanford softball team upset fourth-ranked Washington 3-1 in the semifinal game of the Speedline Invitaional on Sunday morning. The Cardinal then fell to Oklahoma State 3-1 in the title game to stand at 21-7 on the season.
Stanford wasted no time, jumping out to a 1-0 lead over the Huskies in the first inning. Catalina Morris (Sonoita, AZ) led the game off with a single to center and advanced to second on a passed ball. With one out, Jessica Allister (Nocogdoches, TX) doubled to center, scoring Morris. The Cardinal continued the rally when Cassi Brangham (Clovis, CA) reached on an error and stole second. Washington starter Tia Bollinger then struck out Michelle Thiry (Renton, WA) and Maureen LeCocq (Woodland Hills, CA) to end the inning.
Washington tied the game when Aimee Minor nailed a Sorensen pitch over the left field fence in the fourth. Minor's hit would be the only hit of the contest for the Huskies.
In the top of the sixth LeCocq led off with a single to center and pinch runner Megan Bordelon (Laguna Niguel, CA) was sacrificed to second by Elizabeth Bendig (Santa Ana, CA) and to third by Nelson. With two outs and for the second consecutive game, Sickler delivered the game-winning single, scoring Bordelon for the 2-1 Cardinal advantage.
Stanford added an insurance run in the seventh when Kira Ching (San Lorenzo, CA) doubled to right and later scored on Allister's single putting the Card up 3-1. Sorensen then retired the next three Washington batters to send Stanford into the championship game.
Sorensen tallied 14 strikeouts and allowed only one hit en route to her ninth win of the year. The Cardinal got nine hits off the Huskie starter, who took her first loss of the season. Allister led all hitters with a 3-for-3 performance with a double and two RBI. Ching and LeCocq also added two hits apiece.
Oklahoma State got three runs in the top of the first, all unearned off Stanford starter Tori Nyberg (Belmont, CA). Nyberg then came back to fan Jade Lindly to end the inning, but the Cardinal found themselves down 3-0.
The Cowgirls threatened in the fourth, loading the bases with one out. Nyberg came through with a big strike out and LeCocq came in to pitch and got Megan Carey to pop up to Allister and end the inning.
Stanford recorded its first hit of the game, an infield single by Ching with one out in the bottom of the fourth. She then scored on Allister's double down the right field line. Oklahoma State starter Lauren Bay walked Brangham to put runners on first and second. Bay then got both Sickler and LeCocq to ground out, but not before the Cardinal came within 3-1.
Ching had a one-out single in the sixth, marking Stanford's only other hit in the game. Nyberg took the loss, striking out four and scattering three hits in 3.2 innings of work. LeCocq finished the game, recording two strikeouts.
Sorensen was named the tournament's most valuable pitcher, with Brangham and Morris joining her on the all-tournament team. Stanford will have the next week off to prepare for final exams, but will return to action on March 22 against Illinois-Chicago at the Boyd & Jill Smith Family Stadium.
Semifinal GameNo. 12 Stanford 100 001 1 3-9-1No. 4 Washington 000 100 0 1-1-1WP: Dana Sorensen (9-1)LP: Tia Bollinger (11-1)2B: Kira Ching, Jessica Allister (STAN)HR: Aimee Minor (WASH)Records: Stanford (21-6), Washington (23-2-1)
2003 Speedline InvitationalChampion: Oklahoma StateRunner-Up: Stanford
Tournament Most Valuable Player: Lauren BayTournament Most Valuable Pitcher: Dana Sorensen
All-Tournament TeamCatalina Morris, StanfordDana Sorensen, StanfordCassi Brangham, StanfordTia Bollinger, WashingtonJaime Clark, WashingtonDena Tyson, WashingtonAndrea Hillsey, PurdueRyan Realmuto, Oklahoma StateLauren Bay, Oklahoma StateMegan Carey, Oklahoma State